Huge North Sea storm threatens England and the Netherlands with serious flooding

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:14 AM GMT on November 09, 2007

Share this Blog
3
+

A massive fall storm over Europe's North Sea is generating winds near hurricane force that is expected to push a dangerous storm surge over 3 meters (10 feet) in height to the coast Friday morning. The storm is being compared to the great North Sea Flood of 1953 that pushed a 5.6 meter storm surge that breached the dikes in the Netherlands. Over 2,000 people died in northern Europe in that storm, mostly in the Netherlands. While today's storm will not approach the 1953 storm in severity, the storm may generate a once in 20 years type of flooding event. Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate in the United Kingdom, and the massive flood gates that protect the Dutch port of Rotterdam are being closed for the first time since they were constructed in the 1990s. The worst of the storm surge is expected to hit the Netherlands near 7am local time Friday.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Europe from 1322 GMT November 8, 2007. A powerful low pressure system centered north of England ("L" on the image) was pushing a strong cold front southwards towards Western Europe. Image credit: University of Bern, Switzerland.

Oil platform 62114 in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland reported sustained winds of 55 knots (64 mph) at 2pm local time, and seas up to 26 feet were observed at oil platform 63110. An oil platform close to the coast of the Netherlands (62145) reported winds of 40 mph with 16 foot waves this evening. The latest QuikSCAT pass this evening showed a large area of winds over 50 knots in the North Sea. These winds are pushing a strong cold front southwards over Western Europe (Figure 1).


Figure 2. Forecast waves heights at 6am Greenwich time, Friday November 9, 2007, as predicted by NOAA's Wavewatch III model.

I'll have an update on the storm Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 81 - 31

Page: 1 | 2 | 3Blog Index

81. Bonedog
11:41 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Muff it is not the remains of exNoel are currently over James Bay Canada. Noel hooked west after it made it to Greenland.

Morning folks
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
80. Muffelchen
11:11 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Anyone know if this storm in the N Sea is the remains of Noel?

Timing is about right.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 72
79. Muffelchen
9:45 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Storm surge passed here (Humberside) in the early hours and has moved South,causing a few breaches in the Great Yarmouth area (Norfolk) and will continue on South from there. Thames flood barrier is closed but there around midday the surge coincides with the high tide.

Here on Humberside the floodgates on the River Hull were closed as elsewhere on the River Humber but the surge coincided with low tide so we were lucky. Tides in this part of England are as much as 23 feet so even a twelve foot surge at low tide doesn't really make a difference it's the combination of surge and tide that does the damage.

The biggest tides in the UK are on the West Coast (Rivers Severn, Wye) which are of Bay of Fundy proportions but 8m tidal ranges (25 feet) are not uncommon all around the British coastline.

Flooding risk is much higher in the east due to the low-lying nature of the land. From Flamborough Head South to Kent (with the exception of a short section 20 miles or so in length near Cromer in Norfolk) the coastline is very low-lying indeed and much of the land has been reclaimed from the Sea since Roman times. The West coast is older geologically and is rockier so the dangers from coastal flooding are less although the weather is substantially wetter and windier.

A quick aside on the latter, the UK's climate is unbelievably varied for a small island: the rainfall in N Wales is over 5m (16') per year whilst at Great Yarmouth (being flooded as we speak) the total is about 60cm or 19".

Hopefully the combination of tides will be kind to the East Coast and our near neighbours in Holland.

If Patrap is in here today I think it is spooky that in a reply to one of his posts yesterday I mentioned that Rotterdam was similar to New Orleans: not too similar I hope...
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 72
78. sullivanweather
8:46 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Sandiquiz,

I have just heard the Storm surge has breached the sea wall south of Great Yarmouth, but again they are saying it may not be as bad as first thought, as the high tide is not as high as expected


Funny...I remember hearing the same exact thing during Katrina...
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
77. sandiquiz
8:39 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
WOW - I have been a member here for a couple of years and this is the first time the UK has been featured in the Dr's blog.

I have just heard the Storm surge has breached the sea wall south of Great Yarmouth, but again they are saying it may not be as bad as first thought, as the high tide is not as high as expected.

Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 300 Comments: 27059
76. windymiller
7:27 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Sunrise was about 30 mins ago here in London, and we are getting the first TV shots of the coast around East Anglia and Essex.....sea defences are being breached but its perhaps not as bad as was first feared.....the Thames barrier was closed last night so the surge has been prevented from getting to central London.
75. Starwoman
6:50 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
As far as I can tell from the news, untill now not many problems in the netherlands. No evacuations nessecary, the protektion of the waterways holds.
Thank God....
Member Since: September 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 196
74. sporteguy03
6:04 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
BOING
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5417
73. listenerVT
5:38 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
♥ Hoping all good things for Mia and Papsis and all in harm's way ♥
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5595
72. flaboyinga
5:06 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
The dip in the jet stream has sure killed off any activity in the GOM and across Fla to the E coast, and on down towards PR.

Link
71. flaboyinga
4:50 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Nitey nite Tigger, sweet dreams.(Kids and cats and stuff like that)
70. miawolf
4:28 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Thank you all. Tahk you SL for all your help. You know how mcuh we appreicate it! :)
69. tiggeriffic
4:13 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
nite all, gotta get some rest, long couple of weeks heading my way...keep an eye out our UK friends...we will be praying for you all
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
67. SouthernLady
4:06 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Mia said there was nothing on the T.V. and only music playing on the radio...She's keeping watch while Papsis takes a nap.

