The term refers to a strong wind storm event.

Meteorological definition

As storm winds with speeds of at least 20.8 m / s ( 74.9 km / h ) or 9 Beaufort are called. A storm with a wind speed of at least 32.7 m / s ( 117.7 km / h ) or 12 Beaufort is called a hurricane. In between we speak at 10 Beaufort by a severe and in 11 of Beaufort gale. Achieved the wind only a short time ( a few seconds) storm strength, it is called a squall. As a rule, with a storm and heavy rains associated, which is why the term is often colloquially used as a synonym for a heavy rain or a thunderstorm, but both represent only concomitants or special cases of a storm dar. At sea, the wind caused high waves also the name storm in use, with a lesser emphasis on the most simultaneous precipitation. Depending on what a storm whirls or which it occurs together, one speaks further of a snow storm, hail storm, sandstorm ( Buran ) or dust storm. In mountains Foehn storms arise as a dry wind event.

Also, a distinction according to the season is sometimes used, for example, then one speaks of a winter storm. Such distinctions are (about crop losses after flooding, wind damage and bark beetle risk ) especially in agricultural and forestry damage in the impact assessment of significance.

Other types of storms are the tornado, occasionally (small) vortex, tornado, waterspout or Twister above, and the blizzard blizzard.

In coastal regions it may be caused by the interaction of storm and tidal storm surges.

Formation and appearance

Storm winds can occur when high pressure gradient ( high pressure differences on relatively short distances ) occur. These are available as a storm often in the area of ​​strong low pressure systems. In addition, storm winds can be caused by topographically induced channeling of the wind, for example, as valley winds in narrow valleys.

Storms often occur over the sea, since there is less ground friction present. Thus, the winds can develop better than on the mainland and achieve significantly more likely to gale force. In addition, tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons therefore, arise only over the sea and weaken rapidly over land masses from.

Hazards, damage and windstorm insurance

Direct storm damage mainly concern the covering of roofs or other Windverfrachtungen in wooded areas of the property damage is added ( windthrow ) by overturned trees. Are also important indirect damages, for example, by the deposits of sand on agricultural land in a sand storm or hail damage. For people the greatest danger of flying debris, falling branches and toppling trees, and optionally from damaged above ground power lines goes out, so it is safest usually to reside for the duration of a storm inside of buildings.

Many insurance companies pay a storm damage - when locked, storm damage insurance - only when the wind is demonstrably wind force 8 ( stormy wind, the insurance term " storm" is here to be interpreted differently ) has been reached. Untersturmführer understand the general conditions of insurance for residential buildings ( Germany about § 8 VGB 88) a weather-related air movement of at least wind force 8 Similarly, the definition in the German § 3 para 3 a FEVB, after which it is an atmospherically induced air movement of at least wind force 8 must act according to the Beaufort scale. In order for the insurance legal concept differs from the meteorological terminology. Thickness 8 means according to the relevant Beaufort scale " stormy wind, the branches of trees broken and considerably more difficult to walk in the open air ."

The policyholder of a building insurance, claiming the existence of a storm can be exposed in borderline cases, difficulties of proof. To prove the storm damage, it is certainly not necessary that the evidence for a direct impingement of an air flow of at least wind force 8 on the insured building is provided. Many recent policy conditions be satisfied that (also) have occurred in the vicinity of storm damage. Otherwise, enough of the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe to view even that the building damage caused by air movements have occurred and in its vicinity at the same time a storm of wind force 8 occurred.

In shipping can avoid hazards during the storm Abwettern.

Historical storm events and their damage


The world's largest insurance cases:

  • Hurricane Andrew in 1992: 20 billion USD
  • Typhoon Mireille in 1991: over $ 7 billion
  • Intense low Daria 1990: U.S. $ 6 billion
  • Intense low Lothar 1999: 6 billion USD
  • Hurricane Hugo in 1978: nearly $ 6 billion


Significant storm disasters in Austria:

  • November 8, 1982, the " Jahrhundertföhn "
  • February / March 1990 Vivian and Wiebke ( tips Wiebke 147 km / h ( Horsching ), joint damage three billion shillings (about 218 million euros ) )
  • April 5, 1997, coupled with heavy snow in the next few days
  • February 5, 1999, with Lara strikers of 130 km / h ( Vienna International Airport )
  • December 26, 1999, hurricane Lothar
  • 19 March 2001 storm Emma ( one dead and two seriously injured in Lower Austria )
  • December 15, 2005, storm Dorian
  • January 18, 2007 Hurricane Kyrill, 216 km / h ( Gaisberg ), 100 million euros of damage, many deaths in the injury elimination
  • 26th - 27th January 2008 storm Paula, 230 km / h ( Schneeberg ), great damage especially in Styria
  • 1 -2. March 2008 Emma, 222 km / h ( Wendelstein )


Significant storm disasters in Germany: