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Rhine water levels 2019 and similar topics

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Hello again Notamermaid.  How do this year’s water levels on the Rhine compare with the same period last year.  I’m hoping that if they are higher this year it augurs well for our August cruise!  

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Posted (edited)

 

Now that is a good question! The answer is: we had flooding in the first half 2018, even as late as June. It was mild only, but any layman would not have guessed from the situation in June that we would see such a bad autumn. There were long-term predictions by weather experts in July who hinted at a specific weather pattern high over Europe bringing us a steady heat with little rain. It turned out they were right. As for this year, who knows. There are rumours circulating and the water table is lower than last year at this time. Courtesy of BAfG (the authorities) - and I hope I do not get into trouble for copying - here is the graph they issued in August 2018:

Pegel Deutschland BAfG.docx

 

 

The graph shows Maxau in orange at the top. On the left are the level figures. It spikes in June - mild flooding, slightly under the official mark I think. You can see that from 1 April the figure at around 500 is good, we had worse flooding in January 2018 (not represented in the graph). From 9 July the level at Maxau dropped fast and never recovered before the beginning of December.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
technical error

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Thanks for the quick response.  What’s the expression - “you pays your money and takes your chance”.  The one good thing is that after reading all the information here we won’t be surprised if the water in August is low.  In any event we will love the trip and will see an English cousin now living in Switzerland who I haven’t seen for 15 years!

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On 5/21/2019 at 12:08 PM, notamermaid said:

Hello KathyK13,

I like that itinerary, if it is the Avalon waterways one! Although I think going South from Koblenz to Basel is a bit more scenic IMO. The Moselle is lovely, I am sure you will enjoy it. Will you be coming from Paris with the company or independently? I always think that it is a pity the Lorraine area of the Moselle is not given more attention. But a bit of news to follow in the thread on the Moselle.

 

notamermaid

 

Hi Notamermaid,  

Yes, we are taking the Avalon Canals, Vineyards, and Castles cruise.  This will be our third Avalon cruise.  Pre-cruise we will be spending a few days with friends who live in Munich, then visiting Berlin with them.  We leave them in Berlin and take a train to Trier where we have rented an apartment for 2 days before the cruise.  We won't have much time to visit the region, we mostly plan to see the sights in Trier, do laundry, and relax!  The weather looks cool and rainy but we will pack accordingly and plan to have and awesome vacation..

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4 minutes ago, KathyK13 said:

Hi Notamermaid,  

Yes, we are taking the Avalon Canals, Vineyards, and Castles cruise.  This will be our third Avalon cruise.  Pre-cruise we will be spending a few days with friends who live in Munich, then visiting Berlin with them.  We leave them in Berlin and take a train to Trier where we have rented an apartment for 2 days before the cruise.  We won't have much time to visit the region, we mostly plan to see the sights in Trier, do laundry, and relax!  The weather looks cool and rainy but we will pack accordingly and plan to have and awesome vacation..

Apologies. Where is my memory?! Of course, we talked about your holiday plans some weeks ago when you asked for some ideas between Berlin and the cruise.

 

A long train ride but hopefully very enjoyable, with some great scenery along the way.

 

notamermaid

 

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The level at Maxau peaked at 740cm yesterday afternoon. Down to 718, it is still on flooding status but is anticipated to fall below that. Kaub is still rising, now at 446cm. It will probably reach the navigation level mark I, that means a speed limit in that river section. Kaub has risen by 2m in 48 hours! Luckily the river was low before all the rain came.

Koblenz is at 380cm. Traffic might slow down there but it is less likely than around Kaub. Cologne authorities have already announced that they only expect very mild flooding.

 

All in all this is looking o.k. We have not been hit as hard as the Danube and its tributaries, where ship swaps are reported to be happening.

 

notamermaid

 

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We sailed the Basel to Amsterdam route on AmaWaterways in early May. A bit of rain for several days, but the trip through the gorge was spectacular

6AADFF99-C2C4-4B18-8BCE-D4B3B16B75C5.jpeg

CA1E66E5-3EC5-4E21-887C-751285D027B6.jpeg

64819EA5-781D-4CF1-B59B-E776F4A34B50.jpeg

37F0E6C2-4498-42E7-BF9A-E70391B9F850.jpeg

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Is the Rhine generally calm?  Does it get very rough during storms?  Just curious.  I lived on a beach on Long Island Sound so I am aware how water can get.

