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UK: there's a big storm, a 'hurricane', coming (possibly)
October 26, 2013 2:07 PM   Subscribe

The 'worst storm since 1987' is due to hit the UK over the next few days. It may also hit 'northern France and the Low Countries'. It may be 'overwhelming' and 'there is a risk of some parts getting two inches of rain in a six hour period'. The Met Office has warned that 'England and Wales will be hit by a significant storm on Sunday night with winds of up to 80mph in some areas'. They also said the predicted storm was 'not one you would see every year' and that 'exceptional winds will batter Surrey'. Drivers are advised to 'at a minimum, take a fully-charged mobile phone and warm, weatherproof clothing.' Some media outlets claim, however, the storm will only be the worst of the last five year, though in Bristol it'll be the worst in 'two decades'. Never the less, 'stay well away from trees'.

The Outer Hebrides, an archipelago off the northwest coast of Scotland (and therefore in the UK) suffered a storm in January 2005 where wind gusts exceeded 100mph on most inhabited islands, with one reading of 143mph recorded.
posted by Wordshore (164 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Noted storm expert Michael Fish has also told Brits to baton down the hatches.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 2:22 PM on October 26, 2013


They also said the predicted storm was 'not one you would see every year' and that 'exceptional winds will batter Surrey'.

Its difficult to decide whose side to be on.
posted by biffa at 2:22 PM on October 26, 2013 [15 favorites]


DOn't worry, there won't be a hurricane even if Michael Fish earlier today rang the BBC.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:23 PM on October 26, 2013


'exceptional winds will batter Surrey'

Residents are advised to remove the fringe on top prior to the storm.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:26 PM on October 26, 2013 [42 favorites]


A whole two inches? Pish, a woman could piss that out.
posted by Thing at 2:26 PM on October 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


baton down the hatches.

I think you batten hatches down.
posted by yoink at 2:28 PM on October 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


I hope everyone will be okay and also that there is no interruption to the supply of curly wurlys.
posted by elizardbits at 2:32 PM on October 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I sure hope London has good flood control for the tubes.
posted by vrakatar at 2:32 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


80 MPH winds and 2 inches of rain doesn't really sound like all that much to me. I've been through a 6-inch rainstorm and I've been through several full-blown (ahem) hurricanes faster than that.

I guess when you're not used to it, however...
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:33 PM on October 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Accuweather says:
There are no major threats for tropical development across the entire Atlantic Basin over the next several days...
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:36 PM on October 26, 2013


I think you batten hatches down.

Unless you are beating the hatches down with a baton.

Or warning someone that you have just dropped your baton down the hatch.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:39 PM on October 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think you batten hatches down.

No need to be such a pendant.
posted by iotic at 2:41 PM on October 26, 2013 [31 favorites]


baton down the hatches.
I think you batten hatches down.


Look, you do it your way, I'll do it mine.
posted by thelonius at 2:42 PM on October 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


Can't we just agree to baton Michael Fish down?
posted by Thing at 2:45 PM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


No, no, no, you BATTER fish.
posted by not_on_display at 2:48 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, no, no, you BATTER fish.

A bit harsh? Michael got his forecast wrong in 1987 (he says he got it right and what he said was taken out of context). We all make mistakes.

{re-reads} Doh!
posted by Wordshore at 2:50 PM on October 26, 2013


Or warning someone that you have just dropped your baton down the hatch.

Or, I guess, a particularly unfortunate accident in a relay race involving the Hatch brothers.
posted by yoink at 2:54 PM on October 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Good luck you Brits.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 2:57 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"baton down the hatches"

Hunger Down, Britain.
posted by surplus at 2:57 PM on October 26, 2013


Batten Down the Hatches

By Kenneth Grahame
posted by 0 answers at 2:59 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


The UK and the USA. Two nations separated by a common language the Atlantic Ocean hatches in some state of battening or not-having-been-battened or batons or something.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:01 PM on October 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


Britain down the hatches
posted by chavenet at 3:02 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good luck you Brits.

Thank you for your thoughts. We here in northern England and Scotland have been busy praying, but it doesn't look too good. Come Monday we could be looking at a London which was barely scathed.
posted by Thing at 3:04 PM on October 26, 2013 [66 favorites]


More seriously, be careful everyone. Having been through a few fairly brisk storms in the last few years, in a place that is relatively used to them, they can have really bad follow-on effects, even if you aren't directly effected -- loss of power, road closures, downed trees, etc can endanger you in all sorts of ways. And, if you are in a place that doesn't get these kinds of storms...
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:05 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I might look like a complete idiot for saying this in a few days' time, but ever since that Michael Fish hurricane denial, the Met Office has tended to err on the side of hysteria just to make sure it doesn't get caught out again. I live in London, and my guess is it'll all be rather underwhelming.

And those were the last words he ever typed before Manchester police found his headless body hanging naked from Britain's only surviving tree...
posted by Paul Slade at 3:06 PM on October 26, 2013 [16 favorites]


Well, the last thing you want in high winds is a loose baton flying around. May as well put it under a hatch.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:07 PM on October 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


err on the side of hysteria

That describes basically 85% of public discourse about all subjects ever.
posted by kiltedtaco at 3:16 PM on October 26, 2013 [13 favorites]


Britain. Down the hatch!
posted by sfts2 at 3:18 PM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


As in, I'm sure someone once composed an op-ed-equivalent poem entitled WILL CUNEIFORM BE THE END OF BABYLON?
posted by kiltedtaco at 3:19 PM on October 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


There are no major threats for tropical development across the entire Atlantic Basin over the next several days...

