A wind gust of 122mph has been recorded on the Isle of Wight in what is thought to be a new record for England, the Met Office said.
The squall was reported at The Needles on the Isle of Wight; as millions of Britons were urged to stay at home as Storm Eunice hit the UK.
Extreme weather leaves more than 100,000 homes without power; and forces schools and businesses to shut, while also causing major travel disruption with road closures; and the cancellation of train services, flights and ferry sailings.
Until now the record for a low-level location in England, had been 118mph at Gwennap Head in Cornwall on 15 December 1979.
Weather alerts were issued nationwide – including rare red warnings for wind – as the Met Office cautioned “significant gusts” could lead to flying debris endangering lives.