Code Orange and 1722 have been activated for Storm Lewis: “Wind gusts of 110 km/h or greater are possible locally” |  Science and the planet

Code Orange and 1722 have been activated for Storm Lewis: “Wind gusts of 110 km/h or greater are possible locally” | Science and the planet

to updateA large low pressure area between Greenland and Iceland is currently creating a powerful jet stream in the Atlantic Ocean. This has consequences for the weather in our country: today we expect strong winds in addition to rain. RMI has already declared Code Orange for wind throughout Flanders, Brussels, Walloon Brabant and Hainaut. Elsewhere, code yellow applies.


Nicholas Rose, RL, MPE


Last updated:
06:31


Bron:
Special Reports, KMI, Belga

look. Meteorologist Frank Dubucage tells us how much wind we can expect today:

Code Orange applies in all Flemish provinces and Brussels and also in the Walloon Brabant and Hainaut provinces, from Thursday 3pm to Friday morning 2am.

The area of ​​active rain that will pass over our country today will be accompanied by moderately strong to strong winds (5 to 6 Bft), on the coast even very strong to gale force winds (7-8 Bft), reports RMI.

The most intense wind gusts will occur in the late afternoon and especially in the evening and will range between 80 and 110 kilometers per hour in many places, and are very local and very temporary, for example in the event of heavy rain (thunder). So there is a chance of damage. In counties coded orange, there is at least a 65% chance that large enough portions will experience winds of more than 100 kilometers per hour.

A temporary to severe storm (9-10 Beaufort) is expected in the Belgian North Sea this evening. Heavy rain is expected in the south of the country today. There, the all-day code yellow applies to rain.

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The Internal Affairs of the Federal Public Service (FPS) announced this earlier No. 1722for non-urgent assistance, is enabled.

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The RMI has issued a Code Orange for strong winds across Flanders as of Thursday afternoon. © Quantitative

Why this kind of weather?

Winds may pick up more if a channel rat develops with a storm field. But what is it exactly? Where can we expect the most wind? How hard is the hit?

During the fall and winter months, the differences between the temperature at the North Pole and the temperature near the equator are very large. This creates a difference in air pressure between high and low pressure areas, creating the jet stream, a large, fast-flowing river of air. In the coming days, the jet stream will target Western Europe with wind speeds of up to 250 km/h, which will have an impact on our weather.

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Creates an active jet stream near Western Europe
An active jet stream near Western Europe creates a “train” of areas of rain and wind. Sometimes storm depressions develop near the jet stream targeting the low-lying countries. © Wackcharts

Channel mice

The proximity of such a powerful jet stream is fertile ground for strong low pressure areas that can sometimes develop into a storm depression. Today, this is one possibility that appears in many weather models. It could even lead to a “channel rat” where wind speeds are underestimated by weather models and wind gusts may end up being much higher than currently expected.

The channel rat is often a small-sized depression with a diameter of 100 km or even less. Weather models have difficulty predicting such small systems, because the accuracy of the calculations is not precise enough. Thus the canal rat broke out in the Netherlands on May 12, 1983, without warning.

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The curl-shaped structure within the storm depression resembles a scorpion sting.  Storm damage occurs when wind speeds decrease.
The curl-shaped structure within the storm depression resembles a scorpion sting. Storm damage occurs when wind speeds decrease. © Sky Prairie Aero

Another phenomenon to be careful of during stormy depressions is stinging jets, which can be translated as “pricking winds.” This is the descent of cold air at a certain altitude. The winds there are usually much stronger than those on land. When high wind speeds decrease, the chance of storm damage in a given area increases. The stinging jet owes its name to the swirling-shaped structure during a storm depression.

Right now, fortunately, the chance of a stingray is very small in today's stormy weather, but meteorologists are monitoring the weather closely.

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