Vision, Mission, and Strategy of ESSL


ESSL aims to contribute to the preparedness of European society for the impacts of severe storms by advancing scientific understanding, building human capacity, and fostering cooperation within Europe in this field.


ESSL provides training to forecasters, scientists, and policymakers on topics related to convective weather. ESSL participates in research projects and organizes the European Conference on Severe Storms to improve and stimulate the exchange of knowledge on severe convection. ESSL aims to establish and maintain close relationships with NMS and research institutes to strengthen pan-European collaborations. ESSL maintains the European Severe Weather Database, to support research based on observations of severe convective weather or any related impact.


As of 2019, ESSL’s strategy has been formulated as follows:

To train forecasters, scientists, and policymakers, ESSL organizes a variety of convection-related courses throughout the year at the training facility in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, and provides on-site training sessions e.g. at NMS’s and research institutes based on demand. The yearly Testbed sessions are intended to bring meteorologists and developers together and generate valuable user feedback to new products that are brought in by our partners to be tested during these weeks.

ESSL actively reaches out to (future) partners, to participate in international research projects, to consolidate collaborations by means of membership to ESSL, and to invite institutes or individual participants to training activities.

Every two years, the European Conference on Severe Storms is held at a place in Europe, initiated by ESSL, and organized in collaboration with a local partner. These conferences foster the exchange of both scientific and operational expertise on convection-related topics within the community, with not only European but also significant intercontinental participation.
The European Severe Weather Database is maintained and being further developed to create a large pan-European dataset of reports related to severe convection or its impact on society. This has proven to be valuable for different aspects of research, related to climatological/regional trends, statistics, studies on the physics/dynamics of storms, etc. The ESWD will continue to expand, a.o. by promoting the European Weather Observer (EWOB) app feeding data into the database. A lot of effort is being put into carrying out precise quality control of the data, which is a large asset of the ESWD. The data is made available to members of ESSL.