Storm Babet
Storm Babet on 16 October 2023
Meteorological history
Formed15 October 2023
Dissipated22 October 2023
Extratropical cyclone
Highest gusts185 km/h (115 mph; 100 kn) at Cairn Gorm, Scotland
Lowest pressure977 hPa (mbar); 28.85 inHg
Overall effects
  • United Kingdom: 7
  • Germany: 1
  • Germany: 2,000
  • United Kingdom: 1,172
Areas affectedDenmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Power outages113,400+
  • United Kingdom: 90,700+
  • Norway: 22,700+

Part of the 2023–24 European windstorm season

Storm Babet (known as Storm Viktor in Germany)[1] was an intense extratropical cyclone which affected large parts of northern and western Europe. The second named storm of the 2023–24 European windstorm season, Babet was named by the UK's Met Office on 16 October 2023.[2]



On 20 October, parts of Denmark experienced water levels over two metres higher than usual, with a water level of 2.16 m (7 ft 1 in) measured in Aabenraa and Hesnæs, and many parts of Aabenraa had to be evacuated. In Sønderborg, the storm surge was the highest since 1904, with a water level of 2.10 m (6 ft 11 in) above normal, and was the highest since records began in 1892 at Gedser with a height of 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in) above normal.[3]

Due to the storm, 142 flights at Copenhagen Airport were cancelled.[4] Køge consistently had a waterlevel of 1 m (3 ft 3 in) through most of the storm, especially in the central area.[5] All areas by the coastline in Haderslev Municipality were ordered to evacuate as many areas were on the verge of flooding.[6] On 20 October a wind gust of 122 km/h (34 m/s) was recorded in Nordborg.[7]

The massive Lolland dike[8] that goes from parts of Lolland and Falster was also at the brink of collapse, as the storm almost overwhelmed the old dike, but it did it's job almost a century later.[9]

Bornholm was also not safe, despite the waterlevel being lower than others. Allinge-Sandvig and Tejn[10] were hit hardest, with roads that were being torn up by the storm. Houses were being destroyed, and even swept away, and while the more rocky island fared better than the rest of Denmark, the coastal towns and fishing towns were in a poor state.[11]


On 19 October, a 33-year-old woman was killed on the German island of Fehmarn when her car was hit by a falling tree.[12] In Schleswig-Holstein, around 2,000 people were evacuated due to a storm surge. Brodersby, Eckernförde and Schleswig were among the places affected by the evacuations. In Flensburg, water levels reached 2.27 m (7 ft 5 in) above the usual level. The head of the disaster control department in the Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of the Interior, Ralf Kirchhoff, said he expects flood damage to be in the three-digit million range.[13]

On 21 October, a wind gust of 33 m/s (120 km/h; 74 mph) was recorded at Feldberg, Schwarzwald.[14]


On 17 October, ceilings in the terminal building of Faro Airport collapsed after 59.2 mm (2.33 in) of rain fell in the area and caused flooding.[15] Roofs were ripped off of homes in Castro Marim.[16]


On 21 October, 22,700 people were without electricity in Southern Norway according to Agder Energi after strong winds caused damage to homes, power masts and trees. County Road 55 was closed due to the storm, and several planes had to cancel their landings at Kristiansand Airport after winds reached 40 m/s (140 km/h).[17]

United Kingdom

On 18 October, Storm Babet hit Torbay, with a beach bar swept into the sea in Torquay and major damage to beach huts in Paignton and Teignmouth, where a seaside skatepark was flooded.[18]

On 19 October, a 57-year-old woman's body was recovered from the North Esk river in Angus, Scotland after she was swept into the Water of Lee.[19] A tree hit a van on the B9127 road in Whigstreet, Angus, killing the 56-year-old driver.[20] 335 homes were asked to evacuate in Brechin after heavy rainfall caused fears that the River South Esk could burst its banks, and an additional 87 homes in Tannadice and Finavon were also asked to evacuate.[21] The Roker Pier in Sunderland was damaged by waves and winds, with several metres of railings being destroyed and sections of decking around the lighthouse being washed away.[22]