Nite all!!! Stay safe!
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
66. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:00 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
nice site for cams over there

http://www.metro-emmen.nl/index.html
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56021
65. Barefootontherocks
3:59 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Here's a good news story from England Nov.9

Wonder where the winds are now? Wouldn't the winds be what's pushing the surge?
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 159 Comments: 19362
64. tiggeriffic
3:58 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
got quiet on here all of a sudden
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
62. Skyepony (Mod)
3:47 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Here's the latest news on it. & that last news I left in the other blog~ my bad on on the body count...lol. That was like January, in the same area & for some reason was on the weather wire as 15 minutes ago.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 224 Comments: 39372
61. SouthernLady
3:44 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Mia reports that the flood sirens have not sounded, even though it is over the safe level. This is the second time this year that has happened.
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
60. SouthernLady
3:42 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
It was a repeat of one of my posts, to bring it to the top vort.
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
58. tiggeriffic
3:40 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
MLC, you still here?
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
56. SouthernLady
3:39 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Repeat post...

Here's a webcam from the Dutch island Terschelling showing the harbor. Nothing right now..Link
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
53. SouthernLady
3:35 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Noel just ain't giving it up huh?
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
52. SouthernLady
3:33 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Hey MLC, vort! This could be bad!
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
51. tiggeriffic
3:33 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
no mail in my box, postman musta lost it...
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
50. SouthernLady
9:30 PM CST on November 08, 2007
North Sea surge brings flood risk

A storm in the North Sea has left Britain and the Netherlands facing the worst flood threat in decades with tidal surges predicted early on Friday.

Flood defences have been put on alert on the entire Dutch coast and flood warnings are in place for the eastern and northern coasts of Britain.

A tidal wave in 1953 killed more than 2,000 people in both countries.

Oil platforms have been closed off the Norwegian coast and gales are expected in Germany and Denmark.

The Dutch transport ministry said this was the first time since 1976 the whole North Sea coast was under alert.

Maritime traffic in Rotterdam was halted, as the authorities closed the giant Maeslant barrier that guards entrance to the largest port in Europe for the first time since its construction in the 1990s.

It took half-an-hour for the two doors of the barrier across the Nieuwe Waterweg to meet, spanning a channel 360 metres wide.

Rotterdam will remain closed until 1700GMT on Friday, a port spokesman said.

One-third of the land mass of the Netherlands is under sea level.

Flood warnings

In Britain, the Thames River and Dartford Creek barriers are being shut as waters are forecast to surge 1.5 metres (5 feet) above normal sea levels.

UK government warned large areas of Norfolk and Kent coasts were at risk of severe flooding and the Met Office warned of gusts of up to 145km/h (90mph) for the Orkney and Shetland islands in Scotland.

The storm surge is expected to peak around dawn on Friday, and several hundred people have left their homes near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.

Severe gale warnings were issued in Germany and Denmark, with wind gusts of up to 125km/h (80mph) expected.

In Germany, regions around the Elbe and Elm rivers were under flood warnings.

The North Sea storm affected oil industry in Norway, the fifth largest exporter of crude in the world, with the closure of oil platforms off its coast.

Norway's oil production of 220,000 barrels per day is expected to be slashed by 10% possibly leading to increases in the price of crude, already at record levels, experts say.
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
48. tiggeriffic
3:29 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
took forever moon, everywhere we went, people were taking pics...posted the latest that night...have ya looked?
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
47. moonlightcowboy
3:29 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
46. moonlightcowboy
3:27 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Hey, tigger! Yeah, we'll all be saying a prayer for them!

How was the "infamous" firetruck treating?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
45. tiggeriffic
3:23 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
That is the same area my oldest was in last summer, he spent several weeks in the UK as a Student Ambassador. Will pray till all is over for everyone there
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
43. tiggeriffic
3:18 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
haven't been listening much, sorry, not that I am not concerned, a lot on my plate right now...hope they will all be ok, how bad is it gonna be?
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
42. tiggeriffic
3:17 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
evening MLC, Baja, Vort, Lady, everyone else
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
41. SouthernLady
9:16 PM CST on November 08, 2007
Sorry Tigger, major storm surge and weather "across the Pond"...Hello!
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
40. SouthernLady
9:15 PM CST on November 08, 2007
They have twice...sorta busy right now...
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
39. SouthernLady
9:14 PM CST on November 08, 2007
Sad to say vort, but FEMA does a better job than this!
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
36. moonlightcowboy
3:13 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
Airmass from EUMETSAT shows the approaching storm. I wondering if the flow from the nw will cut it, possibly shift it further eastwards?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
35. SouthernLady
9:09 PM CST on November 08, 2007
Not much info in those vort. Been looking at them for hours. I can't believe the lack of info on this, not only here, but over there. They are basically as much in the dark as we are!

It just says storm surge and flood warning, don't go to sleep tonight! Geez.
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
34. tiggeriffic
3:07 AM GMT on November 09, 2007
what is up with the weather??? (sorry, been lost in my own problems today) haven't watched in a day or so
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
32. SouthernLady
9:07 PM CST on November 08, 2007
Thanks for the newest update map in the header!
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
31. SouthernLady
9:03 PM CST on November 08, 2007
Although the Environment Agency you have doesn't give MUCH info...I would follow their advice Papsis!!! Rising waters don't make much noise!
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926

Viewing: 81 - 31

Page: 1 | 2 | 3Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
27 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron