National 24-hour Precipitation Records

By: Christopher C. Burt , 8:10 PM GMT on August 01, 2014

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National 24-hour Precipitation Records

Earlier this week, on July 28th, both Holland and Germany saw some incredible rainfalls that approached their respective all-time national records for greatest 24-hour precipitation totals. Here are some details on these events as well as a ‘potted’ list of some other national records of such.

Munster, Germany Deluge of July 28th

On the afternoon of July 28th heavy thunderstorms developed over portions of western Germany and remained stationary for several hours depositing prodigious amounts of rainfall in and around the city of Munster (among other sites). A rain gauge at Munster’s main sewage works measured 292.5 mm (11.52”) of rainfall in a 7-hour period between 17:00-00:00 UTC. Of this, an amazing 163.5 mm (6.44”) fell in a single hour ending at 20:00 UTC and 261.5 mm (10.30”) in just 3 hours (see table below).



Hourly precipitation totals at the Munster Sewage Works Station on July 28th. The daily total of 292.5 mm (11.52”) was likely the 2nd greatest such on record for Germany. Thanks to Michael Theusner for link to this data.

According to Michael Theusner of Klimahaus in Bremerhaven, Germany, the 292.5 mm figure was likely the 2nd greatest 24-hour precipitation to be officially observed in modern German climate records (following the national record of 353 mm/13.90” at Zinnwald-Georgenfeld on August 12-13, 2002 during the great Elbe Flood that summer). The one-hour total of 163.5 mm might also have been the 2nd greatest for such a period of time, being short of the 200 mm (7.87”) that deluged the town of Miltzow in one hour on September 15, 1968. The three-hour total is almost certainly a new German record for that time period, although records for three-hour rainfalls are not on the books.



Table of official German national precipitation records for various periods of time. Those highlighted were related to the disastrous Elbe River floods in August of 2002. Table from monograph about Elbe River floods written by Bruno Rudolf and Jorg Rapp for the DWD-Offenbach, 2003.

Netherland’s Rainfall on July 28th

Another cluster of thunderstorms, similar to those that brought the deluge to Munster on July 28th, also affected portions of Holland where 24-hour precipitation totals topped out at 160 mm (6.30”) in Maarssen/Utrecht and 132 mm (5.20”) at Deelen. Radar estimated totals in the Maarssen/Utrecht area indicated rainfall accumulations as high as 210 mm (8.27”). Being estimated, these are not considered as official and thus fall short of the ‘official Dutch national 24-hour precipitation record’ of 208 mm (8.19”) set at Voorthuizen on August 2-3, 1948. At Deelen, 76 mm (2.99”) of the rainfall occurred in a single-hour period, which is just short of the national record for such of 79 mm (3.11”) set in an hour at Herwijnen on June 28, 2011.



Measured rainfall totals for the 48-hour period of July 27-29 in the Netherlands. Virtually all of these amounts fell on July 28th. Map from Koninklijk Netherlands Meteorological Institute.

Some Other Possible National 24-hour Precipitation Records

Below is a chart of some other possible national 24-hour precipitation records from a selection of various countries around the world. This is a ‘potted’ list at best, and although some of the figures (especially some of those for Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, and certain countries in Asia and South America) are considered ‘official’ by the nation’s respective meteorological agencies most of the figures are simply what I have been able to discover researching published works such as Elsevier’s 15-volume ‘World Survey of Climatology’ series and the U.K. Met Office’s ‘Tables for Temperature, Relative Humidity and Precipitation for the World’ (a six-volume series) as well as many other scientific books and journals related to national climatologies. However, that being said, many of the above mentioned works date to the 1960s and 1970s and so do not reflect more recent data.

Unfortunately, I am only rendering the precipitation amounts in inches rather than including metric figures since, in many cases, the figures have been translated back and forth already between the two measuring systems and inaccuracies increase with each new translation. At some future date, when I have more time, I will go back and source each of the figures and determine whether the original data was provided in English units or metric units.

I simply include this list as something of interest, not to be considered an actual reliable list of official records. Hopefully, some readers will be able to correct, update, or add some more data to the list.



A FEW NOTES: The Chinese figure is of very dubious accuracy. The Indian figure is derived from a two-day measurement of 98.15” and so it is likely that the wettest single 24-hour period during this event was greater than half the total. Much higher figures for Japan and Taiwan have appeared in scientific literature but are not included since those figures have not been officially recognized by their respective meteorological agencies. The U.S. record is derived from a bucket-survey and appears to have recently been modified from 43” to 42”. Although the NCDC has rejected other ‘bucket survey’ figures in the past, for some reason they seem to be willing to consider the Alvin figure reliable and “official”.

