Analysing the gale

NOTA BENE: this article was published 19th January, 2018 at 06:45AM. Several figures about the damage have changed meanwhile.

1 How strong was this gale?
The storm broke into the Netherlands and at its peak reached wind force 11 Bft.. “Since 1910 a storm with this force has only occurred thirteen times”, says Diana Woei of Weerplaza. “In addition to the average strength of the storm, gusts of wind are measured of more than 120 kph, almost hurricane power.”

2 People were blowing across the street. How can such a thing be?
On social media many videos popped up of people who came off the sidewalk and flew a bit or had to cling to a lamppost in order not to blow over. “That someone was blown off his feet is not that strange at such wind speeds,” Woei says. ,,A child flies in the round at wind force 9 Bft.. The wind was now considerably harder. Wind force 11 Bft. is strong enough to bring down an adult.”

201801181115Stormschade3 How exactly did this storm happen?
The storm built up in the Canadian Newfoundland, says Woei. “Due to falling air pressure, there is movement around the center of the low-pressure area. Because of the rotation of the earth, it moves to the right. The low-pressure area draws in air and this creates wind that can easily get storm force. ” Officially, there is a storm at wind force 9 Bft.. That force was reached yesterday at the beginning of the morning and then quickly gained strength. On the coast the wind was already lying around noon, in the east it lasted until the second half of the afternoon.

4 Have we been sufficiently warned?
After the exceptionally heavy storm of January 25, 1990, in which seventeen were killed, the KNMI decided to issue warnings in extreme weather conditions. Even before the storm erupted yesterday, the meteorological institute announced code orange. In the course of the morning the KNMI scaled that up to code red. “With such a warning people are strongly advised not to go on the road. The fact that many people do that and run a risk is their own responsibility, “according to the meteorological institute.

5 Why could the trains not run and was Schiphol completely paralyzed?
At 11.00 hours the NS pulled the plug out. The weather turned out to be too rough to continue. ProRail had 150 damage reports last night, of which ’30 to 40 larger incidents’. In 40 places, trees had been blown over, at some 30 places overhead lines were broken. Damage was also at train stations. Glass plates came down at The Hague Central Station; the station was closed for some time. At a quarter past 11, Schiphol was almost completely locked. It was still started and landed. Departure halls 1 and 2 closed because roof plates flew from the terminal. Schiphol was operational again at 1 PM. A total of 320 flights were canceled.

6 What caused all those trucks to blow?
The Traffic Information Service had at least 66 trucks that were tilted because of the strong wind. “Those trucks are real wind catchers, especially when they are driving without load,” says Arnoud Broekhuis of the ANWB Traffic Center. “The drivers know the dangers, but they take the guess. On all north-south connections trucks rolled on the bridges and traffic stopped. “There is no prohibition to drive trucks in a storm. The ANWB has the impression that the daredevils were partly Polish truckers. “We are thinking with Transport and Logistics Netherlands about how we can reach this group in situations like this. Maybe with icons and signs in other languages. “

7 Does the insurance cover the storm damage?
Almost all homeowners have a home insurance policy that covers damage to homes, such as broken roof tiles or damage caused by falling trees. Comparison site for insurance policies Independer reports that insurers will reimburse if the wind force is 7 or more. However, there is often a higher deductible for storm damage. Branches and trees on cars is another story. That depends on the car insurance. Those who are only insured with WA, have bad luck. Unless that fallen tree of the municipality was already rotten and the municipality had already been pointed out several times. But legally that is almost impossible to make. The level of damage is expected later today, but is probably in the tens of millions of euros.

The damage of the last gale is even worse than expected.


Damage to private properties (houses):

€ 83,000,000 / £ 73,112,000 / CA$ 126,406,900

Damage to private properties (cars):

€ 10,000,000 / £ 8,808,600 / CA$ 15,229,800

Damage to companies (airports, harbours etc.):

€ 110,000,000 / £ 96,895,000 / CA$ 167,427,000


€ 203,000,000 / £ 178,815,400 / CA$ 309,163,900


Code red impressions

Bij een bedrijf in Terborg is het dak eraf gewaaid.





