Gale force gusts to mark anniversary of 1987 Great Storm as Ophelia sweeps across UK

The 16th October will be another stormy one for the UK as we mark the 30th Anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987.

Ex Hurricane Ophelia - currently a Category 2 Hurricane - will sweep across the Azores over the weekend before making landfall across southern Ireland on Monday morning.

It will then continue it's rampage north and east across the west of the UK later on Monday and overnight before clearing into the North Sea on Tuesday morning.

With winds gusting to 80mph and heavy rain - most notably across western Scotland - the Met Office have issued weather warnings and the public are advised to keep up to date with the latest advice on this developing situation.

Here is the weather warning for Monday and Tuesday:

Weather warning for Monday. Credit: Met Office
Weather warning for Tuesday. Credit: Met Office

Ex Ophelia is expected to impact on travel and transport services but, unlike 30 years ago, our greatest protection is in our preparation and forewarning.

Back then, the Met Office were making a (still impressive) 2,100 observations a day from their network of satellites, ships and buoys, allowing their computers to make around 4 million calculations a second.

The Great Storm of 1987 caused huge damage. This was the scene on one road in London. Credit: PA

Today, in that same period, an almost unfathomable 215 billion observations flood in to the hundreds of millions of pounds worth of super-computers at Met Office HQ in Exeter.

The weather, by its very nature, will always have the ability to catch us out, but the stunning advancements in technology, along with the subsequently introduced warnings and impact systems, dramatically reduce the ability of significant weather taking us by surprise.

The Met Office has created a video showing recreated satellite imagery and the track of the Great Storm in 1987.

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