KUDOS: Thanks to Michael Theusner of Klimahaus, Bremerhaven for German data and blog reader RRKampen for Netherlands information.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian



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26. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
7:24 PM GMT on August 05, 2014
weatherhistorian has created a new entry.
25. barbamz
9:09 AM GMT on August 05, 2014
Related to the unusual hot temperatures in Sweden this summer:

Swedish town evacuates as forest fire rages on
The Local (Sweden), Published: 05 Aug 2014 07:36 GMT 02:00
LIVE UPDATES: The Swedish town of Norberg is being evacuated as a massive forest fire approaches. The flames have been spreading for six days and claimed the life of a man on Tuesday morning. ...

Storms cause chaos across Norway
A powerful "supercell" storm caused floods, power losses and traffic problems across several places in Norway on Monday and Tuesday. ...
The Local (Norway) Published: 05 Aug 2014 09:41 GMT 02:00
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 55 Comments: 6030
24. DCSwithunderscores
3:08 AM GMT on August 05, 2014
Media is reporting that July 2014 was the record hottest July in Hong Kong, but I haven't seen any statement that it was the record hottest month there. I saw a report that led me to believe that the record hottest August in Hong Kong had an average temperature of 29.5 C. This July reportedly had an average temperature of 29.8 C.
Member Since: March 29, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 110
23. blairtrewin
1:19 AM GMT on August 05, 2014
Would absolutely agree that "unrestricted" 24-hour records are more useful for many applications than calendar day records - but of course there are many more stations with data for the latter than for the former, especially before automatic instruments came into widespread use. (Even today, about two-thirds of the Australian rainfall network are manually read gauges whose readings are reported monthly by mail).

The Australian record quoted illustrates some of the issues involved. The site did not make a reading at the regular 0900 observation time on the day (4 January 1979), so the readings we have are 1947mm for the 48 hours 0900 3 January - 0900 5 January, 960mm (the value Chris quoted) for the 24 hours 1500 3 January - 1500 4 January, and 370mm for the 6 hours 0900-1500 3 January. Of course, with a 1947mm total over two standard days, at least 973.5 must have fallen on one of them (which compares with the Australian record for a standard climatological day, 907mm); in reality, as most other sites in the region had a roughly 2:1 ratio between the two days, I'd suggest that 1300mm is a reasonable estimate for 0900 3 January - 0900 4 January. (You'll occasionally see a figure of 1140 quoted, but that is only an estimate, too). There was also a two-day fall of 1870mm at the same site (which is the top of a mountain at an elevation of about 1500m) in 1999.

As for the other topic in this thread, SMHI (the Swedish meteorological service) is reporting on its webpage that Falun reached 35.1 degrees today, the warmest August temperature in Sweden since 1992.

Quoting 14. weatherhistorian:

Thanks for this Blair.

One pet peeve I have (with U.S. 24-hour vs calendar day precipitation records--and the British system of 9 a.m. to 9a.m.) is this issue of 24-hour vs calendar day records for record rainfall (and snowfall) events. The timing of intense rainfalls do not follow 'neat' calendar day, or (as I just mentioned) the case of U.K. and Australian records, 9 a.m. to 9 a.m. periods. I understand that for the sake of computer analysis it is hard to make determinations of what is a 'record' rainfall/snowfall event since figures that cross a two-day period don't fit neatly into the columns that allow data compilation to determine record events . However, mother nature does not follow this 'neat' framework of timing. Since, for hydrologists, maximum intense short-term precipitation are of critical importance (for obvious reasons--dam construction, worst-case analysis in flood basins, etc.) I feel that 24-hour totals should be taken as more relevant than calendar day or arbitrary periods of time (i.e 9 a.m to 9a.m).

