UPDATE 1: Temperatures are well below freezing now with winds up 60 km/hr. Transportation has become largely paralyzed, with the German Railway announcing much service has been suspended. Snow is expected to continue until this evening. https://www.bild.de/
Green energy and COVID-19 lockdowns are playing energy Russian roulette with people’s lives. Perfect winter storm brewing.
A winter blizzard is set to strike Central Europe, bringing with it the potential to wreak power outage havoc. Temperatures will plummet to as low as -15°C accompanied by bone-chilling high winds. Closed shops due to COVID-19 are leaving citizens unprepared. A protracted power outage would be devastating.
In the coming hours, a high pressure system situated over Scandinavia and storm Tristan to the south will collide over central Europe and develop into dangerous weather conditions over one of Europe’s most populated regions, North Rhine Westphalia Germany.
Watch the Kachelmann forecast (in German) here.
There are some major problems with this storm that will test the German power grid stability and even possibly the citizens’ ability to fend for themselves.
Power grid at risk: hours of freezing rain
First will be the band of freezing rain that is forecast across the Ruhr region of North Rhine Westphalia. According to Kachelmannwetter.de, the freezing rain period could last hours and thus lead to heavy weight loads on power transmission structures as ice builds up. Lines could collapse.
High winds – even heavier loads
To make matters worse, high winds will further exacerbate the loads on the already ice-coated power transmission infrastructure – thus increasing the probability of power line structural failure and an ensuing power blackout, which in turn could cascade and threaten the European power grid.
Winter blackout not unprecedented
Such a blackout would not be unprecedented. In 2006, a major European blackout was caused by a disconnection of a powerline crossing in northwest Germany. The power outage quickly cascaded across Europe, extending from Poland in the north-east, to the Benelux countries and France in the west, through to Portugal, Spain and Morocco in the south-west, and across to Greece and the Balkans in the south-east.
Also just last month a major European blackout was narrowly averted. The cause: wintry weather, which was mild compared to what is forecast to hit soon.
November snow storm 2005
Wintry weather causing a blackout also occurred on November 25, 2005, in northwest Germany when the region was hit by a snow storm. Power transmission lines, which had been poorly maintained over the previous years, collapsed under the weight of ice and caused a large blackout. According to power company RWE, around 250,000 people in 25 municipalities lost power.
Grid more destabilized than ever – unsteady green energies
Another problem with this weekend’s coming storm – in addition to high winds and ice – is the fact that Germany’s power grid is more unstable than ever – thanks to the wildly fluctuating supply from wind and solar energy. Also a number of baseload-providing nuclear and coal power plants have been taken out of service, thus further destabilizing the country’s and continent’s power grid.
Power grid winter Russian roulette with people’s lives
The forecast weather conditions mean almost zero solar energy, and the expected high winds may necessitate the shutdown of wind turbines or cause wild feed-in fluctuations. One thing is certain, the grid will be challenged over the coming hours and days.
Most likely the grid will hold up and keep everyone out of the cold and darkness. But the bad news is that in the wintertime the country’s power grid has turned into a game of energy roulette and citizens have to rely on “a little luck” every time the weather turns stormy and frigid cold – thanks in large part to disastrous energy policies by the German government.
The worst time for any blackout is during a period of blizzard and bitter cold. People can freeze to death quickly. In such times they rely more than ever on a stable power supply.
What if there’s a longer term blackout?
For my wife and I here in northwest Germany, we would be toast.
With this weekend’s forecast high winds and temperatures dropping to near -15°C, we’d not only lose both power but also heat. Our natural gas furnace is controlled electrically, so it would cease to function too. Within hours the house would turn very cold and uninhabitable. We don’t have a woodstove or a fireplace. We’d have to move in with friends or relatives who have wood heat.
It would not be possible to go out and buy a generator to power the furnace because the stores are closed – due to Corona! I’ve got a gas bottle for the barbecue grill, but it’s almost empty. And I can’t fill it because the shops are closed – due to Corona. What a time for a lockdown – just when people need to be preparing the most.
Without heat at home, we could just stay at a hotel, right? Wrong. They’re closed too – because of COVID. So are bars and restaurants.
