Carmen (storm)

Carmen (storm)
Carmen (storm)
Formed 7 November 2010
Dissipated 19 November 2010
Countries or regions affected United States; Europe (including United Kingdom and Russia)
Lowest pressure 948 mbar (hPa; 27.99 inHg)
Highest winds 160 km/h (100 mph) in Blackpool, England
Damage Unknown
Fatalities 13 confirmed (4 Belgians, 3 Irish, ,2 French, 2 American, 2 English)

Carmen[citation needed] was an extremely powerful[citation needed] extratropical cyclone and European windstorm which caused widespread damage in the American state of Maine, then crossed the Atlantic Ocean and affected the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.


Meteorological history

Windstorm Carmen formed as a low-pressure system off the east coast of the United States. It hit Maine on 7–8 November 2010.[1]

By 9 November, once south of Atlantic Canada, the system was named "Carmen"[citation needed] as it passed into the North Atlantic near and over southern Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, which had been suffering from the lesser storm Becky[citation needed] since the 5th. Arctic Storm Becky died out over Denmark and Northern Germany on the 12th, and its remnants joined windstorm Carmen over Russia on the 14th.

Traveling eastward, Carmen eventually attained a central pressure of 948 millibars as it struck the United Kingdom. At 06:00 UTC on Friday, 12 November windstorm Carmen was over the North Sea, east of Scotland, with a central pressure of approximately 965 mb. Carmen was last noted over western Russia on 14 November as it continued to weaken, and had burnt itself out over the Former Yugoslavia, Eastern Europe, Moscow and the Gulf of Finland between the 18th to 19th.[2]

United States and Canada

Prior to being named, the system caused widespread damage in the northeastern United States. In Maine heavy rain, sleet, snow, and freezing rain caused significant travel disruptions and at least one traffic fatality was blamed on the storm. Trees were knocked down, vehicles were destroyed and power lines cut South Portland, Maine as storms struck on the night of the 7th-8 November.[3]

On November 8 the Central Maine Power Co. said that about 31,500 people had been without power after Maine suffered a major snow storm on the 7th, but that 29,005 had been reconnected in the meantime.[1] More than 450 utility line workers from Maine and New York State wore at work across the state of Maine. The houses cut off included 14,280 in Cumberland County, 4,227 in Sagadahoc County, 3,674 in Androscoggin County, and 3,982 in Lincoln County.[1] Many schools closed due to power outages and at there was least one weather-related traffic fatality in Maine. In Alna, Maine minor roads were flooded in low-lying areas and the wind cut electricity to more than 10,000 users across the area: a large pine tree had fallen on a power line, and had broken a telephone pole fifty yards away as it fell. Crews from Tidewater Telecom and Central Maine Power line repaired as emergency management officials reported no major problems from this storm, unlike in November 2009. This storm did most damage in southern Maine and areas to the west such as Augusta.[4] Northeast gales grew stronger, lashing midcoast Maine around the still-operational Owls Head Lighthouse on the 8th.[5]

Staff from the Central Maine Power Co. said on 4:30 p.m. on the 10th that 3,670 customers were still without power in southern and central Maine, and that a few people would be without power on Wednesday.[6][7]

The storm then passed over the Maritime Provinces of Canada on the 8th of November. By 9 November, once south of Atlantic Canada, the system was named "Carmen" as it passed into the North Atlantic near and over southern Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands,

Severe storms battered parts of north west Ohio and northern Indiana in its wake on the 11th, felling trees and power-lines already hit by the bad weather week earlier as the storms began to ease off.[8]

As part of the storm's endgame on November 12, 20 inches of snow fell on the T-Bar line on Colorado's Breckenridge's Peak 8, giving much pleasure to local bobsleighers and skiers.[9] 2 large pockets of heavy snow fell across north eastern Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania and neighbouring parts of north western New York state on the 12th.[10]

A thick fog covered Mississauga, Ontario on 19 November. Snow came in North Bay, Ontario. Gales blown over Toronto, Ontario, with heavy rain. There was skating on many lakes in North Vancouver, British Colombia. More than 25 cm (10 inches) of snow fell in parts of Minnesota on the 19th and the previous weekend[11]


November 8

The nations that were the victims of the windstorms, rains, snow and floods caused by storms Becky and Carmen

Both high winds and rough seas battered the western coastline of Ireland on the night of the 7th and 8th. Heavy sleet and rain fell across the Irish Republic, Northern Ireland coastal Lancashire, Cumbria and coastal Wales on the 8th.[12][13] Minor spot floods hit part of the Salthill promenade in Galway was and the Gardaí were diverting traffic through Salthill village instead, as Assistant Commissioner John Twomey warned of strong winds and debris making driving conditions difficult in Ireland.[13]

It got more intense as time passed, and a heavy band of rain hit Western Ireland on the morning of the 8th[12] and then hit Wales and Wessex between 04.00 and 07.00 UTC. By 09.00 UTC, the rain had reached most England, Wales and western Scotland.[12] There was some rain everywhere except Dorset, Somerset, eastern Ireland, Orkney, Shetland, Northern Ireland, Highland Region and Norfolk[12] and minor flooding was reported in Oxfordshire over Radio Oxford. The Channel Islands and Normandy's Cotentin peninsula were also hit.[12] The heaviest rain fall between 03.30 and 09.00 was generally over patches of south west Ireland, Pembrokeshire, Bristol, Dumfriesshire, Morecambe Bay, Carlisle, central Lancashire, Sussex, Surrey, Parts of the English Channel and Cherbourg.[12]

The Gardaí attended a crash in County Galway that had killed two people due to the road conditions.[13] The Gardai were appealing for witnesses following another fatal nighttime road accident on the Mountmellick to Emo road at Knightstown, Mountmellick in which a male cyclist was fatally injured after being hit by a car, whose driver was slightly injured.[13]

