High winds cause hazardous conditions on Denmark’s bridges

The Øresund Bridge connecting Copenhagen with Swedish city Malmö was closed on Sunday evening as stormy weather raged.

High winds cause hazardous conditions on Denmark’s bridges
The Øresund Bridge on February 9th. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT/Ritzau Scanpix

The bridge was closed in both directions due to windy weather, the Danish Road Directorate (Vejdirektoratet) confirmed. Rail traffic was also affected.

The bridge was re-opened again shortly before midnight, but with wind-susceptible vehicles advised to avoid travel. Traffic on the bridge is normal as of Monday morning.

On the 18-kilometre Great Belt Fixed Link, which connects the islands of Zealand and Funen, authorities warned against non-essential travel throughout the day for vehicles susceptible to high winds. The advisory was lifted at around 9:45pm by operator Sund & Bælt.

Fierce winds also affected crossings on several other Danish bridges.

But the gusts were waning by late on Sunday night, enabling free passage for high-sided vehicles on bridges including the Little Belt Bridge between Funen and Jutland, and on the and Crown Princess Mary Bridge, which crosses Roskilde Fjord.

Despite the bridge delays, Denmark appeared to have a relatively easy brush with the weekend’s weather.

Large parts of Northern Europe were hit by storms on Sunday, forcing flight and rail cancellations in some countries.

In the United Kingdom, where the storm has been named Ciara, a number of football matches were cancelled due to the weather, as was a 10-kilometre race in London for which 25,000 runners had signed up. UK electricity companies reported power cuts for at least 30,000 customers and Wales saw gusts of up to 150 kilometres per hour.

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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.