On 6th June 1944, General Eisenhower gave the go ahead for forces to land on the beaches of Normandy, heralding in the end of the Second World War. But there was one enemy threatening to blow months of preparations straight out of the water: the weather. Meteorologist Captain James Stagg was responsible for forecasting the weather of that fateful day, and advised Eisenhower that the operation should go ahead, despite his American counterparts predicting doing so could have disastrous consequences.
Weather forecasting, as 1980s BBC TV weatherman Michael Fish famously knows only too well, is an imprecise science. In 1987, he managed to entirely miss the arrival of the worst storm to hit southern England in three centuries, which left 18 people dead and caused £2billion of damage.