Episode 4 The Great British Weather


Episode 4

From Stirling Castle in the Scottish countryside, the team looks at some of the most dramatic storms ever seen in the UK and investigates how weather defeated the Spanish Armada.


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Transcript


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We are coming to you tonight from the imagine jistic Stirling Castle

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in the heart of Scotland. The UK maybe a small island but that

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doesn't mean we don't count. Welcome, we are coming live from

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Stirling Castle in Scotland. Now today the weather was glor cushion

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but it looked like this last year. A huge storm rageed from May 23rd

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and lasts for several days. Scotland is the windiest part of

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Scotland, and the UK is one of the windiest places in Europe. We have

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come to tonight's show. It is all about wind.

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What has blown in from here, hello, how are you. A sturdy band of

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Braveheart, are you fit and well? Good, anyone remember the storms in

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May. I do. I'm from Falkirk. What happened? My tree fell down in my

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garden, still there. Two months later! Yeah. You need it cleared up.

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How about you at the back there? I'm from Stirling, I was doing a

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walk, and I got home and my fence had blown down. How about you, do

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you remember May? Yeah. Was it really windy? Yes. Really, really,

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really windy? Yeah. Good job the hats weren't blown off.

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The audience looks slightly sun burnt, looking great. We want to

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hear from you, were you caught out in the storm in May, or maybe the

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one we all remember back in 1987, or have you experienced a tornado

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firsthand, we want your stories. E- mail us at the number and I dress

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below. Tweet us either.

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Have you actually given as you photograph yet Zander? No, I can't

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multitask, I'm hosting the show. I haven't got a camera. That is no

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excuse. We expect one before the end of the show. If you have been

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watching over the last few week, you will know the drill by now. We

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are looking to fill this map completely with your weather

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pictures, where you are, right now. We really want to know the weather

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where you are sitting right now. It is an important night.

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I have been handed a card with breaking news as regards with the

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weather. The highest temperature was in Gravesend in Kent, 30

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degrees, that is hot. Scattered storms in central and eastern

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England because of a convergence zone, you remember what that is, it

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is where we have the clashing of two winds coming from different

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direction, that happened today. Heavy and thundery showers across

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Humberside and eastern England, a lot of rainfall. That giving us

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plenty of scope. Dark cloud clouds, thunder, lightning, any frogs and

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fish. We have a fish. Michael Fish will be here later. I can't believe

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I'm saying this, there is only one place we have never heard from in

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the entire series, that is southend-on-sea, anybody there,

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send us a photograph. We really want to end to, because tonight is

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our last show. E mail us on the - e-mail us on the

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addresses. Coming up on tonight's show: hl -

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Chris takes on a 100 mile an hour wind.

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Did a wind make a Chinese sky appear in the sky from nowhere. How

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the Spanish Armada were stornai surrender by British weather.

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:04:32.:04:32.

EastEnders rogue unveils the history of a classic, an umbrella.

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Last week we asked Bill Michael and John to predict the weather in

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Stirling tonight who is the champion forecaster. Find out at

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the end of tonight's show. I'm looking forward to that. All

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three of the gents will be with us very soon to discuss that storm. If

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you are wondering what I'm doing here? I have Anam mom ter measuring

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the - Anna mom metre measuring the wind. We get lots of wind this side

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of Europe, hang on to your hats ladies and gentlemen, a storm is

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coming. Our green and pleasant land, rarely

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too warm, and rarely too cold. The great British weather gives us a

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temperate climate, which, like us, is a little reserved.

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Well, not all the time. The trouble s the UK is at the mercy of the

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Atlantic Ocean. Conditions are deteriorating by the minute.

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too often massive storm fronts rumble across her waters, and reek

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havoc across the country. Hearing apart all in its path. That car

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flew across. The Atlantic brings us severe weather events. Debris and

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trees scattered over cars and gardens. You would assume it would

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happen anywhere but here. 43 years ago that assumption met a

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lethal challenge. On January 13th 1968, a cold front near Bermuda

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began a journey towards central and southern Scotland. It is a

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travelled, it developed into a large area of low pressure, and

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severe gale force winds were on their way.

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It wasn't until about 3.00am, when just all hell let loose. Former

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weather presenter, Penny Tranter was six years old when the storm

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reached the Ayrshire coast, and her home town. It sounded like a train

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rushing towards us all the time. It was one of the scariest moments of

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my life. You could feel parts of the house shaking, the wind was so,

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so strong. The 90 mile-an-hour winds moved into Glasgow, buildings

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were ripped apart, and 20 people lost their lives. I had never

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experienced a storm like that, I didn't realise that the weather

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could be as severe as that, and cause so much damage, and also kill

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people. But strong gales are the least of our worries. Just last

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week a tornado swept through this village. She did say tornado.

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Emergency services were stretched as the tornado ripped through parts

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of south Birmingham. The UK experiences more tornados than any

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other country in Europe. All these Ricks started hitting the door, I

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ran out screaming. Their exact cause remain as mystery, but when

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severe storms hit the UK, winds can converge beneath the clouds

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creating a lethal spiral. It was like The Wizard Of Oz. Dorothy is

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one of the few people in the UK to know what it's like to be right in

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the eye of one of these unique events. Still in the firing line

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tonight, the town of Bognor Regis, where yesterday evening a tornado

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wrought trail of destruction and mile-and-a-half long. Before it

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struck Dorothy was at home with a friend in her caravan. The next

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minute something hit the caravan, and we began to rock, the rocking

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got quicker and quicker, and the noise of chains being stretched,

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and all of a sudden they must have snapped. I didn't realise we were

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going up in the air, it seemed like hours, but it must have only been

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seconds. Trees were torn up in the whirlwind, which lifted one caravan

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into the air and dumped it on another. Can hear myself screaming,

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sheer terror. But heavy tornados are nothing next to a gigantic

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storm front in the Atlantic 24 years ago. Southern Britain is

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clearing up after the worst night of storms since records began

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almost 300 years ago. The infamous storm of October 1987 can't be

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classed officially as ature cane, as it didn't occur in the Tropics.

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The weather forecasters admit they got it wrong. Its 122 mile an hour

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gusts were every bit as devastating, millions of trees were flattened.

