Major Flooding Occurring in Europe

January 29, 2018 by Daphne Thompson
Topics:   Frontier | Flood |

Parts of France and Switzerland are currently under water after heavy rains caused the Seine, Rhine, and Rhone rivers to rise. The lower floor of the Louvre is at risk of flooding and parks, roads, schools, and hospitals have been closed. Lyon, the second largest city in France, is also underwater. Over in Switzerland, rains stranded cavers, who had expected only snow, in the Hoelloch cavern and the Alps are experiencing thawing in some locations leading to additional issues.

Paris has an interesting way of measuring the height of the Seine. The statue is known as The Zouave, a French soldier from the Crimean War is used as a gauge. While not as bad as previous floods, the water in Paris is expected to peak today. In Lyon, they are battling waters from both the Saone and Rhone, which meet in the city and are both in flood stage.

Zouave Statue and Flood Levels

In the eastern part of the country, those in Jura and Doubs are under a red alert signifying dangerous flooding. Here is it the river Loue that has escaped its banks. The small town of St. Ursanne, located in Jura, looks more like a village built in the water. Not only are residents asked to remain at home, but in some areas, the rain is leading to a risk of avalanches as well.

France Flood Alert

Switzerland is experiencing flooding both in the Alps and lowlands. The risk of mudslides has increased due melting snow caused by previous snowfalls and the current rain. There have also been numerous road closures due to the weather. 

A Mudslide Caused the Closure of this Road in Switzerland

Looking at a Frontier map of observed precipitation in Europe over the past 15 days, we can see a dark red bullseye centered over not only eastern France, but also western and central Switzerland, southern Germany, and northwestern Austria. The legend shows us that between 5-8 inches have fallen, leading to the flooding situation.

Frontier Past 15 Days Observed PrecipitationUnfortunately, the some of the same areas that have seen excessive rain over the past two weeks will continue to have issues as more precipitation is expected to fall over the coming week.

Frontier GFS Days 107 Precipitation ForecastWhile the rain may soon be stopping, the risk of flooding in Europe will continue as the water moves downstream. Add to this the snow melt, and we can expect the chance of not only high water but also avalanches and mudslides to continue.

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Daphne Thompson

Daphne is the Content Marketing Manager. Her prior experience includes working at the National Weather Center, Norman Emergency Management, and National Weather Service. With a degree in Meteorology from OU and previous outreach experience, she is able to bridge the gap between science and the general public.