EGU24-2922, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Storm Daria: Societal and energy impacts in northwest Europe on 25-26 January 1990

Anthony Kettle
Anthony Kettle
  • Maynooth, Ireland (

Between late January and early March of 1990 Europe was hit by a sequence of severe winter storms that caused significant infrastructure damage and a large number fatalities. The storm sequence started with Hurricane Daria on 25-26 January 1990, which was one of the most serious events of the storm cluster, especially for the UK.  The low pressure centre moved in the west-northwest direction across Ireland, southern Scotland, and northern Jutland before moving further into the Baltic. The strongest winds south of the trajectory path caused significant damage and disruptions in England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and West Germany.   Media reports highlighted building damage, interrupted transportation networks, power outages, and fatalities.  There were also a series of maritime emergencies in the English Channel, North Sea, and Baltic Sea.  This contribution takes a closer look at Storm Daria, presenting an overview of meteorological measurements and the societal impacts, followed by an analysis of the North Sea tide gauge network to understand the storm surge and possible large wave occurrences.  The results for Storm Daria are compared with other serious storms of the past 30 years, highlighting similarities and differences in the patterns of storm impact.  Offshore wind energy was at the planning stage in this early period, but onshore wind energy was established in Europe, and the storm is an important case study of extreme meteorological conditions that that can impact energy infrastructure.  The 1990 winter storm sequence was analyzed in detail by the insurance industry because of the large damage costs, and evidence of an emerging climate change contribution was highlighted.

How to cite: Kettle, A.: Storm Daria: Societal and energy impacts in northwest Europe on 25-26 January 1990, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2922,, 2024.