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Mon, 08 Sept


ESSL Research and Training Centre

Course: Damage assessment of extreme wind events

This course uses forensic meteorology techniques to determine the type and strength of damaging wind events. Post-event analysis after (convective) windstorm cases is not only important for the insurance and engineering industry, but as important for reason of climatology and scientific studies.

Course: Damage assessment of extreme wind events
Course: Damage assessment of extreme wind events

Time & Location

08 Sept 2025, 14:00 – 11 Sept 2025, 17:00

ESSL Research and Training Centre, Bräunlichgasse 6a, 2700 Wiener Neustadt, Austria

About the event

The course consists of lectures on the theoretical basics of storm damage assessment and strategic approaches, as well as of practical exercises. The practical exercises will be done based on photo material from archived cases. In the unlikely case of a fresh damage site within the reach of a daytrip, practical exercises may also be performed outdoors in the field. 

Learning goals

  • Feel ready to plan and organize a field trip to a fresh damage site. 
  • Be prepared to apply strategies to assess the most important features in case of a very large (tornado) event. 
  • Know how to use the ESSL storm damage assessment app (practical) and how to perform a drone survey (theoretical). 
  • Be prepared to deal with human (social, psychological) aspects of a demanding and maybe even fatal case. 
  • Be ready to post-analyze photographic evidence and surveyed data into a coherent picture of the event. 
  • Having learnt how to distinuish tornadic damage signatures from straight-line winds (thunderstorm gusts). 
  • Know how to translate assessed "damage indicator and degree of damage pairs" into wind speeds (max. instantaneous and equivalent 3 s gust). 

The ESSL guidelines for wind damage assessment and the ESSL lead-authored IF-Scale document are an important basis for the course. Numerous examples reaching from small to very large and from weak to extremely violent events will augment the course and lead to an application-focused learning experience. 

Weekly course schedule

Mon 13:30 - 14:00 On site registration.

Mon 14:00 - 17:00 Introductory lectures: How to prepare for a field survey (logistics, material, mental). 

Tue 09:00 - 17:00 Storm damage to manmade structures (buildings, designed elements) and how to interpret failures. 

Wed 09:00 - 17:00 Storm damage to wooden plants (different kinds of trees) and how to interpret failures including debarking effects. 

Thu 09:00 - 17:00 Interpretation of collected data and how to distinuish tornadic from straight-line winds. 

Thu 17:00 End of course. Participants who leave earlier cannot receive a regular certificate of participation, as they would miss part of the content. 

Trainers: Alois M. Holzer and/or Tomas Pucik (damage assessment practicioners and co-authors of the IF-Scale document and of several tornado- and downburst related papers). The final number of trainers depends on the group size. 


  • Course Storm Damage Assessment

    Registration fee for course "Damage assessment of extreme wind events". Deadline for EARLY fees: 31 December 2024.

    From €1,190.00 to €1,590.00
    • €1,590.00
    • €1,290.00
    • €1,490.00



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