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1987 Great Storm Case Study Sheet

1987 Great Storm Case Study Sheet



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Published by cccgeog
A case study of the Great Storm of October 1987
A case study of the Great Storm of October 1987

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Published by: cccgeog on Feb 10, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Clim ate, environment and people case studyA low pressure weather systemDepression over Southern England, 15-16
October 1987When to use this case study:
A weather event
A severe weather event
A weather event caused by a low pressure system
A weather event and its effect on different groups of people and theenvironment
What happened?
Warm air from Africa met cold air from the AtlanticOcean, causing an intense depression
The depression developed over the Bay of Biscay on15
October and moved northwards
Weather forecasters thought it wouldn’t reach England,but by midnight it had changed course and movedtowards the south coast – most people went to bedwithout knowing that there would be very severe windsovernight
Winds were over 100 km/hour and on the coast inHampshire, Sussex and Kent winds reached gale force11
The central pressure was 953 mb
There were rapid changes in temperature as the warm front passed over eg. in Farnborough8.5°C to 17.6°C in 20 minutes! (see map)
By 9am the storm had passed over land and reached the North Sea
What were the effects of the storm?
19 people died in England
15 million trees were knocked down, including 6 of the famous oaks trees in Sevenoaks
Trees blocked roads and railways
Power lines were taken down and 5 million homes were without electricity
Caravan parks were wrecked
Falling masonry and trees damaged and destroyed cars andhouses
Fire brigade had 6000 calls in 24 hours
Buildings collapsed
A cross-channel ferry, the MV Hengist, was blown aground atFolkestone
A ship capsized at Dover 
Roads and railway lines were blocked with fallen trees
Cost £15 billion in insurance claims, so premiums went up for everyone next year 
Fallen trees provided new habitats for some animals
Some plants benefited as there was more light on the forest floor allowing them to grow
The photo shows council workers clearing the A28 at Wye

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