An European Windstorm or simply, a windstorm is a massive cyclonic storm which affects mostly Northern Europe with winds of 70 mph (120 km/h) or more. It is the second biggest Tropical Cyclone after a Hurricane.

300px-Windstorm 08 jan 2005 1200Z

Windstorm Erwin in the North Sea.

Notable storms

Lothar – A severe cyclone which impacted France, Switzerland and Germany with hurricane-force winds and torrential rain in 1999. The storm had maximum winds of 241 km/h (Category 4 hurricane) and had multiple fronts which made it an extratropical cyclone.

Martin – Lothar and Martin were back-to-back storms, but Martin was much stronger, in fact it stored gusts of 272 km/h (Category 5) and impacted most of France. It was also characterized by an eye.

Emma – A strong cyclone which impacted Germany, Czech Republic and Poland with winds of 170 km/h or more and heavy torrential downpours.

Xynthia – A powerful cyclone which contained the strength and the power of a Category 4 hurricane impacted Central Europe with gusts of 240 km/h (150 mph) or less. It formed close to Madeira on 27 February 2010 and from there moved across the Canary Islands. Then, Spain, France, Portugal, England, Germany and some parts of Poland were plunged into darkness. 50 people died from the storm.

Friedhelm – An area of cloudiness south of Greenland was named Friedhelm by the FU-Berlin on December 7, 2011. The storm continued to move towards the United Kingdom while deepening rapidly. It strengthened from 1015 millibars to 957 millibars in less than 24 hours. It produced very strong winds, gusting to 105 mph at Tulloch Bridge, and heavy rain. Category 5 force gusts were recorded on the Cairngorm summit.

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