On 7 December 2011, the Met Office issued a red weather warning—its highest warning—for the Central Belt of Scotland. This was the first time the Met Office had ever issued a red alert for wind for the United Kingdom.
On 8 December, an intense mid-latitude storm brought hurricane-force winds which reached up to 165 mph (265 km/h) at elevated areas, with sustained wind speeds of up to 80 mph (135 km/h) reported across populous areas. The storm was the worst to affect Scotland in 10 years.
The official title of the low that caused this storm is Friedhelm, as named by the Free University of Berlin, who are responsible for the naming of low-pressure systems affecting Europe. In Scotland the storm was dubbed Hurricane Bawbag, the term bawbag being a Scottish slang word for scrotum. The name sparked a trending topic on Twitter, which became one of the top trending hashtags worldwide.