Weather Project ”Storm Berlin 05/10/2017” Student Name


Weather Project

”Storm Berlin 05/10/2017”

Student Name: Darragh Moynihan

Student Number: 117481804

Lecturer: Dr. Úna Ní Chaoimh

Course Module: GG2016

Word Count: 2014

Table Of Contents

1.0 Introduction…………………………………………….Page 1

2.0 Theoretical Background…………………….………….Page 2

2.1 Study Area…………………………………..……..…….Page 5

3.0 Description………………………………….…………….Page 6

4.0 Analysis…………………………………….…….…….…Page 12

5.0 Conclusion……….……………………………….……..Page 13

6.0 References………………………………..……………….Page 14

1.0 Introduction

The subject of weather has long shaped the content of normal everyday life conversation i.e 8 out 10 postcards mention the weather. Weather describes the continuously changing features of the atmosphere, such as pressure, the temperature and rainfall at one moment. These features usually affect our daily lives in one way or another, however these can be positive and negative effects. The aim of my Assignment is to create a weather report and in my own case, my report is on Storm Berlin, which is also known as ‘Cyclone Xavier’ (is what I will refer to my storm as throughout) which occured from the 4th to the 7th of October 2017. Cyclone Xavier was a European windstorm which crossed Northern Europe in early October 2017. Germany was the worst affected country with gusts ranging up to 130km/h wind speed between 4th and 7th of October resulting in severe damage in and around Berlin which received blasts of gusts to minimal hurricane force of 120km/h.

2.0 Theoretical Background

Like other local windstorms in Europe these develop off winds coming from The North Atlantic Ocean. However Cyclone Xavier in particular travelled 3,000km within 24 hours. European storms occur mainly in autumn and winter. Storm Berlin began as tropical disturbances or referred to as ‘depression’ which then developed into a tropical storm/cyclonic windstorm which are normally associated with areas of low pressure. A cyclone is quasi circular area of low atmospheric pressure. Cyclonic weather is combined of low pressure, cloudy skies and moderate to high winds. Two conditions are needed for this weather storm development 1) Ocean Surface and 2) Sea surface temperature greater than 27?.

Development:- Water evaporates and becomes water vapour in the air. Heat energy is absorbed from the environment to turn this liquid water into water vapour. The water vapour then rises through the unstable atmosphere which is combined with cold and warm air,however, water vapour still has latent energy and its carried it in an upward movement. Water vapour soon condenses to form cloud droplets. The latent heat is then released into the environment as sensible heat. This heat is released during condensation and it creates a warm core and buoyancy. A boundary is formed between cold and warm air. This buoyancy lifts warm air off the surface at the apex through the system where air is replaced at the bottom through the inflow forming the low pressure centre. This is an impact of Coriolis effect, seeing as Cyclones are low pressure systems that suck air into their apex. In Northern Hemisphere, fluids from high pressure systems pass low pressure systems to their right therefore air starts to rotate cyclonically in an anti-clockwise direction. Inflow is experienced as surface wind. A rapid buoyancy and upward movement leads to strong surface winds. When warm air is completely lifted off the surface an occluded front is formed. The cyclonic storm is now a fully developed low-pressure centre. ”Large?surface low?pressure systems are classified as tropical A tropical cyclone is a low?pressure system that forms over tropical ocean. It has a well?developed cyclonic circulation at the surface and a warm core in the middle and upper troposphere. Tropical cyclones are driven by the release of latent energy, and the strongest winds occur relatively close to the center” (Hobgood, 2018).

In contrast to the Bergeron Process, where precipitation only forms under supercooled conditions, the Collision and Coalescence Process only works between warm clouds with tops warmer than -15?. During this process falling and rising droplets due to upward/downward movement collide which allows them to expand large enough to fall as precipitation.

2.1 The Study Area

The Study Area corresponds to the Germany’s largest City and Capital by both area and population. Berlin is built on the banks of the River Spree.
The below ‘Figure 1.0’ illustrates red storm alerts as they were in place in Berlin by Thursday at 07:00 CEST/05:00 GMT. Red storm alerts mean that gusts of more than 100km/h speeds are to be expected, which were accurately predicted.

Figure 1.0 (Unwetterzentrale.de, 2018)

3.0 Description

During this period of severe weather, these raging gusts impacted terribly on the local population of Berlin causing heavy damage, problems with public traffic and also air traffic cancelling nearly 100 flights at Berlin Schönefeld Airport, according to FlightAware and seven people were fatally injured by falling trees. According to ‘The German Weather Service’ said ”the storm had reached hurricane-strength wind speeds of between 105 and 115 kilometers per hour”. Strong gusts, heavy continuous rain and storm surge create hazards.

On the 7th of October 2017 the highest temperature of 13? was recorded that day between the hours of 06:00CET-12:00CET/05:00GMT-11:00GMT, with a relative humidity of 90%. In terms of relative humidity it controls the amount of moisture in the air and what the air can hold at that precise temperature. However, when the air cannot hold a certain amount of moisture, it will then condense as a dew. Indeed the dew point and relative humidity are similarly connected but the dew point is the temperature at which the air is completely saturated which is when relative humidity is at 100%. Therefore the higher dew point, the greater the amount of water vapour which is present in the air temperature.

Below Figure 2.0 measures the air pressure patterns using isobars and weather fronts at (00:00UTC)/(00:00GMT) on Saturday the 7th of October. In Berlin at this particular time I would estimate (from the figure below) the atmospheric pressure (which is pressure exerted by the atmosphere as a consequence of gravitational attraction exerted upon the ”column” of air lying directly above the point in question) to be 1016Mb and a warm front heading easterly over Germany, meaning warm air follows. There also tends to be increased amounts of cloud and rainfall along the front itself. Fronts simply mark the boundaries between different air masses such as warm, cold, dry and moist air. The closer the isobars are positioned to each other the steeper the gradient between high and low pressure. The steeper the gradient the stronger the winds usually tend to be.

