Storm Force: Britains Wildest Weather - 25 September 2007

Here's the publishers Press release:-

"In the book, TV weathermen, Michael Fish MBE, Ian McCaskill and Paul Hudson recall the most devastating storms and ferocious floods in Britain’s history,

The publication of ‘Storm Force’ was timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Great Storm of 15th/16th October 1987, which caused devastation across Britain and resulted in 23 deaths. Ian McCaskill was on duty throughout the night when the storm blew into the UK wreaking widespread havoc. However, it is Michael Fish who will be forever associated with the storm that caught everyone off-guard, due to his infamous remark: “Earlier on today apparently a lady rang the BBC and said she heard that there was a hurricane on the way. Well don't worry if you're watching, there isn't." A legend has grown up around this remark and Michael’s role in the Met Office’s alleged failure to warn viewers of impending devastation. In this book, Michael Fish sets the record straight and explains what really happened on the night of the ‘Great Storm’.

The 1987 storm is just one of the catastrophic events covered in the book. Michael Fish, Ian McCaskill and Paul Hudson take a comprehensive look at the storms that have battered Britain throughout the centuries including:

the ‘Great Storm’ of 1703, which was then, and remains, the worst storm in British history, claiming 8,000 lives - Daniel Defoe’s account of it, written in the immediate aftermath, made his reputation and is still in print to this day;
the 1897 Tay Bridge Disaster, in which a terrible storm and its attendant waterspouts caused the most notorious engineering disaster in British history, destroying the newly built bridge over the Firth of Tay with the loss of the Edinburgh to Dundee train and all 75 passengers and crew – the bridge’s designer, Sir Thomas Bouch was a further ‘casualty’: disgraced and villified, he died just ten months after the disaster, a broken man;
the Lynmouth disaster of 1952 which claimed 34 lives and sparked rumours that flash flooding had been caused by Ministry of Defence experiments in ‘rain making’ – the authors examine whether there is any truth in this rumour;
the massive storm surge of January 1953, which engulfed the North Sea coast from the Humber right down to Dungeness, claiming the lives of over 300 people – the authors’ accounts of men, women and children drowned in their own homes makes heart-rending reading.

Over 120 other outbreaks of wild weather are recorded, making this the most comprehensive account of storms throughout British history. Among the numerous tales of human tragedy and bravery are occasional comic highlights such as the tale of the tornado on 2 September 1997 at Newark in Nottinghamshire which lifted a number of pigs from the ground and sent them hurtling 100 feet into the air, proving that pigs can fly.

This fascinating book is brought right up to date with the final chapter, which the authors were able to add just before the book went to print, covering the worst summertime floods in British history, which took place in June and July this year, resulting in several deaths and ruining homes and crops across the UK. As the BBC’s weather forecaster for Yorkshire and Humberside, Paul Hudson was on the spot as events unfolded and he writes a very personal account of this most recent tragedy".

‘Storm Force’ is still available, price £15.99. Contact Great Northern Books at PO Box 213, Ilkley, West Yorkshire LS29 9WS. Tel: 01274 735056 or visit ISBN number: 978-1-905080-32-8

Michael Fish