Bonn. High winds are expected as storm “Sabine” makes its way to NRW. People are advised to avoid forested areas. Rail traffic may face disruptions. Some schools have already cancelled Monday.
The weather is expected to become increasingly uncomfortable on the weekend. Unstable weather and heavy storms are expected throughout NRW on Sunday. The German Weather Service (DWD) expects storm "Sabine" to cause damage in North Rhine-Westphalia overnight Sunday into Monday, possibly disrupting traffic. It also expects falling trees, according to meteorologist Bernd Hussing. And it cannot be ruled out that rail traffic will be affected.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, the hurricane is expected to peak around midnight on Sunday. “Anything between a wind force of 9 and 12 is possible", Hussing said. He expects wind speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour. "On Sunday, the wind will pick up more and more as the day progresses. Already in the afternoon there will be wind gusts with a strength of 9 all over the area.
Weather on Saturday will already become more unsettled in NRW, with sun and clouds alternating and a temperature of around ten degrees Celsius. Now and then it can also rain. Flooding is not expected, however, a spokesperson said. According to the DWD, the new week could also start out stormy, and in the mountains it could snow.
Cities urge people to avoid forested areas
The cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf are warning the population to avoid wooded areas, parks, cemeteries and tree-lined avenues or streets on Sundays. The city of Cologne will reportedly close the Lindenthal Zoo, the Botanical Garden and the Forest Botanical Garden. There might also be barriers set up around Cologne Cathedral on Sunday. Drachenburg Castle will also be closed on Sunday and Monday due to the storm.
Deutsche Bahn prepares
Meanwhile, preparations for the storm are in full swing at Deutsche Bahn in North Rhine-Westphalia. "We are stepping up our efforts and preparing for “Sabine”," said a Deutsche Bahn spokeswoman. The personnel in the control centers and operations centers will be increased, schedules will be adjusted. "At the same time, repair vehicles will be put on standby." The focus is on making the routes passable again as quickly as possible. In the event of an emergency, the employees on site will clear the tracks with special equipment, make technical repairs and fix overhead lines.
Some schools have already cancelled Monday
In view of the storm, the Ministry of Education has informed schools and school boards of the possibility of cancelling classes on Monday. The Ministry emphasized that parents may also decide on Monday morning not to send their children to school "if they consider the journey to school unreasonable and not safe”.
As a precaution, some schools in Bonn have already cancelled classes for Monday. Among them are the Kardinal-Frings-Gymnasium in Beuel, the Clara-Fey-Gymnasium and the Aloisiuskolleg (Ako) in Bad Godesberg. "As in all archbishopric schools, there will be no classes at the Ako on Monday", the school secretariat told the GA. All parents were informed of this by e-mail on Friday afternoon.
However, it is unclear to what extent school lessons will take place in the municipal schools. "The city of Bonn, as the school authority, leaves it up to the individual schools to decide whether lessons are cancelled or shortened," deputy city spokesman Marc Hoffman told the GA. Some schools have already published information on their websites.
Eike Schultz, headmaster of the Tannenbusch grammar school, leaves it up to the parents to decide whether the children's journey to school is reasonable and safe. Should they not send their children to school, they must inform the school "immediately".
Northwest Germany will be hit first
Large parts of Germany could be affected by the storm "Sabine". According to the German Weather Service, the low pressure system coming from the Atlantic on Sunday will probably hit the northwest of Germany around noon. According to current forecast models, wind gusts with a speed of 120 kilometers per hour are expected on the North Sea coast. Then the storm field will move further south. In the evening, "Sabine" will probably reach the Eifel, Lower Rhine, and Saarland with wind force eleven (103 to 118 kilometers per hour) and finally arrive in Bavaria in the second half of the night.
In many places the high winds will be accompanied by heavy showers and thunderstorms. The DWD warned of falling trees, bricks blown off of buildings and broken branches. People should be prepared for such dangers if they need to leave their homes.
Orig. text: general-anzeiger-bonn.de