A Brazilian man from the UK’s Midlands region drowned in a car accident that morning on the Offaly–Westmeath border. His car skidded off the road between Rhode and Rochfortbridge, hit a roadside bank, and rolled on its roof into the flood-swollen water of the River Monagh on the 8th.[13]

The water levels at Galway Docks and the Claddagh Basin rose violently in the evening as extensive sand-bagging was put in place at the Spanish Arch, Quay Street and Flood Street for the short term. County Cork was hit by minor flooding, including Cork the city centre during the previous night and flooding was reported shortly after 6.00 pm on the 8th at Penrose Quay, the South Terrace and Sharman-Crawford Street at the peak flow of the high tide. There was a real fear by the Quay’s owners of a heavy tidal flooding of the quay as wind and waves sloshed against it menacingly.[13]

Gardaí Assistant Commissioner Twomey said in a press interview: "Sadly, so far this year over 190 people were killed on the national roads. 35 people were killed during October, making it one of the worst months for fatalities since February 2008". He went on to warn of the hazards caused by decreasing seasonal daylight and a greater chance of encountering wet and slippery road surfaces.[13] In County Galway a van and a bus carrying 27 students from Mayo to Limerick skidded on groundwater and crashed at Glenafosha outside Tuam just after 7.30 pm, killing both drivers and injuring 12 of the students. It is understood that the poor weather at the location made driving conditions very difficult.[13]

High winds, driving rain and on occasions snow hit Northern Ireland. Motorists were urged by the police to drive with caution due to the extreme weather the previous night. Ice, floods and fallen trees affected most roads. The Roads Service Northern Ireland was warning of the risk of ice on roads in the west part of the province, and said it dealt with a total of 49 fallen trees. Gale-force winds ripped through Downpatrick and County Londonderry overnight. The Foyle Bridge in the city of Derry was closed to high-sided vehicles due to high winds.[14]

The Glenshane Pass was cleared of snow and gritted, but there were 22 incidents of flooding on roads overnight, causing the Castletown Road in Ballynure and Shore Road in Ballyhalbert to be closed due to flooding. Several roads closed due to fallen trees, including the A2 Kilkeel to Newcastle road at Bloody Bridge, Ballyloan Road, Slievegrane Road, Ardigon Road all in Downpatrick, Ardkill Road, County Londonderry, and Hollyhall Road in Derry.[14]

The N.I. Roads Service salted high ground routes considered to be at risk in the Derry, Limavady and Mid Ulster areas.[14]

In England a major HSE rail investigation was launched after a morning commuter train skidded along Charing Cross to Hastings line on wet leaves. The train from Charing Cross sped through one station at 65 mph; the terrified driver immediately contacted signal control center to raise the alarm as his train skidded down the track for two miles, after he braked when approaching Stonegate railway station station in East Sussex.[15][16][17]

The storm formed a column of heavy rain and wind, which was slowly drifting east ward in the area approximately delimited by Aberdeen, Stornoway, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Lincoln, Durham, York, Hull, Guildford, Brighton, Bristol, Gloucester, Shrewsbury, Peterborough, Southampton and Bristol at 07:30, with the bottom moving to between Southampton and RAC by 09.00, Dartford and Southampton by 09.30UTC, Watford and Dover by 10.00. and Dartford and Dover by 10.30.[12]

It had been raining heavily and continuously in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Stornoway, Perthshire, Glasgow, Edingborough, Carlisle, Lancashire, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and parts of south western Ireland and along the coastline of County Antrim between 03:00 and 10.30 on the 8th.[12] The storms left Stornoway as they virtually drifted out of the Hebrides at 10:30 and Aberdeen by 11:00.[12]

The overnight weather had caused much chaos in the UK.[18] The periodic gale-force northerly winds had hit most the UK at some time during the night. The worst-affected areas of the UK were in the north-west and south-east tip of England.[18] Cornwall, Galloway, Cumbria and the Lancashire part of the Pennines had seen moderate rain or snow that day.[18]

By 09.00 UTC, the Met Office issued a weather warning saying it had calculated that up to 30 mm of rain was forecast on lower ground. drifting snow was expected in the hills with winds of up to 60 mph in Cumbria, and up to 70 mm of rain was forecast for Kent, and East and West Sussex over the next two days. Thunderstorms and up to 70 mm were also predicted to occur in parts of Lancashire and Greater Manchester. AA and police warned that some of the roads in Lancashire were flooded, particularly in the towns of Bolton, Chorley and Blackburn.[18] Galloway, Cumbrian and Northumbrian farmers prepared for the worst.

Similar weather hit Scotland, causing some ferry journeys to be disrupted.[18]

Police imposed speed restrictions on many bridges, and fallen trees and a landslip caused problems on the A9 near Drumnadrochit. Snow was present on the higher roads such as the M74 at Drumochter in the Scottish Highlands and on the Rothwell north of Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway. Police closed the A93 Glenshee to Braemar road indefinitely due to drifting snow and high winds. Snow also fell at Lecht ski resort in Aberdeenshire and falling heavily in the car park (which has an altitude of 2,000 ft) at the Cairngorm mountain ski resort near Aviemore.[18]

In Northern Ireland, police told motorists to exercise extreme caution after reports of ice, flooding, debris and fallen trees on the roads after overnight storms.[18]

Byron Chalcraft, a weather forecaster at the UK Met Office, said the next couple of weeks would be characterised by a deep area of low pressure, strong to gale-force winds and heavy rain, that would move south-eastwards, then cross the English Channel and hit northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Nochern, and coastal parts of Germany.[18] He predicted maximum temperatures of 6 °C (43 °F) and substantially lower minimum temperature, especially in Scotland and Northern Ireland. More thunder and lightning was forecast in western Scotland.[18]

