A historic multi-billion dollar flood disaster has killed at least eighteen people in Central Europe after record flooding unprecedented since the Middle Ages hit major rivers in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Slovakia over the past two weeks. The Danube River in Passau, Germany hit the highest level since 1501, and the Saale River in Halle, Germany was the highest in its 400-year period of record. Numerous cities recorded their highest flood waters in more than a century, although in some locations the great flood of 2002 was higher. The Danube is expected to crest in Hungary’s capital city of Budapest on June 10 at the highest flood level on record, 35 cm higher than the record set in 2006. The flooding was caused by torrential rains that fell on already wet soils. In a 2-day period from May 30 – June 1, portions of Austria received the amount of rain that normally falls in two-and-half months: 150 to 200 mm (5.9 to 7.9″), with isolated regions experiencing 250 mm (9.8″). This two-day rain event had a greater than 1-in-100 year recurrence interval, according to the Austrian Meteorological Agency, ZAMG. Prior to the late May rains, Austria had its seventh wettest spring in 150 years, which had resulted in the ground in the region becoming saturated, leading to greater runoff when the rains began.
Floods caused by a blocking high pressure system
The primary cause of the torrential rains over Central Europe during late May and early June was large loop in the jet stream that developed over Europe and got stuck in place. A “blocking high” set up over Northern Europe, forcing two low pressure systems, “Frederik” and “Günther”, to avoid Northern Europe and instead track over Central Europe. The extreme kink in the jet stream ushered in a strong southerly flow of moisture-laden air from the Mediterranean Sea over Central Europe, which met up with colder air flowing from the north due to the stuck jet stream pattern, allowing “Frederik” and “Günther” to dump 1-in-100 year rains. The stuck jet stream pattern also caused record May heat in northern Finland and surrounding regions of Russia and Sweden, where temperatures averaged an astonishing 12°C (21°F) above average for a week at the end of May. All-time May heat records–as high as 87°F–were set at stations north of the Arctic Circle in Finland.
3 day forecast rain:
Rainfall loop Germany right now.
Arctic Sea Ice Forecasts Very Ominous
By Andrew at 2:32 PM
Long range forecasts concerning Arctic sea ice are pretty ominous, with the above image showing as little as 3 million square kilometers of sea ice present just 100 days away.
The image above, from Steven Cavallo, shows the latest ensemble forecast of sea ice over the Arctic as far as 100 days out. We see a plot of the average sea ice values over the next 100 days, and the ensemble prediction superimposed on it. The ensembles take the sea ice values at below normal levels in the next month before really dropping off after the 30 day mark. From the beginning of June onwards, it is predicted that the Arctic will have sea ice levels less than half the typical values for that time of year.
In the very long range, this could impact the winter by not being able to hold as much sea ice, and thus allowing the Arctic Circle to be warmer than normal. This could then allow the polar vortex to weaken, which in turn may move to the lower latitudes at points during the winter. Bear in mind a LOT needs to happen before we can get that sequence underway, but this is a good first step for those wanting to see the polar vortex weaken into winter.
Weather blocker: jet stream stops and causes disasters
Current rainfall in Europe resp. in the flood stricken regions of Germany and the Czech Republic, feeding the flooding rivers anew.
The abnormal jet stream pattern that has caused flooding in central Europe has given us a ‘mini heatwave’, here in Scotland. We’ve already had more sunny days than the past two summers combined. Forecasters predict ‘normal service’ will resume on Tuesday, though, with rain coming in from the Atlantic.
Check out this monster of an upper-level low off the southwestern coast of California. It has an extremely dry core (RH values <10%).
Germany precipitation forecast for tomorrow. No comment needed.