2018/01/19 – Estimated storm damage

Het huis van het gezin Dingemans in Sint-Michielsgestel raakte zwaar beschadigd.

Insurance companies reported, that the weather of yesterday caused a damage of

€ 55,000,000 / £  48,456,000 / CA$ 83,773,000

The central alarm number 112 (911) has normally on the busiest time of the year (New years eve) 500 calls per hour; yesterday there was an average of 1,500 calls per hour 😦 😦 😦


0373-Graafseweg 219

2018/01/18 – Meanwhile at 10:30AM (GMT+1) just behind us:

Below what happened at our neighbors: a tree fell just across their back yard. The Netherlands have a 9 – 10 Bft gale at the coast, 7 in our inland part.  The airline KLM cancelled 220 flights, mainly to Scandinavia and England, and the trains run far from schedule.



No trains or planes…

At 10:31 GMT the Dutch Railways (NS) have decided to stop all train traffic in connection with the heavy storm of today. At Schiphol Airport, all flights have been temporarily canceled due to the dangerously strong wind.


At the moment, with a whole day still to go, there is already a damage of € 10m  / £ 8.91m / CA$ 15.172m, according the reports of insurance companies. This is worse than during the gale of 2 weeks ago, when over the whole day the damage was €10m. Insurers now recommend that people comply with the code red advice issued by KNMI for large parts of the country. “Beware, that warning is not there for nothing.” “In spite of everything, you are still on the road, but you are assured, according to the trade association.The spokesman points out that it is difficult to estimate what importance everyone has to go out on the road anyway. “For example, a nurse who works in the intensive care unit can simply go to work.” “The supply of important foodstuffs will probably continue.

De bus met schoolkinderen raakte de boom frontaal.

A school bus was blown over from the highway: 15 children to hospital for a check, driver severely wounded. Legion of ambulance personnel and firefighters work on the heavily damaged car.





Code red straight over the center of the Netherlands: gale from the West. The second chart shows the rain, thunderstorms and temperatures in C. Until now 3 people died in the outrage of this weather.

Waarschuwing land 48 new

Weather map



Chart of gale in kph at noon (GMT 11.00AM)

actuele temperatuur



Gale in Amsterdam 😦 😦 😦

Imgur: The magic of the Internet



UK weather: ‘Extreme caution’ urged on roads and trains cancelled as 80mph (130kph) gusts batter Britain

Severe gales of more than 80mph have battered parts of Britain, bringing fresh travel disruption on the roads and topping trees onto railway lines. Drivers have been warned to only travel if necessary, with delays likely on roads and trains. In Scotland, police urged motorists to drive with “extreme caution” amid wintry conditions. Emergency services in several areas reported fallen trees and National Rail reported widespread weather-related delays. Forecasters issued yellow “be aware” wind warnings as gusts reached 83mph in Tibenham Airfield, near Norwich, and 78mph in Aberdaron, Wales. UK Power Networks said more than 5,000 customers were affected by power cuts in the Geat Yarmouth area with hundreds more homes impacted across the east of England. Meanwhile, a Met Office amber weather warning of snow and ice for Scotland ended at 5am and police downgraded their advice to “high risk”. They said there is a high likelihood of disruption and delays on the roads. Meterologist Alex Burkill said: “It’s going to be a cold and blustery day with further showers especially in the north and west. “There is likely to be disruption to travel so before you had head out, it’s worth taking a look at the state of the roads you will be travelling on.”There is a risk you could be held up and delayed and if you think that’s possible, make sure you have essentials with you such as coats, water and food in case you get held up for several hours.

