Record-breaking Wind Speed Surpasses Kyrill Storm of 2007, Six Dead, Train Services Shut Down Together with All Aspects of Life
A day ago, the German Republic as well as other European Countries commemorated the 11th anniversary of the Hurricane Kyrill, which slammed Europe, providing the country with destructive winds of up to 250 km/h (155 mph). 47 people were killed by this storm, mostly by falling trees. Thirteen of which happened in Germany, where average winds of up to 120 mph caused widespread damage, including destruction of buildings, cars and even forests. Power outage was widespread including in Magdeburg, where the entire city of 230,000 inhabitants were without power for almost a week. And lastly, the German Railways (The Bahn) shut down all regional, interurban (S-bahn) and long-distance (Fernverkehr) train services, forcing trains to stop at the next station and be converted into hotels.
Fast forward to today, and we are cleaning up from another hurricane, Frederike. With wind speeds of up to 204 kph (130 mph), the big bad wolf did more than huffing and puffing and blowing the house down as seen in the following videos:
The average speeds surpassed that of Kyrill’s but like the 2007 hurricane, the hardest hit areas were the same: in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and Mitteldeutschland (Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and parts of Lower Saxony), where the wind speeds were the highest and much of the destruction took place. Unlike Kyrill, though, the storm started with massive amounts of precipitation, mostly in the form of snow, combined with high winds and extreme cold which reduced visibility to less than 100 meters. All of which happened yesterday. Add icy conditions and the whole storm started with an appetizer. With Kyrill in 2007, there was high wind and extremely mild temperatures but no precipitation until the storm arrived with full force. The sudden increase in temperatures by approximately 15°F (6°C) today melted much of the snow away but resulted in the increase in wind speed as Frederike rolled through the region. The end result is devastation which will take days to clean up. Damage amounts are expected to be in the tens of billions of Euros for Germany, Benelux and parts of Scandanavia and eastern Europe.
While all of Germany was hit hard by Frederike, the worst areas were in the mountains of central and eastern Germany but also in large cities. Many villages and resorts in the mountain regions were cut off due to fallen trees, snow and zero visibility caused by high winds. Several motorways and main highways were closed down due to trucks being blown over and several trees and overhead signs being blown over. The Bahn shut down all long-distance trains nationwide but also regional trains and S-bahn in all of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Thuringia, NRW, Hesse and parts of Bavaria. This included private train services. Hundreds of thousands of train commuters were forced to either use the bus, taxi or find lodging even in stranded trains at the stations. Airports canceled flights, schools dismissed students early, while some have canceled classes for tomorrow. It will take the weekend to clean up and somewhat return to normal……
….and in time too, for another system, bringing colder temperatures and pecipitation in a form of freezing rain and/or snow will follow for the weekend, thus giving residents an incentive to bundle up while cleaning up…..
but at the same time, have some mulled wine ready. After all, it’s not just for Christmas.
More information about Hurricane Frederike can be found here.