HomeFYIThe worst storm in the history of Great Britain

The worst storm in the history of Great Britain

Storm of 1703
Storm of 1703

Great Britain lies on the European continental shelf, part of the Eurasian Plate. Situated off the north-west coast of continental Europe, it is separated from the mainland by the North Sea and by the English Channel.

The country has a decent weather too. They don’t really have a season where it’s summer, but the cool breeze and semi-warm weather is just what is great about Great Britain! Snow and rain are definitely common and occur in their respective seasons.

A country doesn’t only have a history consisting of sculptures, architecture or people but also, there are also a few historical pieces of evidence and stories about a country’s weather and natural calamity. One such example holds ‘The Great Storm of 1703- Great Britain’.

Great Storm of Britain
Great Storm of Britain

This all started on the night of December 7, 1703. The weather in UK started getting worse as days passed by. For weeks after rain and storm, a major cyclone blew throughout the country, from the Welsh coasts to the Midlands and the south of England, hitting the cities of Bristol and London in particular. The storm also wreaked havoc in continental Europe, causing severe damage in the Netherlands, the Danish islands, and Germany.

The Great Storm of 1987 is often said to be Britain’s worst storm since the Great Storm of 1703. But yet, the storm of 1703 was considered the greatest. Why?


The late Hubert Lamb, the founder of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, studied the storm of 1987 in collaboration with Knud Frydendahl of the Danish Meteorological Institute. The storm scored 9,000 on their “severity index”. This was based on wind speeds, the area covered by damaging winds, duration of damaging winds, as well as total damage to landscape and property, and the number of human and animal lives lost.

Instead of so much of destruction caused by the great storm of 1987, geologists and meteorologists consider the 1703 storm quite fascinating.

The storm uprooted thousands of trees, oaks collapsed and pieces of timber, iron, and lead blasted through the streets; blew tiles from rooftops, which smashed windows in their paths; and flung ships from their moorings in the River Thames. A boat in Whitstable, Kent was blown 250 m inland from the water’s edge. A cow was blown into the high branches of a tree. Lightning kindled fires in Whitehall and Greenwich. It is thought between 8,000 and 15,000 people in total were killed.

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