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How does Storm Doris compare to the Great Storm of 1987?

Damage caused by the Great Storm of October 1987. Photo: About Anglia

ITV Anglia Weather Presenter and meteorologist Aisling Creevey compares Storm Doris with the Great Storm of 1987

Believe it or not no one weather day is same and the same rule applies to storms.

No one storm is the same as any other and each storm has its own complicated set of atmospheric ingredients that if we add a little too much of one thing – a totally different outcome could be produced.

A lorry overturned by the strong winds during the Great Storm of October 1987. Credit: About Anglia / ITV

It’s been nearly 30 years since the Great Storm in October 1987 - the one made famous by TV weatherman Michael Fish. Since then atmospheric science has advanced in some fascinating ways.

A lot of this is down to the fact that we have hundreds of satellites whizzing around the earth sending back information we could have only dreamed of 30 years ago.

The advancement in computer power and programing has meant scientists can now run hundreds of computer models every few hours to allow us to understand a see a largely range of possible outcomes in weather over the next few hours.

This is what happened with Storm Doris.

Watch a report from ITV's About Anglia from 16 October 1987

Storm Doris was a very ordinary area of low pressure until the jet stream picked her up and spun her into a very powerful storm that affected a wide swathe of the UK.

The reason we were able to prepare for Storm Doris was down to the incredible advances in science and the hundreds of weather simulations that are run every few hours.

A large portion of these simulations were indicating that there was the potential for this area of low pressure to undergo ‘explosive cyclogenesis’ or a ‘weather bomb’ in which a weather system very quickly over a number of hours picks up strength and has the potential to create serious and potentially dangerous conditions.

A lorry comes to grief on the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk during the Great Storm of 1987. Credit: About Anglia / ITV

It meant that for Storm Doris, the Met Office was able to issue amber warnings two days ahead of its arrival.

That allowed emergency services and utilities such as power companies to get crews in place to ready themselves to respond to what would happen.

An overturned 4-seater plane at Luton Airport during the Great Storm of 1987. Credit: About Anglia / ITV

Storm Doris was not as strong as The Great Storm but they both contain some very impressive statistics.

During the Great Storm, Shoeburyness in Essex recorded a gust of 100mph and Hemsby in Norfolk recorded 90mph.

The highest gust recorded by Storm Doris in the Anglia region was 81mph at Weybourne in Norfolk but perhaps most impressive with Doris was the duration of and frequency of the gusts which lasted about 8 hours.

The destruction caused by the hurricane force wind gusts of the Great Storm of 1987. Credit: About Anglia / ITV

Highest wind gusts in the Anglia region during Storm Doris

  • 81 mph in Weybourne, Norfolk
  • 78 mph at Luton airport, Bedfordshire
  • 74 mph in Wittering, Cambridgeshire
  • 70 mph in Holbeach, Lincolnshire
  • 70 mph in Andrewsfield near Braintree, Essex
  • 68 mph in Marham, Norfolk
  • 66 mph in Wattisham, Suffolk

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