The rain began to lessen over Cherbourg at 16.00.[12] That evening 28-year-old kitesurfer Adrien Monnoyeur from Toulouse ignored safety warnings and was killed as the gale in the Saint Jean de Luz resort, near Biarritz in south west France dragged him at 100 mph across the beach and fatally slammed him down from 50 ft up on to the beach, after hitting the Grand Hotel and a local pier on route.[19][20]

The storms had winds of up to 65 mph (105 km/h). A weather warning was issued for parts of south-east and south-west England, due to up to 70 mm (2.75 in) of predicted rain and blustery weather expected to fall in the regions overnight. More than 20 mm (0.8 in) had fallen in parts of South Wales.[21]

The Northlink ferry MV Hjaltland was due to dock in Aberdeen, but was diverted to Rosyth[21] as Aberdeen harbour was closed for 18 hours due to bad weather[12] over the 8th and 9th.[22]

There was snow on the higher roads, such as the A9 at Drumochter in the Scottish Highlands and on the M74 north of Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway. Heavy rain had replaced earlier snow in Aberdeen, Braemar and Dumfries and Galloway. Snow fell continuously at the Cairngorm Mountain resort and the A93 Glenshee to Braemar road was closed because of drifting snow and high winds as blizzards were reported around Dumfries.[21]

Fourteen flood warnings were in place for Wales, the English Midlands and North East England, and a severe weather warning for parts of south Wales. The Met Office warned that showers and thunderstorms were expected in Kent and Sussex from the English Channel that evening.[21] U.K. police warned motorists to take extra care in the flooded and floor risk areas.[21]

The police in Northern Ireland advised motorists to drive with extreme caution due to ice, wind, wind damage and flooding throughout the province.[21]

At mid-day the Met office issued a severe weather alert for the whole UK as Britain was battered by 70 mph winds, with snow in the north of England and up to 3 inches of rain across the east Midlands, south and south east. There were gusts of 65 mph at Berry Head in Devon and 60 mph in Dundrennan, Dumfries and Galloway. High winds and waves battered Whitley Bay in North Tyneside and gale-force winds hit parts of London, Penbrokeshire and the Pennines.[23][23][23][24][24][24]

Warnings of gale-force winds reaching 70 mph and heavy rain were also given in Wales. The morning's snow fell on the high ground between the English north Midlands and Scotland, with the Scottish Highlands particularly affected. Most of Britain had been placed on flood alert. A total of four flood warnings and 37 flood watches were in place across UK, mostly north of the Mersey and Humber rivers, and in Cornwall. A severe warning of heavy rain was also issued in south west England (Wessex). Gale-force winds, heavy rain and snow disrupted road, train and ferry services across the UK and Ireland.[23][23][24][25]

High winds and waves battered Whitley Bay in North Tyneside. Motorists were rescued by police as six cars were briefly trapped in 5-inch deep snow in Cumbria. Derbyshire's Snake Pass also experienced a couple of inches of snow. The only means of travel in Weardale in the north Pennines and parts of Sheffield were on foot or on horseback.[23][23][24][24][26] following 6 cars getting stuck in the snow and then another car skidding in to a ditch,[27] the Lake District's highest road, the Kirkstone Pass, was closed between 8 am and 1 pm while Cumbria council's road gritters cleared the roads and the police helped free trapped vehicles. When the road re-opened police advised motorists not to use it due to the treacherous weather conditions.

Greater London was subjected to strong winds and rain. St Paul's Cathedral was shrouded in early-morning mist, before the rain came.[23][23][24][24] Heavy winds and storms battered the coast at Brighton.[28]

Some people braved the snow near Glenshee in the Scottish highlands, where some roads were closed. Motorists on the M74 near Beattock were advised by the police to drive with caution due to heavy snow in the area.[23][23][24][24][26]

The strong winds in Pembrokeshire brought down a tree overnight; other powerful winds shook Oxfordshire, Northern Ireland and parts of the Irish republic.[23][24]

The storm complex had virtually left Ireland, Wales and Wessex, and had all but broken up as a whole by 20:00, but had intensified over Northern Ireland and Ayrshire at 21.00. It remained in several scattered, but heavy bands across the British Isles, with only County Antrim, Perthshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Durhamshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Norfolk, Berkshire, southern Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex being badly affected from 21:00 on the 8th to 03:30 on the 9th.[21]

Forecasters warned that overnight temperatures could drop to between +6°C and -2°C in places, and that up to 35 mm of rain could fall across the north west and in Cumbria with snow at high level on the 9th.[28]

November 9

File:Banbury November 9, 2010 Floods.png
Minor patches of flooding within parts of Princess Diana Park and Mold Crescent in Banbury on November 9

By 03.50 on the 9th, both MeteoGroup's weather forecaster, Brendan Jones, and the UK's Met Office said the weather would be dry, cold and windy in Hampshire. sadly It was predicted that return to with showers and gale force winds expected on the 13th and 14th.[29][30] 9 flood warnings were issued by the British Environment Agency across the UK. 6 were in the north east and 3 were in the southern region, with 33 areas around the country were put on flood watch.[29][30] Access to emergency shelter was earlier given in a nearby community centre, to those hit by flooding (including a new born baby) in a many as 50 in Emsworth in Hampshire. Residents of the 200-metre stretch of Bridge Road in Emsworth evacuated by police boat and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s water support services. 10 buildings were also flooded in the Isle of Wight, the Environment Agency said.[29][30]

