When the easterly winds turn stormy, the waters of the Baltic Sea rush towards the coast. This means danger to low-lying areas in coastal cities and towns, and on beaches and cliffs. What’s it like in the North Sea?
Germany’s Baltic Sea coastal areas as well as parts of Denmark and Sweden should prepare for storm surges. A severe storm awaits Schleswig-Holstein. The highest water level is expected to reach two meters above the average water level in the Flensburg Strait, the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) announced on Thursday.
In Kiel Bay, water levels are expected to rise to 1.8 meters above normal on Friday. BSH expects up to 1.7 meters in the Gulf of Lübeck. There is a risk of flooding in low-lying areas in many cities. Beaches can also be flooded, and there is a risk of collapsing onto cliffs. The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance issued flood warnings for Lübeck and Flensburg, which were also distributed via the Nina warning app.
In Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, coastal cities are also preparing for the storm surge. On Friday, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BSH) predicted that the water level would reach 1.3 meters above the average water level on the coast west of Rügen. According to forecasts from Thursday morning, the forecast for the eastern Rügen area is a maximum of 1.2 metres.
According to BSH, a storm begins on the Baltic Sea coast when the water level is one meter higher than normal. Above 1.25 meters is considered moderate storm surge and above 1.5 meters is considered severe storm surge. If the water level rises more than 2 metres, it is a very severe storm. Unlike the North Sea, tidal range plays practically no role in the Baltic Sea. Water levels are particularly high when storms from the east push water towards the Schleswig-Holstein coast.
There is also a sense of unease in Denmark
On the Baltic Sea coast in southern and eastern Denmark, police asked residents and vacationers to leave the coastal area by Friday morning at the latest due to an expected storm. Among the affected areas are summer cottage areas on the southern coasts of the islands of Lolland, Falster and Funen, which are very popular with German holidaymakers, as well as in the Haderslev, Abenra and Flensburg fjords.
The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) warned of flooding in the affected coastal areas from Friday morning until Saturday afternoon. The institute said that water levels could rise up to 2.4 meters above normal. According to the shipping company Scandlines, there are also restrictions on ferry movement between Germany and Denmark due to the storm.
The southern coast of Sweden was also threatened
Floods can also occur on the southern Swedish coast. The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) said the water level was expected to be particularly high in the coastal part between the Øresund Bridge and Ystad.
Meanwhile, falling water levels in the Schleswig-Holstein-Waden Sea of the North Sea have led to cancellations and changes in ferry schedules between the islands, Halligen and the mainland. The reason is the strong easterly winds that push water from the Wadden Sea into the North Sea.
The German Meteorological Service (DWD) warned of hurricane-like storms with winds of up to 110 kilometers per hour on the coast of Schleswig-Holstein on the Baltic Sea. The advisory applies from Friday at 12:00 p.m. until Saturday at 2:00 a.m., DWD announced Thursday. DWD expects continued rain starting Friday afternoon before the weather calms down on Saturday.
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