More data, supercomputing, and a clearer understanding of the sting jet phenomenon mean severe weather warnings and risk level would be issued

Blame the sting jet – not a plane, but a fearsome and poorly charted weather phenomenon. Add to that the unusual southerly winds and a once-in-200-years event.

But though the weather conditions behind the great storm of 1987, the anniversary of which falls this weekend, may now be increasingly understood and analysed by the Met Office, the devastating event will still be remembered for the famous lunchtime forecast by Michael Fish in which he dismissed reports of a hurricane on the way.

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