We had a severe weather warning for last night / this morning. Storms featuring wind up to about 90 knots – enough to do some damage. In practice, we’ve got the same weather as over the past couple of weeks: mild, with mixed showers and sunny intervals, and moderate winds – more like 20-25 than 90 knots maximum.
We get these severe weather warnings quite a few times each year. Any chance of a frost (let alone snow); any heavy rain or wind, threat of fog, etc. So of course we learn to ignore them.
I expect this all goes back to the 1987 “hurricane”, when we had a genuinely serious weather event, marked by the fall of quite a lot of big, old trees. The met office got some stick then for not giving adequate warning. Now they’re terrified of lawyers, so they issue warnings at the drop of a hat.
 The warning was specifically for Cornwall and West Devon. This reporter is in West Devon, 5 miles from the Cornish border.
 What passes for heavy here is very moderate compared to other climates: for example, what I encountered in Rome. Similarly, we get wind, but nothing extreme, except perhaps the 1987 storms.
 South-East England got the worst of the 1987 event. That’s where all our meeja is based, so it got noticed. People from other areas, particularly the Scottish highlands, pointed out that similar winds are common for them.
 Old trees are so scarce in the area affected, and indeed in the whole of the UK, that they get noticed. So when several(?) of the seven oaks giving the town of Sevenoaks its name fall, that’s a huge iconic change.