Storm Ciara battered our region but was well short of Great Storm of 1987

PUBLISHED: 06:39 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:21 10 February 2020

Storm Ciara Wroxham Road tree blocking road, smashed wall and traffic lights. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Storm Ciara Wroxham Road tree blocking road, smashed wall and traffic lights. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN


Communities across Norfolk and Suffolk are still recovering after Storm Ciara brought the strongest winds in this region felt for more than two years, but they were still some way short of the colossal winds felt when the Great Storm hit more than 30 years ago.

L0288 Gt Yarmouth front hurricane 1987L0288 Gt Yarmouth front hurricane 1987

Trees were toppled, roads and rail links were blocked and thousands of people were left without power after the region was battered by Storm Ciara which yesterday (Sunday, February 9) brought destruction and disruption to people across East Anglia and the rest of the country.

Dan Holley, a meteorologist at UEA-based Weatherquest, said the top wind gust in East Anglia was 71mph at Marham followed by Weybourne in north Norfolk, which reached 70mph, Tibenham, which reached 62mph and Norwich Airport where 60mph gusts were recorded.

Those speeds saw "the strongest winds in this region since January 2018" but Mr Holley said the gusts recorded in the Great Storm of 1987 were "much stronger".

MORE: Storm Ciara: Tree triggers explosion as it falls on substation

Back on October 16 1987 Mr Holley said the wind speed recorded at Gorleston hit a high of 98mph that day, with 91mph at Hemsby, 82mph at Coltishall and 72mph at Marham.

Those speeds were recorded hours after BBC weatherman Michael Fish had famously played down fears of a serious storm on the television.

He said in a lunchtime broadcast the day before the storm, Mr Fish said: "Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way; well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't."

The worst storm to hit south-east England in over 300 years then followed the broadcast.

MORE: Alert driver escapes wreckage as tree destroys car

Fast forward more than 32 years and while Storm Ciara might have done its worst, Mr Holley said there is more windy weather on its way.

He said: "While the winds have eased somewhat, it will remain quite windy for the next few days with gusts generally in the 40-50mph range on Monday and Tuesday, especially near any blustery showers, before easing into Wednesday.

"We might also see the winds gusting up to 60mph along the north Norfolk coast for a time on Monday night, as the winds shift round a little more to the northwest."

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