All the ingredients for a perfect disaster
Across the country, many people face the same scenario. Most would somehow get by, I’m sure. But if a blackout should occur, many will risk freezing to death in large part because of the self-inflicted green energies grid instability and the Corona lockdowns making it impossible for them to prepare properly.
We can almost see the perfect disaster brewing.
Unfortunately, this is what the government has left its citizens with: hope for the best! A game of energy Russian Roulette. The winter bullet is in the chamber. We can only hope to miss it.
34 responses to “Winter Storm Threatens Germany’s Power…Freezing Hell Threatens If Already Rickety Grid Collapses!”
If you could update this article as news comes in that would be awsome. I think this will be a major incident having followed the data, weather forecasts and earlier problems wo. the major cold spell now forecasted for a large portion of northern/Central-Europe.
I am in Norway and thursday the regulator Statnett urged EV-owners NOT to charge their cars friday morning (esp. between 08-09). Never happened before. Ever. This co-incided with power problems in Sweden who thursday morning had to fire up the Karlshamn fossile fuel powerplant.
The ice-storm is news to me, but adding to this the REAL cold for contries like Germany and UK is projected to start after. With 4-10 deg. C. below average from monday-saturday next week. So if the ice-storm doesn’t create havoc the cold spell really might.
Take a moment to concider more than 2 mill plug-in vehicles have been added to the already fragile grid only over only the two last years alone. That is a potentially 8-12 Gwh extra load. Extra. Adding to a estimated 30% increase in power to heating needs at -15C vs 0C….
I have prepared, but this time I am really really worried. Rolling outages will be step one. Please follow this closely everybody in Europe.
Okay, will make it a ticker and post if news develops.
Looking at the overall picture from the sources I follow, it seems there has already been scattered but significant power outages throughout Germany. Counted apx 1300 customerreports (stromausfall) last night. Up from apx 6-700 yesterday morning.
The wind has been steep so overall wind power generation has been high. But now it drops, and tuesday, wednesday or thursday might be challenging. I see lots and lots of city-trains, commutertrains and regional trains are still out of service due to heavy snow and ice(ZDF,n-tv). Once this is resolved I expect overall power consumption to increase from an already high level. Coinciding with wind slowingand temperatures plunging. Let’s see.
The overall (expected) cold winter 2021 coincides with Solar minimum here in Bergen, Norway. As many other places. When I looked at the Thermosphere Climate Index over at Spaceweather, temperaturedata for Bergen (and many other places) confirms it. 1955, 1966, 1978/79, 1986/87, 2001 (slightly after), 2010 and 2021 coincides with TCI minimum levels. Not to say there have not been cold winters “outside” the pattern, but the coldest ones coincides. And even though SC25 has started it does not fit how the TCI “bottoms up” at earlier minimums. Not saying minimum isn’t passed, but the pattern is “off” this time.
I suspected this minimum would be worse studiing the data over time. A local expert (Robert Næss) found Bergen has not had a this cold start to February ever. Going through data from 1861. Average through saturday was 7,2C below the old 1961-90 period used here(-6,1C actual). The new 1991-2020 is still not ready. And the cold keeps on giving. Yesterday avg temp was 8,7C below normal in Bergen (-7,5C) It is unpresedented.
We spent this spring producing firewood. Beeing inland of Bergen we are situated colder, and am pleased that my own reasoning was sound. All 15 day forecasts say the cold will last. And now its spread through UK, DE, BE, NE and further down. Some older meteorologists say this resembles 1978/79. They had no 2+ mill EV’s and unstable power sources then. Yet large areas saw no power for long periods. As in 2001, 2005 and 2006.
When I think of all the problems with the german power grid, regulation and production you have documented over the last years it gives me the chill. It seems nature (wind) will decide if this is it over the coming week. At the same time continental US is forecasted to be extremely cold +1 week (GFS/karstenhaustein).
Stay safe and be prepared.
And in North America a vicious cold blast to hit every US state – including Hawaii – or 86% of the country and 235 million people over next week.
I posted (on Jo and Paul’s) about this cold, sent by Canada, seeping into the USA. By Wed or Thur it will be continent wide.
Cliff Mass has posted on the “Rex Block” that is setting this up.
Everyone stay warm and safe.
