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Sun Feb 9, 2020, 02:34 AM

The calm before the storm appears to be ending

Last edited Sun Feb 9, 2020, 05:28 PM - Edit history (1)

For once, this has nothing to do with Trump or even America. I have been on the road constantly, so haven't been paying attention to local weather reports.

Starting today, my part of Europe is supposed to be hit by hurricane-force winds. They are supposed to be so severe that later today, the warnings are for "trees being uprooted," and tomorrow for "trees being uprooted and blown through the air into cars and houses." I just lookes outside. It's a little breezy, but nothing that looks especially threatening. We HAVE had storms like that before. Forests in eastern France have been flattened, and even here a few strorms were so severe, trees were blown down and half-blown down to the point where some popular forest hiking trails were closed for as long as 18 months. Once I had to go into my small town for an errand during one of these, and just missed getting my head bashed in by a metal sign flying through the air like Oddjob's hat in "Goldfinger." By the time I got home, I couldn't get to the house because an immense tree had been blown down across my street.

But these things, when they happened, usually were far worse than expected. This time, we have been told to expect far worse than we have seen up to now. I hope the forecasts were completely wrong. I have to fly down to Paris tomorrow and Spain the next day. If there are trees flying through my house, the likelihood of planes being able to take off and land is minimal at best, and I probably wouldn't be able to get to the airport anyway (or home, if I did).

So far, all I see out the window (it is now 8:30 AM here, 2:30 AM back on the East Coast of North America), are some gently waving treetops. The satellite image, on the other hand, shows a huge mass of white just at the coast of France and Belgium, and it's heading our way (that's usually about 3 hours ahead of us, weather-wise). I hope it decides to just stay there.

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Reply The calm before the storm appears to be ending (Original post)
DFW Feb 9 OP
Rhiannon12866 Feb 9 #1
DFW Feb 9 #4
Rhiannon12866 Feb 9 #6
DFW Feb 9 #7
Rhiannon12866 Feb 9 #20
Duppers Feb 9 #25
DFW Feb 9 #28
panader0 Monday #50
alwaysinasnit Feb 9 #2
Laffy Kat Feb 9 #3
DFW Feb 9 #5
MFM008 Feb 9 #8
DFW Feb 9 #9
KY_EnviroGuy Feb 9 #10
Hekate Feb 9 #11
DFW Feb 9 #12
Auggie Feb 9 #13
BlueMTexpat Feb 9 #14
DFW Feb 9 #16
LittleGirl Feb 9 #17
DFW Feb 9 #21
LittleGirl Feb 9 #36
LittleGirl Feb 9 #37
BlueMTexpat Feb 9 #19
DFW Feb 9 #22
BlueMTexpat Feb 9 #23
DFW Feb 9 #15
LittleGirl Feb 9 #18
wnylib Feb 9 #24
DFW Feb 9 #27
wnylib Feb 9 #30
DFW Feb 9 #31
Ohiogal Feb 9 #26
Squinch Feb 9 #29
DFW Feb 9 #32
Squinch Feb 9 #33
mnhtnbb Feb 9 #34
wnylib Feb 9 #35
DFW Feb 9 #40
Fla Dem Feb 9 #38
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 9 #39
DFW Feb 9 #41
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 9 #42
DFW Feb 9 #44
BigmanPigman Feb 9 #43
DFW Feb 9 #45
BigmanPigman Feb 9 #46
DFW Feb 9 #47
BigmanPigman Feb 9 #48
DFW Feb 9 #49
DFW Monday #51

Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 02:42 AM

1. Freezing rain then snow here yesterday in New York, sunny and way below freezing today

I had the same experience on my way home last night, the main road I needed to take was closed off because of downed trees, lucky I knew a way around - had to drive slow enough not to slide, but fast enough not to get stuck. Be careful out there!

