North Sea storm spares England and the Netherlands

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:35 PM GMT on November 09, 2007

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A massive fall storm over Europe's North Sea generated winds near hurricane force last night that pushed a dangerous storm surge near 1.5 meters (4.65 feet) in height to the southeastern English coast this morning. The storm surge was much lower than originally feared, due in part to the fact it did not hit at high tide. The surge did breach sea defenses and caused some minor coastal flooding in England. It was feared that the storm might rival the great North Sea Flood of 1953 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 did not approach the 1953 storm in severity, it did bring the highest storm surge seen in the past 20 years to the North Sea. The massive flood gates that protect the Dutch port of Rotterdam were closed for the first time since they were constructed in the 1990s. From early media accounts, the gates did their job admirably, protecting the Netherlands from inundation. Water levels reached 3.16 meters above mean sea level in the southern Netherlands, and 3.40 meters above sea level in the northern Netherlands, with no flooding reported. The floods of 1953 saw Dutch waters rise to 3.85 meters (12.6 ft) above sea level. Today's storm was not the remains of Hurricane Noel, which is currently over northern Canada.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Europe from 1322 GMT November 8, 2007. A powerful 975 mb 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.


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

Tropical update
An area of disturbed weather over the extreme southern Caribbean, near Panama, is under about 20 knots of wind shear. The computer forecast models are predicting that some development of this region may occur by Sunday, when wind shear is expected to fall below 20 knots. However, the models are less keen on this prospect than yesterday. Any system that might form is expected to move westward and affect Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

I'll have an update Monday morning, unless there's some new development this weekend.

Jeff Masters

Gales at the Butt (kevindonner)
Storm force winds made taking a good picture difficult, as the lence of the camara got salt on it.
Gales at the Butt

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71. BajaALemt
3:35 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
Twenty years from now, maybe we'll get to read Georgie's transcripts...and we'll be laughing so hard we'll spew DENTURES instead of coffee
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
70. Patrap
9:36 AM CST on November 09, 2007
1965 Hurricane Betsy,the First flood of New Orleans from a Hurricane Link
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69. Floodman
9:33 AM CST on November 09, 2007
65. Patrap 9:33 AM CST on November 09, 2007
LBJ was Good dude. Hell,He was here 24 Hours after Betsy in the Flooded 9th Ward. In Hipboots in a Grammar School at Night,with A Flashlight under his Chin saying. "I am your President,..and I am here to help".

The next year Congress passed the money for the Protection that we have today.



LBJ was a strange and complicated and conflicted man...The Great Society and the Viet Nam war...I'd never want to be president, even if I could. That job is too damned hard; if you do it right, it wrecks your health
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
68. Bonedog
10:34 AM EST on November 09, 2007
Flood I also say if you dont want to stand behind our troops at least stand in front of them and save a life
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67. clydedog
3:35 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
60. Patrap 3:26 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
No way Id be a Politician, I cuss Wayyyy to much


So do most politicians, just not while the camera is on them.
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66. Floodman
9:32 AM CST on November 09, 2007
You got that right, Bone!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
65. Patrap
9:30 AM CST on November 09, 2007
LBJ was Good dude. Hell,He was here 24 Hours after Betsy in 1965 in the Flooded 9th Ward. In Hipboots at a Grammar School at Night,with A Flashlight under his Chin saying. "I am your President,..and I am here to help".

The next year Congress passed the money for the Protection that we have today.
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64. Bonedog
10:28 AM EST on November 09, 2007
Pat I thank one everyday I wake up and can do what I want. We are the Land Of The Free Because Of The Brave!!
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63. Floodman
9:27 AM CST on November 09, 2007
60. Patrap 9:26 AM CST on November 09, 2007
No way Id be a Politician, I cuss Wayyyy to much.



LOL, Pat...did you ever read transcripts of LBJ in the Whitehouse? Now there's a guy who could cuss!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
62. Patrap
9:26 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Thanx for the kind condolences. Thank a Vet this weekend. It'll feel good for everyone.
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61. Floodman
9:25 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Thanks, Bone...
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60. Patrap
9:25 AM CST on November 09, 2007
No way Id be a Politician, I cuss Wayyyy to much.
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59. Bonedog
10:24 AM EST on November 09, 2007
Pat sorry about your Dad but am glad to hear he passed surrounded by those that loved him.
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58. Bonedog
10:21 AM EST on November 09, 2007
Flood I answered you question in my blog. I will repost it here for you too...