This isn't a tropical storm. There's more than one way to generate hurricane force winds.

And, frankly, this is one ugly surface forecast for the Atlantic. 967mb low tracking right through the UK? The wind and wave forecast for the same period isn't any prettier. 5 meter waves and 75knot winds in the English Channel?

The Shipping Forecast is going to be a fascinating listen tomorrow.
posted by eriko at 3:29 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm going to go and stand by the river and if I don't get blown out to sea I'm going to write a stern letter to the met office demanding an apology.
posted by dng at 3:32 PM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would put that letter in a bottle.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:33 PM on October 26, 2013


The Shipping Forecast is going to be a fascinating listen tomorrow.

A sentence I have literally never seen before.

Stay safe everyone. I vote stay in, watch Strictly (curly wurly optional) and don't end up that person on the news who had to sleep in their car because they made a totally pointless journey.
posted by billiebee at 3:35 PM on October 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Actually, the Shipping Forecast is already pretty fascinating to read. The graphical version probably sums it up faster, though.
posted by eriko at 3:37 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


this is one ugly surface forecast for the Atlantic

Give us a clue, what does HURCN FORCE and a big arrow pointing through my new house mean?
posted by biffa at 3:39 PM on October 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


The Outer Hebrides, an archipelago off the northwest coast of Scotland (and therefore in the UK) suffered a storm in January 2005 where wind gusts exceeded 100mph on most inhabited islands, with one reading of 143mph recorded.

Wasn't Bawbag two years ago just as strong? I'm not sure exactly where it struck though. My map of Scotland was printed in England and just has "here be dragons" everywhere north of Kielder.
posted by Thing at 3:42 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Despite not mentioning the Shipping Forecast, I was suddenly reminded of Paddy McAloon's project from a few years back.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:47 PM on October 26, 2013


Wasn't Bawbag two years ago just as strong? I'm not sure exactly where it struck though.

Ah yes, Bawbag:

"The official title of the cyclone is Friedhelm, as named by the Free University of Berlin, which is responsible for the naming of low-pressure systems affecting Europe. In Scotland, the storm was dubbed Hurricane Bawbag, the term bawbag being a Scots word for scrotum, which is also slang for an annoying or irritating person."

My map of Scotland was printed in England and just has "here be dragons" everywhere north of Kielder.

Sounds legit.
posted by Wordshore at 3:48 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


The geek in me likes that the Forecast has a very strict format.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:50 PM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


How does this affect the football?
posted by dyobmit at 3:51 PM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was in Halifax (the one in Nova Scotia) for Hurricane Juan, which was a little stronger than this at ~100mph. It wasn't so bad. A fuckton of trees and powerlines blew over, and the coastline washed away in the surge, but that's pretty much it.

Give us a clue, what does HURCN FORCE and a big arrow pointing through my new house mean?

If it's a new new house, you'll be fine. Bring in the dog and the patio furniture. Oh, and take the screens of your windows if you can. (That was another thing that littered the town after Juan.) If it's an old new house with old-timey single-glazed windows and a thatch roof or whatever, GTFO.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:54 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't hear "shipping forecast" without thinking of Black Books and the episode where the wondrous Peter Serafinowicz reads it, much to Fran's enjoyment.
posted by billiebee at 3:56 PM on October 26, 2013 [9 favorites]


Billiebee, here it is.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:59 PM on October 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well if any serious weather does go down, we wish you Britons (Scots, Welsh and Irish) the best of luck. If anything happened to you all, we'd have to make do spying on France Germany Brazil Mexico North Korea South Korea Iran Iraq Pakistan Dubai Russia Saudi Arabia Borneo Australia Africa Portugal Italy Iceland Greenland Blueland Argentina TexasVenesuela The Alimentary Canal and Spain.
posted by newdaddy at 3:59 PM on October 26, 2013


It's slightly disconcerting that I have Graham Linehan's voice in my headphones while watching Jack Nicholson in the Shining talking to himself tho.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:01 PM on October 26, 2013


It has begun.
posted by Wordshore at 4:04 PM on October 26, 2013


My wife and I started our honeymoon in Venice just as Wall Street crashed, and finished up in England just after the great storm of '87.

We remember what it looked like.

Good luck, Britons.
posted by BWA at 4:19 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Blimey! Cripes!! Crikey!!!
posted by carter at 4:24 PM on October 26, 2013


Shipping forecast: West or southwest 7 to severe gale 9, occasionally storm 10 later.

There is nothing that could more precisely fulfill the British stereotype for being dry and matter-of-fact than saying "Oh, it's just severe gale 9".
posted by kiltedtaco at 4:51 PM on October 26, 2013


'The Shipping Forecast' read by Brian Perkins
posted by Wordshore at 4:56 PM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wow. 2 inches in a few hours? That's not goods. To those of you that scoff, just remember that most drainage systems cannot handle that rate of rainfall. Heck, 2 inches in a day is bad enough. Good luck, guys!
posted by frodisaur at 5:02 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stand by to panic please.