A heavy thunderstorm drove its way across most of Sussex, western Surrey, Hampshire and Wiltshire from 06.00 to 10.30, but they had mostly dissipated except over Dorset, the Channel Islands and Normandy in France by 14.00UTC on the 9th.[12] As snow fall occurred across most of the higher ground stretching from the English Midlands, continuing up the north Midlands towards Scotland, with the Scottish Highlands and Dumfreese and Galloway being worst hit.[22]

Cars struggled snow on the A93 near Glenshee, in the Grampians that morning as five severe weather warnings in place for five southern counties and 14 flood warnings for Wales, the Midlands and the North East and severe weather warnings in East and West Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and parts of Dorset.. In Cumbria, six vehicles were rescued by police after five inches (13 cm) of snow forced the Kirkstone Pass in Cumbria to be closed for five hours until it was gritted. The Highways Agency said flooding had closed one lane of the eastbound A27 near Chichester in West Sussex whilst cops dealt with more than 40 weather-related road incidents, especially in West Sussex.. Drivers were being delayed in the area as more than an inch of rain had fallen at Shoreham Airport, Blackbird Leys in Oxford and at Farnham, Surrey.[31]

Roads in Pagham, Middleton, Selsey, Bury, Fishbourne and Chichester have all been shut due to flooding according to Sussex Police.[31]

The AA recorded a busy day for breakdowns on the 8th, with more than 13,000 incidents reported throughout the UK, 2,000 more than normal for this time of year. Heavy rain, cold weather and leaves on the road surface that made cars skid about making cars were responsible for the high number of breakdown related call outs, with Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and Leicester worst hit.[31] On the rail network, delays were reported between Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne, and on the Southern Railway (Great Britain) routes.[31]

Both train and ferry services were also noticeably affected as storm force winds lashed the country[22] and by 12.00 on the 9th the Highways Agency said flooding had closed one lane of the eastbound A27 road near Chichester in West Sussex, with delays being reported between the A286 and the A259 junctions on the A27[22] and the Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for East and West Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and parts of Dorset.[22] Thankfully all was calm again by 21.00 on the 9th as the storm weakened over the Netherlands and Belgium.[12]

The weather was the result of a deep low pressure zone moving east across out of the British Isles and towards northern France and Belgium, then weakening.[12][22]

Fresh snow fell across the Lake District mountains at Rydal Water, Fairfield Horseshoe and Great Rigg in the Lake high winds brought travel disruption to parts of the UK. Sheep stood around in the snow covered fields and dales near Killhope in Weardale, Cumbria. Commuters struggled with umbrellas in York city centre flash flooding and heavy winds hit the city.[32]

Both high winds and snow hit Scotland’s Glenshee Ski Centre. Heavy, but patchy snow was reported throughout Scotland that morning.[32]

Up to 70mm (3 in) of rain was forecast to fall across south-east England, so the Met Office issued severe weather warnings for East and West Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and parts of Dorset. There were a total of 14 flood warnings from the Environment Agency in force for Wales, the Midlands and the north east of England due to the intensifying rainfall. Snow was still falling between the Scottish Highlands and the English North Midlands.[32]

Both road, train, ferry and some air services were also affected as storm force winds lashed the country.[32]

November 10-11

It shows number of fatalities in the British Isles caused by the events in question (Windstorm Carmen (storm) windstorm Becky and the November/December blizzards of 2010) from November 8th to December 31st. See file page for map key.

A new band of heavy rain moved eastward over the UK with heavy rain hitting western Ireland between and Northern Ireland 21.00 and 23.00 on the 10th.[12]

The second storm complex rain moved rapidly across the UK and Ireland between 03.30 and 10.00 on the 11th,[12] with thunder storms and torrential rain being reported near Bristol, parts of central Ireland and from central Scotland to the English North Midlands.[12] It had reached Belgium and left both Ireland, Wessex and Wales by 10.00.[12]

The area affected by the strongest winds was mainly limited to the coastal areas of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. The gale-force winds knocked down trees, damaged power lines and forced the closure of bridges throughout the affected countries. Heavy rainfall associated with the storm also caused some incidents of localized flooding. Damage to property was mainly in the form of tree fall and roof damage to more vulnerable structures. Carmen also caused disruption to travel and electricity networks.[33]

In Ireland, the worst of the storm battered the west of the island, along the Atlantic coast from Kerry to Donegal, with large swells and strong wind gusts. A spokesman from Met Éireann indicated that Donegal was likely the worst hit by the deep depression. The worst hit areas in Northern Ireland are reported to be County Londonderry, Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, and Dungannon and Omagh in County Tyrone. The heavy rainfall triggered several incidents of flooding in Donegal, Limerick, Roscommon, Westmeath, Letterkenny and the Finn Valley.[34] The Irish Farmers Association reported that the River Shannon burst its banks in numerous places. Several roads were blocked by fallen trees across the island, causing disruption to road travel.

The German Weather Service (DWD) put out a weather warning out on hurricanes with winds over 118 kilometres per hour and rain heavily, especially in mountain regions on the 11th.[35]

November 12–13

In addition, due to the high winds, several bridges were temporarily shut and most ferry services were cancelled. Power was knocked out for approximately 6,000 homes, though 90% of these had had power restored by the morning of Friday, 12 November. Travel disruptions were also prevalent in Scotland, where the heavy rains and strong winds flooded roads, and ferry services were cancelled. In England, the worst hit areas were the North-West, Yorkshire and the Humber. The heaviest rainfall recorded was 29 mm in 12 hours in Shap, Cumbria, while Lancashire and Yorkshire saw 7–10 mm in the same period. Additionally, the Isle of Wight, which suffered flooding earlier in the week, was again subjected to localized flooding caused by the heavy rains, with crews responding to incidents in approximately 100 homes, mainly in the Ryde which was particularly affected by the week’s earlier flooding.

