Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Storm Sabine pounds Europe and the Czech Republic

Prague Daily Monitor |
12 February 2020

It would be hard not to notice, over the past few days, that the weather has been extreme. In an amount of time not greater than 40 minutes, your correspondent recorded snow, rain, windy, calm, sunny, and rainbow yesterday afternoon. The Storm named Sabine has certainly had something to do with it, but some meteorologists say that extreme weather conditions are the “New Normal.” The “New Normal” terminology was invented cca 2010 after the “Great Recession” as a term for the world economy’ “New” slow growth, low returns mode. It has proved wrong, let’s see what the weather prediction brings.

What has happened across the country? The Prague Monitor ran through some stories to grasp the extent of the past days, the conditions of which are expected to end today, Wednesday.

Czech wind farms are running at maximum electrical generation capacity according to an article ran in E15.cz. The Chairman of the Czech Renewable Energy Association Stepan Chalupa stated that on an average day, Czech wind energy fulfills 1% of demand. Over the past days the fulfillment rate has been closer to 4%! So the wind has helped cut carbon emissions.

Although clean power was being produced at a maximum rate, news server Aktualne.cz has reported that CEZ had to call out a force majeure for its customers. Power interruptions have hit a total in the hundreds of thousands over the past days even though by the end of the day very few accounts are left without electricity. Aktualne.cz keeps an hourly count of interruptions and updates in their storm coverage narrative.

Aktualne.cz also reported from Brno that a woman was injured at a transportation stop when the wind tore off some metal from a building, hitting the lady.

According to E15.cz, the initial estimates of damage run in the tens of millions of Crowns and have insurance companies ready to react. The News site also has about 20 pictures available showing felled trees laid on trucks, a tree falling on a car which is flipped over, bar’s roofs dislocated, and various other mayhem.

Various articles in Ceske Noviny have reported issues in ski areas. Ski resorts have been cautious to run lifts. In the Jizerske Mountains, staff have only maintained the main ring of its cross-country skiing paths due to the weather situation. And meteorologists on top of Snezka reported that the high winds are an extreme rarely seen. There are also several reports of tragic crashes or situations involving direct winds or objects blown over by wind killing or injuring people.

The situation is expected to recede on Wednesday evening according to the latest reports.