We may now panic.
posted by MattWPBS at 5:06 PM on October 26, 2013


Be wary of nature's wrath, Britons. Nature is still a thing, you know.
posted by Mister_A at 5:11 PM on October 26, 2013


Not sure what this photo shows exactly, but it's on the BBC UK news front page right now as the pic for the storm warning. I think it means that we are now at MAGENTA THREAT ALERT or METCON LEVEL HOT PINK or something.

Stay safe everyone.
posted by Bwithh at 5:12 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


My family was in Cambridge in 1987. We arrived a few days before the storm and had no idea what was coming. I remember waking up in the night and being slightly concerned about the banging windows and high winds but just figured that I wasn't used to the local weather yet.

In the morning we ventured out and saw huge ancient oaks toppled in the nearby park. I was very excited to see wild mistletoe for the first time. Can you tell I was a geeky teenager?

Good luck in the storm. I hope everyone stays dry, safe and that, like many weather reports here in the US, it ends up being less than expected.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:13 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


One abiding memory from my childhood is all of the trees that surrounded my house, each of them tall enough to climb. I spent hours working out the best routes up the trees to the point when I could clamber up to the canopy of the one tree at the front of the house that looked out over the road in seconds.

The big storm hit Kent when I was thirteen. When I climbed up my tree the next day I could see all of the trees down the main road were flattened. All of the trees that were in the grounds of the vicarage where I lived barely felt the storm at all.

The parishioners said it was God's will that the trees were saved. I was the the vicar's unpopular son that pointed out that it was the house that buffeted the wind away from them.

Personally I don't think they forgave me for introducing a casio keyboard to lead their normally quiet sunday mornings hymns.

Go trees!
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:21 PM on October 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


More seriously, be careful everyone. Having been through a few fairly brisk storms in the last few years, in a place that is relatively used to them, they can have really bad follow-on effects, even if you aren't directly effected -- loss of power, road closures, downed trees, etc can endanger you in all sorts of ways. And, if you are in a place that doesn't get these kinds of storms...

There was someone apparently started a support group for PTSD from the NYC blackout a year ago. I don't know about PTSD, but it did leave you shook in an Ozymandian sense a little for large portions of Manhattan to be cut off from power, data, & services, basically civilization semi-withdrawn, for a workweek. I saw a minor car crash, called 911, I don't know what number Brits have, no one was hurt, but 911 did not work. (PROTIPS: At least over here they actually keep the payphones hooked up while they collect the advertising money, who knew? And people left coins on top in case anyone needed some to activate the obsolete technology. No mobile service? Go stand by an emergency-powered building like a hospital, maybe they have a cell. Inverter on lead-acid battery charges electronics.)

Seriously, looking out from the roof at the place lit sporadically by candles was pretty surreal. Cruising around on a bike at midnight was great though, basically no cars, and because there were no lights you could easily tell if there was any car nearby at all, so you could just cruise.

As the power was going out, numerous transformers were blowing up and the lights were flickering from time to time. Shortly before the power went, something big blew up and there was just this pervasive elemental hum. When the power came back on, I knew because of the widespread cheering.

GOOD LUCK FROM AMERICA
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 5:28 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I shall be travelling from Edinburgh to London on Monday by train, which promises to be entertaining. I will be well-provisioned, though, with gin and sandwiches. Do your worst, weather!
posted by Devonian at 5:33 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]



KEEP CALM
AND
BATTEN ON
posted by islander at 5:56 PM on October 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


I shall be travelling from Edinburgh to London on Monday by train

The idea is that we should be flying from Haneda airport, Tokyo at six tomorrow morning, having flown in from Kobe this afternoon, landing at Heathrow at ten tomorrow (yes, that still freaks me out). We had been spending all our time worrying about the incipient typhoon at this end, without considering the same thing may be happening at the other. I'm worried about a repeat of a landing into Buenos Aires ten years ago, which the pilot made in a series of 200ft vertical drops, getting a round of applause from the passengers when we were safely on the runway.

(Sorry if it sounds like I'm trying to be Alan Whicker. I really don't do this very often.)
posted by Grangousier at 6:05 PM on October 26, 2013


News from Cornwall: its proper pissing down. Not really windy as yet. Don't forget your bucket and spade.
posted by biffa at 6:49 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Its difficult to decide whose side to be on.

That's the kind of comment one might regret later, if the storm is as bad as they say.
posted by empath at 6:56 PM on October 26, 2013


Will the mob hunt me down as a witch?
posted by biffa at 7:00 PM on October 26, 2013


Citizens are encouraged to ensure that any cans of Coca-Cola in the house that may actually be a potion that turns people into an "axe-wielding homicidal maniac" be properly secured during the storm.

So if you're all battened down over there, here's a link to a relevant storm/flood-related vintage Young Ones episode to pass the time and provide an explanation to the advisory noted above.
posted by chambers at 7:02 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was crossing the Channel during the '87 storm. Yikes. The boat literally went sideways and we lost someone overboard. We then circled in those terribly stormy waters for 5 hours looking for the guy. Did not find him, and then there was a rumor that there really wasn't anyone, just an unattended suitcase. I never hope to see so many people vomiting at the same time again in my life.
Good luck, everyone!
posted by Cloudberry Sky at 7:17 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


So guess who's flying to the UK on Sunday night?

This guy.

Super.
posted by eviltwin at 8:47 PM on October 26, 2013


Can we panic now?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:03 PM on October 26, 2013


So guess who's flying to the UK on Sunday night?

This guy.


