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News and announcements

06 December 2013 — Storm Xaver is over

Storm Xaver has passed without generating major damage on the Belgian coastline. With a storm surge of 6.33m above the TAW level observed in Ostend by MDK’s tidal gauge, this storm surge was as forecasted the largest one that has reached the Belgian coast since 1953.

Beyond the quality of the forecasts made ​​by our models, we want to especially acknowledge the excellent cooperation which occurred at national level between forecasters from RMI and the OMS station, MDK’s officers and our modellers during the last three days.

Collaboration was also intense at the international level, both between meteorological institutes and marine forecast institutes. For example, as they do every day since 2002, modellers of the NOOS network exchanged their tide and surge predictions. This network, which acts under EuroGOOS’ umbrella, includes 24 governmental agencies, meteorological and marine forecasting centers as well as non-profit research centers acting in operational oceanography around the greater North Sea.

As founding member of both EuroGOOS and NOOS, the Operational Directorate  Natural Environment of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is an influential member of the operational oceanography community in Europe. It is also under its leadership that EuroGOOS adopted in March 2013 the legal status of non-profit international association under Belgian law and moved its office to BELSPO premises at Brussels.


Figure 1: The light blue line represents the harmonic tide at Ostend, i.e. the tide that would have been observed in the absence of wind. The dark blue curve represents the prediction made ​​last night by our model optos_bcz. The red dots represent MDK observations at Ostend.


Figure 2. Grey: the surge predictions at Ostend as exchanged by the NOOS modellers. Red: the best surge approximation as obtained after statistical processing of all forecasts. Yellow: the confidence interval around this approximation determined by the statistical treatment. Black: surge observed by the MDK’s tidal gauge. The storm surge peak reached 2.30m on Thursday 05/12 9pm. Fortunately, this peak did not coincide with the high tide since on Friday 06/12 3am. The surge had dropped to 1.60m.

External links:


Station OMS :

Sites de MDK: and

euroGOOS :


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