In Wales, the highest reported wind gust was reported at Aberdaron in Gwynedd as 36 m/s (130 km/h)[citation needed]. The Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service reported many calls about unsafe structures, and trees down on roads.

Heavy wind and patchy rain started again in Oxford and Banbury; both had already had five days of it. There was widespread rainfall, with sometimes heavy or thundery rainstorms in Ireland, Northern Ireland, central Scotland, Wessex, Southern England and Normandy between 13.00 and 16.00.[12]

Meteorological observations show winds were strongest in coastal and elevated locations, with gusts generally in the range of 27–31 m/s (97–113 km/hr), with some reports as high as 40 m/s (144 km/hr). According to media reports winds reached 160 km/h (100 mph) in some locations. These winds caused many trees to fall, one of which struck a car and killed its driver.[36] Inland, winds were slightly lower, generally in the range of 22–27 m/s (79–113 km/hr). Strong winds associated with the storm affected England, Wales and Ireland on Thursday, 11 November, as the storm tracked across Northern Ireland and Scotland. However, property damage was relatively light.

A woman died in Pinderfield's Hospital after being impaled by a tree branch as winds up to 90mph hit Pontefract at 20.30 on the 11th, West Yorkshire Police said. The man driving the car was also hurt.[37][38] A number of homes in the area were evacuated overnight and the A642 Wakefield to DPA[disambiguation needed ] road was closed until afternoon due to the winds, three fire crews at work, fallen tree branches and the wreckage.[37][38] Aircraft had to be diverted from Leeds Bradford International Airport, where gusts reached 100 mph. One plane from Dublin had to switch to Liverpool after making three unsuccessful attempts to land at Leeds-Bradford, with several other domestic flights being forced to fly on to Manchester. Both flights and ferry crossings to the Isle of Man were also cancelled.[37][38] A wind speed of 100 mph was recorded on Great Dun Fell in the Pennines. In January 1968, winds hit 134 mph at the same site. The heaviest rain fell in Shap, Cumbria, where 29 mm fell in 12 hours. Both Lancashire and Yorkshire saw rainfall of 7–10 mm in the same period.[37][38]

The worst-hit places were the Isle of Wight, Anglesey, Northern Ireland, North West England, Yorkshire and the Humber.[37][38] The roads surrounding Blackpool Tower, including part of the Promenade, were closed due to damage to the tower’s structure. A paving slab hit a fairground ride in Bridlington, causing £30,000 worth of damage.[39][40] Approximately 5,000 people were left without electricity in Northern Ireland.[37] Light snowfall was also reported in places to.[38]

On 12 November many Belgian rivers and canals rose above the national alarm level, with some of their defenses failing. As the water rose over the weekend, four deaths occurred as the weather hammered Flemish Brabant, Walloon Brabant, and Hainault.[41]

The storm eased there at 16.30 as it nearly all migrated in to coastal Normandy in France, central Ireland, Northern Ireland, Northern England, Scotland and Powys. There were some heavy outbursts in all of the affected places, except for Normandy.[12] The locations worst hit between 16.30 and 20.00 were around western central Scotland, Perthshire, Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Derry and Sligo in Ireland.[12] The storms pulled back to Scotland, Northern England, parts of the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and off the cost of the former Grampian region after 22.00, with a further build up third band of bad weather off the southern coast of Ireland and the north coast of Cornwall after 01.00 on the 12th.[12]

The storms continued over Cumbria, North-East England, Northern Ireland and most of Scotland between 04.00 and 06.00 on the 12th. Tyne and Wear was the worst affected by the downpours at this time.[12] The third weather band drifted up from off the coast of Brittany, Cherbourg and hit south west Ireland, Cornwall and the Normandy's Cotinian Peninsula at 07.00 and then began to drive slowly in land by 10.00 UTC; as this happened the Scottish storms dissipated outside of the former Strathclyde region.[12]

On the morning of the 12th, gusts of 62 mph hit the coast of North West England. The MeteoGroup, forecaster Aisling Creevey said that the strong winds would last for another 24 hours.[37][38] The wreck-strewn Pontefract road was opened later that day.[37][38]

It had concentrated mostly around west central Scotland, County Antrim, south west England, south east England, Greater London and south west Wales by 13.00, it had reached France's Pas-de-Calais department by 19.00[12] and had virtually dispersed by 23.00 outside west central Scotland, the English Channel, Normandy, the Pas-de-Calais, Nord, Somme, Cherbourg[12] and Belgium on the 12th. Heavy rain fall hit the Dutch/Belgian border, Manchester, Glasgow and Normandy at that time.[12] The original low that started it was blowing itself out of existence as a bad rain storm over Denmark, southern Sweden and Northern Germany according to BBC News 24's 23.00 weather forecast, with some flooding reported in parts of the German town of Nochern. Heavy snow also began to fall in and around parts of Polish Gdynia and Stettin[1].

Local authorities chose to temporarily close the Fehmarn Sound Bridge on the 12th, which connects Fehmarn island with the mainland over the Baltic Sea. A heavily-loaded fishing boat capsized nearby; the captain, who was alone on the boat, was safely rescued from the water.

6 cm of snow fell on North Rhine-Westphalia’s Kahler Asten mountain, and many trucks were stranded on icy roads in the nearby Ebbegebirge (Ebbe Mountains) according to police.

The Karneval festivities in Cologne and elsewhere in the Rhineland were cut short due to safety fears in the high winds. The St. Martin's Day procession was also cancelled in Aachen, and several streets in Essen flooded, but no accidents were reported. There were cases of minor flooding in the Rhineland town of Nochern and in the city of Cologne.