I wouldn't count on it.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:12 PM on October 26, 2013


Hey what's going on UK. You still there?
posted by panaceanot at 10:23 PM on October 26, 2013


I'm (literally) about to fly over the UK to Amsterdam so the storm can piss off!
posted by shelleycat at 10:40 PM on October 26, 2013


Vaguely breezy hut otherwise unremarkable in north London right now. Slightly irked by the idea of panic buying, but I suppose we'll just order a curry if the supermarkets run out of food.
posted by ominous_paws at 12:02 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Vaguely breezy hut

You might want to batten it down?
posted by panaceanot at 12:14 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not a shill plug for The Night Vale podcast. Watch out for glowing clouds UK!
posted by panaceanot at 12:18 AM on October 27, 2013


I'm supposed to be on a plane from London to Belfast at the very height of the storm.

Sigh.
posted by Segundus at 12:23 AM on October 27, 2013


I now live in what is basically a hobbit hole next to a river, so I am not very concerned about wind but starting to get gently worried about water. I'm not really sure how we'd even go about floodproofing this place, though. I've been looking around my room trying to work out whether I could hold out floodwater with a rolled-up yoga mat. Probably not.
posted by Acheman at 12:30 AM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


FWIW, my flight was very smooth. We probably went around whatever though.
posted by shelleycat at 1:41 AM on October 27, 2013


Here in Brighton at the top of a hill not that far away from the coast, I'm watching a tree bending and snapping in the wind and my bike' weather cover, despite being tied down last night has disappeared to probably land in someone's garden, baffling them.
posted by halcyonday at 1:54 AM on October 27, 2013


I will be well-provisioned, though, with gin and sandwiches.

Makes me proud - the kind of spirit that built an Empire.

Didn't work quite as well for Scott and his men though. Cheap gin, apparently.

External observers of the oncoming storm as filtered through the UK media may wish to note that any slightly inclement weather event which affects London and the southeast will be reported as MegaWeatherocaplypseEndTimes, whereas a full-on hurricane, blizzard, and plague of stones rampaging through the fell and desolate barbarian lands would get passing mention as 'in the North: breezes'.
posted by reynir at 2:05 AM on October 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's actually slightly sunny here in Cardiff. I am suspicious.

I'll be bringing my bike in for the night, though...
posted by kalimac at 2:09 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


"How does this affect the football?"
posted by dyobmit at 6:51 PM on October 26

The hapless Jacksonville Jaguars are still 14+ point underdogs to the San Fransisco 49'ers at Wembley, on Sunday. But lotsa luck getting anyone to take that spread, even at long odds. The over/under is 40.5 points as of this posting.

A rain out would be nothing less than proof positive of a benevolent God, undeniable by even the most churlish of Skeptics.
posted by paulsc at 2:29 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Cambridge here. Very breezy. Was raining heavily earlier in the morning, but it seems to have dried up now.

Thankfully, I walk to work, so as long as I don't lose electricity or internet, I should be fine.
posted by YAMWAK at 2:54 AM on October 27, 2013


I just went to talk to my housemates, one of whom is Bows of Bow. "So," I said. "Maybe before this evening we should check to make sure that nothing valuable is on the floor. We both glanced around her and her boyfriend's bedroom. Everything is on the floor. This could end up being Lasagne, Episode 2: Floating Lasagne.
posted by Acheman at 2:55 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The question for some English people today is, if their house or apartment floods, how long will it take to bail out the water armed only with their teapot and penis beaker?
posted by Wordshore at 3:00 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's still bleary time here in the US, so I was very confused to see the BBC graphic showing the anticipated direction of "Bomph gusts." Is Bomph a cricket thing? A Jedward thing?? Is it like "chav?"

Ahhhh. 80mph gusts. That is, indeed, bad. Stay safe, UK. Here is some excellent advice from a fellow Mefite during Hurricane Irene (the whole thread is great). I am now a total disciple of The Pile.
posted by argonauta at 3:03 AM on October 27, 2013


It's a bit windy here in the midlands, but the sun is out and shining and there is actually some blue in the sky. I checked the weather last night, and there's a weather warning in place for High risk of Severe wind in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Telford and Wrekin, Warwickshire, West Midlands Conurbation and Worcestershire. Basically, everywhere right in the middle.

Thankfully, it looks like the storm is coming through overnight so there won't be as many people out and about in it.

Scary weather story: about 7ish years ago, we had some strong winds in the UK. I was driving a car which weighs 600 kg or 1,300 lb along what was thankfully an empty road. The land on either side of this road was flat and open, and my car was literally blown across the road. Quite scary, but also a little bit exciting.
posted by Solomon at 3:06 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


So over here in Charlton, SE London, it is bright, breezy and unthreatening at the moment. I know the football question above is a joke but Charlton Athletic have had a big marketing push for this afternoon's game with all tickets on sale for £6. They're expecting quite a few to turn up, so I hope it stays unthreatening for a while longer.

Other London residents may be pleased to hear that the Thames Barrier had its annual full test three weeks ago and it seems to work. Sorry, low-lying bits of Kent and Essex, not much we can do for you.
posted by calico at 3:07 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm supposed to be on a plane from London to Belfast at the very height of the storm.

