Netherlands worst July storm in 100 years

Posted: July 25, 2015 by tchannon in Incompetence, weather



Static image captured from EUMETNET some hours after the event.

Coastal gusts to 70 mph. Naturally public transport halts.

Since 1901, okay, seeing that the Dutch have weather data going back hundreds of years a bit remiss to record nothing about storms.

Netherlands’ worst July storm kills one, causes transport chaos

One person was killed as the most severe July storm ever recorded in the Netherlands swept across the country on Saturday, delaying flights and disrupting road and rail traffic.

Dozens of flights were delayed at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and authorities warned travellers not to take to the road as gale-force winds and rain lashed the country, prompting the meteorological service to issue a “Code Red” warning. [before or after?]

No trains were running at Amsterdam Central Station, and trams were halted across the city. Roads were blocked by fallen trees in many places around the low-lying country.

Schiphol artport, METAR (EHAM) shows it maybe touched a gale for a brief time. (20 m/s), definitely a blow, wet too.

I’m a bit surprised since we had rain yesterday, long long long grey and steady, some wind but nothing remarkable. Netherlands is close.

This weekend is one in the year to keep away from travel from the UK, herds exit with the kids for holidays.

Post by Tim

  1. Graeme No.3 says:

    Yes, they know about floods etc. in the Netherlands.

    The lowlands of the Netherlands near the North Sea were densely populated at the time, despite their known vulnerability to flooding. Small villages and a couple of cities had sprung up in what was known as the Grote Waard region. The residents built dikes throughout the area to keep the water at bay, but fatal floods still struck in 1287, 1338, 1374, 1394 and 1396. After each flood, residents fixed the dikes and moved right back in.
    Even the St. Elisabeth’s flood of November 1404 (named after the November 19 feast day for St. Elisabeth of Hungary), in which thousands died, could not dissuade the residents from living in the region. Seventeen years in 1421, a storm in the North Sea battered the European coastline. Over the next several days, approximately 10,000 people in the Netherlands died in the resulting floods.

  2. craigm350 says:

    Steady here all day, between 30-40mm, and saw no signs of flooding when I was out and about earlier. The system was a bit blowy on the back end and the radar trace was strong through the Channel but it didn’t seem that bad.

  3. ren says:

    I’m afraid that the Sun we ended to joke.

    wft graph

  4. ren says:

    Still visible high pressure above the Greenland.

  5. ren says:

    Ocean temperature anomalies indicates that it will record ice in the Arctic.

  6. Worst “July” storm?

    So what about May, June, August?

  7. Stephen Richards says:

    Graeme No.3 says:

    July 25, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    storms in the 1500s, 1600s, 1700s and 1800s as well. Some of these wiped out towns in te UK forever.

  8. tchannon says:

    As originally written I’d put in a paragraph about weather breaking. The red area in mittel europe is Hungary complaining about summer heat, it is hot there during the summer.

    I’d forgotten something, a sudden drop in temperature and some rain before the Hungarian GP is likely to upset things. Last I heard it has.

  9. tchannon says:

    To be consistent with other work I try to reject the normal annual variation and instead try to look at the variation in an absolute sense. This can only be partially successful.

    July is outside of the normal storm season so even a relatively moderate blow is unusual. Works the other way too, severe storms in the storm season are not so remarkable.

    An additional problem is the habit in meteorology of using hard time limits with the effect of losing proper timing information when time is decimated to a coarser quantisation. We are late in the month, the data is part of August if you see what I mean and similarly later in the year influences now in that context.

    The lack of storm data will be down to change of practice, of old we did not have technical instruments and very little of an unattended instrument nature. Weather reports tended to be write down observations about a storm if it happened to be going on when the observer was recording. You can see records like that in eg. the Armagh Observatory log books (online). Even there the record is fairly short in relation to the longer casual writing in diaries, journals and newspapers.

    It boils down to little consistent information. Not much can be made of a storm unless it is monumental, Isle of Wight vanishes one night, a bit excessive. Such things can though only happen once, changing conditions forever.

    Manley did his best with paper and temperature, a literary work. A similar dedicated work on storm would be a great interest yet today the conditions and people are no longer with us. Networks have to a degree opened up paperworks but librarians continue to be notoriously controlling, copyright used obstructively, physical access made more awkward. The club nature continues.

  10. craigm350 says:

    Tim –

    July is outside of the normal storm season so even a relatively moderate blow is unusual. Works the other way too, severe storms in the storm season are not so remarkable.

    Just been reading RMetS on the Great Storm of 16 October 1987 (pp. 257)

    Burt and Mansfield noted that the return period of such wind speeds was much less in our northern and western regions.It is not the strength of the winds that was so remarkable but their occurrence over southern England.”

    One thing I would say is the Netherlands storm coincides with a period of solar inactivity where flux dropped below 90 (and came ~24hrs after a K5 geomagnetic storm. Last year during the July all quiet event on the sun there was the ‘polar vortex’ (of course it wasn’t the vortex) dropping over N. America. I did a vid (lurking somewhere on my hard drive) which seemed to show the meridional advance/retreat of cold air over NA/Siberia in tandem with the drop and subsequent rise in solar flux.

  11. Seems like good weather for the Netherlands to me, from what I can remember from living there.
    Ok, a bit unlucky to be having it in July but still a big improvement on Autumn, Winter and Spring!

  12. tchannon says:

    craig, good observation, proving this stuff, ah, I wish.

    Piers-in-the-news claims to involve something which might involve the solar effect. I’ve no problem with that, think much the same over some weather events and have said as much. Piers longer term, not sure that is quite as some claim.

    In this case, there was another lens of Arctic air sweeping south, the blow was on the edge of this. So chilly here over some days the heating briefly tripped on. It is also akin to the weather breaking to autumn.

    Good weather in summer in England is unusual, always has been, so unusual we go nuts, more noticeable to us since we are not used to more than what is it going to do next, wring out hat, put on coat, take it off, deal with drought (we are in a dry period, or were) and so on.