Fully detailed Great Storm of 1987 case study

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Case Studies One storm event from within the last 30years should be studied.
The "Great Storm" of 1987
One Storm Event in B. Isles
The depression started over the Bay of Biscay - south
Scale and Context of Storm westerly winds carrying warm wet air from the North
(Occurrence) Atlantic met north easterly winds carrying cold air from the
Pole (rising warm air causes the atmospheric pressure to
The depression then deepened rapidly due to the
unusually warm sea surface temperaturesin the Bay of
Biscay and a steep pressure gradient between the two air
masses - low atmospheric pressure in the centre of the
depression led to very strong winds (winds are large scale
movements of air from high to low pressure areas)
The polar jet stream was also located further south than
normal and this meant the depression formed over northern
France and southern England as opposed to above northern
Scotland like it would normally
On the 15th October pressure in the centre of the
depression fell from 970mb at midday to953mb at
midnight, much lower than the average air pressure in the
UK of 1013mb
The storm hit Cornwall and Devon just after midnight and
then moved across to the Midlands and reached the Humber
Estuary (east coast of England) at 5:30am
The south-east experienced very strong winds,
with Gorleston in Norfolk receiving gusts of up
to 196km/h and in Shoreham-by-Sea there were speeds
of 136km/h for 20 minutes
After 6am the depression began to weaken and moved away
over the North Sea
October 1987 started off fine and dry but quickly became
unsettled and wet. In the days before the storm low
pressure lingered off the west of Ireland, producing spells
of wet weather across Britain.
Warm air from Africa met cold air from the Atlantic Ocean,
causing an intense depression
The depression developed over the Bay of Biscay on 15th
October and moved northwards
Weather forecasters thought it wouldn't reach England, but
by midnight it had changed course and moved towards the
south coast ­ most people went to bed
without knowing that there would be very severe winds
It was in fact not a hurricane, but a depression.
Winds were over 100 km/hour and on the coast in
Hampshire, Sussex and Kent winds reached gale force 11
The central pressure was 953 mb
There were rapid changes in temperature as the warm front
passed over eg. in Farnborough 8.5°C to 17.6°C in 20 minutes.
By 9am the storm had passed over land and reached the
North Sea

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Winds gusting at up to 100mph
Impact of storm 19 people were killed in England
15 million trees were blown down, including 6 of the famous
oaks trees in Sevenoaks
physical environment Many fell on to roads and railways, causing major transport
Others took down electricity and telephone lines, leaving 5
million homes were without electricity.…read more

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Economic - Over 1 million buildings were damaged and this led
to insurance claims that totalled £1.…read more

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UK was improved by increasing the quality and
quantity of observations from ships, aircraft, buoys and
satellites, while refinements were made to the computer
models used in forecasting.…read more


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