Silly Saturday – Strange Storms

Exactly six years ago we had just had the Valentine’s Night Storm; we did not know it was called that till we had had it. The next year, in 2015, the Meteorological Office of the United Kingdom and Met Eireann decided to name storms in advance, with an alphabetical list of popular names they picked out from Facebook. It was claimed this would make people take storms more seriously and it worked, because since they started naming storms they have got worse, with more flooding. Last weekend it was Storm Ciara and as you read this we will be having Storm Dennis. Female and male names alternate, so luckily by the time we get to N ( probably in a few weeks time ) we can have Storm Noah.

Storms come with amber and red warnings, plus constant warnings from weather people in the cosy news studios to stay away from coastal areas. They then show photographs the public have taken just before they get washed away by waves and ‘go over’ to reporters being blown off the sea front to give us live coverage. It is so windy we can’t actually hear what they are saying.


Mike Jefferies Photography

This photo of Storm Ciara, thanks to Mike Jefferies Photography, saving me getting wet, appeared on Facebook. It is the famous cob at Lyme Regis in Dorset, one of the settings for Jane Austin’s novel Emma, where a trip to the seaside nearly ends in tragedy when a young lady contrives to fall off the cob. I don’t think the weather was this bad in that scene, but if you ever go to Lyme Regis the cob slopes and if it is wet it is very slippery.

Meanwhile back to Saturday morning 15th February 2014; after a night of the wind shaking our house I suggested ( insisted ) we go down to the cliff top at high tide for some bracing fresh air and this is what we saw.

It gave me an idea for a story and eventually became the opening scene for At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream.


25 thoughts on “Silly Saturday – Strange Storms

  1. Bad storms always bring out pictures like these, don’t they? We lost a beach hut in the 1987 hurricane, and we’d only bought it a month earlier! I know which of those jobs I’d prefer if I was working in tv.

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  2. Absolutely delightful, Janet, especially this gem. “It was claimed this would make people take storms more seriously and it worked, because since they started naming storms they have got worse, with more flooding.” Once you get to Noah I think it might be time to come back to Oz. PS – As you probably know, the cob also featured in the movie of The French Lieutenant’s Woman and John Fowles ended his days in Lyme Regis.

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  3. Thanks Doug, yes I was nearly going to mention that. I’m not sure how many people remember that film – a new film adaptation of Emma has just come out. In the meantime watch this space when we get to Storm Noah!


  4. We have an unusual tradition over in the states. Hurricanes are named in alphabetical order. They used to have female names, but that changed in 1979. Now hurricanes have male and female names. I don’t know this for sure, but I’m guessing the change was made to be more politically correct. Since hurricanes have a negative connotation, I think it’s only fair that these aren’t named after only one gender.

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  5. Thanks, Janet, loved the pic of Lyme Regis setting in Dorset. I recently reread Persuasion, one of my favorites from Austen, and I admit the real thing looks much more dangerous than I’d pictured in my mind!

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