Awaiting The Storm
Well if nothing else this is undoubtably the most hyped UK storm in decades. For days now we’ve been warned that a storm was, literally, brewing in the Atlantic, and that it’s coincidence with the jet stream meant that it would be more powerful than anything we’ve experienced in recent years.
The shipping forecast for the South Coast of the UK issued this morning read as follows:
Southwest 7 to severe gale 9, becoming cyclonic severe gale 9 to violent storm 11 for a time, perhaps hurricane force 12 later
We’re well used to Autumnal gales in this country but seeing the words ‘hurricane force 12’ even mentioned is extremely rare. For the sake of accuracy I should highlight that we cannot in fact get a ‘hurricane’ in the UK as the waters surrounding this little isle are far from tropical, there is some irony therefore in the fact that a storm with “hurricane’ force winds reaching these shores is called an “extra tropical storm”.
I remember the last ‘extra tropical storm’ we experienced in the UK back in 1987, it caused serious damage in the South of the country and lives were lost, but here in the Midland counties we were spared. I vividly remember stepping out of my front door early in the morning on that 16th October day and immediately knowing something unusual was happening. It was completely still, it felt odd, I got in the car, turned on the radio to my usual station and got nothing. It was only an hour or so later we started to hear news of what had happened further South. I know now that I stepped out of my door just as the ‘eye’ was passing over us.
If the predictions are accurate we are unlikely to be spared this time, the track of the depression puts us not far South of the centre and potentially in the some of the strongest winds. It’s a blessing that they don’t expect them to be as strong as 87.
I wish ‘Gleda’ was tucked up a creek somewhere with big anchors laid, at least then I’d feel I’d prepared, that she’d be in her element, that I was with her. As it is she’s stuck in a structurally doubtful barn, built of bricks long since without mortar, a lot of rotten timber and some asbestos sheets. The barn is completely open at both ends.
I went up to the barn this afternoon and the power was already out. I did manage to top up the epoxy in the holes I filled yesterday but my mind was on the weather.
I’ve done what I can, I’ve roped the epoxy tent and plywood stock to a solid steel rail, I’ve made sure loose objects are stowed, other than that all I can do is pray to the Universe that ‘Gleda’ comes through unscathed.
Current predictions have the storm coming through us in early hours of Monday morning and through into the first part of the day.
Fingers crossed and I’ll update you tomorrow.