International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 57–69 | Cite as

GIS-based estimation of the winter storm damage probability in forests: a case study from Baden-Wuerttemberg (Southwest Germany)

  • Dirk Schindler
  • Karin Grebhan
  • Axel Albrecht
  • Jochen Schönborn
  • Ulrich Kohnle
Original Paper


Data on storm damage attributed to the two high-impact winter storms ‘Wiebke’ (28 February 1990) and ‘Lothar’ (26 December 1999) were used for GIS-based estimation and mapping (in a 50 × 50 m resolution grid) of the winter storm damage probability (PDAM) for the forests of the German federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg (Southwest Germany). The PDAM-calculation was based on weights of evidence (WofE) methodology. A combination of information on forest type, geology, soil type, soil moisture regime, and topographic exposure, as well as maximum gust wind speed field was used to compute PDAM across the entire study area. Given the condition that maximum gust wind speed during the two storm events exceeded 35 m s-1, the highest PDAM values computed were primarily where coniferous forest grows in severely exposed areas on temporarily moist soils on bunter sandstone formations. Such areas are found mainly in the mountainous ranges of the northern Black Forest, the eastern Forest of Odes, in the Virngrund area, and in the southwestern Alpine Foothills.


Winter storm ‘Lothar’ Winter storm ‘Wiebke’ Storm damage Weights of evidence methodology Annual booking records 



This study was carried out under the joint project RESTER (‘Strategies for the reduction of the storm damage risk for forests’) within the research program ‘Challenge Climate Change’, which was funded by the State Ministry of Environment of Baden-Wuerttemberg.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk Schindler
    • 1
  • Karin Grebhan
    • 1
  • Axel Albrecht
    • 2
  • Jochen Schönborn
    • 1
  • Ulrich Kohnle
    • 2
  1. 1.Meteorological InstituteAlbert-Ludwigs-University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Forest Research Institute of Baden-WuerttembergFreiburgGermany

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