Synoptic Chart

Figure 2.0 (metoffice.gov.uk, 2018)

Sea Level pressure

Below Figure 3.0 represents the sea level pressure at (01:00BST)/(24:00GMT) on Friday the 6th of October. In Berlin at this particular time I would estimate (from the figure below) the sea level pressure to be 1005Mb. Sea level pressure is directly impacted by air pressure i.e if there is a recorded high air pressure point over a sea area it results, in a low sea level pressure

Figure 3.0 (Metcheck.com, 2018)

On October 5th 2017 there was a recording of 10.16mm of rainfall which continued to fall throughout the day in Berlin. Figure 4.0 Below represents rainfall in Europe at 01:00BST/01:00GMT on Thursday the 5th of October 20117.

Rainfall

Figure 4.0 (Metcheck.com,2018)

The below Figure 5.0 represents Europe on the 7th of October 2017 at 14:00CET/13:00GMT.

Figure 5.0 (Sat24.com, 2018)

Impacts:

Storm Xavier left a trail of destruction across Northern Germany during the 3 day period. Emergency services had received over one thousand calls as people were warned to remain indoors for their own safety. The storm uprooted trees and destroyed the roofs of buildings as well as toppling a large, heavy industrial crane in the North Sea port into the Jade River as seen in Figure 7.0 below .Seven people are dead, five of whom were killed in vehicles. According the ‘The Local’, ”among the dead was a woman who was struck by a falling tree in Berlin. Below in ‘Figure 5.0’ shows clearly a tree downed by Storm Xavier which fell onto this car in Berlin on October 5th 2017.

Figure 6.0 (@essaywarminal/Twitter Photo)

Figure 7.0 (www.dw.com), 2018)

Transport Disruption

The felling of trees around the Capital City led to emergencies within Germany’s public transportation system. Tram and train lines were severely impacted leaving hundreds of people stranded in Berlin as routes from Berlin to Hanover and Hamburg were cancelled for due to safety reasons. Problems also arose with air traffic cancelling nearly 100 flights at Berlin Schönefeld Airport, according to FlightAware. Passengers who had arrived to BerlinSchönefeld Airport during the storm had to remain on board the aircraft as the storm swept over the airport and authorities temporarily suspended operations until it was safe to do so.

5.0 Analysis

The extreme weather event happened in Berlin, Northern Germany during the 5th – 7th of October 2017 due to a combination of strong gusts coming on-shore from the North Atlantic Ocean and with its low atmospheric pressure caused a tropical cyclone. It formed over a warm ocean which had to have a sea surface temperature of 27 ? or over. This giant weather system varies in size from 8 to 9 kilometers in height to anywhere near 400 to 600 kilometers in width and can often be bigger. Beginning as just a simple thunderstorm can quickly evolve and grow itself by attracting energy to soon form a Tropical Cyclone and cause severe damage resulting in natural disasters. Although this simple thunderstorm combines interactions from the ocean and atmosphere, it can quickly cause great damage to everything around it. Every year Tropical Cyclones result in loss of life and immense damage to properties . However because they are essential features of the Earth’s atmosphere, these natural disasters cannot be prohibited from occurring.

6.0 Conclusion

In conclusion I feel I have achieved my main task which was ”To produce a Report on a Case Study of a Weather Event for my Research Project.” The most obvious explanation as to why maps are important for human geographers is their use in the contextualisation of data especially for the location of demographic data. From a wide perspective, it is becoming more obvious that most, if not all weather events across the globe are effects of climate change. Extreme weather events are on the rise becoming more frequent and more intense which may be affected even more than anticipated.

6.0 References:

En.wikipedia.org. (2018). Cyclone Xavier (2017). online Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Xavier_(2017) Accessed 29 Nov. 2018.

Unwetterzentrale.de. (2018). Unwetterzentrale Deutschland – Alle Warnungen. online Available at: http://www.unwetterzentrale.de/uwz/ Accessed 29 Nov. 2018.

metoffice.gov.uk (2018). Geostrophic Wind Scale. image Available at: http://www.willandweather.org.uk/maps/Brack2017100709.gif Accessed 29 Nov. 2018.

Metcheck.com. (2018). Metcheck.com – European GFS Pressure ; Rainfall Charts Archive. online Available at: https://www.metcheck.com/WEATHER/gfscharts_archive.asp Accessed 29 Nov. 2018.

Hobgood, J. (2018). International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment and Technology. ebook John Wiley ; Sons, Ltd. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781118786352.wbieg0227 Accessed 30 Nov. 2018.

Pydynowski, K. and Leister, E. (2018). More rain to target Germany this weekend following deadly Storm Xavier. online AccuWeather. Available at: https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/more-rain-to-target-germany-this-weekend-following-deadly-storm-xavier/70002916 Accessed 30 Nov. 2018.

(www.dw.com), D. (2018). Deadly storm Xavier sweeps across northern Germany | DW | 05.10.2017. online DW.COM. Available at: https://www.dw.com/en/deadly-storm-xavier-sweeps-across-northern-germany/a-40822911 Accessed 30 Nov. 2018.

Sat24.com. (2018). Weather Europe, Satellite Weather Europe, Weather Forecast, Rainfall, Clouds, Sun in Europe – Source: SAT24.com. online Available at: http://www.sat24.com/history.aspx Accessed 1 Dec. 2018.