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Christmas Eve 1997 storm

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One of those weather events I won't forget, the Christmas Eve gale of 1997 was one of the worst gales to hit northern England and Wales in the last 15 years. A vigorous low tracked across Northern Ireland bringing severe gales to Eire, where gusts reached 80mph bringing down trees, powers lines and causing structural damage. The low, its central pressure was 976mb by that time, then tracked across southern Scotland and it was along its southern flank that the strongest winds occurred across north Wales and northwest England. Wind gusts in this region approached 90mph causing much structural damage to buildings, uprooting trees, bringing down power lines and at one stage, 50,000 people were without electricity. It was certainly one of the worst gales to hit this region probably since 1990.

The sound of the gusts down the chimney was unforgetable and the lights flickered at times. Thought we were going to lose power. I remember Peter Cockcroft giving a severe weather warning between TV programmes, a fairly rare event. Christmas morning revealed the damage caused the winds, slate tiles broken on the ground, branches and even trees.

Rrea00119971225.gif

BBC news on the gale

Edited by Weather-history
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Remember it well having travelled back to the Cumbrian coast from Chester that afternoon for xmas.

Particularly stormy was early evening as I walked to the pub in to incredible gusts even now I can recall it..

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A very stormy day on the Cumbrian coast, I do remember it very well. In view of the forecast my mum took me and my brother out early that day to complete Xmas shop to keep up stocked up until after Boxing day, it became extremely windy during the evening after tea time. The upstairs of the house was shuddering and the roof timbers were creaking like crazy! There was a bit of damage to the roof, I can't remember if it was 2 or 3 ridge tiles that became dislodged and the small wall along the drive failed and collapsed onto the road.

Thankfully we didn't loose electric even though it did flicker a number of times, then just over 12 months later we were struck by the Boxing day 1998 storm which proved even more severe.....

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Remember this one I think. Knocked the power out at my grandparent's house and at my aunties.

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Kev, don't know if you can help me.....The worst winds by far which I've ever experienced were during the month of October but I can't remember what year. i've a feeling it was around 2003.....the Metoffice put out an emergency warning for 90mph winds across northwest England. I remember being at my nans, the electric going off and the corrugated iron roof being ripped clean off the garden shed! I remember being yelled at by the neighbours to stay inside as debris was flying around!

Edited by CreweCold
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Kev, don't know if you can help me.....The worst winds by far which I've ever experienced were during the month of October but I can't remember what year. i've a feeling it was around 2003.....the Metoffice put out an emergency warning for 90mph winds across northwest England. I remember being at my nans, the electric going off and the corrugated iron roof being ripped clean off the garden shed! I remember being yelled at by the neighbours to stay inside as debris was flying around!

I don't recall gales during October 2003 but there was a bad gale late October 2002, I think it was around the 27th

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I don't recall gales during October 2003 but there was a bad gale late October 2002, I think it was around the 27th

That'd be the one then Kev, couldn't remember the year but knew it had to be around that time as I was in my last 2 years of high school.

EDIT: Found it! To quote from metoffice archive: 'On the 27th a deep depression moved from south-west Ireland to north-east England bringing rain and storm force winds; Mumbles near Swansea had a gust of 84 knots. There were some fatalities and widespread damage to trees and power lines bringing disruption to road and rail networks. '

Edited by CreweCold
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worst type of Xmas weather possible, totally unfestive, no need for heating, and more like 0ctober

And the other part of the festive season, New Year was also stormy. It really was a very stormy spell from Christmas 1997 to about the second week of January 1998

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I remember it. It blew the roof of our lean-too thingy. Very exciting. Best Christmas Eve ever. :)

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but Monday 5th January was one of my most remembered snow! started off wet, then turned to very heavy snow around midday, lasted all through the afternoon, sticking instantly on the wet ground even in town centre

paper described it as 'snow joke for weathermen' probably the most unexpected snow of all time

caused by a shortwave on the perfect track moving west to east, similar sort of idea to 04 Nov 2012, but better time of year, and of course the track different

Edited by ihatetherain
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I remember getting ready to go out that night and although it was dark it suddenly seemed really light outside. It must have been the denseness of the cloud reflecting down the sodium lights.

The wind got worse all night. I remembered that I needed to phone my mother to arange details for the following day. I lived close to the pub so went back to phone her (pre mobile phones). I turned the corner and could walk up our street as the wind was so bad.

My brother had come up to stay nearby for Christmas. My mum had dropped them at their rented cottage. She had to make a detour on the way for fallen trees and on the way back had to make further detours for more fallen trees on the route she had just taken.

It was a very wild night and I felt mighty worried for Santa

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I remember the Xmas eve storm very well. I had, a few years earlier, installed a NASA sized satellite dish (International news junkie that I am) on the second story flat roof I have on the back of my house. This was mounted on a 3'x2' 4" paving slab which weighed a ton, and had survived much strong wind without a twitch up until that night. During the evening, the whole thing started walking (literally tipping one way and then another like a weeble and moving along the roof) up and down a 20ft stretch of the roof, front door and cars at one end and a single story kitchen at the other. Moved the cars whilst the wife watched from the garden to tell me when it walked towards the cars so I could scarper if necessary. Couldn't use the kitchen for obvious reasons so we went to the pub, expecting at least a mangled dish on the patio when we got home. Amazingly, it must have fallen over at some point and stayed up there. Righted and aligned it again a few days later and worked for many years afterwards. Pretty scary at the time though, but nowhere near as bad as for many who lost lives, properties etc. Helluva storm.

It was pretty sad the next day, driving through N Wales on a gloomy Xmas morning seeing so many homes in darkness. Was a big Playstation 2 xmas if I recall, many kids with a shiny playstation and not being able to use it.

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PS1, PS2 was a bit later but still very annoying on Xmas day

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Don't remember this at all in Liverpool (and Crosby recorded a 97mph gust). I got Goldeneye for the N64 that Christmas - what a game!

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bbc underestimated the snow at low levels, and south, thats why it was so unexpected, the 5th was a cold night, but milder on 6th with a thaw

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I remember it well. It resulted in my insurance company having to shell out because it blew part of my roof onto a neighbour's car. :-(

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