Member Since: October 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 37
22. ChateauChalon
2:44 PM GMT on August 04, 2014
the 1000 mm and the 950 mm are indeed measured values
meteofrance means that the rainfall totals in Llau could have been higher than 1000 mm, as there was a place where the aforementioned 1000 mm were measured
Member Since: July 19, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 19
21. maxcrc
1:23 PM GMT on August 04, 2014
Latvia national record has been beaten again today, heading even to surpass the Lithuanianrecord, but Lithuania itself is heading towards a new national record too, so it will be a HISTORICAL DAY to be remembered .
Latvia and Lithuania are struggling for a new all time highest temperature for the Baltic countries and possibly for the first 100F (they use Celsius, but it is always an interesting point of reference) in the Baltic area.
Amazing. And watch Sweden which can attain its highest temperature since 1975. Estonia has also some chances to attack its national record. 71 years after the Latvia record we are making history.
Member Since: February 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 170
20. maxcrc
1:20 PM GMT on August 04, 2014
Quoting 19. ChateauChalon:

24 hour rainfall totals in France

The 840 mm (33.1 in) that fell in Llau on October the 17 in 1940 were officialized as the new european record, but the rain gauge ran over several times, so that the 1000 mm (39.4 in), mesured in Saint-Laurent-de-Cerdans, are more likely to be a represantive value for the true rainfall totals this day and therefore are currently kept as the record.
http://pluiesextremes.meteo.fr/1940-10-17/aiguat- fantastique-sur-le-roussillon.html

The second place goes to Valleraugue on September the 29 in 1900 with 950 mm (37.4 in) which fell in only 10 hours!
http://pluiesextremes.meteo.fr/1900-09-29/inondat ion-de-valleraugue.html

Here are some other impressive rainfall totals in France:
http://pluiesextremes.meteo.fr/media/doc/Climat/g raphique_rr_max_1J_comparees.pdf


yes i read about this.
But measured rainfall and estimated ones (even if estimated are accurate) can't go together.
Spain and Portugal also have estimated as high as 1200mm for the same problems in a couple of occasions.
Panama 24 hours record in reality is about 21 hours record, because the violence of the wind destroyed the instrument before 22h and from 22h to 24h the violence of the rain increased further. But I report what the instrument gave, than we can make another list with estimates.
Member Since: February 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 170
19. ChateauChalon
12:38 PM GMT on August 04, 2014
24 hour rainfall totals in France

The 840 mm (33.1 in) that fell in Llau on October the 17 in 1940 were officialized as the new european record, but the rain gauge ran over several times, so that the 1000 mm (39.4 in), mesured in Saint-Laurent-de-Cerdans, are more likely to be a represantive value for the true rainfall totals this day and therefore are currently kept as the record.
http://pluiesextremes.meteo.fr/1940-10-17/aiguat- fantastique-sur-le-roussillon.html

The second place goes to Valleraugue on September the 29 in 1900 with 950 mm (37.4 in) which fell in only 10 hours!
http://pluiesextremes.meteo.fr/1900-09-29/inondat ion-de-valleraugue.html

Here are some other impressive rainfall totals in France:
http://pluiesextremes.meteo.fr/media/doc/Climat/g raphique_rr_max_1J_comparees.pdf
Member Since: July 19, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 19
18. maxcrc
10:42 AM GMT on August 04, 2014
The new Latvia national record is confirmed as 36.7C (touched at 15:53 local time), despite the synop giving 36.6C.

http://www.meteo.lv/jaunumi/laika-apstakli/jaunu- karstuma-rekordu-birums-3-augusta?id=774&cid=100

This might be for a not always respected convention for a peak temperature to be validated if it stays for at least 2 minutes.
Maybe that peak lasted 1 minute but there was no reason to discredit it if the temperature was reached genuinely.

Old mechanic stations were slower to adapt, but with automatic stations there is no need to confirm a 0.1C rise only after 2 minutes. I guess half a minute is enough. If it were a sharper rise,maybe.
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17. maxcrc
10:29 AM GMT on August 04, 2014
I confirm the synop of Minsk was corrected from 35.8C to 35.6C. This doesn't affect the new record, still 6 decimals Celsius above the previous one.
Member Since: February 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 170
16. maxcrc
10:27 AM GMT on August 04, 2014
Quoting 12. DCSwithunderscores:



I saw one site that listed the new Minsk record as 35.6 C instead of 35.8 C.


Yes I am seeing that. I don't know why the synop was later corrected. Usually the transmission of the maximum temperature (if there are no inconvenients) is the final max of the day.
Anyway, 35.0C was well beaten.
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15. DCSwithunderscores
2:49 AM GMT on August 04, 2014
The new Latvian and Minsk records were set on August 3.
Member Since: March 29, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 110
14. Christopher C. Burt , Weather Historian
1:33 AM GMT on August 04, 2014
Thanks for this Blair.