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Posted (edited)

2inSETexas,

 

Thank you for the photos. Hmm, I think I should have boat trip this year, your pictures have certainly whet my appetite. Just never seem to find the time...

 

Talking of boats:

 

@patprov,

the river is fast-flowing and you can get stormy days, nevertheless the river is calmer than many ocean harbours I would say. Certainly those at the English channel can tell you that the open sea is just round the corner. We rarely get those unpleasant storms that cause larger waves and rock the boats. You might feel the waves of a wake of a passing speedboat or a large barge that sails past close. But that is a minor thing on a river cruise ship. The smaller excursion boats (let us say 40m x 8m) rock when turning round - which I find unpleasant - but on a large river cruise ship again this should be minor movement. Most people say the gentle movement of the ship helps them to get to sleep...

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
clarification

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Notamermaid,

 

We're scheduled to cruise the Rhine in early July and given what I read about last year's drought's impact on the river cruises turning them into bus tours, I've been faithfully following this board.  Thanks for your continuing monitoring of the river conditions and hopefully the water levels will be good for us in July.

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Hello daveil,

Welcome to the river cruise board. I dare say that early July should normally not be a problem as regards water levels, but what is normal these days? I remain optimistic. July can get a bit hot and towns can be stuffy but sipping a cocktail on the sundeck watching the late sunset, well I cannot imagine that being any better on a Carribbean cruise! I am not good with too much water around me so prefer to see land at all times at least in the distance...

 

The river this morning. Maxau has fallen further but is still high, Kaub is on slow traffic, but it looks as if we are over the worst there. Koblenz gauge should start to fall during today as well.

 

Maxau may return to normal traffic but as more rain is forecast after a few dry days the level is predicted to rise a little again. Does not look as if it will get as high again as it was a couple of days ago.

 

The temperatures are pleasant right now but will go down during next week's rain.

 

notamermaid

 

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On 5/23/2019 at 12:00 PM, patprov said:

Is the Rhine generally calm?  Does it get very rough during storms?  Just curious.  I lived on a beach on Long Island Sound so I am aware how water can get.

Hello Fellow Long Islander,

We're on the "other shore":) Half a mile from the Great South Bay.

Enjoy your travels!

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On 5/23/2019 at 12:38 PM, notamermaid said:

2inSETexas,

 

Thank you for the photos. Hmm, I think I should have boat trip this year, your pictures have certainly whet my appetite. Just never seem to find the time...

 

Talking of boats:

 

@patprov,

the river is fast-flowing and you can get stormy days, nevertheless the river is calmer than many ocean harbours I would say. Certainly those at the English channel can tell you that the open sea is just round the corner. We rarely get those unpleasant storms that cause larger waves and rock the boats. You might feel the waves of a wake of a passing speedboat or a large barge that sails past close. But that is a minor thing on a river cruise ship. The smaller excursion boats (let us say 40m x 8m) rock when turning round - which I find unpleasant - but on a large river cruise ship again this should be minor movement. Most people say the gentle movement of the ship helps them to get to sleep...

 

notamermaid

 

Thank you.  I was just curious.  Been on boats my whole life.  My husband actually built race boats. Hustlers. We are so looking forward to this trip.

 

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The river levels have further improved, meaning they have fallen since yesterday. Here is the graph for Maxau, to give you an idea of what the situation was like. On the left is the gauge in figures. On 20 May, there was a massive rise in reaction to the rain. The level has just fallen below mark I, is currently at 618cm. From that level of 620cm and above river traffic has to slow down.

image.png.4eb1327dfd961565c495960ff72e8de9.png

 

Kaub is now at 408cm and falling (river traffic has returned to normal there as well), Koblenz is at 366cm and falling (the level had stayed there below mark I).

 

The weather is pleasant, a nice weekend. And busy, with voting Sunday tomorrow, we are having European Parliament and local authorities election here.

 

Enjoy your weekend.

 

notamermaid

 

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On 5/24/2019 at 4:58 PM, patprov said:

Hi There.  Are you going on a river cruise also?

 

 

Yes we are, Uniworld's Castles on the Rhine-Basel to Amsterdam on the River Empress.  It's our 4th river cruise but the 1st on this itinerary.  We'll be going in late July & hoping (fingers crossed) for decent water levels.  

