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Northern Europe braces for powerful winter storm
Berlin (Alliance News) - Weather services in Northern Europe on Wednesday issued severe weather warnings and forecast traffic disruptions, the day before a powerful Atlantic storm was expected to hit.
Britain's Met Office said wind gusts could be as strong as 145 kilometres per hour in the north and west of Scotland.
There was also potential for "significant flooding" across the country, it said, warning that the public should be prepared for travel disruptions along coasts.
Northern Germany was also bracing for hurricane-force gales, potentially surpassing 140 kilometres per hour, expected to start Thursday and last into Friday.
A mixture of snow and rain accompanied by Arctic temperatures was also expected as the storm called Xaver neared.
Hamburg was expected to be among the worst-hit regions, and its airport already was warning passengers Wednesday to be on alert for delays and cancellations.
London South East
Northwest Europe Braces for Severe Storm
Northwestern Europe is bracing for a severe storm that forecasters say likely will bring gale-force winds and flooding in coastal areas.
Weather forecasters in Britain and Germany predicted winds gusting up to 90 miles (145 kilometers) per hour on Thursday. Britain's Environment Agency said tidal surges could bring "significant" coastal flooding, and the Thames Barrier was closed to protect London.
Ferry operators canceled services to some of Germany's North Sea islands and the country's national railway, Deutsche Bahn, warned of likely disruption across a swathe of northern Germany.
The German Weather Service said the storm front, which was gathering strength as it headed eastward from the Atlantic Ocean off Greenland, would also bring polar air to Europe — meaning that it could bring snow to low-lying areas.
There are now 99 flood warnings and 23 severe flood warnings in place in England and Wales. 22 of the severe warnings - which mean "danger to life" - are in the Anglian region which covers much of the east of England. The Environment Agency has also warned that England's east coast should expect "the most serious coastal tidal surge for over 30 years".
Valid: Thu 05 Dec 2013 11:00 to Fri 06 Dec 2013 06:00 UTC
Issued: Thu 05 Dec 2013 11:39
A level 3 was issued for NE Netherlands, NW and N Germany and extreme S Denmark mainly for extreme wind gusts, and to a lesser extent for tornadoes.
Please refer to the original forecast.
A convective line with ample lightning activity has developed along a cold front across the North Sea.
This activity is collocated with the left exit of a particularly strong mid/upper-level jet streak.
Near the line, a very strong low-level wind field is in place with wind speeds around 40 m/s at 850 hPa. A combination of downward momentum transport and squall-line internal dynamics will likely be capable of producing gusts of around 35 - 40 m/s.
The line is expected to move quickly SEward reaching the Dutch, German and Danish coasts during the early afternoon. Upon interacting with boundary-layer induced friction over land, storm-relative helicity ahead of the system should increase strongly with NWP guidance yielding values in excess of 800 m2/s2 0-1 km SRH. At the same time, buoyancy should gradually diminish as the air ahead of the line gradually becomes drier. Nevertheless, some risk of tornadoes will exist, which, if they develop, may be strong.
During the 16 UTC - 18 UTC time frame the storms will likely start to reduce their intensity, but it is well possible that some linear convective activity will continue to progress well into parts of the Czech Republic and western Poland. Some convection may make it even further east across Slovakia, eastern Poland and the western Ukraine overnight.