Climatologists Explain What Caused Recent Extreme Weather Conditions

Total Croatia News

The horrible storm that hit Zadar on Monday resulted in 190 litres of rain per square metre measured in a span of two hours, twice the monthly average amount that the area usually gets.

Head of the Meteorology Station in Zadar Anđelko Vidović explained what triggered such a natural disaster. “The source of such a precipitation quantity is a giant cumulonimbus cloud that ‘stuck’ to Velebit mountain, and seeing that there is no wind, the cloud is static, full of moisture, and rain keeps pouring out of it. At the moment, that cloud is like a small nuclear power plant”, said Vidović.

He also cited the previous record in Zadar, 352 litres of rain per square metre recorded on September 10, 1986. Duško Kraljev of the Meteorological and Hydrological Service (DHMZ) said the area is probably headed for a new record.

Mirko Orlić, a climatologist working at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb, explained what exactly is going on with the weather.

“In a span of couple of hours, Zadar got more than 200mm of rain, a quarter of its average annual amount of precipitation. It’s an immense quantity of rain that can’t easily flow away into the sea. There’s another effect – the south jugo wind on the Adriatic. The sea level is a bit higher than usual as well, so what we have here are multiple factors combined: a lot of rain, raised sea level and water drainage made more difficult”, said Orlić, adding that he asked DHMZ for data.

“This summer was extremely hot and very dry. When you think back to the summer period, we had long heat waves and a serious drought. What’s happening now? Exactly what every climatology textbook says: global warming is followed by all the things we have witnessed in the last couple of months – high temperatures, long periods of drought, and intense periods of rain”, he said.

“When we talk about the future, we’re not talking forecast but projections. They depend on the level of greenhouse gas emission. That depends on the politicians – when someone shows some effort, there’s less GHG emission; when they don’t, there’s more”, concluded Orlić.


Translated from eZadar.


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