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Hi notamermaid, I want to thank you for all your insight. I found this board researching water levels after I read on the Viking Grand European Tour Amsterdam to Budapest - 2019 thread someone reporting a few hours ago that they were transported to another ship after Nuremberg excursion by bus for 4 hours to get on a different ship docked somewhere on the Danube. I will be on the Amsterdam to Budapest Viking cruise departing 5/28. I am having a hard time navigating the links you suggested to monitor the water levels. Can you please suggest which gauging stations i should be looking at for this itinerary? And, can you also give me your opinion of how good or bad it's looking for me in relation to the forecast and what you gather from your own knowledge? You seem to have such a good handle on all this. I thank you so much for your time and help!

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Hello Misspiglet,

 

Thank you for your kind words.

 

I am really only really familiar with the Rhine and glad we have regulars here reporting from the Danube and Elbe. But you asked for the Grand European so I will try and put a list of stations together that are relevant for you.

 

You are leaving soon, so first, let me assure you that currently the rivers look good, the only place to worry about for you could be the bridge in Passau - see the thread on the Danube. And Viking I am sure will keep you well informed once you are on board. As Passau is a good week out for you in dates they will not know yet (i.e. today) what is happening at the Bavarian Danube exactly, Wednesday or Thursday will reveal the extent of the rise in water levels in reaction to the rain of today and tomorrow. Generally speaking, a reliable forecast for water levels is given for 48 hours, a prediction (with quite a bit of room for errors) normally seven days in advance.

 

Now to the stations. I am not familiar with the canals in the Netherlands, so can only give you the station that makes sense to me in figures.  Lobith is near the border before the Rhine splits into the Rijn and the Waal: http://waterinfo.rws.nl/#!/kaart/waterhoogte-t-o-v-nap/

It is easiest to find when you put the name in the search box. It is currently at 1052cm which is in the normal range.So, looking good. Next I would look at Koblenz here: https://www.pegelonline.wsv.de/gast/stammdaten?pegelnr=25900700

Currently at 297cm, it is above average but below M_I (slowed- down traffic), so looking good as well. As you turn onto the Main river at Mainz, ignore Maxau and look at Würzburg instead: https://www.pegelonline.wsv.de/gast/stammdaten?pegelnr=24300600

The Main is lock-controlled so reacts differently and I am not too familiar with the figures. Würzburg at 149cm is below the mean (the MW line in the graph) yet not on low water. So looks alright to me. Next for high water I would look at Passau: https://www.pegelonline.wsv.de/gast/stammdaten?pegelnr=10091008

The Danube there is high, but not at flooding level. Please look in the thread on the Danube for more info.

For Austria I suggest Grein: http://hydro.ooe.gv.at/#207100

There they expect a rise  - seeing that the weather forecast predicts much rain for the Bavarian Danube and parts of Austria - but the water level is currently looking o.k. to me. I cannot relate this to the situation for river cruise ships. I am sure the Viking crew will be happy to answer questions you might have closer to the date of your passage towards Linz and Grein.

For Hungary, please look at this website: http://www.hydroinfo.hu/en/index.html

with the graph for Budapest: http://www.hydroinfo.hu/en/hidelo/elore.php?all=442027_en#

 

Hope this helps.

 

Have a great cruise.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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1 hour ago, notamermaid said:

Hello Misspiglet,

 

Thank you for your kind words.

 

I am really only really familiar with the Rhine and glad we have regulars here reporting from the Danube and Elbe. But you asked for the Grand European so I will try and put a list of stations together that are relevant for you.

 

You are leaving soon, so first, let me assure you that currently the rivers look good, the only place to worry about for you could be the bridge in Passau - see the thread on the Danube. And Viking I am sure will keep you well informed once you are on board. As Passau is a good week out for you in dates they will not know yet (i.e. today) what is happening at the Bavarian Danube exactly, Wednesday or Thursday will reveal the extent of the rise in water levels in reaction to the rain of today and tomorrow. Generally speaking, a reliable forecast for water levels is given for 48 hours, a prediction (with quite a bit of room for errors) normally seven days in advance.