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graphic example of the power of the storm. Half a million homes lost

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electricity. Large areas of London and the south-east had power cuts.

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22 people lost their lives. emergency services said they had

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little or no warning. The damage was an estimated �7.3 billion.

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West End took a battering, some department stores had their shop

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fronts blown out. The UK had rarely experienced a weather event like

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this. A ferry blown aground near Folkestone. When we get hit by the

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next won is entirely up to the Atlantic Ocean.

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That was 1987, one of the greatest events in British his tree, three

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men were we eye of the storm, Michael Fish, Bill Giles and John

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Kettley. Please welcome the legends of weather. I like that, you need

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to go on the road with that one. Bill, I was reading at the weekend

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that you finally came clean and said talking about the storm in

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1987 that the forecast mistake was your's? It was mine, and the

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computer's, of course, we both got it wrong. I said it would be breezy

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up the channel, but I let Mike take the blame. Which was it so

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devastating? Because it came over that part of England, densely

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populated, it was very wet, the ground was wet, the roots of the

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trees were up, there were a lot of leaves on the trees. It is like a

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ship in full sail? It happened at night, so most people were tucked

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up in bed so, had it happened in the day it would have been a

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completely different story. Michael, some good has come from

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it? Lots of things over the years, more observations in the south west

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approaches, a brand new warning system that is continually being

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updated. We have a new computer eventually with new software going

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in t in fact, as it turned out, the next time it happened in 1991, it

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was absolutely spot on the forecast. It was 1990 he doesn't get it right

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every time. You have a fantastic afterdinner speaking career on the

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back of it? Look at the quality of his sweater! John, the trees, I

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read that 15 million trees were taken down. I didn't count them all

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myself, they did say 15 million came down. There are more trees in

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Scotland than England, I have been working it out on the back of a

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forecast chart on the way up. 15 million across England, represented

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1%. That says something straight away. Obviously nature does look

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after itself in the end. It could have been a blessing in disguise,

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the people who know more about trees than I do, did say it

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improved the ecology of the woodlands and the forest. The

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canopy was much less, and new species could go in and improve the

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environment for the future. These three will be exploring which

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region in the UK gets the best weather and why. You will find out

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which one had the most accurate prediction of the weather here in

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Stirling tonight. I'm looking forward to that Zander.

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No storms here, I'm glad to say in the Queen Anne Garden, in the

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middle of Stirling Castle, it is lovely, and tranquil and quiet.

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Thousands of people were affected 24 years ago by the ferocity of the

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1987 storm. A baby was born, thank baby is with us with her mum

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tonight, Andrea and Julyy Pell, welcome. You were going into labour

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on the night of the storm. You had a traumatic experience. We had to

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set out at 1.00am as the storm was started. As we got further and

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further, things started landing on the windscreen, and bits of trees

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falling in front of us. It got worse and worse, we got frightened.

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We had to stop because a tree had fallen in front of us and behind us,

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we were trapped. What did you do? Luckily we were near to a phone box,

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we phoned the hospital to let them know we were stuck. And they very

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kindly said they would send an ambulance. That must have reassured

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you? When did the ambulance arrive. It didn't come. They had to say

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they couldn't send anyone out, the storm was too ferocious. They said

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they might send a helicopter. We were relieved. Did it arrive?

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rang back to say helicopters couldn't fly, far too dangerous and

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the storm was widespread. All the telecommunications went down, we

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were lost in the middle of the countryside and no-one to help us.

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Did you have the baby there? decided to try to get home. It was

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three miles away. We walked, and we had to climb over all the trees in

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the way. Great big oak tree, still in full leaf, it is difficult to

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climb through the branchs and over the trunks. And eventually had the

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baby Andrea. What is your middle name? It is Gale. What a lovely

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scene it is in the garden. Let me show you round Stirling Castle.

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Look at this spectacular view over there. Isn't that absolutely

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stunning. Right in the distance can you probably see some wind turbines.

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That is how man uses the wind, but how do we measure it? Let's have an

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idea, in 1987 the storm technically had winds of hurricane force, but

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when does a gust become a gale? There is a method, that is tried

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and trusted, it is being used for centuries. It is invisible, it can

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be really powerful, and on its day really impressive. What am I

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talking about? I'm talking about the wind, if you get the right day

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you can fly a kite! But not today, not a breath of wind, thanks

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Katherine. Don't worry it will get a lot breezyer later on. Wind was

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the driving force behind the growth of the British Empire and the

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:15:57.:15:57.

sucess of our Navy. Perhaps it is not surprising that Admiral

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Beaufort, an English naval officer came up with a way of measuring T

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he designed a 13-teir wind scale, 0-12, hurricane. It allowed sailors

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to judge the strength of the wind based on hoim sails a ship could

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put up. Force six, a strong wind, you could carry the top gallant

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sails. Ever since the Royal Navy adopted the scale, the categories

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have stayed the same, but descriptions have changed. This is

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because in 1921, meteorologist, Sir George Simpson, modernised it,

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measuring on how things on land were effected, using trees and

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umbrellas even. What does the wind measure today. Let's consult the

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Beaufort Scale, light wind, wind on face, leaves rustling. All yes,

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that has a force, they say of 2, that would go at speeds of 4-7

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:17:13.:17:13.

miles per hour. What about a bit of modern technology, my anamometer.

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Quite accurate, not bad at all. This is the sort of wind we get all

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the time. What is it like to be in a force nine, ten, or even 12.

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I'm going to find out. Normally used to test the

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durability of roof tiles, gutters and television aerials, this Baron

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Windrush tunnel at the British Research Establishment, will test

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the durability of me. It is man versus machine, Mr Beaufort, give

:17:44.:17:54.
:17:54.:18:00.

Well, I have to saying, so far this is a breeze. We have moved from

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force one to five in a matter of minute, it is gentle at best. Let's

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see what force six has to offer. According to the scale it should be

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hard to hold up an umbrella. Let's give it a go.

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Yeah, I would say yeah. Now we're talking windy, we're up

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to force nine, according to the scale, tiles and chimneys could be

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thrown off the roof. Watch this! As we move from 50 miles an hour to 60

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miles an hour, this is the point where a strong gale starts to

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become a storm. OK, we're up to 11 now, and

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according to the scale, Wight spread damage to buildings. Wow.

