15/10/2012 06:58 BST | Updated 15/10/2012 09:49 BST

25th Anniversary Of The Great Storm That Killed 18 in 1987 (PICTURES)

Monday marks 25 years since the Great Storm of 1987 which wreacked havoc across Britain and saw 18 people lose their lives.

Around 15 million trees were felled as gales of 100mph swept through the country overnight, tearing roofs off buildings and depositing boats and even a ferry on dry land.

So ferocious were the winds (reaching 100 knots in some parts of the country) forecasters have since deemed it a once in 200 years event.

Scroll down for dramatic images from Great Storm of 1987

The storm felled around 15 million trees

It drew comparisons with a similarly powerful storm in 1703, which was also termed a “great storm”.

TV weather presenter Michael Fish earned an unfortunate notoriety after informing viewers on the eve of the storm (October 15) that a “hurricane is not on the way.”

Technically he was correct – the storm was not a hurricane – and Fish maintains he was actually referring to a weather threat in Florida.


The Great Storm became a defining event for BBC weatherman Michael Fish's career

He insists the gaffe was down to dodgy editing, telling The Telegraph in 2007: “It is very irritating indeed, because I had nothing to do with it whatsoever.

“But that’s the press – never let facts get in the way of a good story.”

As The Met Office points out:

This storm wasn't officially a hurricane as it did not originate in the tropics - but it was certainly exceptional.

In the Beaufort scale of wind force, Hurricane Force (Force 12) is defined as a wind of 64 knots or more, sustained over a period of at least 10 minutes.

Gusts, which are comparatively short-lived (but cause a lot of destruction) are not taken into account. By this definition, Hurricane Force winds occurred locally but were not widespread.

Do you remember the Great Storm? Tell us your memories in the comments section below and email your pictures to, #greatstorm.