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 02:49 AM

4. The last time this happened.....

It hit at night. I heard a big "whooosh" at one of my windows, and assumed some uprooted bush had brushed past on the way to somewhere. The next morning, I was stunned to see that a huge uprooted tree had flown to within a few inches of smashing through my window, and the sound was its top leaves landing just in front.

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Response to DFW (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 02:56 AM

6. Yikes!

We also have had strong winds here, but this time the damage was from the ice weighing down the trees, followed by a whole lot of snow that stuck. There are still some without power not far from here, but we don't lose it often because the lines are underground. These are scary weather times, seems like it's getting worse all over...

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 03:12 AM

7. The weight of ice is easy to underestimate

The day my younger daughter was born, I was in the hospital with my wife for the birth, and got an "emergency" call from Brussels requesting my immediate presence. My wife's parents were already there, and a lot of friends and neighbors assured me they had things under control. So, after getting my wife's blessings to leave "for a few hours," I hired a private plane service that had a single-engine propeller plane available, and flew over to Brussels. I grabbed a taxi into town, and asked the pilot to wait for me, as I would only be two or three hours.

An ice storm had hit while I was in downtown Brussels, and by the time I got back to Zavantem (Brussels airport), there was a light coating of ice on the plane. This was at the terminal for private aircraft, far from the de-icing machinery. The pilot attempted to take-off, but aborted halfway down the runway, saying even if we made it into the air, we'd crash before we made it back to Germany.

We left the plane in Brussels and rented a car to get back to Düsseldorf. No cell phones or laptops (this was 1985), so no communication. Because of the storm, the 2 and a half hour drive back to Düsseldorf took over 6 hours, and my wife and everyone else had not heard from me in close to ten hours. My wife was sure she was a widow by the time we finally got back to Düsseldorf that evening.

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Response to DFW (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 06:24 AM

20. Oh, how terrible for your lovely wife!

On a day that should have brought you both nothing but joy. Ice is always a huge danger in my neck-of-the-woods - Northeastern New York. A couple of years ago we were suddenly hit with a freak ice and snowstorm at the end of October. The leaves were still on the trees and the ground wasn't frozen. There was huge damage all over, trees came down everywhere damaging buildings and roads and driving was impossible. I was scheduled to go to an event that I felt I couldn't skip since I was supposed to pick up the cake. I started out and traffic was just at a crawl, took me a half hour to get to the bakery that was 10 minutes away. I pulled off and called my friend to find out if it was canceled and she told me she was the only one there. 7 people showed up and when I left I followed the car ahead of me since it seemed awfully dark - turned out that the power was out on the main roads. Last night reminded me a lot of that experience.

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Response to DFW (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 08:10 AM

25. OMG!

Continue to be careful, DFW.

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Response to Duppers (Reply #25)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 08:15 AM

28. I've managed so far

But thanks for the reminder!

I will try!

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Response to DFW (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 10:48 AM

50. My ex-father-in-law was an IBEW lineman.

Several years ago an ice storm hit central Oregon. The ice grew and grew on the
big power lines between the massive steel towers holding them. Eventually, the ice on
each line was the size of a 55 gallon drum, and the weight made about a dozen
towers collapse. Linemen were flown in from all over the country and worked in
shifts 24 hours a day to restore power.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 02:45 AM

2. Please keep us updated, and stay safe.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 02:46 AM

3. Yes, I saw the coast of Ireland earlier today and it looked brutal.

Be safe.

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Response to Laffy Kat (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 02:51 AM

5. Coast of Ireland usually means

6 to 7 hours from here. My wife and I intend to make a run to a local baker to stock up on bread just in case we are cut off for a couple of days.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 03:37 AM

8. wind scares me big time

stay safe and warm.

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Response to MFM008 (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 03:45 AM

9. Neither safe nor warm is assured

But we are trying to prepare for both just in case.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 04:24 AM

10. Good article on DW about this one (Storm Ciara/Sabine).

Germany braces for storm Sabine, transport delays

Heavy rains have lashed the UK and Ireland, with hurricane-strength winds and travel delays expected over a wide area. Forecasters say the power of the storm — also due to hit Germany — shouldn't be underestimated.