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It's so strong. We're up to 12 now, you don't often see this in the UK,

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but we did, back in 1987. Hurricane force. This is really, really

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frightening. But, if I'm going to experience the full force of the UK

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wind, I can't stop there. Because on Burns Night, 1990, it was even

:19:31.:19:41.
:19:41.:19:50.

stronger. This is petrifying, I really can't

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stand up. Thank goodness I had the warn nas on, because the wind was

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so strong - harness on, because the wind was so strong it swept me off

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my feet. My investigation of the Beaufort Scale, very nearly blew me

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away. How fast was that gust at the end.

:20:07.:20:11.

It was 100 miles an hour. I'm not putting it on, that was frightening.

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Imagine what that was like. That is off the scale? Believe it or not,

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that is not the fastest or strongest wind we have had in the

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UK. The mountain range of Cairngorms 173 miles an hour.

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was a gust in the Cairngorms? You can imagine up in the mountain

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ranges, but down, ground level, we had, in Fraserburgh, in Aberdeen,

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:20:49.:20:49.

100 miles from here, we had 142 miles an hour. OK, 142mph. Imagine,

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going shopping, that could cause major damage. You would be foolish

:20:52.:20:58.

to go out in that sort of condition. You thought I was brave going 100

:20:58.:21:04.

miles an hour. Yes. I have arranged something for you. He's a bit

:21:04.:21:13.

nervous, give him encouragement. Not one, but two harnesss, one for

:21:13.:21:22.

me and one for...you! We went 100 miles an hour, that was frightening.

:21:22.:21:26.

We will try to beat 100 miles an hour, with you and me there. You

:21:26.:21:32.

won't be in there, because you will be in real trouble. We need a

:21:32.:21:38.

special device, here t it is the machine of a supersonic hovercraft

:21:38.:21:43.

a powerful one. That is big fan. That will hopefully reach speeds of

:21:43.:21:48.

over 100 miles an hour. You are scared about this? I'm petrified, I

:21:48.:21:53.

have been 100 miles an hour, over scares me. I will do that. Who will

:21:53.:21:57.

be operating it? Carol Kirkwood, I have been in a car with Carol

:21:57.:22:00.

Kirkwood, we will go way over00 miles an hour.

:22:00.:22:04.

For that he will be doing 242 miles an hour, when I get my hands on

:22:04.:22:08.

those controls. Later on in the show, we will be investigating some

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of the most bizarre weather phenomena that appear throughout

:22:11.:22:16.

the world. But first, we're going to begin right here in the UK. With

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your brilliant weird weather pictures. So, if we have a quick

:22:18.:22:23.

look at some of them, that one, number one there is from Jane in

:22:24.:22:30.

Chelmsford in Essex. And it is a sun halo. This is a solar halo,

:22:30.:22:34.

formed as sunlight travels through the clouds. When sunlight strikes

:22:34.:22:38.

ice crystals in the cloud, most of the cloud is reflected, producing a

:22:38.:22:44.

completely white halo. Next one is from Chris in Seaford in East

:22:44.:22:53.

Sussex, this one is of propi skr, ular ray, appearing when the path

:22:53.:23:01.

of sunlight is made appear as rays scattering the light. The third one,

:23:01.:23:09.

another gorgeous picture, is from Dave in Ayrshire. That is a fog bow,

:23:09.:23:13.

that occurs when sunlight strikes water droplets in had fog. It is

:23:13.:23:23.
:23:23.:23:24.

normally colourless, because the water droplets are so tiny they

:23:24.:23:31.

don't shows the droplets as well. The weather has played a pivotal

:23:31.:23:39.

role in history, when Elizabethan England faced dark hours it was the

:23:39.:23:43.

weather that played a part. This is the life a nice long lunch

:23:43.:23:48.

a bit of a siesta, and tapas before I go out for the evening. The

:23:48.:23:53.

Spanish really know how to live. If it hadn't been for our pesky

:23:53.:24:02.

British weather, patatas bravas, could have been our national dish.

:24:02.:24:06.

432 years ago, England faced a pivotal moment in its history. One

:24:06.:24:11.

which we were barely prepared for. But Philip II of Spain had been

:24:11.:24:21.

planning his Armada for three years. It was to be sent to invade England,

:24:21.:24:26.

a Catholic crusade, to overthrow the Protestant Elizabeth I. I'm

:24:26.:24:32.

trying to imagine how big the Spanish Armada is? It is 134 ships,

:24:32.:24:42.

on those ships there are 30,000 men. When they put the ships flank, to

:24:42.:24:48.

flank, they stretched two miles. As soon as the massive fleet was

:24:48.:24:52.

assembled in the port of Lisbon, it was the weather that made the first

:24:52.:24:58.

move. It goes horribly wrong immediately, they were struck by

:24:58.:25:02.

high contrary winds, heavy rains and hail storms before leaving

:25:02.:25:06.

Spanish waters, for three long weeks they are delayed in port,

:25:06.:25:11.

they can't go anywhere. The Armada finally set sail to invade England,

:25:11.:25:17.

and run straight into strong head winds. After two long weeks they

:25:17.:25:24.

made barely any progress and have to dock at Curunia to take on fresh

:25:24.:25:29.

supplies. When they get there, they are hit by a huge south-westerly

:25:29.:25:32.

gale. If I was captain, I would have said this isn't going to

:25:32.:25:38.

happen this summer, let as turn back. Did any say that to the king?

:25:38.:25:43.

Absolutely, that is what the campaign said, he wrote to the wing

:25:43.:25:47.

and said this clearly isn't going to work, Philip was having none of

:25:47.:25:52.

it. Finally the weather broke, and the fleet were ordered to leave the

:25:52.:25:57.

port to execute Philip's massively ambitious plan. His Armada was to

:25:57.:26:02.

sail to France to collect soldiers fighting in the Netherlands, and

:26:02.:26:06.

ferry them across the channel to invade England. The only way of

:26:06.:26:11.

stopping the Spanish would be at sea. Seven weeks after leaving

:26:11.:26:15.