On 20 October, a man was killed in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, after being swept away by flood waters.[23] Two women were killed in a crash involving four cars and a lorry which overturned amid high winds on the M4 motorway.[24] Police began searching for a man who was trapped inside a vehicle in floodwater near Marykirk, Aberdeenshire,[25] with searches continuing until 23 October when he was found dead inside his vehicle.[26] In South Shields, the Tyne South Pier light lost its top during the storm.[27]

On 21 October, a woman in her 80s was found dead at her home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire after flooding.[28] In Catcliffe, South Yorkshire, 250 homes were evacuated after the River Rother flooded.[29] 45 workers were airlifted off of the Stena Spey drilling platform in the North Sea by HM Coastguard after four of the platform's eight anchors detached themselves due to the severe weather.[30] Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said they had restored power to around 36,000 customers, with a remaining 700 properties waiting to have power restored.[31] Other power outages included 40,000 Northern Powergrid customers[32] and 14,000 Scottish Power customers.[33]

On 22 October, around 500 homes were urged to evacuate in Retford following high water levels on the River Idle, which prompted two severe flood warnings in the area.[34] A sinkhole appeared on the eponymous Bridge of Dun in Angus.[35]

Travel disruption

On 20 October, a large plane skidded off a runway whilst landing at Leeds Bradford Airport, causing the airport to close. All of the passengers aboard the TUI flight from Corfu were evacuated from the plane safely, and the airport reopened at 11:30 BST the next day.[36] The storm caused the suspension of the Shields Ferry until 22 October.[27]

The storm caused severe disruption to travel after many roads were closed and railways flooded. On 21 October, King's Cross railway station in Central London was closed due to overcrowding caused by the disruption. Avanti West Coast, LNER and Northern Rail advised passengers to avoid travelling after their lines were widely flooded. Flooding between Doncaster and Wakefield caused "an extremely limited service" and no LNER services were running north of Edinburgh, with no rail replacement services available due to road closures. Northern Rail said all lines between Cheadle Hulme and Wilmslow were blocked due to damage to overhead electric wires, and services were not running from Sheffield to Nottingham or Lincoln due to flooding. Trains were unable to travel between Leeds and Bradford, Doncaster and Harrogate; and the line between Newcastle and Morpeth was closed after damage to a viaduct. Avanti West Coast asked customers not to travel between Crewe and North Wales.[37]

Seabird displacement

Storm Babet displaced unprecedented numbers of seabirds into the Firth of Forth, these were mainly European storm petrels but also included Leach's storm petrel, grey phalaropes and little auks.[38]


United Kingdom

The Met Office, the UK's national weather service, announced it would review its warnings as a result of the floods in Suffolk and Norfolk.[39] Only a yellow warning was issued for the area, but Suffolk County Council declared a major incident after severe flooding.[39]

