Floods in Prague

Prague Flooding - Background

 Central and eastern Europe are suffering some of their worst flooding in recent history. As the River Vltava threatens to surge into the city, thousands are under threat of evacuation from Prague, in the Czech Republic.

What has caused the current floods ?

The present flooding in Prague was not caused by flash flooding, which is usually the result of a large storm which simply overloads both natural and artificial drainage systems. For a large river like the Vltava to burst its banks, a period of heavy sustained rainfall (about a week) is required. Whilst depressions (low pressure systems) are not unusual in these regions at this time of year, they rarely produce the amount of rainfall that Prague has experienced recently. Meteorologists believe that the heavy rainfall in central europe is the result of several factors :

1. The track of the depressions in the region has been unusual - the jet stream appears to have diverted weather systems out of their normal path. Instead of moving eastwards across the north Atlantic, picking up relatively little water because of the low temperatures at those latitudes, the system crossed into Europe at a lower point, carrying far more moisture as a result. When it delivered its payload on countries such as Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and Italy, this was in the form of much heavier rainfall than normal.

2. The slow-moving nature of the depression compounded the problem, leading to a week of torrential downpours.


Is Global Warming to blame ?

Two years ago Central Europe was hit by similar, although less severe weather - many meteorologists believe a pattern is emerging !

When castrophic floods like those in Prague hit, it is customary for people to blame 'Global Warming'. However, computer simulation models predict that rainfall in summer is likely to remain the same, or perhaps even fall, if climate change continues. The European Union is currently investigating the likelihood of more flooding in the future.
 

 

Find out more by visiting the links below. 

(Not sure if all of the links are working - but have a look)  
 

Useful Links

News Organisations

Prague Braced for crucial 12 hours !

Prague Battles Flood Waters

Counting the Costs of the Czech Floods

The Prague Post Online

Prague Daily

Alert Net.com - Flooding in Europe

SFGate.com - Prague Under Water

Central Europe Online - Flooding ( Live News Feeds)

Evacuating Prague

Flooding in Europe - The Trail of Destruction

Sky News - Flooding in Central Europe (includes videos and photos)

Channel 4 News - Flood Damage in Prague

Channel 4 News - Europe Submerged

Floods and Flooding

What are Flash floods ?

Virtual River Flooding

Weather News

Met Office - Visible Satellite Image of Europe

Met Office World Weather News - Citizens of Prague take a rain check

Climatic Change

Climatic Research Unit

El Nino

Czech Republic - Country Profile

Country Profiles - Czech Republic

SlavWeb - Czech Portal site

Lonely Planet - Guide to Prague

Map of Prague

Photos

BBC News - Prague Flooding in Photos

Europe Under a Cloud

Yahoo News - Czech Floods Slideshow
 

The page and links are taken from the GeoExplorer website - which I have been unable to find again!