Urgent Code Orange storm warning issued for floods, hail, wind, & lightning

Dutch meteorological institute KNMI issued a Code Orange weather warning for most of The Netherlands on Tuesday. The more severe warning is in effect everywhere except Noord-Holland, Friesland, Groningen, the Wadden Islands, and the area around the IJsselmeer.

“Heavy thunderstorms will reach the southwest from about 3 p.m. The thunderstorms will move further northeast over the Netherlands, the KNMI said. “A lot of precipitation can fall in a short period of time during the showers.”

Hailstones of about 2 centimeters in size were also possible. Gusts of wind can top 80 kilometers per hour, the KNMI said.

The Code Orange warning was issued because of a risk of flooding, large hailstones, lightning strikes, and the possibility of wind toppling trees and sending debris flying through the air.

Zeeland, Zuid-Holland and Noord-Brabant will be first affected by the storms, with the Orange alert in effect from 3 p.m. That should taper off to a Code Yellow at 6 p.m. in Zeeland and at 8 p.m. in the other two provinces. A similar warning was issued for Limburg, where the alert starts at the less intense Yellow level at 3 p.m., then intensifies at 4 p.m., before scaling back down at 8 p.m.

All other affected provinces, including Utrecht, Flevoland, Gelderland, Overijssel and Drenthe, are under the Code Orange warning from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and then Code Yellow until 10 p.m. Noord-Holland faces a Code Yellow warning from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The rest of the country will be at the Yellow alert level from 7 p.m. to midnight.

The storms could be short-lived, with a relatively dry Wednesday expected. The Netherlands has been in the middle of an extended period of drought lasting over five weeks, and breaking national records. The chance of precipitation will remain relatively low for the next seven days. The highest chances for light rain were predicted for Wednesday and Thursday, with a 20 percent chance of precipitation between June 23-26.

Temperatures for the coming week should range from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius, with overnight lows in the mid-teens. The dry spell with sunny weather should continue from the end of June into the beginning of July.

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