Thunderstorms to hit Denmark as lightning threatens wildfires

Thunderstorms to hit Denmark as lightning threatens wildfires
Photos: Henrik Mortensen/Flickr
Large parts of Denmark will see torrential rain on late Saturday afternoon and evening but it’s the recent hot and dry weather that’s worrying the country’s emergency services.

The risk of more wildfires breaking out in Denmark will increase on Saturday as looming thunderstorms may bring with them lightning that could easily ignite the country’s dried up forests and vegetation.

The cold front set to pass through Denmark has led Danish weather body DMI to issue a warning about the prospect of torrential rain, thunderstorms and strong gusts of wind.

This same meteorological cocktail is causing worry among rescue services in neighbouring Sweden, who for the past two weeks have been dealing with the worst breakout in wildfires in the country’s history.

“The cold front will push the tropical heat Denmark has been experiencing to one side and bring in thunderstorms and around 15 millimeters of rain every half an hour,” explains DPI meteorologist Frank Nielsen.

The front is expected to hit Sydvestjylland late afternoon, then during the evening it will reach Jutland and Funen.

At around midnight the storm will reach Northern Jutland and Zealand.

The bad weather is expected to subside during Saturday night.

Photo: AFP

Many Danes have been enjoying the country’s recent spell of hot weather at the country’s beaches and harbours but authorities are warning swimmers to keep out of the water before the storm approaches.

“Lightning can kill a person, even if it strikes 100 metres away,” Anders Myrhøj, head of operations at TrygFonden's Coastguard Service, told Danish news agency Ritzau.

“You should hurry out of the water, even if the thunderstorm is some distance from the place where you’re swimming.”