European Severe Storms Laboratory

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European Severe Storms Laboratory
European Severe Storms Laboratory.png
ESSL logo
Abbreviation ESSL
Predecessor TorDACH
Formation 2006
Type NGO
Purpose advance research on extreme weather events on a European level
  • c/o DLR, Münchener Str. 20, 82234 Wessling, Germany
Region served
Official language
Pieter Groenemeijer
Alois M. Holzer
Deputy Director
Kathrin Riemann-Campe
Deputy Director
Bogdan Antonescu
Main organ
General Assembly
Website ESSL

The European Severe Storms Laboratory (ESSL) started as an informal network of European scientists with the goal to advance research on severe convective storms and extreme weather events on a European level and can be seen as the European equivalent to the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Severe weather includes extreme local meteorological events like tornados, heavy precipitation events and avalanches. The ESSL focuses on research questions concerning convective storms and other extreme weather phenomena which can be treated more efficiently on a pan-European scale.[1]

History and purpose of the ESSL[edit]

The ESSL was initiated in 2002 by Nikolai Dotzek and became a non-profit organization with charitable status in 2006.[2][3] The statutory purposes of the ESSL are:

  • to advance research on severe convective storms and extreme weather events on a European level
  • to operate and extend the European Severe Weather Database (ESWD)
  • to support or organize the European Conferences on Severe Storms

European Severe Weather Database[edit]

The European Severe Weather Database (ESWD) collects and verifies reports on dust, sand- or steam devils, tornado sightings, gustnados, large hail, heavy rain and snowfall, severe wind gusts, damaging lightning strikes and avalanches all over Europe and around the Mediterranean. The ESWD is the most important database for such events in Europe.[4] Everybody is welcome to report extreme weather observations. Each report undergoes a quality control and each event is flagged either as received (QC0), plausibility checked (QC0+), report confirmed by other observer (QC1) or as fully verified by trusted source (QC2).

European Conference on Severe Storms[edit]

The European Conference on Severe Storms (ECSS) is a conference series organized by the ESSL since 2002 and taking place biannually.[5] During the ESSL two prices are offered:

  • The Heino-Tooming-Award is named after the meteorologist Heino Tooming († 2004) and awards excellent scientific work on severe storms in European collaborations.
  • The Nikolai Dotzek Award is named after meteorologist Nikolai Dotzek and honors distinguished scientific individual performance or lifetime achievement.[6]


The ESSL has two headquarters, one in Weßling close to Munich in Germany, and the other Wiener Neustadt in Austria. Both the German and the Austrian branch work together closely as formulated in a Memorandum of Understanding in 2012, the management boards are nearly identical.[7]

Institutional members of the general assembly are national weather services such as the German DWD and the ZAMG, as well as meteorological research institutes like Research Center for Environmental Changes of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan or the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Planetary Research DLR.[8] Other members of the general assembly are scientists interested in severe weather research from all over the world.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "European Severe Storms Laboratory" (PDF). European Severe Storms Laboratory. Retrieved 2009-10-27. [dead link]
  2. ^ Dotzek, Nikolai; Groenemeijer, Pieter; Feuerstein, Bernold; Holzer, Alois M. (2009). "Overview of ESSL's severe convective storms research using the European Severe Weather Database ESWD". Atmospheric Research. 93 (1–3): 575–86. Bibcode:2009AtmRe..93..575D. doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2008.10.020. INIST:21805181. 
  3. ^ "NSSL Provides Model for New European Severe Storms Lab". NOAA. Archived from the original on May 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  4. ^ "Data Sources for Significant Weather Events". German Meteorological Service (DWD). 
  5. ^ ECSS
  6. ^ ESSL awards
  7. ^ ESSL Organigramm
  8. ^ Institutional members
  9. ^ ESSL annual report 2012 with member list

External links[edit]