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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671. BajaALemt
10:10 PM CST on November 10, 2007
Awwwwwwwwwwwww, that's wonderful, zoo! What a great xmas present, huh?
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670. zoomiami
4:07 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
Is your brother still in the Navy?
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669. tiggeriffic
4:06 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
not in iraq i mean...
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
668. zoomiami
4:05 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
yes - he is out of the army and home now. Thanks. I waited so long last year to get a tree, there weren't many left. This year I'm going to get it next week when they come in :}
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667. tiggeriffic
4:03 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
Know the feeling zoo, my oldest bro was in in the persian gulf when the towers were hit...he loaded some of the planes from there...even wrote some messages on a few of the bombs...

hope he is home now...or at least not there
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
666. BajaALemt
10:00 PM CST on November 10, 2007
I can understand that. Home this year?
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665. tiggeriffic
4:00 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
ok, don't like the orange track one bit!
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
663. zoomiami
4:00 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
Its my Christmas lighthouse :}
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661. zoomiami
3:59 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
thanks Baha - trying to get in the holiday spirit - determined to get all my decorations up, last year my kid was in Iraq, I didn't have much spirit
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660. BajaALemt
9:57 PM CST on November 10, 2007
Love your AV, zoo
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659. tiggeriffic
3:56 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
ok, am I slow or did you change your avatar zoo?
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
658. zoomiami
3:55 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
Wow Tigger - I would have loved to see that.
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657. BajaALemt
9:53 PM CST on November 10, 2007
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Taiste, I didnt go to college until I was 40. Because of that, I learned to use 'google' to do research for homework. That's helped me alot with learning more about weather, because I AM good at using google to find information.
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656. tiggeriffic
3:50 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
taist, I was in one but not quite that bad... winter of 78-79 on lake erie...I remember walking to school at 7:30 in the morning, snow at my ankles...by 9:30 they were sending us home, most of us walking to empty houses as our parents were at work...by this time the snow was at my waist and still coming...even our front porch that was 3ft off the ground and covered with a roof was snowed in...one of my brothers dropped out of a window with a shovel we kept in the basement to shovel us out of the house...by the time it was all over and the streets were plowed...the snow piles covered the telephone poles.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
655. BajaALemt
9:50 PM CST on November 10, 2007
I've heard that saying before. I think, we have to STRETCH to grow, so I figure I have to get a little MORE than I think I can handle...so I have to STRETCH to get through it *smiles*
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654. BajaALemt
9:49 PM CST on November 10, 2007
Wow...back to back. That would leave an impression!!
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653. tiggeriffic
3:48 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
When my mom was sick and dying...I use to look up and say "Ok, time for a bigger plate again!"
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
652. taistelutipu
5:48 AM EET on November 11, 2007
Sorry to hear that, Baja, hope everything is ok again after Ivan.

My interest in severe weather started as a small girl when the winterstorms Vivian and Wiebke caused widespread destruction in the forests in my home region in South Germany in winter 1990. The English wikipedia article about European windstorms doesn't say much about them, just a small entry in the list of recent storms, but the German sites provide good information on them. Both Vivian and Wiebke had gusts up to 285 km/h (177 mph or 154 kts, so nearly category 5) and sustained winds were between 70 and 108 kts (Wiebke was the more violent storm). The worst about these two was the timing, Vivian hit between February 25 and 27, Wiebke just one day later, the night between February 28 and March 1st. I remember clearly the forests which looked like giants having played jackstraws there.

Back then there was no internet available for a greater public so watching these weather events and also getting information was trickier for laymen.
Member Since: August 20, 2007 Posts: 12 Comments: 639
651. BajaALemt
9:47 PM CST on November 10, 2007
LOL
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650. tiggeriffic
3:45 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
one of my favorites is one that Mother Theresa said...

I know God will not give me more than what I can handl...I just wish he didn't trust me so much!
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
649. tiggeriffic
3:44 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
i need to put that one in my personal dictionary!
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648. BajaALemt
9:42 PM CST on November 10, 2007
Wow Tig. A friend of mine uses a word I liked when I heard it.

She calls things like that......coinciGods
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647. tiggeriffic
3:40 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
baja, didn't mean to not include your name in my post...did you see #639?
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646. tiggeriffic
3:30 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
zoo, that is great, hope he is helping your son.