Whoa John …. us Canucks didn’t send the cold …. the cold is doing what it wants, when it wants and where it wants. It is a mean bitch … I was just out shoveling at -22 C & it is colder than a witch’s tit.
GLO-BULL warming my snowy, cold frozen ass!!
The Rex Block is… really weird.
The Greenland Block is more normal. As is the Omega Block.
The “Rex Block” is also odd in that it takes the name of Dr. Daniel F. Rex, who discovered and analyzed the pattern in 1950. He was a Commander in the Office of Naval Aerology and one of the founding members National Centers for Environmental Prediction. If there is another such naming, I haven’t seen it.
Without a large land mass off the west coast of North America the atmosphere has to work with a different set of things.
After long, a bit winter gets hold of Northern Europe for a few days. But that doesn’t mean that the overall trend is a warming of the winters, with the help of the regional seas, discussed in a post: “How North and Baltic Sea contribute to warming of North Europe!” due to activities at sea; at:
If you do have to flee your home, don’t forget to drain the water in your pipes. I have had pipes freeze in the house and it was not a fun time getting that fixed. My plumber threatened me with bodily harm if I ever left the house for a prolonged period without draining the pipes again.
I’ll just add to that that even if you drain the pipes, there is still water in the traps (sinks, toilets, etc.).
The way to deal with that is to pour in some **non-toxic** anti-freeze – not the usual automobile stuff (which uses very toxic ethylene glycol), but the non-toxic stuff that is based on propylene glycol (which, BTW, is also what is used in aviation as de-icing and anti-icing fluid).
You can get this if you look – often it’s labeled as “RV anti-freeze” since people use it for that sort of purpose (pour into the traps when the RV is stored in sub-freezing temperatures). Just ask for “non-toxic anti-freeze” and someone should know what you’re talking about…
Not to downplay the hardships of ice storms on humans, but forests can take a big hit as well. When very heavy, the ice will cause trees to bend and break. The results will last for many years.
Not a lot of sunshine above the Arctic Circle this time of year, the air is going to lose heat content, can’t be avoided.
It is a cold weather spell, -22 F this morning and the high temp for the day will be -8 F. The record high for February 6th was in 2016 at 51 degrees F. The record low was set in 1936 at -45 F. Continental climates can have some brutal winter days from time to time.
Baffin Island has a temp of 10 degrees temp today, so the cold air mass moved south and a warmer air mass moved north. Nuuk in Greenland is 25 F and Reykjavík, Iceland is 37 F.
Atlantic waters are going to have an influence on air temps at those coastal locations.
Wind turbines can operate at temps as low as -22 F, bitter cold temperatures stop wind turbines, too cold to move, a destroyed wind turbine costs money.
Metals become brittle in extreme cold, failure can and will happen. No power for you.
Just cancel winter, there will be some relief that way. lol
Five coal-fired power plants generating electricity 24/7/365 are going to guarantee a supply of electricity in copious Conehead massive quantity amounts for everybody in a five state region. 750 megawatts per plant will provide some power over a wide area.
Add a hydro-electric dam, plenty of power to ship to out of state markets.
Downed power lines can be a problem, you’ll lose power that way, but the power plant will keep on truckin’ the power through the high power transmission lines to your metropolitan population centers.
No electricity, you’ll be using a mechanical hand pump to pump diesel fuel from the bulk tank to fill your car’s tank to keep the heat on in your car, the only place you’ll have for heat and comfort. If you have a battery operated pump, you are in luck.
Have flashlights, candles, you’ll be in the dark if you don’t have a source of light. No power, no lights.
You can always take refuge in your basement, set up a pup tent with creature comforts, ten below zero sleeping bags, you can last a while that way. Have bottled water, canned foods, frozen foods outside in a sealed container.
Have a grill and charcoal to cook food.
Among other lighting, I have several of the small LED solar walk-way lights. They sit turned off in a south-facing window. Four or so will keep your house lighted. No heat though. (Our emergency heat is a wood stove. Also good for heating water and a little cooking. I realize not every house can have a stove.)
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Checked most of the other weather Youtube channels, this one cites the actual US, Canadian, EU models used and shows the differences. All mention the approaching front.
