January 25 marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most widespread, deadly and destructive wind storms to impact Wales and the southern half of England in many decades.

It is remembered as the Burns' Day Storm of 1990, due to it sweeping across the UK during the daytime preceding Burns' Night - the annual celebratory tribute to the life and works of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns.

Despite the centre of the storm tracking across southern Scotland (and South Ayrshire, the county where Robert Burns was born), the strongest winds were located to the south of the depression's track, over England and Wales.

In the few days preceding the storm's arrival across our shores, there were a few episodes of wet and windy weather, but nothing unusual for mid-winter.

The storm developed as small and fast moving centre of low pressure close to the eastern seaboard of the United States on January 22.

Burns' Day Storm 1990

As it moved across the central north Atlantic during January 24, it encountered a strengthening jet stream, with much colder air streaming south-eastwards from Newfoundland and Greenland.

These conditions encouraged an incredibly rapid period of intensification, as the storm tracked eastwards towards Ireland on the evening of January 24 and then east-northeast across southern Scotland during January 25.

The central pressure of the storm plunged from 995 millibars at midday on January 24 to 950 millibars at midday on January 25, a fall of 45 millibars in 24 hours.

Severe gale to storm force westerly winds battered a large area. Wales, southern England, the Midlands, East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire were worst affected.

Gusts in excess of 80mph were recorded at a number of inland locations during the day.

Plymouth recorded a 96mph gust, while the exposed coastal location of Aberporth in west Wales notched up 108mph.

John Simmons, Royal Botanical Gardens Curator, stands beside a fallen Black Pine, over 100 years old, at Kew Gardens in 1990

Many areas endured these severe wind speeds for six to eight hours, which caused many trees to be felled and some buildings to be damaged. 97 people are reported to have been killed as a result of the storm's impacts.

A much wider area of the country was affected than during the storm of October 1987, which focused its damage mainly on the far south and south-east of England.

In 1990, this previous tempest was still fresh in people's memory, so when winds of equal severity arrived just two winters later, then there was a question of rapid climate change and a concern that winter windstorms like these may become commonplace across southern England and Wales.

With the high density of population, housing and infrastructure over this part of the UK, then such an eventuality would have large financial implications.

Fortunately, the frequency of severe wind storms across southern England and Wales does not seem to have increased over the last 25 years.

We have seen several more powerful storms since then, including widespread severe gales over inland parts of southern England on January 18 2007, but also plenty of calmer winters too.

What are your memories of the Burns’ Day Storm? Let us know in the Comments below.