Cyclone Joachim

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Cyclone Joachim
Wind map of the storm Joachim approaching the French coast on 15 December 2011
TypeEuropean windstorm
extratropical cyclone
Formed15 December 2011
Dissipated22 December 2011
Highest gust212 km/h (132 mph)
Lowest pressure966 mbar
Areas affectedBritish Isles, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland

Joachim[1] is the name given to a European windstorm which caused major damage in much of Western Europe between December 16–17, 2011. Winds gusting to 212 km/h (132 mph) were recorded on the summit of Puy de Dôme in France.[2][3] Joachim explosively deepened under the influence of a shortwave trough during its development.[4]


At least 400,000 people were without power in France.[5] In Brittany, on the north-western coast of France, the cargo ship TK Bremen was blown aground. The nineteen-man crew was evacuated by helicopter, and the ship later disassembled.[6]

Major damage occurred on the Spanish coast.[citation needed]

Roofs and trees were blown away, and all navigation on the Swiss lakes was closed.[7] In the canton of Bern, a tree fell onto the railway line between Tramelan and Tavannes. This caused a train to derail, and its forward cars fell into the forest; three passengers suffered minor injuries.[citation needed]

The wind was followed by polar air, and the rain turning to snow at high altitudes and descending into the plain caused serious conditions. Most of the major ski resorts in Valais were closed, as well as numerous roads and tunnels.

Air traffic was affected.[8]


According to Perils AG, property insurers may face costs of €300 million from the storm.[9]

Beached TK Bremen


  1. ^ "2011 Low Pressure Area naming lists". FU-Berlin. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  2. ^ "La tempête Joachim des 15 et 16 décembre 2011". Meteo France. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Severe Storm Joachim Unleashes Hurricane Force Winds". Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  4. ^ Karremann, Melanie K.; Liberato, Margarida L. R.; Ordóñez, Paulina; Pinto, Joaquim G. (June 2016). "Characterization of synoptic conditions and cyclones associated with top ranking potential wind loss events over Iberia". Atmospheric Science Letters. 17 (6): 354–361. Bibcode:2016AtScL..17..354K. doi:10.1002/asl.665.
  5. ^ "STORM CAUSES BLACKOUT IN NORTH-WEST OF FRANCE". AGI. 16 December 2011. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  6. ^ Coverage on
  7. ^ "Storm Joachim arrives in Switzerland". Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Power cuts, oil spills and cancelled trains as Storm Joachim lashes France". 16 December 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  9. ^ "Storm Joachim May Cost Insurers 300 Million Euros, Perils Says". Bloomberg. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.