BBC Weather Watchers

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From the Great Storm to Storm Aileen

The winds which swept across southern Britain on the 15th and 16th of October 1987 left the worst-hit areas totally devastated. Eighteen people lost their lives in winds which reached 100 mph (161 km/h). The storm uprooted millions of trees, ripped roofs off buildings, destroyed cars and even destroyed an Isle of Wight pier. The worst affected areas were along the south coast, where such storms are unusual: storms of that strength sometimes arrive in the north of Scotland but are much rarer in the more densely-populated south of England.

If the storm happened today we’d have a much more accurate forecast – and we’d also give it a name, as the Met Office has done with serious storms since 2013.  The ability to forecast the weather more accurately is one of the benefits of the digital revolution, but creating the meteorological models, designing the sensors and other kit used in forecasting, and running the massive computers needed to run the analyses all require the creative skills that Make it Digital seeks to develop. Read more

Weather Watchers activities in your library

Working with libraries and Libraries Week, BBC encourages people to learn more about storms and how we model the weather, and to do so in their local libraries where they can get help getting online and getting digital. To help you get started, you can find:

A leaflet and poster about the Great Storm

A sixteen page Weather Watchers booklet showing how to get online and post your weather reports.