Well if you make it here its blue skies and sunshine with just a brisk breeze. (They leave us out of everything...)
posted by billiebee at 3:08 AM on October 27, 2013


Acheman, while you're out at magic school I'm going to go into your room and put all of your stuff into the river.
posted by Bows of Bow at 3:16 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ack. Why do I feel like my train commute from Surrey to London might be a leedle bit problematic tomorrow morning. Surrey is like 99% trees. Train tracks have to be 1% tree or less.

Thanks for the warning, Metafilter. I'll try and resist the temptation to get whiskied up and wander into the storm with a cigar, but no promises.
posted by forgetful snow at 3:17 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here in Brighton at the top of a hill

Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:00 AM on October 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Someone asked about floods and the Tube in London - when I worked for a company that was associated with the Tube about 12 years ago I asked why they had 'open' buttons on the doors if the doors automatically open. The discussion from that resulted in finding out that if the Tube does flood, the flooded section can be sealed off from the rest of the system, effectively trapping the water and hopefully stopping the rest of the system from flooding. Of course, the trains in that section will be trapped along with the water.
posted by Megami at 4:15 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Ooh is this my opportunity to have a mild grumble about the people who lunge past you from behind to press the door button on Jubilee Line trains? Idiots.)
posted by calico at 4:19 AM on October 27, 2013


In the 12 years I've lived in Scotland, there have been storms with 100mph plus winds (in populated areas, not just up the mountains) on at least three occasions (Bawbag merely being the most recent). But, as pointed out upthread, you need to really piss off at least 100 Scottish people for it to be as newsworthy as mildly irritating one Londoner.
posted by Coobeastie at 4:21 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The question for some English people today is, if their house or apartment floods, how long will it take to bail out the water armed only with their teapot and penis beaker?

Both a teapot and a penis beaker? Given the size of English dwellings, that's like bringing a nuke to the OK Corral.
posted by Thing at 4:30 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


So went online to check the latest forecasts, and as per usual gotten distracted by looking at other things. Twenty years of "I wonder what that link leads to?" Hence...

Is it wrong for me to hope the storm washes away the company that makes Sarah Brightman's videos? My eyes and ears have just been violated. Here's Sigur Rós's original Glósóli and Sarah Brightman's jaw-droppingly awful version.
posted by Wordshore at 4:42 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well if you make it here its blue skies and sunshine with just a brisk breeze.

Oops. Now it's tipping it down and blustery. As you were.
posted by billiebee at 4:45 AM on October 27, 2013


It's going to be at its strongest around here (London/Surrey border) during rush hour tomorrow morning. Met Office app says gusts up to 60mph. I live close to work thankfully.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:55 AM on October 27, 2013


"You need to really piss off at least 100 Scottish people for it to be as newsworthy as mildly irritating one Londoner." - posted by Coobeastie An hour ago

I'd probably get frustrated with the London-centric nature of UK news if I lived in Scotland too. But, if you think about it for a moment, there are good reasons to accord London such importance.

Wikipedia gives London’s GDP as $731bn against Scotland’s $235bn. London’s population is 8.2m (with another 0.5m or more commuting into the city every day), while Scotland’s is just 5.3m. Britain is also a very centralised country, with its government, its financial industry, its media, its finest arts organisations, its tourist trade and pretty much everything else concentrated in the capital. It follows that disruption in London has a knock-on effect on the whole nation’s economy and therefore on every citizen’s life.

These facts alone justify the national (and international) media reporting London disasters much more extensively than those anywhere else in the UK. The fact that so many of Britain’s richest, most influential and most media-savvy individuals live in or around London may kick this process up another notch, but its core lies in the capital's undeniable size and importance to our national life.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_London
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Scotland
posted by Paul Slade at 6:09 AM on October 27, 2013


Update: Birmingham, 13:21GMT That's correct time, y'all.

We've descended into utter chaos here now. English people can't decide on the hashtag. Is it #UKstorm, #Storm2013, #stormageddon, or simply #storm? All are being used.
posted by Wordshore at 6:22 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hurrican't
Storm in a Teacup
Austerity Storm - now with 20% less wind due to government cutbacks
Fail Gale
St Dud's Storm
posted by Thing at 6:34 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Birmageddon?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 6:41 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cornwall, it pissed down pretty heavily till ~midnight then got pretty windy. We had a nice sunny morning but now gone grey and rain has come in. I expect the rest ofn southern england will get something similar in the next few hours.
posted by biffa at 6:49 AM on October 27, 2013


Have had one shower lasting about 10 minutes so far today. Sun is currently out and it's brighter than it was yesterday. Might even get the solar lights charged up. They'll be useful if the power goes out, but that's pretty unlikely.
posted by Solomon at 6:53 AM on October 27, 2013


Have had one shower lasting about 10 minutes so far today.

Per regulations, Metafilter now expects regular personal hygiene updates from across its community.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 7:20 AM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oops. Now it's tipping it down and blustery. As you were.

Well, I'll probably be at Gatwick till Wednesday anyway (sigh again).
posted by Segundus at 7:32 AM on October 27, 2013


I live on a boat in the Thames.

I am literally battening down the hatches, and also doing all the other things that land based people do literally.
It is liable to be a windy windy rainy night.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:47 AM on October 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'd probably get frustrated with the London-centric nature of UK news if I lived in Scotland too. But, if you think about it for a moment, there are good reasons to accord London such importance.

