Storm Odette: 110 km/h winds expected in Belgium on Friday
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Storm Odette: 110 km/h winds expected in Belgium on Friday

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The Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) announced a code orange storm warning for storm “Odette” at the Belgian coast on Friday, expecting strong winds up to 110 km/h at the coast and up to 90 km/h in the rest of the country.

The RMI gives code orange for the Belgian coast and the West Flanders province from Friday 5:30 PM until Saturday morning 7:00 AM, meaning that “a lot of wind is expected in which (major) damage or nuisance is possible on a larger scale, and traffic can be seriously disrupted.”

At the coast, gusts of wind up to 110 km/hour are expected at the end of the afternoon and in the evening. In the rest of the country, the winds are expected to remain “moderate to strong” with gusts up to 90 km/h.

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As Belgium’s RMI was the first in Europe to have a code orange for a storm warning, and the storm developed in Belgian territorial waters, the RMI could pick the storm’s name: Odette.

Translation: “The RMI names its first storm since we joined the European name last year: Odette.”

At the start of the storm season, an alphabetical list of names for the storms that may develop is drawn up. Each country is then allowed to make a number of proposals. The name Odette still belongs to last season’s list, as the new storm season starts on 1 October.

“The trees are still full of leaves and they will catch more wind, so they are more likely to fall over,” said VRT weather reporter Frank Deboosere, while he warned for the first “autumn storm,” adding that it is advisable to not park your car under a tree on Friday evening.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times