Thunderstorms to hit Denmark as lightning threatens wildfires

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.

Thunderstorms to hit Denmark as lightning threatens wildfires
Photos: Henrik Mortensen/Flickr

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.”



How much will it snow in Denmark this weekend?

Winter weather arrived in spectacular fashion to coincide with the beginning of December this week. The weekend could bring more snow to parts of the country but probably less disruption than recent days.

Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December.
Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Recent snowstorms disrupted North Jutland in particular and Denmark in general, and more cold weather can be expected this weekend albeit severe, according to forecasts.

“We won’t see the Ragnarok-like weather we’ve seen in some places recently again this weekend, but it’s now winter weather and it has also snowed in several places overnight,” said meteorologist Frank Nielsen of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: Early December blizzards disrupt Denmark

Cold weather on Friday and a low front across the North Sea will bring clouds and precipitation across Denmark from the west, Nielsen said.

That will materialise as cold rain or sleet in many areas but probably snow in North Jutland, he said.

“There could be between five and ten centimetres of snow north of the Limfjord,” the meteorologist said, referring to the waterway that cuts across the northern part of Jutland, including main regional city Aalborg.

“In the southern part of the country, an equivalent five to ten centimetres of rain could fall,” he added.

Friday’s temperature will be between freezing point and five degrees Celsius, with the north of the country falling in to the lower end of that range and the south the warmer end.

Mist and fog is forecast this evening, caused by various weather fronts moving over Denmark.

That could still be felt on Saturday morning, though it is likely to be a little warmer at 2-6 degrees Celsius. Mild winds could make that fell chiller, but snow is unlikely.

Sunday will see the temperature drop again, to 0-4 degrees Celsisu. Snow is possible, particularly on eastern coasts.

Strong winds in the east of the country and along the coasts will result in a “rather cold 24 hours,” Nielsen said.

Nighttime temperatures are expected to drop below zero throughout the weekend. Motorists are therefore warned to be alert to icy road surfaces.