So Storm Clodagh came and, according to the news, will continue today.
Yesterday it showed as an hour of high winds and a a twenty minute belt of rain, so no great problem, even though I did get caught in the middle of the rain without a coat. Today it looks like it may miss us completely.
However, it did manage to pop the rails on the polytunnel again. They are a mixed blessing – simpler and easier than digging a trench and burying the edges of the plastic, and giving us the ability to adjust the tension on the plastic (which we did a couple of times in the first year) – but they have popped off a few times and left the plastic flapping.
There has been some damage in other areas of the country, but I used to live in the Cambridgeshire Fens, which is quite a windy place and I remember high winds that made telegraph poles bend. We just used to nail stuff down firmly and nobody, as far as I’m aware, felt the need to name the weather.
I’ve just been looking up how they name storms, particularly as I wasn’t sure that 70 mph was really a high wind by world standards. It was more complicated than I had thought – with six different bodies classifying and naming weather systems depending on where they originate. However, they do classify winds a lot slower than 70 mph.
The record for the highest wind speed on land (235 mph during Typhoon Paka on Guam in 1997) can’t be confirmed because it was so fast it broke the anemometer. Personally I think that breaking the anemometer was good enough as confirmation.
I also learnt that storm names, like American sport shirt numbers, can be retired.
That’s something I’ll bear in mind next time I’m caught by the rain in a supermarket car park.