The German states of Lower Saxony, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia also reported high winds, which felled a tree near Hannover that almost hit a passing car, narrowly missing the uninjured driver, who was uninjured. The winds were so violent in the Saarland that they repeatedly triggered car alarms overnight, the police said.[42]

Two people died in southern Belgium, according to Dutch and RTBF. A man was washed away in a street and a 72-year-old woman was killed in her car. Both fatalities occurred during the night of the 13th, in the community of Salve-Saint-Gery, near the French border.[43][44] By the afternoon another on r body was found in nearby Lessines, where another person was reported to the Belgian authorities as missing.[45] [2].

Both Gran Canaria, and Tenerife in the Canary Islands was hot and sunny, but saw few violent rainstorms and the odd storm cloud, unlike the rest of the islands on the 12th.[46]

Both heavy thunder and snow storms blew off in the Austrian Alps and in mountainous parts of Bavaria [3] on the 12th and 13th.

On the 13th, the Carmen storm system passed all of Germany’s Lenda, bringing heavy rains to all states, except for Sachsen, which only had rain showers. Snow showers also hit Lichtenstein, most of Switzerland and the Lorraine province of France.[47]

Firefighters worked desperately to patch up polders, dykes and river defences. The nation's road travel was also disrupted.[44] Rail traffic was seriously disrupted during the morning of the 14th due to heavy flooding, but things soon improved as the local authorities called in the army and civil protection units to reinforce firefighters who had been working through the night. The Brabant region was at the most risk, but Prime Minister Yves Leterme said there was no need to declare a state of emergency. Emergency teams made extra effort to reinforce dams, dykes, bridges and canal/river banks.[43][48]

By mid-day floods hit Geraardsbergen in Belgium on November 14 for the second day running. Belgium’s weather experts and state authorities described the flooding as the worst in 50 years. The national weather service said Belgium had as much rainfall in two days as it normally gets in a month.[48] Belgium was badly flooded and Liège cut off on the 14th. People battled the flood waters after heavy rainfall continued in to mid-day in the village of Maarkedal in the Oudenaarde region.[43] Rainfall has been severe across Belgium.[49] The flood defences[50] are failing in places.[43]

It was later confirmed that a old woman had drowned overnight near Beaumont after her husband had lost control of their car and another passer-by had been drowned nearby in a separate incident that night, and a third died and a fourth person was declared missing and presumed dead was later found to be safe in the neighbouring Lessines all in the southwestern Hainot/Hainaut province according to Lieutenant Fabrice Pierart of the local fire brigade. Another death occurred in the Flemish Brabant,[51]

Local authorities called in the army, civil protection teams and firefighters to put sand bags down in the affected towns and villages.[51]

In the town of Tubize town in the French-speaking part of Brabant, Belgian soldiers evacuated a hospital. Governor Marie-Jose Laby said further rain was forecast for his town.[51]

The River Dendre flooded Brussels heavily, reaching 46 cm above alarm level along with several canals on the 14 November and 200 houses were evacuated. The Meuse basin also received 2 metres above the mean level leading to several mayors of the affected Belgian cities are reporting this to be the worst floods in 50 years.[41]

Floods and heavy rainfall began to occurred in the Netherlands on the 14th, leading to extra vigilance from dyke maintenance officials.[52]

Several trees were felled as flood waters hit the Somme and Nord departments. Heavy rains flooded out the centre of the seaside town of Granville in northern France after 2 inches of rain fell on the region within 24 hours according to Radio France Internationale.[45] Since the 7th, one person died and one was reported missing in the north and eastern French Manche department, at the town of Granville.[45]

November 15-16

On November 15 a Carmen storm fan site launched an opening salvo in creating an Irish weather enthusiast's blog site.[53]

The cloudburst continued to fall across Belgium and caused floods and mudslides on the 15th. A nother person was swept away by the floods as she tried to cross a bridge in the south.[54] Army rescue teams helped with emergency evacuations, including a hospital as many of Belgian’s roads were blocked or flooded.[54] Several Belgian regions put disaster emergency plans into operation as a canal has burst its banks in several places near Brussels leading to more than 200 houses being evacuated and a pharmaceutical factory closed down due to localised flooding.[54]

Although the weather situation was easing, large parts of Belgium. The floods were extensive in both the Flanders town of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw near Brussels, in which 200 people were evacuated due to flooding by the mid-day of the 15th. The floodwaters are predicted to peek some time on the 16th.[55]

A staggering 80 litres per square metre was recorded in a few locations, making it the worst Belgian flooding in fifty years.[55]

Despite the 4 deaths (1 northern and 3 southern Belgians) and heavy material losses involved, the Belgian government refused to take any responsibility for the state’s lack of preparedness for flooding.[55] Both the heavily-flooded southern Netherlands and wind-ravaged Luxembourg had no deaths at all in the same period.[55]

The River Maas broke its banks causing localised flooding in the of cellars of the town of Baarlo, Limburg and threatening the nearby town of Roermond, also in Limburg, after several days of heavy rain. Several roads and Limburg were flooded, even in the hilly regions of Limburg, and the fire brigade tried to pump out flooded properties and leaf clogged drains on the 15th.[52] Localised flooding has also occurred the east of Noord Brabant province as the local water board has deliberately flooded fields the size of 50 football pitches to stop the river rupturing its crumbling embankments.[52] In the town of Baarlo east at the meeting of 3 minor river that unite and run through the town. They have swollen from 2 to 50 meters at their nearby junction and through the town on the 15th.[52] Luxembourg was affected by the same weather complex, but received little, if any damage.[52] Similar scenes occurred in the north of Par.[52]

Rain pours down at Oxford station on Nov 16th.

