Progress of the Storm

THE WINDS were brought in by a band of low pressure crossing northern England and Scotland from the South-west, according to the London Weather Centre.

A principle of mechanics known as the Coriolis effect of the earth's rotation, named after a 19th- century French civil engineer, dictates that the low pressure will be accompanied by swirling winds moving in the same direction, but following a more southerly path. This meant that the region hardest- hit was from the South-west to the Midlands. Although the winds were prolonged, extreme gusts caused the most damage.

The strongest were recorded at Pembrey, Dyfed, at 98mph. In London the winds reached 76mph (66 knots), and in Aberporth, Dyfed, 95.6mph (83 knots). London's previous highest December figure was 77.2mph (67 knots), in 1977. During the storm in October 1987, gusts of more than 100mph were recorded across Britain.

Fatal Accidents

1 Ulster, Enniskillen

Man killed when his car crashed into fallen tree

2 West Yorkshire, M62

Two lorry drivers are killed when their trucks are blown over

3 Hampshire

Two die in separate accidents at Barton Stacey and Redbridge Hill

4 Wiltshire, A361

One person is killed in a head-on collision near Highworth

5 North Sea

Man is blown overboard from Dutch sea vessel

6 Berkshire, A4

Two die in accident near Newbury

7 London, Finsbury Park

Woman killed by shop sign blown down by wind

8 South Wales

35,000 homes lose power supply as electric cables are blown down

9 Irish Republic

Falling tree crushes car killing man inside

10 English Channel

Rescue helicopters scramble when 16 crew abandon their listing freighter

11 West Midlands

Man, 76, dies when blown through greenhouse

(Graphic omitted)