It’s a break-in! What about code red, code orange, and code yellow?

Things are back to normal again in the Netherlands today. Code Yellow has been issued for large parts of the country, and has also been upgraded to Code Orange in Zeeland, South Holland, North Holland and the Wadden region. How about those stormy colors again?

Color codes for KNMI weather warnings indicate the expected impact of hazardous weather. There are four color codes: green, yellow, orange and red. Each color code has a specific meaning.

🟢Code green: Represents normal weather, without the need for special warnings.

🟡Code yellow: This calls for you to be more careful, especially if you plan to go out, because the weather may become dangerous. This code can be issued up to 48 hours before the expected weather phenomenon occurs.

🟠 code orange: Indicates severe weather, where there is a high risk of damage, injury or a lot of inconvenience. This code can be issued up to 24 hours in advance.

🔴code red: It is the most dangerous climate alert, for extreme weather that can have a severe impact that can disrupt society..

Specific criteria apply to each color code, depending on the type of weather, such as rain, snow, thunder, wind, temperature, and visibility. In the case of wind, a yellow code is issued if there is a possibility of wind speeds exceeding 75 km per hour. If wind speeds are expected to exceed 100 kilometers per hour, the symbol will be orange. Very strong winds, reaching speeds of up to 110 kilometers per hour, are expected in the coastal governorates today!

Storm Kieran: Why do storms sometimes have names?

Today Storm Ciaran will pass over the Netherlands. By giving names to storms, KNMI (just as other meteorological institutes do in other countries) tries to alert people to the dangers. After all, “Storm Ciarán” sounds more threatening than just “storm,” which means warnings are still better. 52% of Dutch people think it is a good idea to name storms; 30% do not think this is necessary.

Do all storms have names?

In the Netherlands, the name is actually only given to storms that are code orange or code red. In some cases, even with a yellow symbol, the storm is given its own name. This happens, for example, when there is a good chance that it will need to be upgraded to code orange, or because the storm originated in the United Kingdom and was already named there. This year’s names can be found in our list of storm names 2023-2024. This list is compiled by the Netherlands, Great Britain and Ireland. Seven of these names were suggested by visitors to the KNMI Open Day: Babette, Elin, Gerrit, Henk, Olga, Piet and Walid. Where Gerrit refers to Gerrit Hiemstra, the meteorologist who bid farewell to NOS after nearly 25 years. STorm Piet is a tribute to Piet Bolsma, who passed away last year.


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Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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