Code Red: Storm Poly makes landfall, bringing wind gusts up to 120 km/h this morning
This story will be updated.
Meteorologists in the Netherlands increased their warning for Storm Poly, issuing a Code Red weather warning for strong wind gusts that could range from 100 up to 120 kilometers per hour. The alert was intensified to the most severe Code Red weather warning for Noord-Holland, Flevoland, Friesland and the IJsselmeer area at 7:55 a.m. A Code Orange alert was in effect for Zuid-Holland, Groningen, Drenthe, and Overijssel, as well as the area covering the Wadden Islands, for similarly strong wind gusts.
"Especially on the coast and in the IJsselmeer area, the wind gusts can be even heavier locally," said Dutch meteorological institute KNMI. "This can cause damage and danger as a result of falling trees and flying objects." Regions under a Code Yellow warning can expect strong wind gusts ranging from 75-100 km/h on Wednesday morning and afternoon.
Drivers were advised to stay off the roads during the storm unless absolutely necessary, and not to travel with empty caravans or trailers which can be blown around more easily. Airlines at Schiphol Airport pre-emptively cancelled hundreds of flights in anticipation of the strong winds.
The Code Red warning took effect in Noord-Holland at 8 a.m., and will last until noon, with a Code Orange warning in effect for an hour after. The most severe warning level was also expected to be in effect for four hours, starting at 9 a.m. in Flevoland and the IJsselmeer area, and 10 a.m. in Friesland.
The Code Orange alert was in effect starting at 8 a.m. in Zuid-Holland and Flevoland as the storm makes its way from west to east. The elevated alert takes effect at about 10 a.m. in Gelderland, and at noon in Groningen and Drenthe. The Code Orange alarm will last anywhere from two to five hours, depending on location, gradually decreasing in urgency.
"In Zuid-Holland the wind decreases again at the end of the morning, elsewhere this happens mid-afternoon." A Code Yellow warning was in effect everywhere else, starting as early as 6 a.m. in Zeeland, and 8 a.m. in Utrecht, Noord-Brabant, Gelderland, and Limburg.
Dutch infrastructure agency Rijkswaterstaat recommended that people stay off the roads during the storm, and those who have to drive should "be extra alert," and modify their driving style.
Early rush hour traffic built up to about 253 kilometers in jammed roadways as of 7:55 a.m., according to the ANWB. The worst traffic was on the A16 from Breda towards Rotterdam, on the A17 from Roosendaal towards Dordrecht, and on the A4 from Leidschendam towards Hoogmade.
The low-pressure area was assigned the name Storm Poly by the meteorological service in Germany, the KNMI said. "If a storm that can have an impact here has already been given a name by another European group, we will adopt this name," the Dutch institute stated. Last year, the KNMI had said that the name Priya would be used for any storm beginning with the letter P.