A major linear mesoscale convective system caused severe weather over northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands and northwestern Germany on 3 January 2014. The storm was classified as a cold-season derecho with widespread wind gusts exceeding 25 m s−1. While such derechos occasionally develop along cold fronts of extratropical cyclones, this system formed in a postfrontal air mass along a baroclinic surface pressure trough and was favoured by a strong large-scale air ascent induced by an intense mid-level jet. The lower-tropospheric environment was characterised by weak latent instability and strong vertical wind shear. Given the poor operational forecast of the storm, we analyse the role of initial and lateral boundary conditions to the storm's development by performing convection-resolving limited-area simulations with operational analysis and reanalysis datasets. The storm is best represented in simulations with high temporally and spatially resolved initial and lateral boundary conditions derived from ERA5, which provide the most realistic development of the essential surface pressure trough. Moreover, simulations at convection-resolving resolution enable a better representation of the observed derecho intensity. ... mehrThis case study is testimony to the usefulness of ensembles of convection-resolving simulations in overcoming the current shortcomings of forecasting cold-season convective storms, particularly for cases not associated with a cold front.