Usually the fixed point is considered the forcast office location. Sometimes it can be refered to as the frontal boundry but usually the forcast office location.
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56. Floodman
9:21 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Thx, sophmom...
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55. sammo
3:21 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
You should run for office Pat. Like what you're saying about this stuff!
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54. Patrap
9:19 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Its Okay ,Dad passed March 20th 03 the day the current war started. He passed surrounded by all his Family. We were fortunate to have him all those years . His pic is in my New Entry for this Veterans Day Weekend and Marine Corps B-day tomorrow.
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53. Patrap
9:17 AM CST on November 09, 2007
All the info is here and current on:

Task Force Guardian Link

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52. Floodman
9:17 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Sorry about your dad, Pat...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
51. Sophmom
10:05 AM EST on November 09, 2007
Don't have time to say much other than, great discussion, Pat & Floodman. Y'all have covered most of it. Cool animation of the 17th street canal floodgates/pumps, Pat. I couldn't have sound here at work but will watch with sound tonight.

Y'all pretty much covered what I was going to say about the pumps being about outfall (draining water from the city), whereas the flood that followed Katrina was about surge coming in from the lake (therefore, the floodgates).
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49. Bonedog
10:13 AM EST on November 09, 2007
:(
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48. Patrap
9:09 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Thats what I did before my service years and after High school.Worked in Union here as refractory Bricklayer building furnaces in A boatload of refineries. Worked on the last one Built in Norco in 79,For Pullman Kellogg back then. Now they Kellogg/Brown & Root.We did Catcracker Turnaround Repair Maintenance.Good Money. But a lot of Asbestos was ingested. Killed my Dad at 76,asbestosis. WW-2 didnt kill him,raising us didnt either,.. but that cancer did.
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47. Floodman
9:11 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Baja, good morning, darlin'! Now where did I put the foil...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
46. Floodman
9:08 AM CST on November 09, 2007
41. Patrap 9:07 AM CST on November 09, 2007
But by then I hope to be bouncing Grandchildren on my Knee in Boca and watching CNN and saying..

Yup..theres ya problem!!..LOL!!



here's to hoping you get your wish!
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45. Bonedog
10:09 AM EST on November 09, 2007
mornig Baja
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44. Bonedog
10:07 AM EST on November 09, 2007
LOL Pat. ANother thing to consider is the fact we havent built new refineries in many many many years. Maybe strat building a few new ones and how about moving them inshore a little bit more.
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43. Floodman
9:04 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Pat, it's all about who screams the loudest, and who is most effective at keeping the money pointed at the goal at hand...things have changed in NO, and Louisiana as a whole, but the things like re-electing Jefferson and the absolute mess that was made of The Road Home reeks of business as usual, and it breaks my heart...it's going to be a long hard road. Hopefully Jindal will help with the turnaround, but old habits die hard (especially personally profitable ones)
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
42. BajaALemt
3:06 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
*whispers* Amen Bone (and g'mornin)
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
41. Patrap
9:05 AM CST on November 09, 2007
But by then I hope to be bouncing Grandchildren on my Knee in Boca and watching CNN and saying..

Yup..theres ya problem!!..LOL!!
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40. Patrap
9:02 AM CST on November 09, 2007
But lets go doomsday August-Sept Time frame any given year. A Katrina like storm Hits Houston Mid August and destroys refining there or say Baytown by 78%. Then 2 weeks later a Rita Monster slams just west of New Orleans and takes out Norco, on up to Baton Rouge.89 percent capacity lost to refine Oil in 2 weeks. Gas would hit 9-10 Dollars a gallon.
Thats a reality check.
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39. Bonedog
10:02 AM EST on November 09, 2007
peach on Brother Pat preach on


can I get an Amen!!!
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38. Patrap
8:56 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Or..ya hammer a flat tax on Oil Imported and refined in La,Texas..and cut that cost in Half.
Since the Protection keeps the Oil Offshore Industry protected as well.By protecting the inland services near shore which are vital to refining.
Its not about funding. Its about will.
Boston got Billions for the "Big Dig", a Want.
We just want funding for a "need."
Big difference.
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37. Floodman
9:00 AM CST on November 09, 2007
31. Patrap 8:56 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Just like the Netherlands being a country 2/3rd under sea-level.Ya just engineer and spend the Bucks and get er done.New Orleans will be here a long time. It's the Hub of the Heartbeat. Always was..always will be. Plus..where ya gonna take a Convention too?Or a Good Super Bowl?..
We can Build to Cat 5 Protection. They have the Plan. But that would suspend the War by 12 weeks. In what we spending there in 12 weeks. We could build cat-5 Protection for all.By 2021

..Food for thought.