One pet peeve I have (with U.S. 24-hour vs calendar day precipitation records--and the British system of 9 a.m. to 9a.m.) is this issue of 24-hour vs calendar day records for record rainfall (and snowfall) events. The timing of intense rainfalls do not follow 'neat' calendar day, or (as I just mentioned) the case of U.K. and Australian records, 9 a.m. to 9 a.m. periods. I understand that for the sake of computer analysis it is hard to make determinations of what is a 'record' rainfall/snowfall event since figures that cross a two-day period don't fit neatly into the columns that allow data compilation to determine record events . However, mother nature does not follow this 'neat' framework of timing. Since, for hydrologists, maximum intense short-term precipitation are of critical importance (for obvious reasons--dam construction, worst-case analysis in flood basins, etc.) I feel that 24-hour totals should be taken as more relevant than calendar day or arbitrary periods of time (i.e 9 a.m to 9a.m).
Quoting 13. blairtrewin:

Although I don't know if it's relevant to any of the records named in this article and the comments thread, one reason for apparent conflicting information is the distinction between an unrestricted 24-hour period, and a standard climatological day ending at a fixed time (0900 local time in the case of Australia).
Member Since: February 15, 2006 Posts: 305 Comments: 290
13. blairtrewin
12:21 AM GMT on August 04, 2014
Although I don't know if it's relevant to any of the records named in this article and the comments thread, one reason for apparent conflicting information is the distinction between an unrestricted 24-hour period, and a standard climatological day ending at a fixed time (0900 local time in the case of Australia).
Member Since: October 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 37
12. DCSwithunderscores
11:10 PM GMT on August 03, 2014
Quoting 11. maxcrc:



I am here. Yes. The synop of Ventspils gave 36.6C, but Latvian Met. Service announced 36.7C
Tomorrow Monday we will find out if it is 36.6 or 36.7 , anyway the old record set in 1943 (36.4C) was beaten.



I saw one site that listed the new Minsk record as 35.6 C instead of 35.8 C.
Member Since: March 29, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 110
11. maxcrc
10:38 PM GMT on August 03, 2014
Quoting 10. DCSwithunderscores:

Maximiliano Herrera is reporting a new national record all-time hottest temperature anywhere in Latvia of 36.7 C / 98.1 F, and a new record all-time hottest temperature in Minsk, which is the national capitol of Belarus and the largest city in Belarus, of 35.8 C / 96.4 F.


I am here. Yes. The synop of Ventspils gave 36.6C, but Latvian Met. Service announced 36.7C
Tomorrow Monday we will find out if it is 36.6 or 36.7 , anyway the old record set in 1943 (36.4C) was beaten.
Member Since: February 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 170
10. DCSwithunderscores
9:29 PM GMT on August 03, 2014
Maximiliano Herrera is reporting a new national record all-time hottest temperature anywhere in Latvia of 36.7 C / 98.1 F, and a new record all-time hottest temperature in Minsk, which is the national capitol of Belarus and the largest city in Belarus, of 35.8 C / 96.4 F.
Member Since: March 29, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 110
9. maxcrc
8:00 PM GMT on August 03, 2014
Quoting 8. DCSwithunderscores:

Media is reporting that July 2014 was the record all-time hottest calendar month in the capitol city of the province of Newfoundland in Canada.

Link


That s doesn t surprise me.
It was constantly hot. Even super freezing places like Cape Kakkiviak, Cape Kiglapait, Saglek and Tukialik recorded temperatures around 25C with minima around 20C ! Currently British Columbia is also very very hot, almost every day peaks near 40C.
Member Since: February 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 170
8. DCSwithunderscores
7:53 PM GMT on August 03, 2014
Media is reporting that July 2014 was the record all-time hottest calendar month in the capitol city of the province of Newfoundland in Canada.

Link
Member Since: March 29, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 110
7. maxcrc
7:49 PM GMT on August 03, 2014
Quoting 6. weatherhistorian:

Excellent! Thanks for this Max. I was hoping some readers would send corrections/additions to the list.





LITHUANIA Dusetos 250mm 2 July 1980
ICELAND Kvisker 293.2mm 9/10 January 2002
ESTONIA Matskula 148mm 4 July 1972
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6. Christopher C. Burt , Weather Historian
7:41 PM GMT on August 03, 2014
Excellent! Thanks for this Max. I was hoping some readers would send corrections/additions to the list.


