New map charts damaging winds as Barney blows

As storm Barney leaves UK buildings damaged and without power, the Met Office is launching a series of maps to show the likely location and severity of the most damaging winds. Its Euro Windstorm Hazard Maps show what extremes can be expected at different probabilities for any location in Europe.

Parts of the UK are still recovering from damage caused by Storm Barney. Impacts included damage to a metal advertising tower at the Fort Shopping Park in Birmingham, damage to a Manchester apartment block and a home in Leigh, and loss of power to homes across the West Midlands and Wales.

The Met Office’s hazard maps show maximum gust values across 35 European countries on a 4.4km grid. Probabilities shown range from a 1 in 5 year event to a 1 in 200 year event.

Paul Maisey, science team leader for insurance at the Met Office said: “Windstorms are less localised than flood; but they can have a great impact across broad European regions and so have the potential to cause the greatest insurance loss of any peril in a winter season. High resolution hazard maps offer a step forward in managing that risk.”

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