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Satellites capture Cyclone Ulli


Ulli (Wikipedia)

On 3rd January 2012 the countries bordering the North Sea were the location of an extreme event that brought widespread low level damage. The rapid development of cyclone Ulli caused very strong winds (up to 160 km/h in Scotland). In the southern part of the North Sea basin there was a piling up of water along the northern Netherlands coast. Persisting rainfall in the previous days caused high water levels in-land that could not be drained to the North Sea because of the high surge lasting several days. This prompted the evacuation of about 800 people in the fear that a dyke along the Eemskanaal might breach.

In this period also a mini-surge of about 75 cm occurred at low tide conditions along the southern North Sea coast, caused by the arrival of the cold front. The event is discussed in detail in http://training.eumetsat.int/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=469.

KNMI colleagues have produced a briefing document to illustrate the significant contribution given by ASCAT-derived winds to the understanding of this event, available at http://www.knmi.nl/publications/fulltexts/weerbriefing5jan12.pdf. Enabling easy and timely access to Earth Observation data to facilitate the monitoring of such events and to improve the models used to forecast them is exactly one of the primary objectives of eSurge.