Dangerous Storm – Berlin And Brandenburg, Germany, March 17, 2017

On Saturday, March 18, an unexpected storm hit the capital Berlin and Brandenburg. The wind freshed up after noon and lasted till afternoon. A wind gust with 100 km/h was registered. The Fire starters got over 300 calls. Damage in the city was limited but in the surrounding Brandenburg the storm caused a tragic event when one person was killed in a car which was hit by a fallen tree. In Potsdam an advertising sign was flying around and did hurt three people.   The storm called “Eckhard” emerged on the southern side of another storm system in Northern Europe. It proved that storms are still difficult to predict. In this case the storm warning occured not before the storm had already hit. But most of the time the weather service warns one or two days before  a storm does happen. Storms often occur in weather-models a couple of days before. Nevertheless the challenge is to exactly predict the path of a coming storm. Furthermore the strength of a storm could differ from the estimated strength. And – as in the case of Eckhard – there are surprises. Storms are a very typical weather pattern in February/March in Middle/Northern Europe. It is the time between winter and spring and there are big differences between cold air in the North and warm air in the South. Some storms during this time could be really destructive and can destroy whole forests. In this case the storm ripped off branches of trees (picture above) and felled trees. The S-Bahn in Berlin was interrupted for hours. Storms with a maximum of 9 or 10 Beaufort also create bigger waves on the havel-lakes like lake Wannsee on the westside of Berlin. These winds are also a problem for sailors or row-boats because the waves are unpredictable. In the late afternoon of Saturday typcial storm clouds could be seen. In the evening the sky was clear again. The next day it rained and it became significantly warmer. March was so far too warm in many areas, even there was still snow in the mountains and skiing was possible.