Storm damage hits northern Europe

Flood, tidal surge, snow and wind damage sweep across UK, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Poland

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    While southeastern Europe has been suffering constant sub-zero weather and disruptive snowfall, the latest winter storm is on its way through northern Europe.

    This storm started to form in earnest as it crossed southern England during Thursday. With mild, moist air drawn in from the Atlantic and freezing Arctic air blowing down through northern England, the conditions were ideal for an atmospheric depression, a storm, to form and strengthen.

    Snow started to fall over London, delaying operations at the international airport of Heathrow. Rain brought temporary surface flooding in southern England from Devon to Kent. But wind and increasing snow characterise the storm in its passage through northern continental Europe.

    As the storm was developing, the island of Jersey, just off the French coast, recorded gusts of 115 kilometres an hour. Dieppe, on the north coast of France, reported 147km/h winds and northeastern France suffered a blizzard on Thursday night.

    The Belgian port of Zeebrugge had gusts of 105km/h overnight, a buoy in the southern North Sea recorded 140km/h winds just before dawn on Friday. There are gale warnings throughout the North Sea and a storm surge of up to 1.5 metres is accompanying each high tide.

    Evacuations have taken place from some coastal areas of southeast England, and flood warnings exist all along the Belgian, Dutch and north German coast.

    The strongest winds around the storm centre during Friday morning were as far south as Bavaria. The spa town of Fichtelberg suffered repeated gusts of over 150km/h, with snow.

    The heart of the storm tracks through northern Germany and Poland during Friday, ending up over the Baltic States in the early hours of Saturday, a much weaker beast. It will have left a trail of damage from coastal flooding, disrupting snow and violent wind

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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