Lisbon, the Armada was spotted off the coast of Cornwall. Two days

:26:15.:26:22.

later, the English engaged. But the opening battles near

:26:23.:26:27.

Plymouth, did little to concern the Spanish. But then the weather

:26:27.:26:33.

turned again. Prevailing south-westerly winds

:26:33.:26:38.

began to blow hard up the English Channel. The Armada were forced to

:26:38.:26:42.

shelter in Calais earlier than planned. The troops they were

:26:42.:26:46.

supposed to collect hadn't arrived. Incredibly, it was this change in

:26:46.:26:50.

weather that enabled Sir Francis Drake and the English fleet to

:26:50.:26:54.

change the course of history. were suddenly sitting ducks,

:26:54.:26:57.

because the English had managed to get the weather gauge, they had

:26:57.:27:02.

managed to get the advantage of the wind, and so pinned the Spanish

:27:02.:27:07.

between them and the shore, and so the English had a plan. They

:27:07.:27:14.

decided to send in fire ships. midnight on July 28th, Drake

:27:14.:27:18.

ordered eight ships, packed with gun powder to be sent drifting on

:27:18.:27:24.

the south westly winds towards the anchored Armada. So the Spanish

:27:24.:27:27.

were terrified, because fire could destroy their whole fleet, guns

:27:27.:27:31.

going off everywhere, ships on fire. They were in, in their panic,

:27:31.:27:35.

cutting at their anchors just to get away, then they are at the

:27:35.:27:40.

mercy of the wind. After 70 days at sea, the Spanish were battered and

:27:40.:27:44.

bruised, they were down, but not out. They decided to move north-

:27:44.:27:48.

east along the coast of England. Short journey, should be OK,

:27:48.:27:56.

because in July, the weather is terrific. It is in Spain!

:27:56.:28:01.

Pursued by the English, the Armada had to abandon all hope of picking

:28:01.:28:06.

up their army. While all this was happening you still have the south

:28:06.:28:10.

westly wind blowing, everybody is slowly drifting out, northward into

:28:10.:28:13.

the North Sea. It is a one way valve, with the wind blowing, you

:28:14.:28:18.

can't get back. All the Spanish could hope to do now was sail

:28:18.:28:23.

around the British Isles, but as they attempted to head south, down

:28:23.:28:29.

the west coast of Ireland, the weather made its final move.

:28:29.:28:34.

A big Atlantic low system, these are the tail ends of tropical

:28:34.:28:41.

storms in the Caribbean. They rumbled their way on the Atlantic

:28:41.:28:47.

above the gulfstream, and they end up as wet, windy, soaking systems

:28:47.:28:53.

here. These massive North Atlantic storms of September 1588 smashed

:28:53.:28:58.

the Armada against the rocky Irish coast. Out of the original 134

:28:58.:29:06.

ships, just 67 ships made it home. 20,000 men had been lost. Of his

:29:06.:29:12.

defeat Philip II declared, I sent the Armada, against men, not God's

:29:13.:29:19.

wind and waves. Or as I would like to put it, don't mess with the

:29:19.:29:24.

British weather. Just shows you, we would all be

:29:24.:29:32.

tuning into Strictly Flamenco, it is good news, we have what we have.

:29:32.:29:36.

It is time to find out what the great British weather map can tell

:29:36.:29:40.

us about the weather. We have had a few problems with our internet.

:29:40.:29:43.

However, it is now sorted, we will get as many pictures on to the map

:29:43.:29:48.

as we can. We have already started there some belters on there. There

:29:48.:29:56.

is growing thunder in the west Midland, that is from Aiden. The

:29:56.:30:01.

rain has already arrived in Yorkshire by the bucketload.

:30:01.:30:05.

Yorkshire we have reports of flash flooding. The opportunity for lots

:30:05.:30:08.

of different kinds of pictures tonight. I have one here from the

:30:08.:30:13.

Isle of Skye, this is from Denise, and it is a beautiful picture.

:30:13.:30:20.

There is goes. Keep them coming in. It is the last show of the series.

:30:20.:30:29.

Au, u. Pressure son to get the map as - Awww. The pressure is on to

:30:29.:30:35.

get the map as full as possible. Later on, Chris and I will subject

:30:35.:30:39.

ourselves to 100 miles an hour solid wind. Stay tuned. Still to

:30:39.:30:45.

come on tonight's show. We investigate the spectacularly

:30:45.:30:50.

weird phenomenon of ball lightning. Don't try that at home. Wind, where

:30:50.:30:54.

it comes from, what it does, and why we get so much of it. And which

:30:54.:30:58.

region gets the best weather in Britain. Bill, Michael and John

:30:58.:31:02.

reveal their number one choice. They have been with us for at least

:31:02.:31:07.

2,000 years, we have so many, there is 75,000 lost each year on the

:31:07.:31:14.

buses and underground alone. I'm talking about the brolly. Larry

:31:14.:31:17.

Lamb charts the history of our most popular rain accesssory.

:31:17.:31:22.

During my time on EastEnders, I felt the heat on more than one

:31:22.:31:29.

occasion. Any last words. experienced a few downpours as well.

:31:29.:31:35.

When I got chance to find out about the history of the umbrella I

:31:35.:31:39.

couldn't say no, especially as I thought I could do some sightseeing

:31:39.:31:45.

along the way. It starts here in the land of the Pharaohs. Cut, we

:31:45.:31:50.

should be in China. In China, all right, well, much

:31:50.:31:54.

nicer than dreary old Albert Square, and fancy the BBC flying me all the

:31:54.:31:59.

way out here to China. Cut. Actually that might not be right.

:31:59.:32:05.

Have we got ancient Greece. Greece, are you kidding.

:32:05.:32:10.

To be honest, the origin of the umbrella is a little bit ambiguous,

:32:10.:32:14.

there is evidence to suggest it originated in the sun drenched east,

:32:14.:32:19.

either in Egypt or China, around 3,400 years ago. No-one really

:32:19.:32:24.

knows for sure. What we do know is the word

:32:24.:32:32.

umbrella comes from the Latin root word "umbra" mean shade or shadow.

:32:32.:32:36.

