Low Vivian approaching Finland 27 February 1990
TypeEuropean windstorm, Extratropical cyclone
Formed25 February 1990
Dissipated28 February 1990
Highest winds
  • 120 to 160 km/h
Highest gust268 km/h
Lowest pressure940.3 hPa (27.77 inHg)
Damagec. 1.11B €; 1.5 B euros of insured damage in Germany[1]
Areas affectedBelgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

Vivian was one of a series of severe European windstorms in 1990. It struck large parts of Europe from 25 to 27 February 1990 and cost 64 people their lives. A few days later it was followed by windstorm Wiebke. After Hurricane Andrew in 1992 (26.5 B USD), Cyclone Daria (known as Burns' Day Storm in the UK) in January 1990 and Windstorm Lothar in 1999 (each costing c. B USD), and the Great Storm of 1987 (4.3 B USD) Vivian/Wiebke was one of the most expensive Atlantic storms in history, costing 4 B USD of insurance payments.[2] In his report Winter storms in Europe - History from 1703 to 2012 (Winterstürme in Europa - Historie von 1703 bis 2012), Aon Benfield assessed the cost of insurance payouts for storm damage in Germany as 1.5 billion euros.[3]


Apart from Germany (15 deaths), other countries affected badly were the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.

In Hamburg there were several successive storm surges. Thanks to the storms, the Rosenmontag parade in Düsseldorf was postponed until May, whilst in Cologne it went ahead with high safety precautions.

Death toll: The fatalities are given as 64 persons, the damage is estimated as ca. 1.11 billion .

Wiebke (storm)

Windthrow in a German forest
Windthrow in a German forest

Particularly in mountain regions, a large number of trees were damaged. (Even complete spruce and beech stands/forests). Hundreds of trees were bent or thrown like matches. Extrapolations go of 60 to 70 million cubic meters of extra "cut" wood by the storm, which corresponded to about twice the annual harvesting in Germany.


  1. ^ "Winterstürme in Europa. Historie von 1703 bis 2012" (PDF) (in German). Aon Benfield. Jan 2013. pp. 18–19. Retrieved 11 Mar 2014.
  2. ^ Natur- und Man-made-Katastrophen 2001: Man-made-Schäden einer neuen Dimension. In: sigma 1/2002, Schweizerische Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft, pS. 23.
  3. ^ "Winterstürme in Europa. Historie von 1703 bis 2012" (PDF) (in German). Aon Benfield. Jan 2013. pp. 18–19. Retrieved 11 Mar 2014.