Lothar (storm)
Lothar is the name of a low-pressure system that resulted in a violent extratropical cyclone
Extratropical cyclone
Extratropical cyclones, sometimes called mid-latitude cyclones or wave cyclones, are a group of cyclones defined as synoptic scale low pressure weather systems that occur in the middle latitudes of the Earth having neither tropical nor polar characteristics, and are connected with fronts and...

 sweeping across Central Europe on December 26, 1999, causing major damage in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, southern Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, and Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. Wind speeds reached around 150 km/h in lower areas and more than 250 km/h on some mountains. Besides buildings and infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

, forest
A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. As with cities, depending where you are in the world, what is considered a forest may vary significantly in size and have various classification according to how and what of the forest is composed...

s, such as the Black Forest
Black Forest
The Black Forest is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The highest peak is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 metres ....

 in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, suffered major damage resulting in substantial economic loss. In the aftermath, the German Weather Service
German Weather Service
The Deutscher Wetterdienst, , commonly abbreviated as DWD, , residing in Offenbach am Main, Germany, is a scientific agency that monitors weather and meteorological conditions over Germany and offers weather services for the general public as well as specific services for e.g. nautical, aviational...

 (Deutscher Wetterdienst) was also criticised for not issuing a storm warning for Lothar in contrast to the weather services of other countries and private German services, apparently due to a software bug
Software bug
A software bug is the common term used to describe an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program or system that produces an incorrect or unexpected result, or causes it to behave in unintended ways. Most bugs arise from mistakes and errors made by people in either a program's...


Throughout the affected region, 137 people were killed and damage was estimated at US$11.3 billion.

Highest winds

Country Place Speed Country Place Speed
France Ploumanach 148 km/h Switzerland La Chaux-de-Fonds
La Chaux-de-Fonds
La Chaux-de-Fonds is a Swiss city of the district of La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel. It is located in the Jura mountains at an altitude of 1000 m, a few kilometres from the French border. After Geneva and Lausanne, it is the third largest city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of...

134.6 km/h
Île de Groix 162 km/h Chasseral 177.5 km/h
Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department.-History:...

126 km/h La Dôle
La Dôle
La Dôle is a peak in the Jura mountains in Vaud in western Switzerland rising to an altitude of 1677.2 meters. It is the second highest peak in the Swiss Jura, the highest being Mont Tendre....

201.2 km/h
Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast. The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants....

126 km/h Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

103.7 km/h
Alençon is a commune in Normandy, France, capital of the Orne department. It is situated west of Paris. Alençon belongs to the intercommunality of Alençon .-History:...

166 km/h Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard 178.6 km/h
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

140 km/h Évolène
Evolène is a municipality in the district of Hérens in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.-History:Evolène is first mentioned in 1250 as Ewelina. In 1444 it was mentioned as in loco de Evolena.- Avalanches of the 21st of February, 1999 :...

124.6 km/h
Chartres is a commune and capital of the Eure-et-Loir department in northern France. It is located southwest of Paris.-Geography:Chartres is built on the left bank of the Eure River, on a hill crowned by its famous cathedral, the spires of which are a landmark in the surrounding country...

144 km/h Lucerne
Lucerne is a city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking portion of that country. Lucerne is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne and the capital of the district of the same name. With a population of about 76,200 people, Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland, and...

141.5 km/h
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 (Parc Montsouris)
169 km/h Zurich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

157.8 km/h
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a puddle iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world...

>216 km/h Schaffhausen
Schaffhausen is a city in northern Switzerland and the capital of the canton of the same name; it has an estimated population of 34,587 ....

162 km/h
Orly is a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.The name of Orly came from Latin Aureliacum, "the villa of Aurelius"....

173 km/h Säntis
At 2,502.9 meters above sea level, Säntis is the tallest mountain in the Alpstein massif of northeastern Switzerland. The mountain is a highly visible landmark thanks to its exposed northerly location within the Alpstein massif. As a consequence, houses called Säntisblick can be found in regions...

229.7 km/h
Dijon is a city in eastern France, the capital of the Côte-d'Or département and of the Burgundy region.Dijon is the historical capital of the region of Burgundy. Population : 151,576 within the city limits; 250,516 for the greater Dijon area....

126 km/h Germany Weinbiet 184 km/h
Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

155 km/h Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

144 km/h
Nancy  144 km/h Karlsruhe
The City of Karlsruhe is a city in the southwest of Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, located near the French-German border.Karlsruhe was founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palace, when Germany was a series of principalities and city states...

151 km/h
Colmar is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.It is the capital of the department. Colmar is also the seat of the highest jurisdiction in Alsace, the appellate court....

165 km/h Grosser Arber 162 km/h
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

144 km/h

See also

  • Martin (storm)
    Martin (storm)
    Martin was a violent European windstorm which crossed southern Europe on 27–28 December 1999, one day after another powerful storm, Lothar....

  • Klaus (storm)
  • Xynthia (storm)
    Xynthia (storm)
    Xynthia was a violent European windstorm which crossed Western Europe between 27 February and 1 March 2010. It reached a minimum pressure of 967 mb on 27 February. In France—where it was described by the civil defence as the most violent since Lothar and Martin in December 1999—at least 51 people...

  • European windstorm
    European windstorm
    A European windstorm is a severe cyclonic windstorm associated with areas of low atmospheric pressure that track across the North Atlantic towards northwestern Europe. They are most common in the winter months...

External links

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