Earlier versions may have been made from tree branches, they may not

:32:36.:32:40.

look rain proof, but in those days they were used to protect you from

:32:40.:32:44.

the sun rather than the rain. In Ancient Egypt, it was seen as a

:32:44.:32:48.

symbol of religious importance. In ancient Greece, it was commonly

:32:48.:32:53.

used by women as a fashion accesssory because of its

:32:53.:32:56.

decorative nature. The umbrella only became really popular to the

:32:56.:33:01.

western world around the 16th century, especially in rainy Europe.

:33:01.:33:07.

To tell me more, I have enlisted the help of Jeffrey Breeze, an

:33:07.:33:12.

expert in antique umbrellas. How did it become so popular in

:33:12.:33:19.

Britain? They were used as portable sin shoulds in Italy and Greece,

:33:19.:33:23.

and the English girls wanted them as well. In Britain they are more

:33:23.:33:26.

useful as a defence against rain than the sun. But, did you know it

:33:26.:33:31.

was the Chinese who first started waterproofing umbrellas to protect

:33:31.:33:36.

against the rain, and then the rest of the world followed their example.

:33:36.:33:42.

In the same way there was one man who popularised the use of an

:33:42.:33:50.

umbrella amongst men. It was done by John Hanway, a noted traveller

:33:50.:33:55.

and philanthropist, he dared to walk the streets of London to

:33:55.:34:01.

protect his powered wig. He had to put up with the London mob shouting

:34:01.:34:09.

insults, like his stick has petty coats on. How would have carried

:34:10.:34:15.

it? Try it for yourself. Can you hit the pose and get the angle.

:34:15.:34:25.
:34:25.:34:25.

That came a little too easily, I think. You feel the rain, up it

:34:25.:34:31.

goes and raise it to an elegant angle. And looking good. Thank you

:34:31.:34:36.

very much, very kind of you. In 1852, the brolly advanced

:34:36.:34:44.

further, when Samuel Fox designed the first steel rig designed in the

:34:44.:34:51.

UK. He made them from steel stays, the same as used in corsets. How

:34:51.:34:55.

did things compare from then to today, one thing is for sure, we

:34:55.:35:01.

buy a lot more umbrellas, around 18 million a year, at a cost of �130

:35:01.:35:05.

million. One person who has had more than her fair share, is Her

:35:05.:35:10.

Majesty the Queen, the man keeping her try for 30 years, is

:35:10.:35:14.

manufacturing Nigel Fulton. This is the one we supply the Queen. This

:35:14.:35:20.

is her favourite umbrella. royal umbrella. It has a PVC see-

:35:20.:35:27.

through cover, she can see out and people can see in. Great choice,

:35:27.:35:30.

your majesty. There you have, it carried by everyone from kings and

:35:30.:35:35.

queens to the common man. All of us keen to protect ourselves from

:35:35.:35:39.

whatever the great British weather has to throw at us.

:35:39.:35:44.

Larry is with us here tonight. Larry, welcome.

:35:44.:35:50.

Lovely to have you here. What lovely applause on this beautiful

:35:50.:35:54.

evening. Larry's an actor? So is he, he keeps telling me. Actors have a

:35:54.:35:59.

tough time with weather? We spend a lot of time waiting and waiting and

:35:59.:36:05.

waiting, sit anything caravans, waiting for the weather to change.

:36:05.:36:10.

What about EastEnders? It is a disaster, if you film outside and

:36:10.:36:15.

it rains you have to go inside, and then somebody else has to go

:36:15.:36:19.

outside and you sit and wait for the weather to change. The worst

:36:19.:36:23.

thing was the mastive snow dump, the whole thing went down like a

:36:23.:36:28.

line of domino, they shot stuff without snow, then three inches of

:36:28.:36:34.

snow, everyone clearing it, got the cameras back on and the snow came

:36:34.:36:38.

down again. Your first break in television was a show called

:36:38.:36:42.

Triangle? The first time I was ever in a long-running attempt at a soap

:36:42.:36:45.

opera was Triangle, but I had been knocking around a few hours before

:36:45.:36:51.

that. Tell us about that, it must have been beset by the weather?

:36:51.:36:55.

BBC had a deal to go on a ship in the North Sea, with the BBC,

:36:55.:36:59.

watching the budget, it was at the cheapest time of year, that was

:36:59.:37:02.

because nobody travels because the North Sea is full of storms in

:37:02.:37:06.

October and December. We have a clip from Triangle? All we did was

:37:06.:37:16.
:37:16.:37:39.

run backwards and forwards through How do you do? Are you a passenger?

:37:39.:37:43.

This is a private area, here, you know, it is the cruise deck,

:37:43.:37:50.

officers and crew only. Get her to stand up, you fool. Well how else

:37:50.:37:56.

can he move her. The glamour! We were talking about the storm of

:37:56.:38:00.

1987, do you have any memories of that? The storm of 1987, I had

:38:00.:38:04.

started work on a film called Buster, Phil Collins walked in and

:38:04.:38:09.

said, do you know what, I lost 80 trees last night. I said, Phil, my

:38:09.:38:12.

heart bleeds, 80 trees is that all. You get a lot of drum sticks out of

:38:13.:38:19.

that. I think he got a life time supply from one storm. Where is

:38:19.:38:22.

your favourite place in Britain weather-wise? From being a kid,

:38:22.:38:26.

going to the Isle of Wight, that is about it, it was about as far south

:38:26.:38:32.

as you can go on the south coast, I think the Isle of Wight. I can

:38:32.:38:37.

remember lovely holidays in Ride, and being in places like Shanklin.

:38:37.:38:42.

I think the Isle of Wight for a beautiful place in the sunshine.

:38:42.:38:48.

Carol are you an EastEnders fan? am and not the only one. Who else?

:38:49.:38:55.

Did you know some of the crew from EastEnders used to phone up where I

:38:55.:38:59.

work, the BBC weather centre to find out what the weather would be

:38:59.:39:03.

like if they were doing a big outside broadcast. Not many people

:39:03.:39:06.

know. That some of the amazing spectacles the weather can create

:39:06.:39:10.

around the world. You don't have to look far in this country to find

:39:10.:39:14.

weird weather. Our resident meteorologists, Tomasz,

:39:14.:39:18.

investigates how a small Scottish town experienced one of nature's

:39:18.:39:22.

most mind boggling phenomena. I have travelled 600 miles north of

:39:22.:39:29.

