Apr 15, 2016

Record Balkan floods of 2014 linked to planetary wave resonance

Lisa Stadtherr, Dim Coumou, Vladimir Petoukhov, Stefan Petri, Stefan Rahmstorf
Science Advances
  • States that in May 2014, the Balkans were hit by a Vb-type cyclone that brought disastrous flooding and severe damage to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia
    • Vb-cyclones were named and classified by W. J. van Bebber
    • Vb-cyclones migrate from the Mediterranean, where they absorb warm and moist air, to the north, often causing flooding in central/eastern Europe
  • Studies the climatic and meteorological factors that influenced the catastrophic flooding in the Balkans, where we focus on large-scale circulation
  • Finds that the Vb cyclone behind the 2014 record floods was likely linked to a quasi-stationary circumglobal Rossby wave train
  • Provides evidence that this quasi-stationary wave was amplified by wave resonance
  • Finds that statistical analysis of daily spring rainfall over the Balkan region reveals significant upward trends over 1950–2014, especially in the high quantiles relevant for flooding events