Storm Ophelia is battering the UK and Ireland with gusts up to 80mph. After a report of a northern man tutting at a flurry of leaves and zipping his coat up, the Met Office has raised the category one hurricane to category four.

Fears about the implications of northerners zipping up their coats has seen troops placed on standby and many public services such as schools, government buildings and transport closed.

After confirmation of people in Bolton putting on their big coats to walk to the shop, the previous amber weather warning – meaning there is a “potential risk to life and property”, has be upgraded to a Red weather warning; this means action should be taken to withstand extreme weather.

Tom Withers, a spokesman of the Met office told the Rochdale Herald “strong winds and hazardous seas have been working up the coasts of England, Wales and Ireland, felling trees, pulling off house tiles and causing blackouts. All our projections show the strength of the storm reducing over the course of the day. However, reports of a man in Rochdale zipping up his coat have disturbed us greatly and we are currently re-running models and scenarios. Just to be safe we have upgraded the storm weather warning to red and ask everyone to stay indoors, away from windows.”

The last time a northerner zipped up his coat was just before the great storm of 1987. TV weather presenter Michael Fish infamously disregarded the report of a mancunian lifting his collar and putting on a bob hat, telling the nation the storm wasn’t going to happen.

19th century vegetable highwayman/ satirist. Likes: the sound of a solitary house fly loitering hectically around his ear and the feeling of a warm toilet seat. Favourite topic: writing about political intrigue involving biscuits.