Storms in the extratropics caused damage of about 66 bn US$ in the period 1950-2006 and rank as second in terms of global loss potential after hurricanes (Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft, 2007; Qian und Saunders, 2003). With appropriate measures, seasonal predictability of storm risk could help to improve the risk management.
The project "Seasonal predictability of storm risk over the North Atlantic/European region" aims to elucidate the seasonal predictability of storm risk over the North Atlantic/European region by means of reanalysis and observational data on one hand, and the seasonal forecast data of the DEMETER project on the other hand. The definition of storm risk is based on surface wind speed data. Anomalies of the storm risk are related to anomalies of factors which play a crucial role in the development of strong cyclones (e.g. baroclinicity, latent heat), and to their relation to hemispheric scale variables (e.g. NAO, SST and snow cover). The possibility of seasonal forecasts should then be estimated from the relation of long-term variations of these variables and anomalous storm risk.