2018.01.17 – ESC European Windstorm Update: Storm FRIEDERIKE to slam Europe, Storm ongoing in Mediterranean

A couple of stormy days are ahead for much of Europe – we will take a look at the specifics in this ESC European Storm Center update.

Three storm systems are currently spread across the map. Of note, other than storm FRIEDERIKE, is a low-pressure system located over the Balkans which will bring severe storm gusts to much of the eastern Mediterranean & the coasts of the Black Sea.

Storm FRIEDERIKE (named Storm FIONN in the UK), currently off the western coast of Ireland, is expected to further intensify as it heads for mainland Europe; within the coming 12 hours, the storm will cross Ireland and the UK and start making landfall in northwestern France. It is expected to move across much of western and central Europe, packing gusts of potentially up to 200km/h.

Ireland: Wind speeds will first start noticeably picking up in southwestern Ireland within the next few hours, and by tonight at 18:00 UTC, gusts are expected to be exceeding 110km/h in the far southwest. Later in the evening, similar wind speeds are to be expected for much of the western and southern coast. By midnight, much of Ireland (with exception of the North) will experience the full force of the storm, with gusts expected to well exceed 120km/h even far inland. Peak gusts for Dublin are expected to be at around 100km/h. The wind will start calming down starting in the west in the early morning hours.

United Kingdom: storm gusts are expected to reach the far southwest of the country by tonight at 21:00UTC, and by midnight much of Wales and the southwest of England are expected to have full storm-force gusts. In the hours following midnight, hurricane-forced gusts well beyond 120km/h are expected at the western, but also potentially the southern coast of the island. In the morning hours before sunrise, gusts exceeding 130km/h are expected in Wales and much of England, even far inland and away from exposed locations. The wind will start calming down in the west at around 06:00 UTC on Thursday, however severe storm gusts are expected to persist in the east until several hours later.

France: Storm gusts will reach the northwestern coast over the course of the evening, exceeding 110km/h in many locations by 21:00 UTC. Such severe storm gusts will mostly stay limited to the coast, however, and further inland (including in Paris), “only” regular storm gusts between 70 and 90km/h are to be expected. The wind will persist until well into the morning, with peak gusts near 130km/h expected at the northern coast and in the far north of the country, and gusts of up to 110km/h likely to be registered further inland.

Benelux: Wind speeds will start picking up in Belgium and the far southwestern Netherlands at roughly 05:00 CET, and severe storm gusts will reach the coast roughly two hours later. By 09:00, much of the Benelux states are expected to have strong storm gusts exceeding 110km/h, with speeds at the coast well above 125km/h. The storm is expected to intensify as it crosses over the North Sea in the morning hours, and gusts of around 130km/h even inland, as well as gusts nearing 160km/h at the coast are not to be ruled out. Peak wind speeds are expected at the Belgian coast at roughly noon, and between 11:00 and 13:00 in the Netherlands, where gusts of 140km/h may be widespread at the coast, and gusts of 120km/h or above are to be expected in much of the southern half of the country. Peak gusts in Den Haag may be anywhere from 110 to 140km/h according to latest predictions, 120km/h are expected for Rotterdam, 100 to 120km/h in Amsterdam. The wind will calm down, starting in the west, in the afternoon and should be largely back to normal before sunset.

Germany: Western Germany will start feeling the effects of storm FRIEDERIKE by 10:00am at latest, with gusts starting to reach speeds near 100km/h. Wind speeds will start approaching and locally exceeding 120km/h in western Germany by noon or the early afternoon hours. By 16:00 CET, the main wind field of the storm will have reached central Germany, still packing gusts of 120km/h or potentially more. Northern Germany, e.g. Hamburg, will stay unaffected by the wind field, however the far south, including Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, should brace for gusts in excess of 100 or even 110km/h. In the evening, the storm will move towards the east, mainly affecting Hessen and Saxony, where gusts of more than 120km/h are to be expected. Strong storm gusts will continue to pose a risk in Bavaria in the evening as well.

Czech Republic, Southern Poland, Austria, Switzerland: The predictions for these regions are still fairly uncertain, however the Czech Republic and Southern Poland will face wide-spread storm gusts around 100km/h and potentially nearing 120km/h after the storm passes over Germany. In Switzerland, and especially in Austria, severe storm gusts are to be expected on the mountains. In Austria, storm gusts of around 100km/h are also predicted for the lowland north of the Alps.