Quoting 4. maxcrc:

Most of the above records are incorrect.
Some national records:

SWITZERLAND Camedo 414mm 9 October 1983
IRELAND Cloone Lake 243.5mm 18 September 1993
GREECE Makrinitsa 417.2mm 10 December 2009
HUNGARY , Dad 260mm 9 June 1953
POLAND Hala Gasienicowa 300mm 30 June 1973
ITALY Bolzaneto 948.4mm 10 July 1970
SPAIN Oliva 817mm 3 November 1987
SLOVENIA Bovec 363.3mm 13/14 November 1969
DENMARK Romo 168.9mm 9 July 1931
GREENLAND Prince Christian Sund 183.5mm 1/2 November 1964
CZECH REPUBLIC 345mm Bedrichov 29/30 July 1897

BRAZIL Itapanhau 622.5mm 20 June 1947
PANAMA Chagres River 760mm 7 December 2010
SOUTH AFRICA Saint Lucia 597mm 31 January 1984
Member Since: February 15, 2006 Posts: 305 Comments: 290
5. bappit
4:26 PM GMT on August 03, 2014
From Barbamz generously offered translation in comment #1: "very rainy with plenty of sunshine"

Sounds like the U.S. Gulf Coast. Showers and thunderstorms!
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6061
4. maxcrc
3:36 PM GMT on August 03, 2014
Most of the above records are incorrect.
Some national records:

SWITZERLAND Camedo 414mm 9 October 1983
IRELAND Cloone Lake 243.5mm 18 September 1993
GREECE Makrinitsa 417.2mm 10 December 2009
HUNGARY , Dad 260mm 9 June 1953
POLAND Hala Gasienicowa 300mm 30 June 1973
ITALY Bolzaneto 948.4mm 10 July 1970
SPAIN Oliva 817mm 3 November 1987
SLOVENIA Bovec 363.3mm 13/14 November 1969
DENMARK Romo 168.9mm 9 July 1931
GREENLAND Prince Christian Sund 183.5mm 1/2 November 1964
CZECH REPUBLIC 345mm Bedrichov 29/30 July 1897

BRAZIL Itapanhau 622.5mm 20 June 1947
PANAMA Chagres River 760mm 7 December 2010
SOUTH AFRICA Saint Lucia 597mm 31 January 1984
Member Since: February 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 170
3. rod2635
12:13 AM GMT on August 03, 2014
And I just noticed that you posted the Fussen record. As the information was in German it escaped my notice the first read through.
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2. rod2635
12:06 AM GMT on August 03, 2014
NOAA's Hydrometeorology Studies Design Center website does list an interesting 8 minute precipitation record for Fussen, in the Bavarian section of Germany. The record is old, dating to 1920, but the NOAA does cite references, though I am not in a position to comment on the references or the validity of the data which is 94 years old. 4.96 inches is listed as the amount. The link is http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hdsc/record_precip/reco rd_precip_world.html.
Member Since: January 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 336
1. barbamz
12:06 AM GMT on August 02, 2014
Wow, a blog about German (and Netherland's) recent weather extremes! Thank you!

Yes, some of those downpours in July had been some for the books.

I've saved the map of the 24h precipitation totals of July 28, though it's radar derived and due to this not totally reliable. But you see where the show happened (purple and white):


Click the map to enlarge. Source.

Here is a video of one of those downpours of that day in Munster:



And here a nearby "Autobahn" (Highway) at Greven:



German National Weather Service just released an assessment of July in respect to precipitiation and temperature. Here the attempt of a translation of the first part:

Offenbach, July 30, 2014 - "In July 2014 Germany experienced a more than varied weather cocktail: It included hot days, extreme weather and enormous amounts of rain - at times almost tropical weather conditions," says Uwe Cherry, spokesman of the German Weather Service (DWD), after the first evaluations of the results of about 2000 stations of the national weather service. In the 2nd week of July low "Michaela" unloaded huge amounts of rain onto Germany. While high "Aymen" at the end of the second third of the month brought a brief heatwave, low "Paula" caused exceptional thunderstorms in the last decade. Overall, July was much too warm and very rainy with plenty of sunshine. Source.


Analysis of July 28, 2014.

Nevertheless, parts of Germany still got a deficit in hydrological balance, as is shown in the map below from June until now. I live in one of those orange regions with still insufficient rain. But the coming weekend should resume with somehow tropical weather: warm, sultry and with the chance of thunderstorms and a lot of rain.


Map isn't saved. Will update.
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About weatherhistorian

Christopher C. Burt is the author of 'Extreme Weather; A Guide and Record Book'. He studied meteorology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.