The Anglo-Irish weather eased for the day on the 16th. The floods eased in Baarlo as the rain began to decrease. Major thunderstorms were recorded off the coast of north-east Scotland and the Faeroe Islands and surrounding parts of the North Sea.[12] Showers and snow squalls were reported in the in both Manche department of France and the towns of Nochten, and Gorlitz, Sachsen, Germany during the early hours of that day[56]

November 17

By 01.00 on the 17th a new band of rain had hit Northern Ireland and Ireland, but had largely moved on to western England, Wales and western Scotland by 06.00.[12] It also hit Devon and Cornwall at 04.00 and move further in land by 05.00.[12] Heavy rainfall began in Oxfordshire at about 10.00 as the rain belt entered the West Midlands between 08.00 and 10.00.[12] Thunder storms and downpours hit many parts of the UK and Ireland as the storm passed over them.[12]

Parts of France and the coast of Portugal had heavy storms as the storm clouds gathered in the Atlantic between 08.00 and 14.00 on the 17th.[2] The Bay of Biscay and Iceland witnessed heavy storms as the storm clouds gathered over the Atlantic between 10.00 and 12.00 on the 17th.[2]

The morning light revealed that the avant-garde Eden Project eco-attraction, near the flooding vilaged of St Austell, was flooded closed until Saturday due to heavy damage, the owners said[57] and rivers Exe, Tamar and Ax were all rising to their danger levels.[58][59]

By midday on the 17th, Prime Minister of the UK David Cameron had pledged to send aid to Cornwall, as heavy rains and gale force winds brought misery to St Austell, Lostwithiel, St Blazey, Bodmin, Launceston and Mevagissey where 100 properties were flooded.[60] Luxulyan,[57][58] garage, Liskeard and Bude.[59] Both police[57] and Ben Johnston, flood risk manager for the Environment Agency declared the flooding a "major incident"[58][59] with hundreds of residents evacuated.[57] The police also warned people not to drive cars or motor bikes in Cornwall for the time being.[59] Schools were closed, the transport network was hugely disrupted and all train services stopped by a landslide at Lostwithiel,[57][57] with St Blazey, St Austell and Lostwithiel being the worst hit.[58]

The Cornish rains had begun to ease by midday, but the rains in Devon had begun to strengthen. At Prime Minister's question time David Cameron said Cornwall had suffered a "very difficult night".[60]

By mid afternoon the rain was still continuing after a week in parts of the Netherlands, Belgium and Cornwall, but was significantly weaker compared to 24 hours previously. Police and military worked together with a helicopter to rescue people from their cars or houses.[61] The towns of St Austell and St Blazey were the worst off, with significant flooding and loss of property. A new and rather heavy mudslide near Lostwithiel cut off local roads and water completely surrounded the village of Mevagissey which was evacuated.[61]

On the 17 November, the Flanders' hydrology centre classified the rivers Nete, Demer, and IJzer at danger level.[41]

The first causal low finally burnt out over the Gulf of Finland between 14.00 on the 17th and 16.00 on the 18th.[2] Others batter the Bay of Biscay over this time span and the French storm belt cliped Switzerland and Northern Italy between Heavy storms would also buffet Iceland from 16.00 on the 17th to 16.00 on the 18.[62]

A huge clean-up operation began after 5 cm/2in of rain fell in a few hours across many parts of the county. The Eden project was hopelessly flooded that day.[63]

Several businesses in Lostwithiel were badly hit. Mud ruined ball gowns worth £3,000 in a clothes shop and one resident said his bakery shop had been "pretty much destroyed" that morning and was still flooded. However, no deaths or serious injuries were reported in the disaster.[63]

According to locals, it was a repeat of the flood the previous year in Pentewan, in spite of a £1,300,000 flood relief scheme approved by the Environment Agency, which the town’s residents dubbed "money down the drain."[63]

More rain was expected in Cornwall overnight and some coastal showers were expected at the weekend but nothing on the devastating scale of the day before according to Stephen Ellison of MeteoGroup UK.[63]

By 22.12 on the 17th the worst was declared to have passed by officials, but that future flooding was inevitable as storms continued to batter the UK. The Met Office predicted dry weather by the Wednesday.[64] Head of Flood Planning and Reporting at the Environment Agency, Phil Rothwell, told the BBC that the events were typical of those arising from poor drainage and the effects of climate change.

A heavy downpour and thunderstorm hit central and southern Ireland from between 21.00 and 23.00. The storms had also largely left the UK by 20.00 except for a strong patch over south central Scotland and Perthshire.[12] but a new band of weaker fronts hit Western Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Western Isles, Wales, Cornwall and Normandy at 00.00 on the 18th before gradually moving on to western England, western Scotland, Aberdeenshire, Perthshire and eastern Ireland.[12]

Blustery cyclonic thunderstorms continued to pelt Warsaw, Gdansk, Gdynia and most of the Polish coast throughout the 17th and 18th.[65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72]

November 18 -21

The Atlantic Ocean, not including Arctic and Antarctic regions.

As the bad weather eased, the seasonal wet and snowy weather returned to Poland, with rain in the south and snow in Gdynia. The minor floods caused by the cyclone related thunder storms of the 17th and 18th that came over Warsaw, Gdansk, Gdynia and most of the Polish coastline began to ease on the 19th. All was back to the seasonal norm by the 20th.[65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72]

Yet another heavy band of rain hit southern Belgium and the Pas-de-Calais in France between 02.00 and 04.30.[12] It then hit both Belgium's Hainaut province, the Nord, Somme and Cherbourg in France, and the Channel Islands at 06.00. A downpour hit Cherbourg between 07.30 and 09.30 and Southampton between 06.30 and 08.00.[12] The rain had stopped falling in Banbury by 01.00 on the 18th.

