EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Chronology of strong winds based on documentary evidence in the Czech Republic from AD 1510

Lukáš Dolák1,2, Rudolf Brázdil1,2, Petr Dobrovolný1,2, Hubert Valášek1,3, Ladislava Řezníčková1,2, Kateřina Chromá2, and Oldřich Kotyza4
Lukáš Dolák et al.
  • 1Global Change Research Institute CAS, Brno, Czech Republic (
  • 2Institute of Geography, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 3Moravian Land Archives, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 4Regional Museum, Litoměřice, Czech Republic

To develop an understanding of recent variability in strong winds, it is necessary to analyse their past behaviour. While relatively short series of wind-speed measurement in the Czech Lands (recent Czech Republic) started mostly in the first half of the 20th century, documentary evidence represents a valuable source of information helping extend the knowledge of strong winds to the pre-instrumental period. In this study, we analyse strong winds on the basis of chronicles, weather diaries, early journalism, economic and financial sources, as well as old academic journals, newspapers, professional papers and recent scientific papers. The created dataset presents a chronology of strong winds in the Czech Lands from AD 1510 to present. The dataset contains more than 5000 events, which are classified on duration, location, extent, severity and type of damage on squalls (convective storms), tornadoes, blizzards, gales and windstorms. Gales, often accompanied by loss of human lives, damage to buildings and forests (windthrows), are the most frequently recorded type of strong winds (44%), followed by blizzards (26%), squalls (18%), and tornadoes (7%). Strong winds detected are concentrated 1820s to late-1840s, 1900s to late-1930s and in the 2000s. Seasonal distribution of strong winds is relatively equal throughout the chronology with the highest frequency in July (10.0%), January (8.6%), and December (8.1%). Uncertainties in results emerge from a different spatiotemporal density of documentary data and from the ambiguous nature of some records in determining the classification of strong winds or attribution of damage caused to particular events. Our results highlight the importance of documentary evidence in the analysis of strong winds and contribute to a better understanding of their spatiotemporal variability in the past.

How to cite: Dolák, L., Brázdil, R., Dobrovolný, P., Valášek, H., Řezníčková, L., Chromá, K., and Kotyza, O.: Chronology of strong winds based on documentary evidence in the Czech Republic from AD 1510, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6803,, 2020


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