Weather expert Christophe Salamin from Swiss Meteo spoke to Swiss broadcaster RTS about storm Eleanor (Burglind in German). He says these storms are created at high altitude.
The principle driver is the temperature difference between masses of air at the north pole and the tropics, the same force driving the jet stream, a high altitude air current that blows eastward across Europe at around 10km above the sea level. The greater the temperature difference between these two zones the stronger the jet stream and the stronger the storm.
Salamin reckons Eleanor is the strongest storm since storm Joachim on 16 December 2011.
The highest wind speed ever measured in Switzerland was 268 km/h at the Grand Saint Bernard pass in February 1990.