Link: https://www.dw.com/en/germany-braces-for-storm-sabine-transport-delays/a-52308204

(snips)
Authorities warned that the Storm Sabine, which approached from the Atlantic Ocean, would bring hurricane-strength winds of up to 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour, heavy rain and thunderstorms to parts of the continent.

The German Meteorological Service (DWD) said Sabine was expected to batter the country's northwest from mid-morning Sunday, and then gradually travel south across central Germany towards Bavaria.

"Overnight into Monday morning the storm will reach southern Germany," Jens Hoffmann, meteorologist at the German Weather Service, told DW. "We expect that there will be heavy gusts of wind in the lowlands, or even hurricane-strength gusts in the low mountain ranges and also in the Alps." He added that the storm shouldn't be underestimated, and that people should avoid traveling and going outdoors.

"Looking at Sabine's structure, it's a remarkable storm," he said. "We mustn't forget that this is a longer-lasting event. You can't think: 'It's Monday morning, the front has passed.' That's not right — it'll continue."

Airport operators in Berlin and Frankfurt said they were monitoring windspeeds closely. German flagship airline Lufthansa said passengers should prepare for flight cancellations and delays between Saturday and Tuesday, while German rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) urged people planning trips during the storm — especially in northern and western Germany — to postpone their travels.

"We've mobilized and doubled all our forces in every region," a DB spokesman said, adding that personnel were prepared to respond to destroyed power lines and fallen trees. Sabine, which has been dubbed Ciara in other European countries, prompted similar warnings in Britain, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

This reads like flooding may be an issue as well.

Best of luck, DFW. Be safety minded and please let us know what you've observed post-storm....

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 04:44 AM

11. Best of luck and stay safe...

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Response to Hekate (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 04:48 AM

12. The wind is already picking up

Three hours from now, this could get very nasty.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 04:53 AM

13. Meanwhile, it's been frighteningly dry in California ...

No rain in the immediate future -- and the season is nearing an end.

Reserves are good, blah, blah, blah. But still, you wonder.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 04:59 AM

14. Yikes, it looks as if we'll

be getting some of that here as well. https://www.lematin.ch/suisse/nouvelle-tempete-balayer-suisse/story/16406989

I've got plenty of food, etc. but I also have a LOT of windows.

I think that I'll move small tables, chairs, etc. inside tonight to avoid their being knocked about.

I can't do anything about trees though.

Thanks for sharing your story.

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 05:05 AM

16. I haven't talked to my guy in Geneva yet today

Maybe they're far enough south to miss the worst of it. I was in Basel yesterday ofr a few hours, but no trace yet of anything there. Here in northwestern Germany, it is supposed to get really brutal this evening. Both trains and air lines have said whatever you had planned, forget it. Great.

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Response to DFW (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 05:21 AM

17. Next time you're in Basel

Let me know please. Would love to meet you.

My hubby’s employer sent out an emergency notification on Friday. I think I’ll close the shutters and move the glass balcony table indoors tonight.

No wind here yet. We had a lot of wind last Monday too. Sounds like this is going to be much worse. I hope you cancel your travel until this storm passes. Be safe DFW.

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Response to LittleGirl (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 07:14 AM

21. That was my last planned visit for a while, but remind me next January

I should be back around early February again. Usually a tight schedule, but I can always try to break free for an hour or two!

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Response to DFW (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 09:16 AM

36. Great! Let me know! eom

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Response to DFW (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 09:21 AM

37. Just got back from a walk

It’s cloudy out and some wind has started but it was coming from the south.
I cleaned up outside and removed possible flying projectiles and closed the shutters.
A couple more shutters at dust and we’ll be tucked in!

