A Storm By Different Names

I thought naming storms was limited to hurricanes and typhoons. Which means that Sabine has taken me by surprise.

Not the storm itself – people in my area of Germany have been talking about it for days. On Saturday events scheduled for this evening were being cancelled. On a bright sunny day that surprised me.

I forget at times how small Germany is compared to Canada. The idea of a country-wide weather warning is something I had never thought of before. We don’t even have province-wide warnings back home.

For someone used to weather-related school bus cancellations at this time of year, I am having difficulty with the idea of shutting down schools because it is raining. Though admittedly, there are gale-force winds forecast. First the school were closed in northern Germany, then in my area – though as I write this on Sunday night we have had no rain nor wind.

Part of me is wondering if this is a big fuss about nothing. Hurricanes I understand from media coverage, but European weather is something new for me.

Still, this is Germany where as legend has it the trains always run on time. Except today they aren’t running at all, at least not the long-distance ones. I don’t know if they are worried about being late due to weather, or if Deutsch Bahn fears the trains will blow off the tracks. Given the number of late trains I have suffered through in fine weather, it must be the latter.

Maybe fierce storms have always been part of the European experience and I just haven’t realized it. Part of that may be due to the names. Sabine, which is expected to hit Sulzburg before you read this, is affecting large parts of the continent – but has different names in different countries.

In the UK they are calling this one Ciara. In Norway it is Elsa. I have no idea what the French are calling it.

I understand the destructive power of wind. I certainly won’t be going into the Black Forest during this storm, no matter what name you give it. There is a strong possibility that trees will come down.

I wonder though just how much danger there is from the weather here. Germany is a small country geographically compared to Canada, but still a pretty big place. Part of me thinks that a storm in the north will lose most of its power by the time it arrives in the south of the country where I am.

I guess I’ll find out before the day is out!




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