Vortex identification in atmospheric data remains a challenge. One reason is the general presence of shear throughout the atmosphere that interferes with traditional vortex identification methods based on geopotential height or vorticity. Alternatively, kinematic methods can avoid some of the drawbacks of the traditional methods since they compare the rotational and deformational flow parts. In this work, we apply the kinematic vorticity number method ( Wk -method) to atmospheric datasets ranging from the synoptic to the convective scales. The Wk -method is tested for winter storm Kyrill, a high-impact extratropical cyclone that affected Germany in January 2007. This case is especially challenging for vortex identification methods since it produced a complex wind occurrence associated with a derecho along a narrow cold-frontal rain band and an area of high winds close to the low pressure center. The Wk -method is able to identify vortices in differently-resolved datasets and at different height levels in a consistent manner. Additionally, it is able to determine and visualize the storm characteristics. As a result, we discovered that the total positive circulation of the vortices associated with Kyrill remains of similar order across different data sets though the vorticity magnitude of the most intense vortices increases with increasing resolution.