By Paul Homewood
Eunice is on the way –stay safe:
There is no doubt according to the forecasts that Storm Eunice will be one of the strongest storms in recent years. The Bristol Channel area will be particularly affected.
In true BBC fashion, however, they have hyped it up into something it is not, or at least hopefully won’t be:
So let’s get this absolutely straight now, the Burns Day storm was much, much worse:
Bear in mind these are knots, not mph – 1kt = 1.15 mph. Wind gusts of over 80kts plus (92 mph) were widespread inland and away from highly exposed coastal sites. Top speed was 107 mph at Aberporth. Avonmouth clocked 97 mph while Sheerness across in Kent went higher at 101 mph.
The latest Met Office forecast suggest winds of 80 to 90 mph along the Bristol Channel. There is nothing to suggest anything much above 90 mph. except at the top of a high, exposed cliff top.
Further north, winds of 70kts and over (80 mph) were widespread in 1990. Here in Sheffield we are expecting maximum winds of 60 mph tomorrow:
Sadly I have no doubt that the BBC/Met Office will cherry pick a few cliff top and high level sites to claim 100 mph winds. Shame on them if they do, for making political propaganda out of a human tragedy.
While we’re at it, let’s take a look back at Storm Dudley, which I seem to recall had forecasts of over 100 mph winds.
In reality, it turned out to be just a typical winter storm. As usual the Met Office use unsuitable and unrepresentative sites for top gusts. Capel Curig is half way up a mountain in Snowdonia. Emley Moor, which I often cycle up, is about 800 ft up where the ITV TV mast is, and so on.
One of the saddest things about the Met Office’s determination to give every storm that passes our way a silly name is that it detracts from the really memorable events.
In twenty years time, who will remember Eunice? It will just be another in a long line of run of the mill storms. By contrast, the Burns Day storm or the Great Storm of 1987 will rightly be remembered for many years to come, precisely because they were extraordinary and were rightly named as such at the time.