Funnily enough the same principle of population selective newsworthiness applies in Scotland too. About 80 percent of Scots live in the central belt - the far north can get hit by 100 mile an hour winds (or lie basking in a heat wave while the rest of the UK drips). It won't make the headlines. The unofficial wind record in Scotland was recorded at 177mph on Shetland back in 1962 - comfortably around category 5 hurricane level.
posted by rongorongo at 7:49 AM on October 27, 2013


The normally magnificent view from my big bay window has now been replaced with sideways rain and howling, luckily just after I finished tidying away everything in my back garden that I'd like to see again.

Very glad we got the leaky roof fixed!
posted by emilyw at 8:22 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Currently in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, glad we're making the crossing today and not tomorrow!
posted by dumdidumdum at 8:37 AM on October 27, 2013


Wikipedia gives London’s GDP as $731bn against Scotland’s $235bn.

While I understand your point, it's actually slightly horrifying to think we should be apportioning our news attention by number of pounds sterling affected.
posted by kiltedtaco at 9:10 AM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Southern Trains website, currently:

"Extremely high winds are expected during the early morning of Monday 28th October. As a result, Network Rail has declared that there is a high risk of trees and debris falling onto railway lines and as a consequence, it may be unsafe to run trains while the winds persist.

Therefore, Southern and Gatwick Express services will not run tomorrow morning until it has been declared safe to do so."
posted by Wordshore at 9:17 AM on October 27, 2013


People are now running with a fifth hashtag to go with the others. Namely, #StJude.

Five hashtags. FIVE hashtags. For ONE event.

This is why we don't have an empire any more.
posted by Wordshore at 9:20 AM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Back in the day we restricted ourselves to two hashtags for each natural calamity, and the limit was 148 of Mr Morse's dots and dashes. And we had to walk uphill both ways to fetch the hashes from the parish hash-store and affix them to the front for sending.
posted by forgetful snow at 9:42 AM on October 27, 2013


Oh good grief.

The reason we lost the empire is because there was too much/not enough bone touching.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 9:42 AM on October 27, 2013


Some photies of the terrible damage already inflicted upon the poor souls of England:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
posted by Thing at 9:51 AM on October 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


...don't make it bad...
posted by Sys Rq at 10:00 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some photies of the terrible damage already inflicted upon the poor souls of England

No 1 was so horrific I barely had the courage to keep going. And don't get me started on no 7. You really should have added a trigger warning.
posted by billiebee at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2013


Thankfully the emergency instruction video for the English is now online. Please do refresh your memory with viewing before you lose power and/or Internet.
posted by Wordshore at 10:44 AM on October 27, 2013


Oh, Southern Trains! Let's shut down pre-emptively before we even know whether the wind is really a problem! That way we can guarantee your journey will be fucked up; moreover, we'll force hundreds of extra people onto the roads, increasing the danger and congestion for everyone!
posted by Segundus at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Look guys, I know it feels like it's going crazy out there, but that's no need to start spreading false information. It doesn't do anyone any favours and can only lead to mass panic and looting. Picture number 1 is from the East Coast earthquake a couple of years ago in the USA.
posted by Helga-woo at 11:12 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Phew!
posted by billiebee at 11:17 AM on October 27, 2013


I'm as prepared as I can be out here in Essex. I have plenty of food, a wind-up radio and wind-up torch, candles, matches, everything charging up (although if there's no power I'll have just the 3G on my phone, unless the local phone masts come down). I've stashed away my garden furniture and placed the bird table on its side next to the fence. There's a huge oak tree very close by which I'm hoping will stay upright.

I'm hoping I can get to work tomorrow, but my section of the Underground is actually above ground and so we might get trees on the line, which has happened before in stormy weather.

But, on the plus side, it's Downton Abbey tonight, so suck it up America, we still rule.
posted by essexjan at 11:39 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Phew!

Careful. When the big bad wolf said that the houses of sticks and hay were obliterated.

Kent's in real trouble.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 11:41 AM on October 27, 2013


6:38PM in The Midlands -it's a little bit windy. I've just been out to shut the greenhouse and next door's cat is out. I gather that animals can sense approaching danger so things can't be that bad. Haven't had any more rain yet, but only 2 solar lights have charged.

The laptop is charged, the phone is charged, the millions of rechargeable batteries are being charged, etc. All doors are closed and locked, the dog has been for walkies and there are only 58 shopping days until Christmas.

Weather warnings currently in place for the West Midlands:

High Likelihood of Severe Impact Wind
Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Telford and Wrekin, Warwickshire, West Midlands & Worcestershire.
Gusts of 60-70mph, possibly 80mpf in exposed areas.
From midnight tonight until midday tomorrow.

Moderate Likelihood of High Impact Rain
Shropshire, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wrekin.
40mm of rain might fall in 9 hours. (!)
From midnight tonight until midday tomorrow.

So it's going to be a bit blustery and some places might have 4cm of rain all day. May God have mercy on our souls. Probably be an update on tonight's Countryfile, which is on BBC1 at the time of this comment, or on the Iplayer soon thereafter. There are dogs chasing some sheep on tonight's episode.
posted by Solomon at 11:53 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've heard the storm will also topple the Tory government. Perhaps a branch on all their houses.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 12:01 PM on October 27, 2013


Hurrican't
Storm in a Teacup
Austerity Storm - now with 20% less wind due to government cutbacks
Fail Gale
St Dud's Storm


Or, as we say out here whenever the Weather Service predicts an Apocalypse of Wind and Rain and instead we get a stiff breeze and a bit of a drizzle, "Blow Me 2013."

of course sometimes they're right and then a shitload of trees go down and you and your family including your eight week old baby are without power or heat for a solid week and you wish you had listened.
posted by KathrynT at 12:02 PM on October 27, 2013


There's a storm front coming...
posted by MattWPBS at 12:15 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've heard the storm will also topple the Tory government.

