Hurricane Ophelia set to hit UK and Ireland on 30th anniversary of Great Storm

Rain and winds of up to 70mph are due to lash Britain on Monday. Credit: PA

This Monday marks the anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987 - and another stormy set-up is forecast, exactly 30 years to the day.

Hurricane Ophelia, currently in the Atlantic, will journey north-eastwards, passing to the west of the Canaries and Madeira Saturday night into Sunday before reaching our shores by early next week.

Having developed over the eastern tropical Atlantic and taking a path over relatively warm seas, Ophelia will continued to be fuelled with energy and retain hurricane and tropical storm status into to the western Atlantic early next week.

Where the storm is expected to hit on Monday. Credit: Met Office

Come Monday, Ireland will bear the brunt of the strongest storm force winds and huge battering waves.

As warm (formerly more tropical air) can hold more moisture expect some high rainfall accumulations.

For Britain, it's expected to be windy, but remarkably warm for the time of year.

As the storm draws in sub tropical air and heat from Iberia (here currently a heatwave is bringing temperatures near 30C in Spain and Portugal).

We'll see highs of 23C on Sunday and 24-25C Monday, a good 10C above average for the time of year.

A car is crushed by a tree in the Great Storm of 1987. Credit: PA Archive

Ophelia and the Great Storm of 1987 are very different situations and formed under very different circumstances.

Details will be developing in the coming few days - and currently the National Hurricane Centre is monitoring Ophelia's development and track.

  • What was the Great Storm of 1987?
A woman tries to make a call from a blown over phone box after the Great Storm hit. Credit: PA Archive

The Great Storm of 1987 was the worst in Britain had seen for 300 years.

It claimed 18 lives and caused £1 billion worth of damage.

Winds of up to 100mph blew 15 million trees down. Many fell onto roads and railways causing major transport delays.

Others took down electricity and phone lines, leaving thousands without power for more than 24 hours.

The storm hit overnight on October 15. It is thought more people would have been injured or lost their lives if it had hit in the day.

Weatherman Michael Fish famously told viewers no storm was on the way. Credit: PA Archive

Former BBC weatherman Michael Fish became infamous in the wake of the Great Storm.

In a forecast hours before it caused widespread devastation, he told viewers: "Earlier on today, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard a hurricane was on the way.

"Well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't."