Storm Ophelia Hits UK & Ireland’s Shores

It’s not normal when a Hurricane is on its way to the UK and Ireland, but this morning at around 11am in south-west Ireland, it will make landfall and hit with strong 80 mph winds, as a result of Storm Ophelia, which his now no longer being classed a hurricane, but still could do just as much damage as one and that’s what’s being feared by everyone on the Emerald Isle right now.

This unexpected storm will then carry on and spread rapidly to the Isle of Man, and then onto Wales, and later the north of England, where the winds will still be expected to be as strong as 70 mph. Needless to say, it will definitely cause travel chaos everywhere that it touches.

The storm is expected to cause major damage in Ireland, where they have already declared a red alert, and closed down schools, stating that the storm can pose a “risk to lives”.  This is the worst storm to have hit Ireland in 51 years, with heavy gusts and flooding all able to cause structural damage. The Met Office has also said the storm is potentially a “danger to life”, with Ireland set to get the worst of it. Heavy rain is also expected to hit Northern Ireland and Wales.

This looks set to be the biggest storm to hit the UK since the Great Storm of 1987, which killed 22 people in the United Kingdom. However, Hurricane Ophelia (or rather, Storm Ophelia) seems to have a different trajectory, given it’s predicted path than that of the storm which occurred exactly thirty years ago today.

Credit: PA

In Ireland, it’s the worst storm since Hurricane Debbie in 1961, with winds now being reported at 85 mph off the coast of southern Ireland. That’s enough speed of gusty winds to call it a category 1 Hurricane, although experts are now saying that it’s not a Hurricane, but a storm that still has winds strong enough to be classed as a hurricane. This should send warning signals to anyone that had any plans this Monday morning. People have been told to stay indoors and not go outside.

It is very strange that a tropical storm like this is headed to the Irish and British Isles, with people encouraged to sit this one out, as objects and most definitely falling trees can be a killer, as was seen back in 1987.

At Heathrow Airport, some 21 flights have already been cancelled as a precautionary measure, since you wouldn’t want to fly through this storm. As of now, it is unclear of just how much destruction Storm Ophelia can cause.

In 1987, weather man Michael Fish famously said that there was “no storm coming” to the UK, nor anything to worry about thirty years ago today. Hours later, the country was hit with 115 mph winds, which killed 22 people, felled 15 million trees, and caused £2 billion of damage. Oops!

Michael Fish who said that there was no storm coming to the UK in 1987. Credit: DailyMail

Well, at least today everyone is more well prepared or at least aware, and Michael Fish, now 73 years old, has said that Hurricane Ophelia “looks nasty” and says the timing is a “terrible coincidence”.

Yes, there does seem to be a curious date likeness of this storm coming towards us today, and anyone who remembers the Great Storm of 1987 knows that those who are in the storm’s path could be in for a turbulent time and may very well have to deal with the reality of plausible destruction.

The Great Storm of 1987, caused many scenes like this with fallen trees. Credit: PA

With the winds as strong as a category 1 hurricane, it’s certainly an uncharacteristic weather event. Weather expert Denni Mersereau stated that the “UK is in line for a rough couple of days” with possibilities of power cuts, fallen tress, and flooding due to the rain which is expected to pour down across the whole country.

Dennis Mersereau wrote on the website Popular Science, calling it a “weird storm” formed out in the Atlantic “where hurricanes usually go to die” .

If and when the winds go higher than 81 mph, it will be the most powerful storm since Hurricane Lili in 1996 in the United Kingdom.

Alex Burkhill of the Met Office explained that it cannot be called a “hurricane” because of the cold sea temperatures, making the winds not strong enough for the storm to be classified as a hurricane by the time it hits Britain.

So, just how much damage will Ophelia cause? That remains to be seen as it hits the shores of Ireland and the UK today, but after the storm, unseasonably warm weather is predicted the following day in the UK and Ireland, where it’s thought that London will experience 10c degrees higher in temperature than usual for this time of year.

A flock of birds in Ireland have just been seen escaping inland in a swarm. Even they know that something big is on its way.


Stay safe out there everyone!

<Story by The Narrator>

Featured Photo Credit: Daily Mail

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