If it wipes out Surrey as hinted at in the FPP and takes out all the local MPs it will mean goodbye to Gove, Hammond, Hunt and Grayling, amongst others. How terrible.
posted by biffa at 12:29 PM on October 27, 2013


Catastrophe--I've just panic eaten my last Seabrook's and only have a bag of Royster's for snap tomorrow.
posted by Thing at 1:03 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's actually less windy outside now then it was in the morning.

Here's hoping for a quiet night.
posted by YAMWAK at 1:37 PM on October 27, 2013


Yeah, underwhelming in London so far. I took a raincoat with me in case it rained and ended up carrying it around in my rucksack all day. It was a bit blustery. Also, I got home from magic school and nothing was in the river as far as I could see, in case anyone was holding their breath.
posted by Acheman at 1:46 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm in Staffordshire, visiting my parents. Breezy and the wind is currently less than it was earlier today. Fly back to Canada on Tuesday, so hope it all clears up then before I burst from all the tea they're forcing me to drink.
posted by arcticseal at 1:48 PM on October 27, 2013


Cornwall: just back from my local, absolutely tipping down but no real wind. Acheman, rain might be on the way later tonight.
posted by biffa at 2:27 PM on October 27, 2013


Weather in Cardiff is precisely as dull as ever, though the Taff's been very high the last few days, so even moderate rain could suck. Really the most interesting thing so far this evening is I think my pet rat has learned to imitate housemate's guinea pigs.
posted by kalimac at 2:31 PM on October 27, 2013


biffa - the wind is picking up now in the Isles of Scilly, so heading for you next. (I'm near Southampton, in the rain, hoping no trees land on my garden shed because I'm not sure the bikes are insured....).
posted by Lebannen at 2:57 PM on October 27, 2013


Birmingham. Calm. Still. The leaves remain, defiant, on the trees, caught in their act by streetlights. A cat meows. The silent shuffling of distant feet on the pavement. In the alleyway, the light from a cigarette as a young couple grasp for some relative privacy.

The cat meows again.
posted by Wordshore at 2:57 PM on October 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


the light from a cigarette as a young couple grasp for some relative privacy

You with your night vision goggles.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:17 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've just been out to shut the greenhouse and next door's cat is out. I gather that animals can sense approaching danger so things can't be that bad.

You'd better phone your neighbours now and let them know that in their case THE DANGER MUST BE INSIDE THE HOUSE.
posted by reynir at 3:22 PM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


My neighbour is an AskMe all on her own. I daren't initiate contact.
posted by Solomon at 3:26 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why do you live next door to your mother?
posted by Thing at 3:29 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I got home from magic school

I knew you people where hiding wizards from me.
posted by The Whelk at 3:41 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


BBC weather says its as windy as its going to get in Cornwall and will have dropped off in 2-3 hours, and its not all that windy now. It's a swizz!
posted by biffa at 3:44 PM on October 27, 2013


Storm appears to have skipped Cornwall and smashed into Devon.
posted by Wordshore at 4:13 PM on October 27, 2013


It's definitely windy here in London.
The tide is coming in too.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 11:48 PM on October 27, 2013


Blowy and raining here in Lichfield, just north of Birmingham. Nothing more than a usual autumn day so far.
posted by arcticseal at 12:17 AM on October 28, 2013


I got to work with no problem this morning, although I decided to take a cab to the station instead of walk. The Underground is running out my way, and I hope that continues on my journey home - the worst of the storm is yet to arrive in London so there's still the potential for falling trees to disrupt things.

The Kent contingent hasn't yet started to arrive at work and they're often amongst the first in, so I think the closure of the Dartford bridge is likely to have an impact on traffic congestion getting into London for those commuters.

Lucy the cat is outraged that her bed has been moved from in front of the patio door to a secluded corner away from windows. Her usual day's activities of dozing/ornithology have been cancelled for today.
posted by essexjan at 12:23 AM on October 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


So what happens if the storm turns out to be nothing? Does the monarchy fall?
posted by Bwithh at 12:27 AM on October 28, 2013


There was some heavy rain at around 3am here in Warwickshire, but we've had much worse. It woke me though, which was irritating.
posted by knapah at 12:53 AM on October 28, 2013


So I wake up to discover that multiple roads have been shut around my area. The radio was excitedly claiming that they've never had so many road closures. None of them blocked my route to work though. Sigh...
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:02 AM on October 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nothing much at all going on here. There's a decent amount of cloud, but no rain and no wind that I can hear/see. The nearest Met Office observation post says that overnight, the highest speed the wind got to was 14mph. No record of any gusting.

