Extreme winter weather

Dear Bloggers,

Snowstorm hits also North of Netherlands it all started yesterday, warnings on the local radio to stay indoors if you do not need to go out.
At this moment it finally stopped snowing and the wind is slowly calming down, severe weather conditions and busses stopped running.



It is still winter and it reminds me of my childhood, the weatherforecast is predicting a snowstorm.
When I was a young bloke in 1979 we had similair kind of weather only difference was that it had been raining the day before and this iced up the roads, on top of that it started snowing and the wind was gusting which resulted in snowdunes with a height of more then three metres.



KNMI initially expected that the inconvenience to the south would be limited, but gradually the sky was closing, while the hard east wind was very unpleasant. In the far south the rainfall started around noon as rain. A few hours later, the first major rainfall in the river area, but as rain and occasional snow flakes. The average temperature was 1 to 2 degrees celcius. But slowly it turned into glazed frost.


In the early evening light snow began to fall (barely in the Southern Netherlands), subject to the windshield. Around midnight the snow line slowly pulled the precipitation zone northward. The wind caused already some snow drift.
In the North of the Netherlands it started snowing from 04h, followed by some freezing rain and glazed frost
The ice lasted all day in the north. Initially this was remaining to ice zone north of the Top of Noord-Holland to Meppel. The rainfall amounts were not small. The northern front moved southward in the evening with snow and increasing winds from a storm to East North East. The big snow storm started.
14-15 February 1979: the polarbear is on the loose.

The snow area spread to the south. The wind increased in the north as far said to stormy with highs severe storm. In the meantime raged north unprecedented heavy snow storms. The oven on the snow and ice fields could find no foothold, except behind trees, farms, in villages, etc.



When there was daylight again, it revealed the seriousness of the situation. Even then it had to snow dunes formed to 1.5 meters, so many ways (even motorways) were blocked. Many people could no longer reach their jobs, why not buses, cars were snowing in. Schools closed. It is impossible to get a good picture of it? That day was staying out a painful issue. Vision was ranging from 50 to 5 meter and was sometimes cut by the sharp snow drifting


snow was really drifting and blowing snow in your face and that at a temperature of -5 degrees and a wind at stormforce at least . Blizzard is a barbaric word, which does not seem excessive.


The snow dunes were locally blown to incredible heights. Especially in Northern-Friesland and Groningen were heights of 4 to 6 meters pretty normal. Many villages became isolated totally and some alone standing farms had snow blown up until the roof. All highways in the north were closed, there was even a ban to drive.

In some places, there was an emergency: telephone lines were damaged and power lines broke through the heavy ice load and severe storms. Crisis centers were established in local bars. Snow removal had hardly any meaning.


Soldiers came to help to re-open roads and villages from isolation to get new deliveries into the local shop. Among the people ruled by the common struggle against the white enemy a great togetherness, except in the local grocery store, where many crowded to get some food to misplaced fears of scarcity. The small bakery on the corner, who was always to expensive if they compared it to the big supermarkets in the city, the baker was suddenly anybodys friend. The local grocers kept a hard regime as we had been three days isolated from the rest of the world. Regular customers had some priveleges.

Some houses were that far snowed in that they came out with only the chimney above the giant dunes of snow.


Some hard facts of the snow storm in northern Netherlands:
Duration: 90 hours snow drift
Precipitation: estimated 15 to 30 mm
Snow Dune Height: 3-6 meter
Average temp.: -5 -6 Degrees Celsius
Windgusts: 100 km / h


At this moment large parts of Europe suffer from the winter weather. In parts of Great Britain public life is quiet because the roads are impassable. Many schools are closed.

In Southern France is the city of Arles due to the snow without power, also in a part of Holland there was a power failure for several hours. Heavy trucks may not drive because of the iced and slippery highways.


The Czech border has been closed to freight traffic because the roads are too slippery.

Germany expects a lot of problems this weekend due to drifting snow in the Northern part several people have been stuck in their cars on the highway as they snowed in due to a traffic jam caused by truck that slipped of the road. Gymnasiums are closed as a precaution because they might collapse due to the weight of the snow.


German households are also advised to have food, medicine and drinking water in stock for the snow storm that would come that is what the BBC reports.

The Germans also expect heavy snowfall today that could lead to local outages and public transportation will seriously disrupt.


The National weatherstation just tells that the weather alarm will not be changed and people in the North are advised to stay indoors, as outside temperatures are fierce and roads are being difficult to drive on. Busses have started up again although there is a lot of disruption due to the icy road conditions.

The Old Sailor,

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