taist, i have always loved weather, i understand basic storms, tornadoes, snow, etc, it wasn't until Hugo in 1989 that Hurricanes hit my list...but I can still walk outside on a clear night and smell the air and tell you if it will snow...lol...ask my hubby, i proved it to him, even tho he still insists that snow does not have an odor. roflmao
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
645. tiggeriffic
3:26 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
taist...another site that helps me is crownweather.com has about 20 different maps with all the arrows and stuff you need to help out too...some of the other sites i have a problem navigating, but that one has each map already pulled up for you...even every level of steering winds, water temps, shear, etc...
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
644. zoomiami
3:27 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
tigger that is great - yes fate works in strange ways. My son was putting gas in his car, talking to the guy standing next to him. Turns out he is a pyschologist who specializes in PTSD. I felt like God had sent him.
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643. taistelutipu
5:25 AM EET on November 11, 2007
vortfix, the first picture on the NRL site is from 0115 UTC, so I guess that is about the time they called it an invest.
It appeared at 0200 UTC on the wunderground tropics map.
Member Since: August 20, 2007 Posts: 12 Comments: 639
642. BajaALemt
9:25 PM CST on November 10, 2007
Yes, Taiste....there are ALOT of really knowlegeable people here that are willing to help others learn. Can't ASK for a better forum!! I've always been facinated with severe weather.....Thunderstorms, tornados. I started paying more attention to hurricanes after hurricane Ivan...we were on the "dirty side". That sorta got my attention.....LOL Lurked here for quite some time
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641. tiggeriffic
3:25 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
not long vort, waiting tho...is under some shear right now, is supposed to relax tomorrow
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
640. taistelutipu
5:18 AM EET on November 11, 2007
I'm still learning, Baja, haven't been here for very long yet, only one season though I've been observing the NHC's site for nearly 3 years but I never really got a good understanding of the mechanics of tropical weather until I joined this blog here. I think you all are part of the best site for educating people about the hazards of tropical storms, great work. And it isn't only Dr. Master's, also the other mets posting links to their blogs so as a newbie you're blown away by the mass of information. It took me several months to digest all I read about and now, by the end of the season, it starts sinking in :-)
Member Since: August 20, 2007 Posts: 12 Comments: 639
639. tiggeriffic
3:21 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
hey zoo, got something strange to tell you...
went to Burger King tonight on a gut feeling... the person standing in line in front of me was a Neurologist from MUSC children's hospital...dont even know how it came up but I told him bout having a problem getting my oldest in to see anyone because techically he is too old for a pediatrician and too young (has to be 21) to see an adult neuro due to the type of tumors he has...he took our names and phone number and said he would do everything in his power to get both my boys into his office to be seen together... fate works in mysterious ways eh?
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
637. zoomiami
3:21 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
lol - no the people all popped back out again!
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636. tiggeriffic
3:18 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
I swear zoo, you can run errands faster than the FLASH! lol
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635. tiggeriffic
3:16 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
LOL Sea...I am in Charleston, but have a son in RI...no such animal as a sectionalist...rofl
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634. zoomiami
3:16 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
popped back out again tigger.
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633. MrSea
3:11 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
Anyone from Long Island please feel free to check out my blog and leave a comment...
(I am not being racist or sectionalist by saying anyone from Long Island, it is just that I wrote mainly about LI)
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632. tiggeriffic
3:12 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
where did everyone go all of a sudden???
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631. zoomiami
3:12 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
Me too - I can't get over the number of small children and babies in the movies, I would never have taken any of mine, just not the place.
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630. tiggeriffic
3:02 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
omg, they so would have been taken to the bathroom! i don't take my 3 year old any where that I know he cannot handle, ie bowling alley, an auction, expensive restraunt, symphoney, plays...and so on...however, where I do take him, i expect him to behave...if he doesn't i will pop his butt in front of God and everybody...God made my hand the exact size of his butt for a reason!
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
629. BajaALemt
9:04 PM CST on November 10, 2007
Cool, Taiste. Folks here have been REALLY helpful...I've just tried to save the things that they've given ME that HAVE been helpful
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628. taistelutipu
4:57 AM EET on November 11, 2007
Maybe my previous statement was a bit unclear, with "direction in which shear is blowing" I meant what is explained in Figure 2 and 3 in the wind shear tutorial. The pink arrows in Fig. 3 indicate the direction of the upper level winds in Fig. 2.
Thanks again for your postings and reminding me of the tutorial, all seems to be clear now. :)
Member Since: August 20, 2007 Posts: 12 Comments: 639
627. zoomiami
3:00 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
goes without saying. We went bowling with a group of families once. I've bowled leagues for years, so big on etiquette - kids went lane to lane hitting reset button. Parents thought it was the cutest thing. Kids were 5 & 7. Needless to say, never went with them again.
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626. tiggeriffic
2:57 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
BUT ONLY BY THE PARENT!!!
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625. BajaALemt
8:56 PM CST on November 10, 2007
I misread that, my bad....apologies
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624. zoomiami
2:56 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
4. Everything the child does, no matter how destructive, is "cute".
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623. BajaALemt
8:51 PM CST on November 10, 2007
Taiste? Doc M posted a really neat Windshear Tutorial

Link
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622. tiggeriffic
2:52 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
Monster Child (adj)1. describes the child that has no parental supervision 2.describes the child who's parent thinks that a spanking is child abuse 3.describes the child who is truely satan's spawn!
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
621. cantoriesnumber1fan
2:53 AM GMT on November 11, 2007
617. BajaALemt 2:51 AM GMT on November 11, 2007 Hide this comment.
Jeeeeeeeeeze, cantories...put a cork in it for chrissakes.

Excuse me...what's your problem, I'm simply asking a question and if you don't like...USE YOUR IGNORE BUTTON.
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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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