The city of Auckland suffered historic flooding after torrential rains occurred between Friday and Saturday. Update on the causes that led to an absolute record of precipitation in a usually pleasant area in January.
floodsfloods historic on the night of January 27th. No less than 241 millimeters of rain fell in 24 hours, a total that far beats the previous record for precipitation with 161.8 mm. Several people have died, 350 people are unable to occupy their homes and even the airport has been completely flooded.Part of the city of Auckland has been devastated by
The city has received the equivalent of more than eight times the volumevolume of water that it usually receives in January and this already represents 40% of the annual rainfall even though we are only at the beginning of the year.
Atmospheric rivers increasingly laden with humidity
Like California at the end of December, New Zealand was swept away by an atmospheric river: a band of moisture that originates in the tropicstropics and then travels across the ocean. Once this “river of heaven” touches the coast, it pours out torrentstorrents of precipitation.
This natural phenomenon is nothing new and is part of the climate cycle. However, the intensity of atmospheric rivers seems to be intensifying in several regions of the world. The strength of this phenomenon weather reportweather report has probably been increased tenfold by the warming of the seas and oceans: the more these massesmasses of water heats up, the more there is evaporation, and therefore more water vapor in the atmosphere.
Another parameter that contributed to the disaster, the vitessevitesse displacement of this atmospheric river. A large anticyclone present nearby slowed its progress: in addition to being very intense, the rains had much longer to fall. The passage of a new atmospheric river is expected this Tuesday.
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