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Exceptional sequence of severe thunderstorms and related flash floods in May and June 2016 in Germany – Part 1: Meteorological background

Piper, David 1; Kunz, Michael ORCID iD icon 1; Ehmele, Florian 1; Mohr, Susanna ORCID iD icon 1; Mühr, Bernhard 1; Kron, Andreas 2; Daniell, James 3
1 Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung Troposphärenforschung (IMKTRO), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
2 Institut für Wasser und Gewässerentwicklung (IWG), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
3 Geophysikalisches Institut (GPI), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

Abstract (englisch):

Abstract. During a 15-day episode from 26 May to 9 June 2016, Germany was affected by an exceptionally large number of severe thunderstorms. Heavy rainfall, related flash floods and creek flooding, hail, and tornadoes caused substantial losses running into billions of euros (EUR). This paper analyzes the key features of the severe thunderstorm episode using extreme value statistics, an aggregated precipitation severity index, and two different objective weather-type classification schemes. It is shown that the thunderstorm episode was caused by the interaction of high moisture content, low thermal stability, weak wind speed, and large-scale lifting by surface lows, persisting over almost 2 weeks due to atmospheric blocking.

For the long-term assessment of the recent thunderstorm episode, we draw comparisons to a 55-year period (1960–2014) regarding clusters of convective days with variable length (2–15 days) based on precipitation severity, convection-favoring weather patterns, and compound events with low stability and weak flow. It is found that clusters with more than 8 consecutive convective days are very rare. For example, a 10-day cluster with convective weather patterns prevailing during the recent thunderstorm episode has a probability of less than 1 %.

Volltext §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000064805
DOI: 10.5194/nhess-16-2835-2016
Zitationen: 66
Web of Science
Zitationen: 66
Zitationen: 84
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung Troposphärenforschung (IMKTRO)
Institut für Wasser und Gewässerentwicklung (IWG)
KIT-Zentrum Klima und Umwelt (ZKU)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2016
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1684-9981, 1561-8633
KITopen-ID: 1000064805
HGF-Programm 12.01.02 (POF III, LK 01) Proc.res.f.multisc.predictab.of weather
Erschienen in Natural hazards and earth system sciences
Verlag European Geosciences Union (EGU)
Band 16
Heft 12
Seiten 2835–2850
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung Gefördert durch den KIT-Publikationsfonds
Nachgewiesen in Dimensions
Web of Science
Globale Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung Ziel 11 – Nachhaltige Städte und Gemeinden
KIT – Die Forschungsuniversität in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft
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