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The gale first blew from the south, then veered to west-south-west and finally to north-west.

The southern half of the country felt the full force of the storm and it was worst in London on the nights of Friday 26th November(OS) and Tuesday 30th November(OS), when bricks, tiles and stones flew about with such force, and were so numerous, that none dared venture forth from their homes.

Storm damage/flooding both sides of the North Sea, also on the French side of the Channel - much significant damage to the dykes on the eastern side of the North Sea.

(December 1717 was apparently a 'very stormy month', with the sequence of periods of high winds beginning in the last few days of November/NS.)Fine summer weather gave a good crop of grapes at Richmond in both years, and the summer of 1719 was claimed to be one of the hottest for some time.

[ Lamb quotes 'new-style' dates for this event of 7th/8th December 1703.] Additional notes: 1. Estimates of total loss of life are around 8000, which makes it much worse than the October 1987 event.

Possibly a rejuvinated Atlantic hurricane, this storm produced estimated winds reaching 120mph/104 knots (Lamb estimates 150kn). The heavy lead on the roof of Westminster Abbey being ripped off and carried well clear of the building.

The Eddystone lighthouse (newly built/2nd time) was destroyed, and its designer/builder (Henry Winstanley) was killed as he was on site at the time. The storm dealt a severe blow to Merchant and Royal Navy shipping in the Channel and along the English east coast. Much salt contamination of inland fields by wind-driven spray/salt-laden winds. The depression (possibly a secondary within the circulation of a parent further north/North of Scotland) approached SW England/Celtic Sea and moved across Wales to Yorkshire (estimated eastward speed ~ 40kn; a factor in the surface wind speeds), with widespread southwesterly severe gales on the 26th, and a rearward surge of strength affected the eastern English Channel during the early hours of the 27th. It is estimated that a very intense pressure gradient developed on it's southern flank, with central MSLP almost certainly below 960mbar (some sources, and Lamb, say possibly 950mbar). During 27th & 28th, this storm caused widespread problems Low Countries, North Germany, Denmark and adjacent areas.

This storm was associated with a deep secondary depression which swept across Ireland, Wales & central England; it is possible that this secondary developed from a West Indian hurricane which had been off the coast of Florida a few days previously.

It was 'remarkably dry' overall Britain and near continent. Dry years were common, while wet years were few & far between.

Only 5 wet summers during this period compared with 16 during the 2nd half.

Martin Rowley has put together a wonderful site bringing together information about the weather in Britain. With Martin's generous permission I have extracted the weather data from 1700 to 1849 and displayed it here.

Of particular interest (to me anyway) is the historical data from 4000BC(! Given the sometimes informal nature of the historical sources, it is necessarily a little patchy but it makes for fascinating reading.

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