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Record September Rainfall for Moscow, Floods in Sochi

By: Christopher C. Burt, 6:40 PM GMT on September 27, 2013

Record September Rainfall for Moscow, Floods in Sochi

September has been the wettest such on record for Moscow and flooding has swamped Sochi, the venue for the Winter Olympics next February, complicating preparations for the event.

A persistent upper level low over western Russia has brought record precipitation to the city of Moscow this month. So far 174 mm (6.85”) has been measured (including a bit of melted snow) breaking the previous record of 171 mm (6.73”) set in 1885 (precipitation records began in 1879). Normal September precipitation for Moscow is 65 mm (2.56”).

A map of the 500 mb height anomaly over Eastern Russia for the period of September 1-24. Map from NCEP/NCAR.

Sochi, located on the northeast coast of the Black Sea, received 196 mm (7.72”) of rain between September 23-25 resulting in flash floods and disrupting preparations for the Winter Olympics. A state of emergency has been declared by local authorities to deal with mudslides and flooding. A highway leading from the city to the site of the Alpine events was under 2.5 meters (8.2’) of water and badly damaged. However, on a positive note, the storm has brought heavy snowfall to the mountains north of town where many of the Olympic events will take place.

Pedestrians wade through a flooded street in downtown Sochi on September 24th. Photo by Maxim Shemetov, REUTERS.

Sochi has a mild wet climate and heavy rains are not uncommon. Its annual precipitation averages 1684 mm (66.3”) with September normally receiving 131 mm (5.16”).

An overview of the city of Sochi which rests on the shores of the Black Sea with the Caucasus Mountains in the background. The Olympic Village (not yet completed—this is a rendition of what it is supposed to look like) is in the foreground. Photographer not identified, image from snowbrains.com

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Mini Blog Precipitation Records Flood

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Persistent low over "eastern Russia" or over "eastern Europe"?
Quoting 1. htszp:
Persistent low over "eastern Russia" or over "eastern Europe"?

Oops! western Russia not eastern Russia. Thanks!
weatherhistorian has created a new entry.