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In the event of a storm, you first have to have convective wind events (due to heavy rain showers, but mostly thunderstorms), of which large-scale ones Distinguish storm or hurricane lows. The best example is the “Pentecost weather” in North Rhine-Westphalia on June 9, 2014. A strong thunderstorm cluster caused severe gale gusts from the Rhineland to the Ruhr area, which reached over 140 km / h and caused massive damage. Erroneously, it is often written here as “storm depth ELA”. ELA was only the low that caused the thunderstorms, but ELA was not a storm depression! These so-called “convective” wind events mostly occur in a very limited area, whereby thunderstorm lines, so-called squall lines are an exception and can lead to violent gusts of wind and damage over a larger area. In the event of storm or hurricane lows, the wind gusts also occur away from precipitation and usually on a larger area. So while only thunderstorms can be affected by thunderstorms, entire countries are often affected by storm and hurricane lows. In addition to these straightforward wind events, there are also wind events caused by tornadoes. These are always very narrow, since tornadoes occur during showers or thunderstorms and only affect a very narrow path. How much trees are at risk during storms and hurricanes depends on the foliage. In the summer months, 60 to 70 km / h are often enough to tear off individual, larger branches, while in the winter months, little happens with the leaves without leaves at the same wind speed. However, the greatest danger in storms and hurricanes always comes from falling trees or, for example, scaffolding and flying objects.
Snowfall/heavy Snowfall
snowfall The effects of snowfall vary greatly depending on the region. In regions with a lot of heavy traffic, where heavy snowfall is not very common, even small amounts of fresh snow often cause great chaos. In contrast, heavy snowfalls with comparatively larger amounts of fresh snow of 20 to 40 cm or more can occur relatively easily in less densely populated regions, which are also used to a lot of fresh snow every winter. Additional dangers in the event of snowfall are snow breakage due to very wet snow and snow drifts. If there is a lot of wet and therefore heavy snow at temperatures around 0 degrees, the snow load on trees continues to increase. Large branches can break off or even break entire trees. With very large amounts of fresh snow, even the snow load on buildings can become critical and cause them to collapse. For example, on January 2, 2006 the ice rink in Bad Reichenhall collapsed after heavy wet snowfalls under heavy snow loads. In contrast to snowfall, snow drifts are more likely to occur in dry powder snow and a lot of wind. Cleared roads can be blown away by the snow again in a short time. With very strong wind and a lot of (new) snow, meter-high snow drifts can pile up and even cut off places from the outside world.
Freezing Rain
Freezing rain / freezing rain A particularly dangerous type of smoothing occurs when rain falls on frozen floors and freezes here to a mirror-smooth layer of ice. In this case one speaks of black ice. Traffic on roads and paths often collapses and even rail and air traffic can be severely affected. The basic requirement for the formation of freezing rain is a layer of cold air on the ground. Warmer air blows in, but cannot displace the heavier cold air and pushes itself over the cold air. If the cold air layer on the floor is only thin but the floor is frozen, the rain falls down to the bottom in liquid form and only freezes when it hits objects or the floor. In this case one speaks of freezing rain. The layer of ice that forms is particularly dangerous because it is very smooth. The ice formation on trees can cause branches to break off or, in extreme cases, even topple over entire trees. A thick ice sheet can form on power lines and the additional weight can cause lines to break. In extreme cases, electricity poles can even fall over due to the one-sided tensile load.
Hailstorm is always very limited in thunderstorms, but occurs in almost every thunderstorm situation. Large hail occurs primarily and most often in the summer months within high-energy air in very high-reaching storm clouds. The interplay of high-energy, very warm or hot air, including (at least a little) wind shear, allows powerful storm clouds to grow, which are long-lived and bring large amounts of hail. Hail with a diameter of 4 to 5 cm and more usually occurs in so-called super cells (long-lived, highly rotating thunderstorms). Even from 0.5 to 1 cm in diameter, hailstones can cause damage to fruits, especially in very dense hailstorms. From about 3 cm in diameter, bumps on cars can occur, from about 5 cm onwards, window panes can be broken in, from 7 to 8 cm in diameter, massive damage to the roofs of buildings occurs. In the case of hailstones with a diameter of 10 cm or more, massive damage or devastation occurs across the surface, and people and animals can be fatally injured from this hailstone size at the latest. The impact is not only dependent on the grain diameter, but also on the wind.
A tornado is a small-scale vortex with a more or less vertical axis, which extends from a shower or thundercloud to the ground and can cause great damage here. Most tornadoes have a lifespan of only a few minutes and travel over a distance of a few hundred meters to several kilometers. Tornadoes can occur during showers or thunderstorms. They are often very short-lived and very small-scale, but extreme wind speeds can prevail in this small area. The strength of a tornado is indicated by the Fujitaskala, which ranges from F0 (below hurricane strength) to F5 (from approx. 420 km / h). In addition to high humidity and thus a low level of condensation, wind shear is a decisive factor for the formation of a tornado on a shower or thundercloud. In addition to extensive vertical wind shear (speed shear), the rotation of the wind in the lower layers of the troposphere is crucial. Can you warn of tornadoes? Yes, with restrictions. However, this only works for a very short time and with stronger thunderstorms that have a rotating upwind area. In many cases, this can be seen in radar images.
Slow moving thunderstorms
If there is a thunderstorm in humid and warm to hot air (almost exclusively in the summer months) with little wind at the same time, there is a great risk of flash floods and floods. Since the wind is only very weak up to high altitudes in the humid air, a thunderstorm arises only very slowly or remains stationary. The result is that the thunderstorm can dump all of its rainfall in one place, which can often lead to large floods and flash floods. Basements are full, streets are flooded and small streams and rivers can swell by several meters and cause floods in a short time. Large hailstones are also more common locally. The (mostly small-grain) hail can clog processes and thus increase the risk of flooding. In this weather situation, regions in the mountains and in the vicinity of the low mountain ranges and the Alps are mostly affected. In some cases, for example, when a convergence zone (air flows together) is formed, the lowlands away from the mountains can also be affected more extensively.