KNMI plays down fears of severe winter

22nd November 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 November 2005, BRUSSELS — An old saying suggests that if October is warm and fine, a severe winter will follow, and British meteorologists are forecasting the same across Western Europe.

22 November 2005

BRUSSELS — An old saying suggests that if October is warm and fine, a severe winter will follow, and British meteorologists are forecasting the same across Western Europe.

The warning has sparked deep concern in Britain where government authorities fear a shortage of gas.

The southern part of Britain is expected to be hit the hardest, along with the western seaboard of the Europe — including The Netherlands and Belgium, Flemish newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported on Monday. It is being forecast as the coldest winter in 50 years.

"We have had a pattern of very mild winters in recent years, so this will come as a shock," Royal Meteorological Institute spokesman Ewen McCallum said.

British computer models are forecasting very cold easterly winds that could bring especially cold weather. Comparisons are being made to the severe winter of 1956.

But the Dutch meteorological service KNMI says media reports about the British predictions for  Western Europe have been exaggerated. "The Dutch weather is far too carious to make meaningful predictions in the autumn about the coming winter," the KNMI said.

This does not exclude the possibility, the KNMI said, that after several mild winters it was entirely possible the country is in for a "skating winter" — a big freeze.

Belgian television weatherman Eddy De Mey also takes the British forecast with a grain of salt. "Season forecasts are worthless in our part of Western Europe. Two models are saying that it will be colder, three that it will be a normal winter," he said.

On a more definite note, De Mey said it will start snowing in the Ardennes on Thursday. He said the region will be covered in white this coming weekend and ski slopes will open. "My boots stand ready," he quipped.

The Netherlands, in contrast, is flat and the perfect environment for ice skating.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news + Belgian news

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