Germany Extreme Weather Event

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Severe Storm Egon

The storm named Egon in 2017 was one of the strongest storms to hit Germany in recent memory. Storm Egon built up over the Atlantic Ocean on the 10th and 11th of January 2017 due to large horizontal differences in air pressure of 850hPa. As a result, the storm was characterized by strong violent winds that travelled at a speed of 315 km/h from Greenland to Scotland to Germany. The storm reached its peak on January 13th, 2017 over west and north Germany. That day, Fichtelberg in the Erzgebirge recorded the strongest wind gust at a speed of 150 km/h. The wind blew across Luxembourg, Saarland, southern Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse, north of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, and southern parts of Thuringia and Saxony.

The storm left behind considerable damage that was way beyond damages caused by other oceanic storms in the past. The strong winds uprooted over 80 trees in Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Hesse, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Thuringia and Bavaria causing train accidents, road traffic and injury of people. In the middle and lower regions of Saarland, buildings and cars were damaged and power lines fell causing power outages to thousands of households. In Hessen, Thuringia, Lower Saxony and Bavaria, road closures and heavy traffic caused by snowdrifts obstructed more than 30 roads. In Bavaria and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, some of the villages became inaccessible and were temporarily cut-off from the rest of the surrounding areas. Schools in some of the states were closed and passengers at the airport in Hesse (Hahn and Frankfurt) and Saxony (Dresden, Leipzig) were delayed. About 125 flight departures and landings were cancelled. The storm adversely affected the transport sector and many train tracks were temporarily obstructed. In total, about 13 traffic accidents occurred and the conditions in the Westerwaldkreis and Rhineland-Palatinate were in particular chaotic with a lot of trucks stuck in snowdrifts.

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