See also


  1. ^ "Küstensturm im Herbst – alles wie immer?". DWD (in German). 18 October 2023. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  2. ^ "Storm Babet has been named". Met Office. 16 October 2023. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  3. ^ Brandt, Anders (21 October 2023). "Værste stormflod i over 100 år: Kan nogle steder have været en 500-årshændelse". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  4. ^ "Storm hits northern Europe, killing at least 4 people". AP News. 21 October 2023. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  5. ^ "Følg stormfloden live her - TV 2". (in Danish). 19 October 2023. Retrieved 28 December 2023.
  6. ^ "ALLE TRUEDE OMRÅDER VED KYSTEN EVAKUERES". Facebook (in Danish). 20 October 2023. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Det lollandske dige", Wikipedia, den frie encyklopædi (in Danish), 2 November 2023, retrieved 28 December 2023
  9. ^ Kryger, Morten Tiirikainen Peter. "Lollands forsvar mod stormflod var centimeter fra kollaps". TV2 ØST (in Danish). Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  10. ^ "Følg konsekvenserne af stormfloden her - TV 2". (in Danish). 20 October 2023. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  11. ^ "bornholms havne er nogle af de haardest ramte". TV 2/Bornholm. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  12. ^ "Rekordhochwasser an Ostsee - Millionenschaden erwartet". NDR (in German). 21 October 2023. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  13. ^ "Rund 2000 Menschen werden wegen der Sturmflut evakuiert". Der Spiegel (in German). 21 October 2023. ISSN 2195-1349. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  14. ^ "Weatherdata from Saturday 21 October 2023". Wetterzentrale. 21 October 2023. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  15. ^ Woodcock, Jodie (20 October 2023). "Weather tracker: Storm Babet leaves trail of destruction across Portugal". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  16. ^ Donn, Natasha (18 October 2023). "Extreme weather situation forecast for Portuguese mainland". Portugal Resident. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  17. ^ Brækstad, Preben; Medby, Marius; David Johansen, Øystein (21 October 2023). "Uværet «Babet»: − Trampolinen er sporløst forsvunnet". VG (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  18. ^ Owen, Brodie (18 October 2023). "Bar owner 'loses everything' as Storm Babet hits". BBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  19. ^ Hall, Rachel (19 October 2023). "Storm Babet: body of woman recovered from river as evacuations ordered". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  20. ^ Dewar, Caitlyn (20 October 2023). "Second person dies during Storm Babet after falling tree strikes van". STV News. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  21. ^ Butler, Alexander (20 October 2023). "Inside the Scottish town evacuated as Storm Babet threatens record rainfall". The Independent. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  22. ^ "Sunderland's Roker Pier to remain closed after Storm Babet damage". BBC News. 24 October 2023. Retrieved 29 October 2023.
  23. ^ Cook, Allen (20 October 2023). "Man dies in Cleobury Mortimer flood during Storm Babet". BBC News. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  24. ^ Heren, Kit (20 October 2023). "Two women killed as lorry overturns on M4 amid high winds and rain from Storm Babet". LBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  25. ^ Britton, Ruaraidh (21 October 2023). "Search for man trapped in vehicle near Marykirk continues amid Storm Babet flooding". Aberdeen Live. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  26. ^ "Body found in vehicle after man trapped in Storm Babet flooding". BBC News. 23 October 2023. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  27. ^ a b "Storm Babet: Top ripped off South Shields lighthouse as waves batter the coast". ITV News. 20 October 2023. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  28. ^ Quadri, Sam (22 October 2023). "Storm Babet: Woman in 80s dies in Chesterfield floods". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  29. ^ Shoesmith, Kevin; Bodmer, Phil (22 October 2023). "Yorkshire flooding: Catcliffe residents feel abandoned by authorities". BBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  30. ^ Banks, Ken (21 October 2023). "Storm Babet: Coastguard airlifts workers off North Sea platform". BBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  31. ^ "SSEN Storm Babet Update". SSEN. 21 October 2023. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  32. ^ Bateman, Stephanie (20 October 2023). "Storm Babet: 40,000 Northern Powergrid residents and businesses affected by power cuts". Doncaster Free Press. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  33. ^ @SPEnergyNetwork (21 October 2023). "1⃣Over the course of yesterday, Storm Babet affected over 14,000 of our customers with a small number of homes still without power" (Tweet). Retrieved 21 October 2023 – via Twitter.
  34. ^ Jones, Harrison (22 October 2023). "Storm Babet flooding sees severe warnings as hundreds evacuate". BBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  35. ^ "Storm Babet: Sinkhole appears on Bridge of Dun after heavy rain and flooding". Sky News. 22 October 2023. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  36. ^ Attridge, Chris; Mistry, Pritti (21 October 2023). "Leeds Bradford Airport reopens after plane skids off runway during Storm Babet". BBC News. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  37. ^ "King's Cross station closed due to overcrowding after Storm Babet". BBC News. 21 October 2023. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  38. ^ "Review of the Week: 16-22 October 2023". Birdguides. 23 October 2023. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  39. ^ a b "Met Office to review warnings after East of England floods". BBC News. 24 October 2023. Retrieved 27 October 2023.