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Response to DFW (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 05:28 AM

19. It sounds very much as if your planned travel schedule

is doomed, I'm afraid.

Per the weather map in my link, the forecast is for very high (Cat 4) winds in the northern part of Switzerland, both east and west.

Around Lake Geneva, they're showing Cat 3 winds, but with bars. I'm in one of the "barred" areas - not GVA itself, but quite close. We'll likely get some protection from the Jura Mountains.

The only parts of the country that look to escape very high winds are mostly cantons closest to Italy.

Northern France is also scheduled to take a hard hit (also per my link).

Per this forecast, those who are currently on ski vacations had better make the most of today.

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 07:16 AM

22. I know. It looks like a total mess

That which I had to do in Paris tomorrow can ONLY be done tomorrow. Spain can be put off to Wednesday if it has to.

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Response to DFW (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 07:22 AM

23. Aren't there also problems -

totally apart from the weather - wrt to air travel to Paris?

Some friends got caught up in the most recent French air controllers strike. Their British Airways flight from London to GVA wasn't cancelled, but it was greatly delayed. https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-22880315/french-air-traffic-strike-grounds-uk-flights

Having to travel so much, you must already be aware of these vagaries and risks. Good luck!

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 05:02 AM

15. Here's the latest satellite photo

We're just at the edge of the white. The German coastal cities are already in emergency mode.
https://www.wetter.com/wetterkarten/satellitenbilder/

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Response to DFW (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 05:22 AM

18. Thanks for the link.

I use wetter.com too

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 08:09 AM

24. Be safe. I have sometimes taken chances in travelling

during bad weather to do necessary things.

The pressure we feel from our own or someone else's expectations of us to do something can cloud our judgment of the risk. Then, only after the fact, when we're in the middle of danger of injury or worse, we ask ourselves, "Was this really important enough to put myself in this situation?" Often the answer is,"Not really." But we realize that from hindsight.

Only you can judge, with the foresight you have now, whether to take this risk. You do have the option now to weigh likely consequences either way.

Wishing you well, whatever you decide.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 08:14 AM

27. It will be up to the air line pilots anyway

Air France does not train its pilots to be suicidal, nor does it send its pilots out when the conditions are determined to be too dangerous. If they think their pilots can fly a plane, and the pilot agrees, then I think I can take my chances. If they say "no way," then that's the way it is.

So far, I can hear the noise of planes taking off and landing at the airport. When that goes silent, then we'll know conditions have gotten serious.

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Response to DFW (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 08:35 AM

30. Of course the decision of the airlines

and pilots is your guide. I guess I tend to be more cautious and less trusting than I used to be due to the incidents with Boeing and at least one other case within the US, unrelated to Boeing, when the decision of an airline and two pilots in bad weather did not end well.

But if you can trust French airlines and pilots, then whatever they decide should be ok.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #30)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 08:41 AM

31. We haven't heard a plane land or take off for over 15 minutes now

Sunday is usually a heavy air traffic day. Not a good sign.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 08:13 AM

26. Please stay safe!

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 08:33 AM

29. Please check in here so we know you're ok.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 08:42 AM

32. As mong as some immense tree doesn't land on the house, we'll be fine today

Starting tomorrow, who knows? I think if I do make it down to Paris tomorrow, I should probably bring a toothbrush and a change of underwear just in case.

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Response to DFW (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 08:55 AM

33. Good idea. I know how tense it can be when you are just waiting for the storm to hit.

Around here, I swear the air feels ominous when that happens.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 09:13 AM

34. A friend of mine's brother and SIL were due to fly from NY to NC on Friday

Their flight was canceled due to wind all up and down the east coast.

You may not get to go to Paris tomorrow!

Here are the delays/cancellations by airport today, and Dusseldorf is near the top!

https://flightaware.com/live/cancelled/

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 09:15 AM

35. I'm surprised that the storm is expected

to remain so strong as it passes so far inland from the northern coast. But then, I'm not familiar with European weather patterns.