London to get to the bottom of a weather mystery, that is both

:39:30.:39:33.

terrified and fascinated for many years. The north-east coast of

:39:33.:39:37.

Scotland, rugged, wild, weather beaten and beautiful, nestled on

:39:37.:39:43.

the cliff top overlooking the Moray Frith, is the sleepy fishing

:39:43.:39:49.

village of Port Knockie. Just 1200 people live here. Most earn their

:39:49.:39:56.

living from the sea. There is just one pub, and life is peaceful.

:39:56.:40:00.

is a quiet little village we live here. Fraser Milton is at home with

:40:00.:40:06.

his wife and daughter, it is Sunday, the 23rd January, 2007. It was just

:40:06.:40:11.

a normal day, like any other here. It was overcast, the clouds were

:40:11.:40:17.

quite low, I felt then we were going to have a thunder storm.

:40:17.:40:24.

Marie Watson is on her way to the pub. There was quite a heavy hail

:40:24.:40:30.

storm going on at the time. I was sat in the computer in the other

:40:30.:40:40.
:40:40.:40:42.

room. Ail lean was in the kitchen. It was 9.00pm. I was walking along

:40:42.:40:45.

here and there was a really loud crack of thunder. I fell to the

:40:45.:40:50.

ground, I don't know if it was the ground was shaking or because it

:40:50.:40:57.

was so loud it frightened me. computer went blank. There was this

:40:57.:41:00.

almighty blue flash and a bank, like something I had never heard

:41:00.:41:07.

before. Then there was like a blue light that came from the field just

:41:07.:41:12.

there. That shot straight through, it was

:41:12.:41:20.

hot, it had burned the back of my neck. The force of power must have

:41:20.:41:26.

been incredible, the socket exploded off the wall. Lightning

:41:26.:41:30.

struck the chimney pot of the next door neighbour, the ceiling

:41:30.:41:34.

collapsed. It was the fear not knowing what it was. The Met Office

:41:34.:41:41.

said this sort of weather event was extremely rare and they would

:41:41.:41:47.

investigate further. So what did happen on that fateful night, could

:41:47.:41:56.

there be a rational explanation to this? It was a suggestion it was St

:41:56.:42:01.

Elmo's Fire. That is a rare natural phenomenon, that presents itself as

:42:01.:42:11.
:42:11.:42:13.

an every vesent blue light. - efervesent. It was named after a

:42:13.:42:18.

previouser kept preaching after lightning struck the ground on him.

:42:18.:42:26.

Sailors were inspired by his bravery, and took him as their

:42:26.:42:30.

patron saint, believing when St Elmo's Fire gathered around the

:42:30.:42:34.

mast he was there to guide them through. But away from the myth,

:42:34.:42:41.

there is a scientific explanation. During a thunder storm, nitrogen

:42:41.:42:45.

and hydrogen molecules are ripped apart by the high-voltage

:42:45.:42:48.

conditions, creating something called plasma, the fourth state of

:42:49.:42:54.

matter, neither a gas, liquid or solid. The intense electric field

:42:54.:43:01.

present during thunderstorms, over 1,000 volts per centimeter, caused

:43:02.:43:08.

the hydrogen andate tro begin molecules to light up with a neon

:43:08.:43:18.
:43:18.:43:18.

light. Slightly curving obts will attract the fire. - objects will

:43:18.:43:23.

attract the fire. It is a bigger version of one of these, plasma

:43:24.:43:27.

ball. These days it is often witnessed when using a more modern

:43:27.:43:34.

mode of transport. As this amateur footage demonstrates. Today's

:43:34.:43:39.

equivalent of the ship's mast are the wings or front of a passenger

:43:39.:43:42.

jet. Sometimes when we are flying we fly through cloud and get static

:43:42.:43:47.

charge on the aircraft, that normally leaks away harmlessly, if

:43:47.:43:52.

we get large static charge, we start seeing the small lightning

:43:52.:43:55.

strikes running across the windscreen, they are blue in colour,

:43:55.:43:59.

and they dance around at random, they can be one or two or intense.

:43:59.:44:04.

The whole windscreen is the light being lit up continuously with the

:44:04.:44:10.

small lightning strikes arking across the wint screen. This

:44:10.:44:15.

phenomenon - the windscreen. This phenomenon occurring on dry land is

:44:15.:44:19.

incredibly unlikely. After investigating the Met Office in

:44:19.:44:24.

Aberdeen concluded the sheer intensity of the electrical storm

:44:24.:44:28.

in January 2007 could have included the presence of the amazing St

:44:28.:44:32.

Elmo's Fire. So that happened right here in

:44:33.:44:42.
:44:43.:44:45.

Scotland. That is not all. Joining me is Marty Johnson. We talk about

:44:45.:44:48.

weather phenomena, everybody talk about a rainbow? Everyone everyone

:44:48.:44:52.

has seen them and they are the most common. What you have, there is

:44:52.:44:59.

some pictures. You have got rain dops - rain drops in front of you,

:44:59.:45:02.

the sn behind it, the sun goes into the rain drops and bounces off the

:45:02.:45:09.

back, as it comes through, it splits, it is auld refraction, and

:45:09.:45:14.

comes out as several colours. What you see in is all the rain drops

:45:14.:45:18.

creating a single little dot in the rainbow, that means that every rain

:45:18.:45:22.

do you is different. Your rainbow is different to mine. If you shut

:45:22.:45:27.

one eye, and open the other, you have different rainbows for

:45:27.:45:31.

different eyes. We have our own different rainbows? That is why you

:45:31.:45:38.

can never get to the end of it. Carol says she has seen a full

:45:38.:45:44.

rainbow from a plane is that possnbl Yes. You get the - Is that

:45:44.:45:48.

possible? Yes. You get a double rain bou. You have

:45:48.:45:52.

a primary and secondary. All that happens there is the light is

:45:52.:45:58.

bouncing inside the rain drops twice coming out at a different

:45:58.:46:00.

angle. The secondary one is back to front.

