Winter Storm 'Lothar' over Europe as seen
in Meteosat Images
from Winter Storm 'Lothar'
Around Christmas 1999 Central
Europe was struck by two storms that caused severe damage in France, Germany,
Switzerland and Italy. The satellite image below shows the first of the
two storms, called Lothar, which rapidly crossed France and Germany on
26 December. It started off as a frontal wave over the Western Atlantic
just one day before, crossing the Atlantic at a speed of more than 120
km/h. The upper level flow for this period was characterised by a strong
zonal flow right across the Atlantic with wind speeds of more than 100
knots at the 500 hPa level. The surface situation at
12.00 UTC showed a typical constellation of high pressure with the
centre near Madeira and low pressure in the Iceland area.
After hitting France early
in the morning, and in particular the Paris area, the storm centre crossed
the Frankfurt area at 11-12 hours on Sunday morning, 26 December.
The occluded spiral is well visible in the above picture. The pressure
in its centre reached 960 hPa at around 7 a.m. on the same day and wind
gusts reached 81 knots and 93 knots in Karlsruhe and Paris-Orly, respectively.
The intensity of the winds over Europe can also be seen from the satellite
image by the blocking of the clouds on the Northern slopes of the French
Giura and the Alps as well as the orographic wave clouds on the lee side
of Corsica and Sardegna. The rather small size of the depression, as depicted
by the visible image, is also a typical sign of its rapid movement versus
east. Only 12 hours later it reached Eastern Poland where it weakened considerably
and finally slowed down.
of 7 visible channel images was taken on 26 December 1999 over Europe
and North Africa. One can see a very compact cloud spiral over central
Europe which is the cloud pattern associated with the storm of the century.
This sequence of seven visible
images was observed on 26 December 1999 between 8:30 and 12:00
Storm 'Lothar' on 26 December 1999 at 12.00 UTC
Chart of 'Lothar' on 26 December 1999
If you have any questions
or queries about EUMETSAT, its products and services, please .