The central European floods of August 2002: Part 2 - Synoptic causes and considerations with respect to climatic change
Ulbrich, U., Brücher, T., Fink, A. H., Leckebusch, G. C., Krüger, A. and Pinto, J. G. (2003) The central European floods of August 2002: Part 2 - Synoptic causes and considerations with respect to climatic change. Weather, 58 (11). pp. 434-442. ISSN 0043-1656
To link to this item DOI: 10.1256/wea.61.03B
In the first part of this paper (Ulbrich et al. 2003), we gave a description of the August 2002 rainfall events and the resultant floods, in particular of the flood wave of the River Elbe. The extreme precipitation sums observed in the first half of the month were primarily associated with two rainfall episodes. The first episode occurred on 6/7 August 2002. The main rainfall area was situated over Lower Austria, the south-western part of the Czech Republic and south-eastern Germany. A severe flash flood was produced in the Lower Austrian Waldviertel (`forest quarter’ ). The second episode on 11± 13 August 2002 most severely affected the Erz Mountains and western parts of the Czech Republic. During this second episode 312mm of rain was recorded between 0600GMT on 12 August and 0600GMT on 13 August at the Zinnwald weather station in the ErzMountains, which is a new 24-hour record for Germany. The flash floods resulting from this rainfall episode and the subsequent Elbe flood produced the most expensive weatherrelated catastrophe in Europe in recent decades. In this part of the paper we discuss the meteorological conditions and physical mechanisms leading to the two main events. Similarities to the conditions that led to the recent summer floods of the River Oder in 1997 and the River Vistula in 2001 will be shown. This will lead us to a consideration of trends in extreme rainfall over Europe which are found in numerical simulations of anthropogenic climate change.