:46:01.:46:05.

What I have always wanted to know is about mirage, I have seen them

:46:05.:46:11.

in the movies, guys scrambling across the desert and he see as

:46:11.:46:15.

swimming pool, and dives in and it is sand. We have all seen them,

:46:15.:46:20.

when you go across a hill on a hot day and looks like there is water

:46:20.:46:24.

on the road, that is a mirage, what is happening is the light from the

:46:24.:46:28.

sky is coming down, hitting the very hot air just above the road

:46:28.:46:32.

surface. That makes it bend. Refraction again, as it bends, it

:46:32.:46:37.

comes down, it doesn't hit the road but your eyes. You are seeing a

:46:37.:46:42.

reflection of the sky. This could explain what I'm going to show you

:46:42.:46:46.

next. This is absolutely extraordinary, this happened in

:46:46.:46:51.

east China on June 11th 2011. Eyewitnesses reported on Chinese

:46:51.:46:55.

news that a City appeared above the river. A city that isn't there

:46:55.:47:00.

appeared. It is a mirage, it is effectively the same thing. But the

:47:00.:47:04.

other way up. What you have is layers of air in the atmosphere

:47:04.:47:08.

which are of different temperatures. Very calm day, and what happens is

:47:08.:47:12.

the light from the city, a distant city is being bent by the

:47:13.:47:18.

atmosphere, and bounced back down to you, so that you are seeing a

:47:18.:47:21.

reflection off the surface up there of another city. It is an

:47:21.:47:25.

incredible thing, very unlikely to see that. Another thing that Zander

:47:25.:47:32.

has been petrified about all day, ball lightning, calm him? Ball

:47:32.:47:36.

lightning is an incredibly rare weather phenomena. We think it is

:47:36.:47:40.

caused by strong lightning storms. This is an example filmed down

:47:40.:47:47.

under. What happens is you get these, we think, balls of plasma

:47:47.:47:52.

created by the electrical discharge. For reasons science can't explain,

:47:52.:47:57.

the ball howevers around and floats around, sometimes it disappear,

:47:57.:48:00.

sometimes it explodes with a big shower of sparks, we can't explain

:48:00.:48:08.

it. It is like a UFO? A lot of UFO sightings may be ball lightning.

:48:08.:48:10.

Absolutely brilliant. Keep your eyes to the skies and you

:48:10.:48:20.
:48:20.:48:22.

might see that yourself. Over to my my Bute of Carol.

:48:22.:48:27.

You're not so bad yourself despite what everyone else says. Thanks for

:48:27.:48:31.

your e-mails. I have one here talking about ball lightning from

:48:31.:48:35.

Paul from Barnsley, he tells us, when he was a child in Barnsley,

:48:35.:48:39.

they had a big storm, suddenly they saw a ball of white shimering light,

:48:39.:48:45.

there was a hissing sound, we thought it was a UFO, the neighbour

:48:45.:48:49.

said it was a ball lighten, it was the size of a beach ball. Elaine

:48:49.:48:55.

has a great story, she says she was at work three quarters of a mile

:48:55.:49:00.

from the River Clyde in Scotland. During the last storm a squid fell

:49:00.:49:05.

out of the tree. It would have been better if it was a quid. Janet

:49:05.:49:10.

remembers the 1987 storm, she says she knew nothing was weird when all

:49:10.:49:18.

our cats climbed on to her bed in the middle of the night. Animals

:49:18.:49:23.

are savvy. Shirley remembers the 1987 storm, she lived down a lane

:49:23.:49:27.

in Kent, they saw countless flashes in the sky, and assumed it was

:49:27.:49:31.

lightning all round, when she woke up next morning and trees were

:49:31.:49:37.

blocking every which way, she fed the men folk sasauges, cooked on a

:49:37.:49:42.

bash kue. Some amazing stories there showing what the wind can do

:49:42.:49:50.

at its best. Why does the UK get so much of it?

:49:50.:49:53.

It may not always feel like it, but the UK is one of the windiest

:49:53.:50:01.

countries in the whole of Europe. The average wind speed here, rarely

:50:01.:50:06.

dips below 12 miles an hour. Our nearest neighbour, France, can only

:50:06.:50:14.

muster a sluggish seven. And for me, the breezy British Isles has become

:50:14.:50:19.

a bit of an occupational hazard. Good morning, still very windy here

:50:19.:50:25.

in Plymouth. Heavy snow and also strong winds. You but what is this

:50:25.:50:29.

unstoppable force, gentle enough to dry our washing, but fierce enough

:50:29.:50:34.

to blow us off our feet. Put simply, it is what we feel as the air in

:50:34.:50:38.

our atmosphere moves around areas of high and low pressure. The

:50:38.:50:41.

bigger the pressure difference, the faster the air will move, and the

:50:41.:50:46.

stronger the winds will be. And it is this movement of air that

:50:46.:50:50.

is critical to the life of our planet.

:50:50.:50:53.

Transporting weather systems around the world, and eroding and shaping

:50:53.:50:59.

our landscape. When wind passes over land, it

:50:59.:51:04.

weakens as it strikes obstacles like trees, buildings and hills.

:51:04.:51:11.

The shementered eastern - the sheltered eastern and central parts

:51:11.:51:20.

of UK has wind of almost 9MPH, in Scotland it blows twice as hard. In

:51:20.:51:25.

1986 the Cairngorms were battered by the UK's highest ever gust, a

:51:25.:51:30.

staggering 173 miles an hour. Our predominant winds are the mild wet

:51:30.:51:32.

westerlies, that is what is bringing the fog in. That is not

:51:32.:51:38.

the only wind we get. Our easterly winds have travelled thousands of

:51:38.:51:43.

miles across Eastern Europe, and transport some dryer conditions to

:51:43.:51:47.

the UK. But they have to compete against westerly winds that have

:51:47.:51:52.

moved across large masses of sea. Accumulating moisture, ready to

:51:52.:51:57.

soak us when they hit our shores. Sor southerly winds act as a

:51:57.:52:01.

vehicle for warm air, from places like North Africa and the

:52:01.:52:06.

