Catastrophic flooding in Greece amid extreme weather in Europe

A catastrophic flooding event in Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria comes amid a spell of extreme weather in Europe that has brought exceptional heat to parts of the continent and triggered a deadly deluge in Spain.

Greece’s severe flooding follows deadly summer wildfires, both of which scientists fear will become more common with human-induced climate change.

Parts of Greece have seen unusually heavy rain since Monday, and forecasters are predicting at least 20 to 30 inches of rain in some places from Wednesday to Wednesday. National Meteorological Services in Southeast Europe Storm calls Daniel. One person died and cars were swept away in the Greek port city of Volos. According to Reuters. Photographs And videos Social media showed city streets turning into raging rivers Region of Thessaly And SkiathosA small Greek island, drowning vehicles and damaging roads.

The The Associated Press reported At least four more deaths were reported in Turkey and Bulgaria.

“This could become one of Europe’s biggest flood disasters, surpassing the Western Europe July 2021 floods,” said Jonathan Wille, research meteorologist at ETH Zurich. Said in XFormerly known as Twitter.

Similar scenes were seen in Spain over the weekend, with record rain bringing traffic to a standstill and helicopter rescues from rooftops. There were at least three reported Many people died and others were missing in Toledo, while several subways in Madrid were temporarily closed on Monday. Heavy rain and hail were also reported in Castile-La Mancha, Catalonia and Valencia.

Extreme floods and heat are associated with stagnant weather patterns where human-caused climate change is more common.

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A heat dome has stopped over Western Europe

At the center of the so-called “blocking system” is a thermal dome over western Europe that spreads heat across much of the continent. Heat domes are widespread areas of high pressure that can trap heat beneath them for days, weeks, or — in the southern United States this summer — even months.

Low pressure formed to the west of the heat dome triggered severe flooding in Spain, while an area of ​​low pressure to the east of the heat dome helped pull moisture from the Mediterranean to fuel flooding in Greece. Like most of the world’s oceans, water temperatures in the Mediterranean run warmer than average, leading to strong storms and heavy rain on land.

Western Europe began to warm up on Sunday. More than 200 monthly temperature records were broken in France on Monday, many places soared near and above 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius). About a dozen French cities saw record-warming lows, with nighttime temperatures dropping to around 70 to 75. In Spain, Monday’s minimum temperature in Leida fell to 74.3. All-time record-warmest low temperature for the city.

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Temperatures could soar to 104 in France and 91 in southern England this week after London was already 86 on Monday. Innumerable Highest records were recorded on Tuesdays in September In the United Kingdom. Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands are expecting record-breaking heat this week.

Dramatic rainfall is predicted for Greece

Weather Service of Greece Thessaly, Sporades, Central and Eastern Styria, Northern Evia and the Peloponnese are forecast to receive heavy rainfall and hail and frequent lightning. Strong winds were expected near the Aegean Sea. English translation of the “red” warning displayed on the agency Website He warned people to “take precautionary measures, be vigilant and follow the advice of the concerned authorities”.

Zagora had already made an incredible record 21 inches (528 millimeters) of rain in just 10 hours. Other rainfall amounts So far the Zagora includes 29.7 inches of – A one day feat For Greece, 21.4 inches in Portaria and 11 inches in Volos are confirmed. Even the storm Lightning unleashed the siege And bodies of water.

Some models are predicting up to 30 inches of rain in central Greece, reminiscent of hurricane flooding disasters in the United States from Harvey in Texas in 2017 and Florence, North Carolina in 2018.

“If this forecast is correct, it would be a truly catastrophic flood event in Greece,” said Christopher Castro, a hydrologist at the University of Arizona. Said in X.

Fueled by the warm waters of the Mediterranean, Daniel is a so-called “drug” or tropical cyclone that occasionally forms over the ocean. The storm will hit Greece with rain and wind until it moves south towards the northern coast of Libya on Thursday and Friday. Long-range models show it eventually moving east-northeast across the Mediterranean toward Turkey early next week.

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Floods and fires caused by climate change

A forest fire that has been raging for more than two weeks in northern Greece has been brought under control by torrential rains. The fire killed 20 people and burned more than 200,000 acres, larger than the area of ​​New York City, making it the largest fire in the European Union.

A combination of record-breaking heat and dry and windy weather has fueled wildfires in Greece throughout the summer. The heat not only helped fuel the fires, but also made them harder to extinguish by evaporating the water released from the aircraft flying overhead. Areas burnt by forest fires a Increased risk of flooding Landslides and sometimes burnt soil repel water because there are fewer trees and plants to absorb rainfall.

Climate change is increasing the risk of wildfires in Europe and around the world, scientists say, because of rising temperatures and severe drought conditions.

Jason Samenow contributed to this report.

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