Here in the US, storms coming in from the coasts tend to diminish in strength as they move inland. OTOH, storm systems that develop inland, e.g. the Midwest, can go hundreds of miles through several states, sometimes spawning various regional outcomes as they move from west to east. This is true in both winter and summer.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #35)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 12:48 PM

40. It's mostly flat lowland from the North Sea coast down to the Alps

There's very little to stop a hurricane strength storm from going where it wants. We've had some nasty ones.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 11:58 AM

38. 11:55 EST Weather Radar. Looks like the worst of the storm will be going to the Northeast of you.

Hop all will be well for you and your family.

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Response to Fla Dem (Reply #38)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 12:41 PM

39. Looks like Norway and Sweden are getting snow.

That will make them happy. They ski a lot there and they haven't had much snow this year. Looks nasty in Copenhagen though.

Here is a crazy person windsurfing in Oslofjord.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 12:49 PM

41. Air France just canceled my flight for tomorrow

Ruins the first half of my week, anyhow.

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Response to DFW (Reply #41)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 01:04 PM

42. Maybe not. Will you have to drive, or

can you just stay home and drink hot cocoa or something else warming and you can just stay hyggelig (is there a German word for that)?

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #42)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 05:27 PM

44. There is indeed a German word for hyggelig

Although in this case, I think the Danish word sounds better. In German it's "gemütlich."

Well, it's now 11:30 or so PM, and it's blowing like crazy outside. However, it looks like Air Chance is having regrets about the cancellation. Maybe some new weather updates have things improving hee in a few hours. Nothing like the drastic conditions of previous storms has yet shown up here. They told me I was now on a KLM flight to Schipol, connecting to Paris at a reasonable time. If they cancel on me, I'm screwed, but it's the only game in town, and the only downside is that I have to get up in 4 hours to be at the airport on time.

Come to think of it, that sound like a great argument for getting me ass to bed!

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Response to DFW (Reply #41)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 04:29 PM

43. Good thing your flight was cancelled...

I just saw this post on DU and thought of your post from last night.


https://www.democraticunderground.com/12321867

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #43)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 05:27 PM

45. Never say never.

See post 44. Check in with me in 24 hours, if I'm around to tell the tale.

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Response to DFW (Reply #45)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 05:35 PM

46. Uh oh, that doesn't sound good.

I just read another post and article about how it is effecting England, France, Germany and The Netherlands. GOOD LUCK!!!!!

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100212972093

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #46)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 05:42 PM

47. Plus the planes over to the Netherlands are little puddle-jumpers.

It's only a 35 minute flight to Schipol. They say "we have reached out cruising altitude, and in 10 seconds, we'll start our descent. We REALLY hope not more than two of you need to use the lavatory, or we'll have to circle around a couple of times."

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Response to DFW (Reply #47)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 06:18 PM

48. Did you make it OK?

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #48)

Sun Feb 9, 2020, 10:35 PM

49. Now 4:30 AM, leaving for the airport in half an hour

Still pretty gusty out there, and the departure has been delayed 25 minutes. Too much more than that, and I miss the connection to Paris.

**update--departure time now removed altogether. Crap.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 01:36 PM

51. Thanks for all the good vibes, everyone. I actually DID make it to Paris, now almost back home

The KLM flight over to Amsterdam was bumpy but short and on time. The connecting flight to Paris left on time, but it took almost half an hour to get the stairs to the plane, which was parked at an outside position. I barely made it into town, but got everything done that I wanted to, and the train (didn't want to chance another canceled flight) back is almost on time. My wife said the wind was still gusting, but not as bad as yesterday, so I should make it down to Spain and back tomorrow.

My friends in Paris told me they got whipped pretty soundly by the wind last night as well, but, the city was fairly calm today. I'm sure this is not the last of these storms we'll see this year.

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