Mediterranean. They can be confronted by northerly winds, that

:52:06.:52:11.

bring us freezing temperatures from the Arctic. Thanks to this amazing

:52:11.:52:14.

variation, knowing which way the wind will blow, will tell us more

:52:14.:52:20.

about the wind we are likely to get than anything else we can measure.

:52:20.:52:25.

Tonight we are joined by three of the sharpest minds in meteorology,

:52:25.:52:31.

they are Bill Giles, Michael Fish and John Kettley. Welcome back.

:52:31.:52:35.

We have set you a couple of tasks tonight. The first one was we

:52:35.:52:38.

wanted to know in your personal opinion which region in the UK gets

:52:38.:52:47.

the best weather and why. Mine is north Cornwall. Because you

:52:47.:52:51.

get some lovely weather if the weather is bad on the north coast,

:52:51.:53:00.

you can very quickly get to the south coast. Michael? I would go to

:53:00.:53:05.

the land of my birth, Eastbourne, bueltfully sheltered from Beachy

:53:05.:53:08.

Head. And what's more, at my time in life,

:53:09.:53:14.

there is some very nice comfortable OAP homes.

:53:14.:53:21.

It is John? There isn't room to put it down here. Swanage and the

:53:21.:53:27.

Jurassic coast is lovely. I would go back to my ancestoral home, way

:53:27.:53:35.

before Yorkshire, I reckon Shropshire, shelter from the hills.

:53:35.:53:43.

Second task, we take challenge. Earlier on Carol took a reading of

:53:43.:53:46.

the weather using our great British weather station. I have an envelope

:53:46.:53:51.

containing your predictions, I will read them out. Bill said you would

:53:51.:53:55.

put money on it being dry on air strikes temperature 15 degrees.

:53:55.:54:01.

the shade. We can expect a westerly wind at 10MPH with gusts of up to

:54:01.:54:06.

20. Humid with temperatures of 19 degrees you said. A good deal of

:54:06.:54:13.

cloud, outbreaks of rain. John Kettley, you went with temperature

:54:13.:54:18.

18 degrees, light to moderate easterly winds, 10-13 miles an hour,

:54:18.:54:23.

cloudy with showery bust bursts of rain. Four factors were taken into

:54:23.:54:27.

account, wind direction, wind speed, temperature, and presiptation.

:54:27.:54:31.

Based on that, Michael has won by just one degree in temperature

:54:31.:54:35.

because he said it would be 19 degrees, John Kettley close with 18,

:54:35.:54:40.

Bill was the only one who said it would be dry, you failed with wind

:54:40.:54:45.

speed, direction and temperatures. 22 degrees, current wind direction

:54:45.:54:55.
:54:55.:54:56.

variable, north-east to south-east presiptation, zero present.

:54:56.:55:01.

Now it is time toe reveal what the weather is like across - time to

:55:01.:55:04.

reveal what the weather is like across the country. For the very

:55:04.:55:07.

last time it is the live weather map.

:55:07.:55:14.

I tell you what, we have budding Fishs and Kettleys across the UK.

:55:14.:55:18.

We have been hearing about the weather today. Thank you very much

:55:18.:55:22.

everybody in Southend on sea, we are now on the map. Also I can tell

:55:22.:55:27.

you, we have, at long last, a picture of the Outer Hebrides from

:55:27.:55:33.

Celia, and I can tell you it is absolutely chucking it down in

:55:33.:55:37.

Peterborough, flash floods. Here in Stirling it is gorgeous,

:55:37.:55:42.

but we have it coming up the Aberdeenshire coast. You have

:55:42.:55:47.

things to do Chris. Chris is about to join Zander and subject

:55:48.:55:52.

themselves to a 100 mph wall of wind. But before we join them, a

:55:52.:55:54.

huge thank you to everybody who sent in photographs tonight. And

:55:54.:56:00.

during all our other shows. You have helped make this a brilliant

:56:00.:56:03.

TV first. The Met Office has said there has never been so much

:56:03.:56:07.

information collated by so many people about the weather on

:56:07.:56:09.

television. We have also loved hearing your stories too. Don't

:56:09.:56:14.

forget if you head to our website for loads of useful facts and tips

:56:14.:56:17.

to carry on with the weather watching. Now the time has come,

:56:17.:56:23.

Chris and Zander are going to be subjected to 100 miles per hour of

:56:23.:56:30.

solid wind. We saw Chris earlier on today standing up in just gusts of

:56:30.:56:35.

wind of 100 miles an hour. How are you feeling boys? We are doing

:56:35.:56:40.

already. We are prepared for the environment, warm hats and scaraves.

:56:40.:56:44.

We are recreating a typical day in Fraserburgh. We are kitting

:56:44.:56:49.

ourselves out. That will please everybody in Fraserburgh for that.

:56:49.:56:55.

I tik your tam-o'-shanters. We are trying for over 100 miles an hour.

:56:55.:57:00.

We have been told it could be 124 miles an hour, measured earlier

:57:00.:57:10.
:57:10.:57:33.

today. Good luck. Help me count the We got there, 126 miles an hour.

:57:33.:57:39.

Well done. That is amazing. Your cheeks were flapping. Your scaraves,

:57:39.:57:43.

your hats. You are not painting a lovely picture of us, are you.

:57:43.:57:50.

did it feel, did you feel you could stand up? Quite scary. Could you

:57:50.:57:55.

stand up? We have both rather large rears for low centre of gravity.

:57:55.:57:59.

Low slung bottoms. Well done boys, and a huge thank you to everyone

:57:59.:58:02.

who has watched the show in the last month. We have had fantastic

:58:02.:58:10.

time making it. We hope you enjoyed making it. All around the country,

:58:10.:58:15.

The United Kingdom is one of the windiest countries in Europe as it is buffeted by winds coming in from the Atlantic and the North Sea.

The Great British Weather, coming live from the stunning location of Stirling Castle in the heart of the Scottish countryside, investigates how the weather defeated the Spanish Armada's invasion of Elizabethan England, and delves into some of the most dramatic storms ever seen in the UK.

The team is joined by a trio of weather legends: Bill Giles, Michael Fish and John Kettle.


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