Erwin was a powerful storm which hit Denmark and Sweden on 8 January 2005. The name Erwin was chosen by the German Weather Service, while the storm was named Gudrun by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and was the name used in Sweden. Sustained wind speeds of 126 km/h with wind gusts of 165 km/h were measured in Hanstholm, Denmark - the same strength as a Category 1 hurricane. At least 22 people died in the storm.

The storm caused significant financial damage in Sweden, where the forest industry suffered greatly from damaged trees, as more than 75,000,000 cubic metres of trees were blown down in southern Sweden. This resulted in Sweden at the time having the world's largest storage of lumber.

The government paid enormous insurance money to the victims. About 341,000 homes lost power in Sweden and several thousand of these were without power for many days and even weeks in some cases, as about 10,000 homes were still without power after three weeks. The death toll in Sweden was eighteen victims, making it one of the biggest environmental disasters in Swedish history, while four were killed in Denmark.

Meteorological historyEdit

On January 6, 2005, a low pressure system developed at a frontal zone south of Newfoundland. It moved into the central North Atlantic and was named 'Erwin' by the University of Berlin. Erwin strengthened rapidly and its pressure at the time of naming was 970mb. Erwin moved quickly, and was already moving overScotland and Northern Ireland on the 8th. In the UK, temperatures were noticeably higher after the passing of Erwin. On the 9th, Erwin had already moved into the Baltic Sea with a minimum central pressure of 960mb. Over much of Central and Western Europe, temperatures were very mild. The next day, weakening Erwin was over Western Russia with a pressure of 975mb. Erwin began slowing down as it moved into Central Russia. On 13 January, Erwin dissipated over Russia.

See alsoEdit