It seems like the convective season of 2005 has officially started today!
A well defined upper level low combined with some daytime heating was enough to fire a
couple of active storms (at least for the time of year) in The Netherlands
and Germany. Wind profiles showed some nice low level directional shear, but winds were quite weak though, which resulted in very slow moving, nearly stationary storms.
Also, LFC height was quite low, enhancing the threat of tornadogenis. I
haven't heard any reports of funnel clouds though, but a storm over
western Germany sure looked supercellar on radar to me.|
Most of the storms produced quite large hail. I had contact by phone
with Herman Harperink, who told he me he got reports of hail up to 4 cm with
that storm over western Germany.
Also, the storm over central parts of The Netherlands produced large hail.
Traffic came to a stand still on the A1-highway, just east of
Amersfoort, due to heavy rain and hail. Drivers seeked shelter at a gas
station to avoid the large hail stones. According to a KNMI spokesman the
hail was the size of eggs (Easter eggs?).
Another storm formed just south of this one and it also produced large hail.
According to a chaser the hail was about 3 cm.
I observed the storm near Amersfoort during the late afternoon/early
evening. Due to high humidity contrast was quite poor, so I haven't made
lots of pictures. At first I counted up to 15 strikes/minute with this
storm, but after a few minutes it became less active. A nice start of the season!