Early Warning Debacle – Hamburg Germany Issues First Storm Warning AFTER Cyclone Hits City!

Powerful autumn storm St. Jude (dubbed Christian in Germany) swept across England and the North Sea Sunday and Monday, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Especially hard hit were England, Northern France, Holland and the North German coast.

The storm claimed 14 lives in Europe.

Particularly hard hit was the north German port city of Hamburg, which saw wind gusts of up to 120 km/hr. That in itself is not an unusual event for the city, as North Sea storms of this magnitude occur about every 5 or 10 years. What was unusual and devastating, however, was how the city waited until the storm was raging over the city at peak fury before issuing any storm warning at all. Hamburg is governed by a coalition of socialists and environmental greens.

Meteorologist Dominik Jung of wetternet.de here writes that even though Storm Christian had been forecast for days, Hamburg city officials remained deeply asleep and did not wake up to issue any storm warning until 2:26 pm Monday afternoon. By that time the storm was already raging at its peak and the city had plunged into chaos. See wind speed chart below.

Hamburg_wind Oct 28 2013

Wind speed measured at a weather station near Hamburg. Green curve – wind gusts. Blue curve – wind speed. Source: wetter24.de/html

How Hamburg officials failed to issue a storm warning is a mystery and shows that the city’s early warning system was nothing less than a debacle.

It’s not like the storm came without ample warning. A day earlier England was being battered by the storm. Hours before hitting Germany, western neighbor Holland had seen record wind speeds and France had saw widespread power outages. Jung at wetternet.de writes:

In England it was the most powerful storm in over 10 years. At the coast of Holland it was even the most violent hurricane ever observed in an October month. On the Dutch islands wind gusts of 152 km/hr were recorded. In France more than 75,000 homes lost power.”

Moreover, wetternet.de had already warned of a developing storm last week on Wednesday, read here.

Now a day later, some German meteorologists are scratching their heads over the inaction and are lashing out at the ineptitude of Hamburg officials. Jung writes that the inaction was “amazing and unacceptable“:

It wasn’t until 2:26 pm that a storm warning was issued for the Hansa City (Hamburg). At that point the storm was already going at full blast. At 2:25 pm the fire department had already declared a state of emergency.

The storm could be seen coming already days earlier. At the latest on Monday morning, when the damage and wind speeds in England and France were already known, should a storm warning have been issued in order to warn the public, police, fire and rescue services. Why a storm warning was issued only when Hamburg found itself in the middle of chaos is completely incomprehensible. […] Even stranger: The storm warning issued at 2:26 was for the time period of 3:30 pm to 8 p.m.”

According to Jung at wetternet.de, the storm produced wind gusts of close to 200 km/hr. at the North Sea islands. At Helgoland gusts of 190 km/h were measured – a record value for the island!

Yesterday afternoon as I was driving I noticed toppled trees, small branches littering the streets everywhere, and truckers struggling to keep their rigs under control. I remember thinking it was quite a fall storm, and wondered why the media was being low key about it. Now I know the answer: incompetent officials!

Ironically, these socialist and green party officials are the very ones who like to go on TV and tell viewers how terrible it is when cities like New Orleans and New York are hit by hurricanes and how US officials are too incompetent to cope with storms.

Well, after witnessing Hamburg yesterday, US officials who handled Sandy look like first class experts by comparison.

Expect the hapless Hamburg officials to react by blaming “climate change” for the storm’s “unexpected intensity”.


13 responses to “Early Warning Debacle – Hamburg Germany Issues First Storm Warning AFTER Cyclone Hits City!”

  1. John Shade

    Hah! That storm was merely ‘weather’. The ‘authorities’ were too busy addressing the far more important problem of ‘climate’. You note that ‘Hamburg is governed by a coalition of socialists and environmental greens.’ That would seem to explain it.

    1. DirkH

      “The ‘authorities’ were too busy addressing the far more important problem of ‘climate’. ”

      Not even that; the Hamburg officials have been busy for months now cow-towing to the needs of the Left SA (the Black Bloc) and some illegal immigrants from North Africa; oh and celebrating the conversion of a Christian church to a mosque. Loving themselves some diversity. German homosexuals are leaving the city in droves as the pendulum of multiculturalism currently swings backwards 1,400 years (hitting some of them in the face in the process). Hamburg Greens are full of bliss about it all.

  2. Ric Werme

    Perhaps they think this is the new normal for storms and there’s no point in warning about normal storms.

  3. alex

    Or they just wanted as much destruction and deaths as posible to be able to blame it on CO2 and me

  4. George B

    Is there any estimate yet on the amount of damage to wind and solar generation capacity as a result of this storm? I saw one rather large turbine reported toppled in the UK. Wind and solar are relatively fragile sources of power in the face of nature’s fury.

  5. John F. Hultquist

    “. . . the city waited until the storm was raging over the city at peak fury before issuing any storm warning . . .”

    There seems to be a border or cultural thing going on that isn’t quite making it across the pond. In the USA, short range weather events with expected adverse consequences are monitored and announced by the National Weather Service’s “Weather Prediction Center” (part of NOAA). For example, see:

    Other private (or commercial) agents also do this sort of thing. TV, radio, and newspapers may have a staff meteorologist. Such staff can draw from the government agents or anyone else. People are made aware of impending weather in many ways but not, generally, from cities and other such geo-political units. They have no direct way of alerting residents of approaching storms. A city’s mayor or a state’s governor could ask for a televised news segment – and they do – but such a show would simply be repeating information readily available. The interest shown by such an authority might be nice but would add little to the knowledge of the coming weather.

    1. DirkH

      There are of course such private services, and of a supreme quality, in Germany as well, like meteomedia, a company founded by a guy called Kachelmann, running 12,000 automated weather stations in Germany alone and also serving neighbouring countries.

      The general populace though relies on state media; and newspapers which are little Pravda’s copying state announcements and NATO lies, especially in a hard left city like Hamburg. Nearly all our radio and TV stations are state run. Hamburg prides itself to be the home of the leftest of them, NDR.

  6. DICK R

    No doubt the intention was to pretend that the storm was a sudden,unpredictable manifestation of global warming!

  7. Peter Whale

    They forgot to run the models, then the power went off and they were surprised by the storms they have been predicting for the last couple of decades. Where are our useful idiots when you need them to forecast anything relevant to the population? If it does not get funding they do nothing.

  8. Chris Frey

    Just a reminder: The official warning agent is the Deutscher Wetterdienst DWD! The DWD issued a storm watch more than 24 hours in advance and upgraded it to a storm warning many hours before gusting reached its peak!
    It does not matter at all what any private Want-to-be-weather service says or doesn’t say. Neither is it the task of the DWD to warn other people than city officials unless a private client pays for particular warnings. It is very hard to believe that Hamburg city officials did not react to the official warning issued by DWD. It was in Videotext and in internet on the DWD-Site.

    So please don’t mix this up.

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