The end is nigh, says some British wacko ("Piers Corbyn") who studies sunspots and solar flares, or something like that. I won't dignify him with a link.
The basic idea is, an enormous storm will strike Northern Europe Nov. 24-28, causing devastating floods in the Netherlands.
A formerly respectable Dutch TV weather man called Piet Paulusma is buying it. I have to admit I've never heard of him before, but then, he works for SBS6 and that's not typically my 'go-to' station for news.
Paulsma's (Dutch language) blog, which I also won't dignify with a link:
By mid-month "an expanding depression will develop over the Atlantic Ocean due to tropical air. At its edges, disturbances will form, and a very active cold front. The result is a phenomenon that can be described as a superstorm; an instance that will be bigger than the storm of 1987 and that of 1703."
And then 200kph winds, Anne Frank's tree is toast, the Delta Works crumble, zombies moan and gibber in the streets, dogs and cats start living together peacefully.
All this with an 80 percent chance, which leaves Corbyn and Paulsma with what can best be termed "an easy 'out'" when it all fails to materialize.
(photo:sweejak; painting:"The Wreck")
I for one am very worried about Holland flooding. Always have been, ever since I came, even before global warming was recognized as a real big deal.
My primary issues:
a) if we're below sea level and it rains too much, how do they get all the water to drain out to the sea in time?
b) I know the dunes and dikes are strong, yadda yadda yadda, but WHAT IF there's a break? Pretty hard to plug a breach in a sea dike. And there's more water in the sea than you might think.
(no credit necessary due to annoying imprint on picture)
Now you wouldn't think this story would have ever made it off Corbyn's website, let alone Paulsma's, but in this country, the weather is always news.
Or at least, that's what the editors think, so the story's been widely distributed.
The Royal Dutch Weather Institute trotted out somebody to point out that nobody can predict weather more than 10 days in advance (see: The Butterfly Effect)
Institute expert Cees Molenaars was widely quoted as saying "This is scaring people unnecessarily, and that's dangerous."
However, Paulsma (who has gotten a generous helping of free publicity out of this already) shot back by digging up an old post from the KNMI's website in which they discuss the possibility of a "superstorm."
"Very unusual circumstances, in which two storm depressions combine, can lead to superstorms. Superstorms are characterized by unheard of wind speeds and very extreme downpours.
They've never been recorded in our region. (But) climate models show that they can now in principle occur above the North Atlantic Ocean. Due to the greenhouse effect on the upper atmosphere, the area where they happen can be shifted in the direction of Europe. The Netherlands, too, could then experience this.
The shortcomings of our current climate models also mean that we can't determine the chance of such a shift very well."
However, I don't need to channel the Oracle of Amsterdam to tell you it's not happening.
I'll put my money where my mouth is: I'm offering all comers 10-1 odds that there's not a single gust of wind above 100kph measured in "De Bilt" (the Dutch weather service's chief measuring station, near Utrecht) during Nov. 24-28.
(photo of new orleans flooding:nola.com)
Hey! Keep your eyes on the sign!