Denmark braced for 100km/h hour winds as Storm Malik sweeps in

Denmark braced itself for the arrival of Storm Malik on Saturday afternoon, with trains and ferries cancelled, bridges closed, and vulnerable people evacuated.

Denmark braced for 100km/h hour winds as Storm Malik sweeps in
Waves crash over the harbour wall in Hirtshals, Jutland, as Storm Malik hits Denmark. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The storm started to hit Denmark at around 3pm on Saturday, and Trine Pedersen, a meteorologist at Denmarks’ state forecaster DMI, said that the winds would get stronger and stronger later in the evening, reaching maximum strength in the middle of the night.

“At first it will be a strong wind with strong gales, but early in the evening we will quite quickly probably reach a full storm on the West Coast, with gusts at hurricane force.” she told the Ritzau newswire. “In the rest of the country, it will more of a gale to a stormy gale, with gusts at storm force.”

Frederikssund Municipality to the north of Zealand has evacuated 20 elderly citizens, because of the risk that floods and storms might prevent them from receiving care.

The Great Belt Bridge between the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen will close from 10pm on Saturday until at least 10am on Sunday, while the Vejlefjord bridge is being closed to wind-sensitive vehicles.

Ferry company Scandlines has canceled departures on Saturday between Gedser and Rostock, Color Line has canceled all departures between Hirtshals and Kristiansand in Norway, and the Læsø ferry has cancelled departures to Frederikshavn.

Frederikssund’s mayor, Tina Tving Stauning, on Thursday warned people in the municipality to be careful. During Storm Bodil in 2013, the low-lying area of Zealand was hit by severe flooding. 

“The most important thing is to save people. There should be no people being endangered because the floodwaters are coming,” she told TV2 on Thursday. 

In many coastal cities, the emergency services on Saturday morning erected flood barriers to protect low-lying areas. 

Temporary flood barriers have already been put up around the coast of Frederikssund. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
Emergency service personnel erect flood barriers in Randers, Jutland, on Saturday morning: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

The elderly citizens in Frederikssund are being looked after at two elderly care homes in the municipality.

As well as the cancelled ferries, train company DSB is also cancelling trains on several routes: regional trains between Aarhus, Fredericia and Esbjerg will not run on Saturday night, and from Saturday at 4pm all traffic will be suspended on seven local train lines on the island of Zealand. 

These include the Hornbæk line, the Gribskov line, the Nærum line, Lille Nord, the Frederiksværk line, the Odsherred line and the Tølløse line.

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Is Denmark having its sunniest March ever?

March is not a month famous for sunshine and mild temperatures in Denmark, but the current month has broken with that reputation and could set new records.

Is Denmark having its sunniest March ever?

Sunshine and blue sky have dominated weather reports so far throughout March 2022 and, although the end of the month could bring some cloud, the current month is on course to set a record as the sunniest March in Denmark.

As of Thursday morning, 170 hours of sunshine had been registered in March, leaving it 30 hours short of the existing record of 200 hours, a record that has stood for almost 80 years according to broadcaster DR.

The remaining hours of sunshine look achievable if the forecast for the coming days is anything to go by, according to the broadcaster’s meteorologist Søren Jacobsen.

“With the daylight hours we are having now, we get around 10 hours of sun per day when there are no clouds,” he told DR prior to Thursday, which also saw day-long sunshine.

March normally gets 138.4 hours of sunshine, according to DR. The figure is based on the average for the past 10 years.

The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) measures and records Denmark’s sunshine hours. The sunlight must be of a certain strength for it to count towards the total, but in general, a clear sky across the entire horizon and no clouds are required.

The most sun-drenched March on record in Denmark occurred in 1943, when 200 hours were registered. Second place is 2013 with 189.7 hours.

In 2020, Denmark got 182 hours of sun, placing that year 6th on the current list. The country was locked down due to Covid-19 from March 11th through the end of the month.