Still, someone will blame Russia, maybe Navalny?
There should be Siberian ice-rain climate sanctions! It rains on the Great Reset parade ! (There, that should get this by the censors…).
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The ever enthusiastic and excitable weather model watcher Gavin Partridge, shows what is likely to happen across the UK and Europe. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXaFJ-B_Bm8&feature=youtu.be
For more up to date info see https://www.gavsweathervids.com/.
Today’s (Sunday Feb 7) updated charts look very cold for the next 2 weeks.
Gavin’s latest (although UK biased shows Europe), shows very cold weather invading most of northern Europe — https://youtu.be/JxY5m1-d9aY the significant charts start at about the 14:45 mark.
Note that Gavin believes (and I agree) that this winter is only a ‘teaser’ winter with a high probability that next year (and maybe after that) maybe much, MUCH worse!
IF there is a substantial prolonged amount of freezing rain, the impact could be a lot more than a few power lines coming down. In 1998, eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including Ottawa and Montreal, was hit by a major ice storm. Power lines and trees came down, but so did many transmission towers. At one point, Montreal had lost almost all of its connections to the Hydro Quebec grid. Many areas were without electricity for up to a week, and some rural areas for up to four. Farms were hard hit, since livestock is kept indoors during the cold Canadian winter, and many farmers at that timedid not have back-up generators to keep ventilation, heat or milking equipment running.
In cities, the army was called out to help with the massive clean-up of fallen trees and damage.
Having seen what the ice storm did to trees and transmission towers, I can’t help wonder how wind turbines would cope with 2 cm of ice buildup on the blades and towers, even if not rotating. Might be some good in an ice storm after all.
International cooperation needed urgently! The billionaires got mad & spasmodic because they don’t know that we CAN escape extinction: Globally simultaneous grid pauses & Earth lasers’ plasma shield CAN prevent a devastating global blackout/all nuclear plants’ blasting by asteroid explosion (as in Tunguska-1908 & Chelyabinsk-2013) or solar storm hit! NINE times near-miss extinction so far: 1972, 1989, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021 https://GlobalBlackoutPrevention.wordpress.com
Texas & London just formed committees to prevent regional blackouts, but only cooperation can coordinate humankind for Global Blackout Prevention!
The sky is falling! Repent!
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Why are you not prepared for emergencies?
I’m an optimist and hoping for the best. We have enough food. I don’t want to buy a generator because I’ll rarely use it, and I don’t have room to store it. If things get bad, We’ll move in with some relatives who have a wood burning stove.
I hope you get through it OK.
And warmunistas want to cool the world? Good thing they can’t! Bad thing they can make it harder for us to deal with emergencies like this when we have to.
Our politicos like children play,
With whirly things on a dreary day.
And sunshine catchers destroy the futures
Of generations lost to crony looters.
Unpower tomorrow, “batteries not included”
Just pay ‘The Greens’ and stay deluded.
Another aspect of the cold in Germany :
Sea ice forming on the Baltic, possibly Northsea…The icefields can under windload form large ice walls that can press against windfarm windmills on the sea.. They can be turned into scrap because of the forces this ice exerts on the structures. They are just pressed flat by the ice.
Icerain makes the windmill wings extremely dangerous: ice spikes can be ejected in a radius of 700 meter around the windmill as mortal projectiles.
As natural gas supply is NOT without limits, gas could be rationed when the intermediate buffer storage runs out. There will be a choice to be made, electricity production,home -office heating, or industrial production. Gas comes from Russia,(can it deliver the expected full quantity as it has a cold wave itself?) , very cold Belgium (imported as liquefied gas there with just limited buffer storage) or the North sea and the cold Netherlands (net importing themselves) . I foresee a problem when the cold wave last longer than 10 days. It will certainly spike the natural gas price in Europe. Perhaps the Dutch will suspend temporarily their production moratorium for natural gas from the still huge Groningen gasfield (after some minor, smaller than 3.4R quakes) to help itself and Germany.
So: no grid fail then?
[…] We can almost see the perfect disaster brewing. Unfortunately, this is what the government has left its citizens with: hope for the best! A game of energy Russian Roulette. The winter bullet is in the chamber. We can only hope to miss it.No Tricks Zone […]