Tree 'falls down in Michael Fish’s garden', says weather forecaster

Veteran weatherman adds that he imagines people will think it 'serves him right' after he failed to predict the devastating 1987 storm

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The Independent Online

Michael Fish, the weather forecaster who famously forecast there wouldn’t be a hurricane ahead of the 1987 storm that ravaged Britain, has said people may be thinking it “serves him right” after a tree fell down in his garden today.

The storm tracking across the south of England today has caused chaos, disrupting travel for millions and leaving more than 220,000 homes without power.

It seems that even famous weatherman was not spared from the impact of the St Jude’s Day storm – and that his wife is blaming him for the damage.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Fish said: “I had a phone call from my wife not so long ago and of course it was my fault that a tree has apparently gone down in my garden and over the neighbour's garage.”

Shortly before the devastating storm of 1987, Fish told viewers: “Earlier on today apparently a lady rang the BBC and said she heard that there was a hurricane on the way.

“Well, don't worry if you're watching, there isn't.”

The incident became so infamous that it featured in a montage at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Fish said that he was sure that would still be in the minds of many considering the forecasts today.

“So even I don't escape and I can hear some of you saying ‘serves him right!’,” he said.

Fish added that he felt the media’s coverage of the storm this time round was important in saving lives, and when asked if he felt the scale of it had been overplayed he said: “No, no. It's been a terrific storm.”

“There has been massive damage and if we hadn't been banging the drum for about a week or so there could have been some horrendous loss of life as well.” At least two people, a 17-year-old girl and a man in his 50s, have been killed as a result of falling trees.

Fish said that the accuracy of computer modelling had largely made the difference from 1987 to 2013. He said: “It couldn't be done in my day. We were only able to do forecasts for one or two days ahead.”