Heavy downpour causes flooding around southeast Europe

Warnings issued in Bulgaria, eastern Greece and along Turkey's west coast mainly for heavy rain and large hail.

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    Warnings for excessive rainfall and large hail have been issued across the Balkans [EPA]
    Warnings for excessive rainfall and large hail have been issued across the Balkans [EPA]

    Heavy rains have caused flooding around southeast Europe with some of the heaviest downpours affecting the Balkans, bringing disruption back to the region that was badly hit just six weeks ago.

    Swollen rivers are threatening to break their banks in places as the heavy and steady rain continues.

    Warnings have been issued in Bulgaria, eastern Greece and along Turkey's west coast mainly for heavy rain and large hail.

    Much of this area is currently occupied by refugees and the imminent heavy rain is set to add to their woes.

    The rain comes from an area of low pressure currently located over the Ionian Sea. It began as a Genoa Low, forming over the northwest of Italy in the shelter of the Alps, and has gradually drifted southeastwards towards Greece.

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    It is the same system that generated the mistral winds that blasted southern France over the weekend.

    The mistral is a strong, cold northwesterly wind that blows from southern France into the Gulf of Lion.

    Those winds peaked with gusts approaching 100 kmph, but have now eased.

    Heavy rain and thunderstorms are set to continue, however.

    Maribor, in Slovenia, recorded 59mm of rain on Monday, while Korce, in Albania, received 55mm in the same 24-hour period.

    Rainfall has not been quite so intense in Greece, although Corfu reported 26mm up to 0600GMT on Tuesday. The island normally averages 40mm for the entire month of May.

    Montenegro and Serbia have seen the heaviest downpours over the past two days. Podgorica and Belgrade reported 66mm and 77mm respectively in 24 hours coming into Tuesday morning.

    The intensity of the rain is expected to weaken as it moves further south and east, but it does still have the potential to bring localised flooding to parts of Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and possibly Romania over the next few days.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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