By 07:15, 18 November 2010, both families and businesses started clearing up after Wednesday's floods left many properties under 1 metre (3.3 ft) of mud, after rivers and streams such as River Fowey started flooding that morning.[73] Five flood alerts remained in place in Cornwall and light rain forecast overnight was lighter than expected.[73]

The UK's Prince Charles visited the Cornish villages of St Austell, Lostwithiel and St Blazey between the 19th and the 21st. He visited the ruined ball gown shop in Lostwithiel and pledged some financial aid for the people of Cornwall.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, also had a day trip on the 19th to Lostwithial and St Blazey where he denied that he had misled Parliament when he said flood protection money had been safeguarded in the spending review. He had also said earlier that he had not alluded to plans to reform how flood defences are paid for as the squeeze on public spending started to bite. With more than 100 people evacuated from their St Blazey village homes, now buried in 6 feet (1.8 m) of peak flood water and 3 feet (0.91 m) of muck, by the helicopters from RNAS Culdrose and RMB Chivenor as people had to be ferried to safety at a nearby sports hall, the locals had much to complain about.[74][75][76][77][78][79][80][81]

According to Euronews' Meteo weather forecast, it would finally became a bad weather band in Scandinavia, most of Eastern Europe, some parts of Central Europe, the Balkans, Kiev, Moscow and Morocco as of 03.00 to 07.00 of the 19th. The UK was clear of it except in the Scottish Islands and a downpour in Aberdeenshire, western Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly from 04.30 to 08.30 on the 19th.[2][12] All was calm as a heavy mist hit the English Midlands between 05.00 and 07.00UTC.

Heavy storms continued to hit the western coast of Ireland, Dublin and Northern Ireland on the night of the 18th and morning of the 19th.[82][83]

Many thousands of people woke up on the 19th and 20th to another day of flooded roads, driving rain and blustery wind as storms continued to batter Northern Ireland. Rush hour traffic was disrupted as drains and fields failed to cope with the amount of rainfall and flooded uncontrollably in several places.[82][83]

Belfast’s motorists reported flooding on some of the main roads including the Lisburn Road. Heavy floods also occurred at Dundonald, where the Rivers Agency staff were called out to deal with the overflowing waters on the town’s Dunleady Road. The N.I. Roads Service had a similarly busy day, dealing with localised flooding across Antrim and Down throughout the morning as several fallen trees and floods blocked other roads. At the Moira, two roads were closed in the afternoon after the River Lagan burst its banks.[82][82][83][83]

By the morning of the 20th, the storms called Beckey and Carmen had dissipated and had died off in northwestern Russia.[2]

The political consequences

The floods come at a politically delicate time as the UK's coalition government reneged on a long held pledge to protect flood defences from government imposed spending cuts. This included a £100,000,000 plan to protect Leeds is to be scrapped,[59] but the £14,250,000 Banbury flood prevention scheme will go ahead according to the November 11th edition of the Banbury Guardian newspaper.[84] The funds have been cut from £335,000,000 a year to £261,000,000 each year for the next 4 years despite climate change Secretary Chris Huhne saying extreme weather would become more common as the years passed.[59] Permanent flood defences are also to be built in Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire for and estimated to cost £4,500,000 and by Malvern District Council.[85] The Irish Dáil had not been as ruthless with its cuts and avoided such heavy flooding in Ireland.[59] Brian Cowen was the then Taoiseach(prime minister) of Ireland and it was his cabinet's policies on flooding that helped reduce the storm related damage in Ireland.

Despite of the four deaths and heavy material losses involved, the Belgian government refused to take any responsibility for the state’s lack of preparedness on the issue of flooding.[55] Both the heavily flooded southern Netherlands and wind ravaged Luxembourg having no deaths at all in the same period of time.[55]

The economic consequences

Several businesses in Lostwithiel were badly hit. Mud ruined several £3,000 ball gowns in a clothes shop. Barry Green, said his bakery shop had been ‘pretty much destroyed’ that morning and was still flooded. However, no deaths or serious injuries were reported in the disaster.[63]

The reparis and new flood defences will cost millions of £ and take about a year to complete like those after the Cumbrian flood of 2010, caused by the River Derwent bursting its banks during a heavy series of November storms and which left 1,500 homless.[86]

Insurance and risk assessment

European insurers agreed on October the 25th that they needed to hold up to 37,000,000 euros ($51,480,000) of extra capital under new fiscal solvency rules to cover potential losses from windstorm damage in Europe, in the light of events such as Windstorm Emma according to loss and exposure aggregator PERILS.[87] The windstorms were expected to increase in air pressure and strength over Europe and the Americas over the next 5–10 years.[88]

The Eurowind probabilistic risk assessment model that quantifies the prospective risk from windstorms in Europe and is part of WORLDCATenterpriseTM, EQECAT’s catastrophe event modelling software platform and would be used to calculate future prospective windstorm and flooding losses in.[89][90]

The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) and CloudSat satellite would be used to asses the extent of any future storms as the first emerged in the atmosphere.[91]

AXA insurance bonds

The insurance company AXA sponsored a three-year-long €275 million catastrophe bond from November 2, 2010, to cover European windstorm risks in the light event such as Windstorm Emma earlier that decade. The nations covered by the bond scheme are Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.[92]

Axa closed its upsized €275,000,000 catastrophe bond on 2 November to cover itself against potential losses from European windstorms, after upsizing the insurance bond twice in 2010 to meet the heavy investor demand. The Irish firm Calypso Capital will be used to cover against potential windstorm insurance claims in its nine Western European member countries between the 1 January 2011 and 1 January 2014.[93]

See also


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