Story about it Link

You're preaching to the choir here, Patrap
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
36. sandiquiz
3:00 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
Link to image of floating home
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35. AlbySC
04:01 PM CET op 09 November, 2007
Here's a link including some nice imagery about the complete Dutch Delta Works.

http://library.thinkquest.org/C001635F/engdeltawerken1.htm
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34. weathermanwannabe
9:51 AM EST on November 09, 2007
27. Floodman 9:50 AM EST on November 09, 2007 Well, Patrap, the nightmare scenario still hasn't come to pass: a major acing the mouth of the Mississippi;

It's always a matter of when and some people will play the odds;...One or two of my Father's friends (who are also retired and living in South Florida)cannot afford to pay for homeowners insurance and are "winging it" by saying "how often will an Andrew hit again in the same spot?"........That may be a judgment call from a private citzen, but, government (whom most of us pay taxes to), IMHO, does not have that luxury of playing the odds with thousands/millions of lives...They need to act to protect lives and spend the monies to re-build/re-engineer these types of projects regardless of the odds...
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33. sandiquiz
2:58 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
Bonedog, I saw a programme on those houses recently, and they have started building them here (UK) on the low lying land of the East coast.
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32. Floodman
8:55 AM CST on November 09, 2007
28. Bonedog 8:55 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Maybe they can build the homes the way they have started in Denmark. Floating homes. I know what your thinking, houseboat, but no. A company is making the foundations like a ships hull out off low mass high strength concrete. They then sink pilings into the ground up up to a 100year flood height. Then build the home around all of it. As the waster levels rise the home slides up the pilings as it receded so does the home.



I've seen that technology; it's some pretty cool stuf, really...that would be a workable solution, moving forward...what was the biggest cause of loss from the flood aspect was all the structures built on slab on grade foundation: your house is 3.5 feet below sea level, and you build on slab...the peir and beam and pounded piling structures fared much better
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
31. Patrap
8:50 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Just like the Netherlands being a country 2/3rd under sea-level.Ya just engineer and spend the Bucks and get er done.New Orleans will be here a long time. It's the Hub of the Heartbeat. Always was..always will be. Plus..where ya gonna take a Convention too?Or a Good Super Bowl?..
We can Build to Cat 5 Protection. They have the Plan. But that would suspend the War by 12 weeks. In what we spending there in 12 weeks. We could build cat-5 Protection for all.By 2021

..Food for thought.

Story about it Link
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30. pachi
2:50 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
Here is another link of the Floodgates in Rotterdam.
Link
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29. Floodman
8:51 AM CST on November 09, 2007
22. Patrap 8:44 AM CST on November 09, 2007
As far as mindset and old ways. They long gone now. Burying and recovering all the lost changed all of us ,..forever. And it was fretting politics and crazy rumor that delayed the rescue of hundreds we lost. The heat was the enemy.




Yep, Pat...I was there and it was bad; and heat in NO isn't like heat anywhere else, really...something about the elevation and the humidity (I'm from STL originally, so I know a little something about humidity, LOL) that just makes it that much worse...

Suffice it to say that I pray everyone learned the lesson from Katrina...*shakes head* They could have done worse, I guess; I have freinds that were lifelong residents that were sayiong the day of landfall that the path and the strength of the storm was probably going to kill 5000 in NO alone
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
28. Bonedog
9:50 AM EST on November 09, 2007
Maybe they can build the homes the way they have started in Denmark. Floating homes. I know what your thinking, houseboat, but no. A company is making the foundations like a ships hull out off low mass high strength concrete. They then sink pilings into the ground up up to a 100year flood height. Then build the home around all of it. As the waster levels rise the home slides up the pilings as it receded so does the home.
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27. Floodman
8:43 AM CST on November 09, 2007
Well, Patrap, the nightmare scenario still hasn't come to pass: a major acing the mouth of the Mississippi; if that happens, nothing short of evacuation will keep you safe, and if that happens, Katrina will be a "moderate damage event" by comparison; the whole city will flood, and 400 foot bathtub drain wouldn't help...don't get me wrong: I love New Orleans, and it should be re-built, but the topography doesn't lend itself to being dry
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
26. pachi
2:50 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
Sophmom here is a link of the floodgates closing in Rotterdam.
Link
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25. HIEXPRESS
2:43 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
"Why is Greenpeace trying to save the oceans, when the oceans are trying to kill us?" ;)
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24. BajaALemt
2:35 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
Thanks, as always, for your update and the links, Doc M. I'm sure alot of folks over there are heaving a big sigh of relief!

Good footage Pat (g'mornin)...what a great tune to listen to over morning coffee ;)

Annnnnnnnnnnnd, morning folks


Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
23. sandiquiz
2:43 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
Today's storm was not the remains of Hurricane Noel, which is currently over northern Canada.

Perhaps Dr Masters should work for British ITV, as that was were I got the information from about the storm being the remnants of Noel......... and I know who I believe!! LOL
Thanks Dr Masters for all the information. I have been reading your blog for nearly three years and this is the first time it has been about us in the UK.

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22. Patrap
8:42 AM CST on November 09, 2007
As far as mindset and old ways. They long gone now. Burying and recovering all the lost changed all of us ,..forever. And it was fretting politics and crazy rumor that delayed the rescue of hundreds we lost. The heat was the enemy.
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21. sammo
2:43 PM GMT on November 09, 2007
16. Patrap 2:33 PM GMT on November 09, 2007 Hide this comment.
The area now complete with Breach repair, Floodgates and Pumps installed. Footage from 8-1-07

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

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