The only roads affected nearby are the M6, which has slow traffic. Par for the course, then.
posted by Solomon at 1:18 AM on October 28, 2013


My end of the Tube line is now suspended due to trees on the track. On my floor in the office we have no water at all, not even in the toilets. And it seems the security guards downstairs are stopping people from coming into the building. I may need to investigate this further and see if they've closed our building off and I can attempt to go home.
posted by essexjan at 1:35 AM on October 28, 2013


I feel a little guilty that I'm unemployed and my most urgent task this morning was to eat a slice of parkin. Other people in South East London are finding it difficult to get where they need to: Southeastern trains cancelled 'just in case' last night, North Greenwich station isn't letting people on to the platform, the Woolwich ferry is suspended, the Blackwall tunnel is closed, the cable car - as if anyone used it for commuting anyway - is shut, DLR services widely cancelled. If you were thinking of going further east to get round it, the QE bridge at Dartford is also closed. At North Greenwich they've started suggesting people use the river buses (!) for getting into Central London. Meanwhile the Fire Brigade have been tweeting tweets along the lines of 'For the love of God, don't cycle, you idiots.' Which did not cheer me up much when I saw it after my husband had set off on his bike.

Which is all odd, because stepping out into the road, it doesn't feel that bad. There are reports of various trees down near here so it must be worse than I think though.
posted by calico at 1:49 AM on October 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Got to my tube station (Tooting Bec) this morning at 8 and saw people queued up so far that they were outside and in the street. I've decided that this is a working from home day.

Also one of my bins seems to have blown away.

Not exactly the chaos I was expecting.
posted by atrazine at 2:12 AM on October 28, 2013


I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by steef at 5:24 AM on October 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lot of my friends confusing "nothing happened outside my house" with "nothing happened".
posted by MattWPBS at 5:27 AM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reporting from a Clapham to Shoreditch commute:
- Northern line was chaos (so... same as usual)
- We lost a gazebo off our roof terrace at work (we found it in across the street)
- It's actually quite beautiful outside (fluffy white clouds and the bluest sky!)
- My hair got a bit messed up walking from the station but as I'm in Shoreditch I think it helped the overall look.
posted by like_neon at 5:47 AM on October 28, 2013


A 17 year old girl and a man in his fifties are reported to have been killed.
posted by billiebee at 6:07 AM on October 28, 2013


Looking at the current surface charts, it looks like the low (at 976mb, a very potent low) tracked further south than expected and intensified a little later as well. For the UK, this was a complete win -- the worst winds were always going to be to the south and east of the low, tracking further south before turning to the north and intensifying later basically made this storm a miss for the UK.

For the English Channel, not so much, for the North Sea, VERY not so much, as the Shipping Forecast currently indicates -- Fisher, Storm 10, German Bight, Storm 10 Hurricane force 12 imminent, Thames and Humber Violent Storm 11 decreasing Severe Gale 9, Portland, Wight, Plymouth, Biscay, Fitzroy and Sole Severe Gale 9 decreasing Gale 8.

It's also likely to be a fascinating day in the Baltic nations as this comes onshore for them. So, for "massive storm in UK", read "Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Germany, etc."

This is, alas, common -- but what can a forecaster do? That storm tracks as predicted and the south of England gets slammed. It tracks the same distance north as it did south and almost all of England gets hit. The odds are good that England will get hit, so they have to give the warning. If they don't and it does track true, everyone's mad that there wasn't any warning. If they do and it misses, everyone's mad that they cried wolf. Forecasters are like referees and sysadmins. They are expected to start the year perfect, improve as the year progresses, and are only noticed when wrong.

Midwestern US residents are familiar with this in the form of the 100-mile-wide blizzard. 50 miles north of the storm, there isn't enough moisture to snow. 50 miles south, there isn't enough cold to snow. So, with just a little change, you get no snow, 12" of snow, or rain.

You make the call.
posted by eriko at 6:33 AM on October 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


It doesn't earn you too many Internet Cynic points to say so, but yes, everything went pretty much as it should do. The Met Office were clearly right to give warnings. The train companies - much as we all hate to admit it - were right to anticipate the problems with fallen trees and cancel.

We are lucky, but this was not as small a thing here as some people are pretending: trees are down all over the South East, but then perhaps they were more likely to fall because for the most part their leaves haven't dropped yet. We've lost a roof slate and I think my tiny corn harvest will now be a miniscule corn harvest but things could have been a lot worse.
posted by calico at 7:01 AM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hertfordshire resident here. My power went out at 7 this morning (along with the rest of the village's) and has only just been restored - seven hours, thankfully all of them daylight hours. The train line I'm on has had several trees come down across it, plus I think some flooding, so there've been no trains all day; no work for me today! Having gone for a wander round the village, though, I think we escaped the worst of it here - there are tiles and fences down, and some branches, but nothing remotely approaching the chaos I remember after the storms in 1987 and 1990.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 7:26 AM on October 28, 2013


Well, good luck with that Britain. Just think, with climate change you too can have typical American-style weather patterns like this one all the time too!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:44 AM on October 28, 2013


Not much damage here - a panel from a neighbour's fence and a tree in the garden that backs onto mine. But the taxi driver who brought me home from the station said that mid-morning things were bad and that there are trees down all over the district, some with crushed cars (empty, thankfully) underneath.
posted by essexjan at 8:40 AM on October 28, 2013


Annoyingly, the trains were broken enough to occupy my whole day, but just functional enough that I could make it into work, six hours late, at 16:00.

Today was valuable time that could have been spent drinking and smoking and swearing at the TV. I am displeased.
posted by forgetful snow at 11:03 AM on October 28, 2013


My flight was delayed only by the inevitable twenty minutes or so.
posted by Segundus at 10:18 AM on October 29, 2013


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