Crazy Storm System in Italy Washes Away Rainfall Records

More than 2 feet of rain fell on town in 12 hours
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2021 7:45 AM CDT
Storm Dumps More Than 2 Feet of Rain on Italian Town in 12 Hours
A view of a river near Savona in Northern Italy, swallowed after heavy rains in the region, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021.   (Tano Pecoraro/LaPresse via AP)

Climate change is making some areas much drier and others much wetter—and Genoa province in northwest Italy was definitely in the latter category this week. A complex of slow-moving thunderstorms stalled over the area this week, dropping around 36 inches of rain on the town of Rossiglione in a 24-hour period over Sunday and Monday. That's as much as Seattle—a city not exactly known for its arid climate—receives in a typical year, CNN reports. The downpour included 29.2 inches of rain over 12 hours, which is the biggest 12-hour rainfall on record in Europe, according to climatologist Maximiliano Herrera.

In Cairo Montenotte, 22 miles west of Rossiglione, the storm system dumped 19.5 inches of rain in just six hours, believed to be another European record, the Washington Post reports. The region normally receives around 50 inches of rainfall a year, including 6 or 7 inches in a typical October. The storms, blamed on disturbances in the north Atlantic, caused no fewer than 20 severe weather events across Italy on Monday, including tornadoes and hailstorms, the Local reports. The Liguria region, which includes Genoa, was hit the hardest, with severe damage to agriculture.

The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change warns that since warmer air holds more water vapor severe rainfall events will continue to increase as the planet heats up. In another extreme weather event, Cyclone Shaheen dumped 14 inches of rain on the Omani city of Al Khaburah in a few hours last week, more than it usually gets in three years, CNN reports. (Read more extreme weather stories.)

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