 

Now to the stations. I am not familiar with the canals in the Netherlands, so can only give you the station that makes sense to me in figures.  Lobith is near the border before the Rhine splits into the Rijn and the Waal: http://waterinfo.rws.nl/#!/kaart/waterhoogte-t-o-v-nap/

It is easiest to find when you put the name in the search box. It is currently at 1052cm which is in the normal range.So, looking good. Next I would look at Koblenz here: https://www.pegelonline.wsv.de/gast/stammdaten?pegelnr=25900700

Currently at 297cm, it is above average but below M_I (slowed- down traffic), so looking good as well. As you turn onto the Main river at Mainz, ignore Maxau and look at Würzburg instead: https://www.pegelonline.wsv.de/gast/stammdaten?pegelnr=24300600

The Main is lock-controlled so reacts differently and I am not too familiar with the figures. Würzburg at 149cm is below the mean (the MW line in the graph) yet not on low water. So looks alright to me. Next for high water I would look at Passau: https://www.pegelonline.wsv.de/gast/stammdaten?pegelnr=10091008

The Danube there is high, but not at flooding level. Please look in the thread on the Danube for more info.

For Austria I suggest Grein: http://hydro.ooe.gv.at/#207100

There they expect a rise  - seeing that the weather forecast predicts much rain for the Bavarian Danube and parts of Austria - but the water level is currently looking o.k. to me. I cannot relate this to the situation for river cruise ships. I am sure the Viking crew will be happy to answer questions you might have closer to the date of your passage towards Linz and Grein.

For Hungary, please look at this website: http://www.hydroinfo.hu/en/index.html

with the graph for Budapest: http://www.hydroinfo.hu/en/hidelo/elore.php?all=442027_en#

 

Hope this helps.

 

Have a great cruise.

 

notamermaid

 

 

notamermaid, thank you so much for taking the time! I appreciate it very much!

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Today let us not have a look at water levels and ignore the downpours, I am sitting in my warm and slightly muggy-feeling flat enjoying the fact that I have managed to avoid the hail. I hope people in Düsseldorf have been at least that lucky if not more and stayed dry on this past Saturday when they celebrated Japanese culture. It is a curious fact that the second-largest expat Japanese community in Europe is in Düsseldorf! Here is an article by Deutsche Welle: https://www.dw.com/en/germanys-little-tokyo-celebrates-japan-day/a-48899837

 

notamermaid

 

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I agree, no need to think of rain.

 

Not the Rhine, but a tributary, the Main. We were fortunate enough to have a night in Frankfurt this past Sunday. The river looked peaceful and so beautiful. 

 

From the Iron Bridge: 

 

20190526_215939.thumb.jpg.aae6af7901052e9522f67760e78f9d03.jpg

 

And the Iron Bridge, from the river bank.

 

20190526_222428.thumb.jpg.45319a57697e513d824e9055320066f4.jpg

 

No flooding here, and a beautiful evening. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

 

 

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jpalbny,

 

Thank you for the splendid night photos of Frankfurt.☺️

Been thinking of starting a thread on the Main river for a while now. Hmm, fortunately would not need to report so much on water levels. Would be nice to get many folks to give us tips on their travels along the river. Haven't been to the area in years...

 

How long will you be in Germany for? Or are you back home already?

 

notamermaid

 

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8 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

How long will you be in Germany for? Or are you back home already?

 

Unfortunately we only had Sunday evening in Germany. This was our short stopover on the way home from a week in Ukraine. I may have mentioned that earlier - we were originally planning to fly into Frankfurt-Hahn and stay in Mainz, but Wizz Air changed the flight so that it was not available on Sunday, so we had to change plans and fly from Lviv (Lwow) to Frankfurt by way of a short layover in Warsaw. So we stayed at the airport Hilton - a very nice hotel, by the way.

 

We arrived at the Frankfurt-am-Main airport at 19:00 Sunday, and took the S-Bahn into town for dinner at Haus Werthym, then had time for a leisurely stroll along the river. Back to our hotel for a little sleep and then we flew home Monday morning at 10:45. We are lucky that we know a bit about Frankfurt from our slightly longer 2-day visit last year, so it was easy to figure out how to spend a few hours.

 

We both had to work today... Such a rude awakening! But always happy to visit your country, even for a few hours. 😄

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I am booked for a trip on the Main in December so would enjoy reading your posts!

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