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Weather service issues severe storm warning for Thursday

Island ferry making way during stormy conditions off the island of Muhu.
Island ferry making way during stormy conditions off the island of Muhu. Source: Kalmer Saar/minupilt.err.ee

The state weather service (Riigiilmateenistus) has issued a level two severe storm warning for Thursday, which may disrupt shipping, cause power outages and render driving conditions hazardous.

A level two warning means the weather is dangerous because "unusual meteorological phenomena have been forecast".

The weather service advises people to "be very vigilant and keep regularly informed about the weather forecast. Be aware of the risks that might be unavoidable and follow any advice given by authorities".

Wind speeds of up to 30 m/s in coastal areas and at sea are forecast, heavy rainfall, combined with wind, may cause tree damage to power lines and the trees themselves. Crosswinds may make driving dangerous.

Overnight Wednesday to Thursday will see strong westerly and northwesterly winds, with speeds of 15 m/s, rising to 20-25 m/s on the northwest coast and continuing in the Gulf of Riga and windward of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa, where gusts can be as high as 30 m/s.

Similar conditions are forecast to continue for Thursday.

A storm warning has been issued for Thursday, September 17. Source: Estonian Weather Service.

Average wave heights up to 6 or possibly even 7 meters on the open sea and 4 meters closer into the coastline are forecast, which can disrupt ferry services to the islands or even lead to their cancelation.

Air temperatures will be cold, 10C plus windchill effect, requiring warm and windproof clothing, the weather service says.

The low pressure responsible for the storm, coming from the northwest, i.e. Scandinavia, will fizzle out overnight to Friday and wind speeds will be lower by daytime.

The confrontation between the low and existing areas of warm air over the Baltic are also factors.

The storm will hit Finland on Wednesday afternoon and pass southwards to Estonia from then on, bypassing the northernmost regions of Finland.

Autumn storms are quite a frequent occurrence in Estonia, with two separate storms leaving thousands of homes without power, principally in southeastern Estonia, in October and December last year.

To see more information visit the Estonian Weather Service's website.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Helen Wright

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