Autumn storms rage across Latvia Saturday

As predicted, Saturday sees Latvia in the grip fo powerful Autumn storms with strong winds, heavy rain and even the possibility of the first snow of the season.

Particularly strong gusts of wind are expected along the coast in the afternoon, the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Center (LVĢMC) warns. Wind speeds could reach 28 meters per second, enough to cause damage to trees and lighter structures. Disruption to power supplies cannot be ruled out.

Temperatures will be fairly mild at +11 Celsisus to +14 Celsius, but the wind and rain will make it feel a lot cooler than that.

Storm warnings, Oct 7-9
Storm warnings, Oct 7-9

Saturday will be cloudy and it will rain in many places, sometimes heavily, and thunderstorms are also possible. In the afternoon, the sky will clear for a while in some places, as the precipitation subsides, but the end of the day into Sunday is likely to see more rain arrive.

"The strong north-west wind will also bring a significantly colder air mass to Latvia, so on Sunday, the first snow and sleet is expected in Latvia, though a permanent snow cover will not form," said the LVĢMC.

Yellow warnings (potential danger) for wind and rising water levels are in place across the whole country for Saturday and Sunday. The entire coastline, including Rīga, has a higher orange warning (danger) in place for both days. Winds are expected to calm down by Monday, though rain is likely to stop only on Tuesday. Gusty winds are expected again in the middle of the week. 

State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) until Saturday's 17:00 had received 218 calls related to damage caused by the storm, VUGD spokeswoman Ilze Dāme-Birziņa told LETA.

Most or 138 calls were received in Rīga and surrounding areas. In Vidzeme, 39 calls were received, Latgale 18, Kurzeme 12, and Zemgale 11.

In most cases it was necessary to saw and remove fallen trees. For the most part, trees had fallen on roads or pavements, in 22 cases trees had fallen on cars and in six trees had fallen on residential buildings.

If hydrometeorological conditions have caused damage to human health and life, communication, or public transport movement, call the single emergency number 112.

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