Trains cancelled as railway lines blocked

Disruption was caused by a train hitting a tree near Lower Sydenham in south-east London and another service colliding with a fence on the line near Sheerness-on-Sea in Kent. A tree also fell onto the line in the Deal area of Kent, while a freight train struck two sheds that had blown on to the railway between Newtown and Welshpool in Wales. In a series of tweets outlining the problems, National Rail said level crossing barriers between Chester and Wrexham had been damaged by high winds, with replacement road transport running between Chester and Shrewsbury. Meanwhile, damage to overhead power cables blocked lines between Colchester and Ipswich, and Birmingham and Redditch. Poor weather conditions also delayed journeys to and from London’s King’s Cross station after an object was caught in the overhead electric wires between Peterborough and Stevenage. Fallen trees caused disruption to journeys across networks including the Gatwick Express, Southern and Thameslink. Passengers were warned that trains might be cancelled, delayed by up to 30 minutes or revised, with disruption expected until at least midday. A Southern Rail spokesman said: “High winds can cause a number of problems for the railway, in particular obstructions caused by fallen trees and other debris blown onto the lines. In exposed coastal areas where gusts are strongest high waves may also cause damage to tracks and ballast (small stones which tracks rest on). “Network Rail, who own and maintain the railway have additional staff in place ready to respond to potential problems. They also have specialist chainsaw trained teams ready to remove fallen trees and branches.”

Which Southern lines have been affected?

  • Oxted – Uckfield
  • Oxted – East Grinstead
  • Horsham – Dorking
  • Southampton – Havant
  • Purley – Tattenham Corner

There was also widespread disruption across the South Western Railway network after a number of trees blocked lines. Passengers were warned of delays and cancellations across routes in areas including Weymouth, Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth, Guildford and London Waterloo. The problem also damaged signalling equipment at Milford, Surrey, blocking lines, and power supply equipment at Hinchley Wood

Fallen trees and brick gable blown away

Several police and fire and rescue services forces, including Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Norfolk, Surrey, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire, reported fallen trees and urged people to take extra care. Poor weather conditions were also affecting railways in the Midlands, with overhead electric wires damaged between Wolverhampton and Stafford. West Midlands Fire Service said no one was injured when a brick gable was blown off a house in the Stoke Heath area of Coventry. Pictures posted on Twitter by crews at the city’s Foleshill fire station showed debris on the ground near the three-storey property. Meanwhile, Derbyshire Police said it had received a large amount of calls regarding fallen trees blocking roads. Passengers were being warned to expect delays to and from Manchester Piccadilly, between Birmingham New Street and Crewe, through Birmingham New Street and between Birmingham New Street and Redditch.

Weather warnings for snow and ice

 This tanker on #M74 is skidding backwards and starting to jackknife

A snow and ice warning in place for northern areas of Scotland will be extended to Northern Ireland and northern England, forecasters said. During the night, temperatures dropped at low as -7C (19F) in Loch Glascarnoch while snowfalls continued to be topped up. Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway recorded up 36cm of lying snow, while Spadeadam in Cumbria, which escaped much of the snow on Wednesday, now has 23cm of snow – with up to 20cm falling on Wednesday night alone. On Wednesday, persistent snow and ice caused treacherous driving conditions and brought the M74 in Scotland to a standstill – with more than 200 motorists stranded in their vehicles overnight – but Traffic Scotland said there were no significant incidents on the roads for rush hour traffic and traffic on the M74 was “coping well”. During the night, Police Scotland issued a “stage four” warning, advising drivers to avoid travelling on roads in areas covered by amber snow warnings. This was later downgraded to stage three to warn motorists of a “high risk of disruption” during the morning. Police Scotland Superintendent Calum Glenny said: “Despite some difficult weather conditions in the Dumfries and Galloway area which caused some disruption, the weather was not as severe as was first forecast. “Thankfully, a significant number of motorists heeded the warnings which had been issued to avoid travelling on the roads and I’d like to thank them for doing so.”