Italy and the Balkans: flooding

Rain and thunderstorms will spread over much of Italy and the Balkans into Thursday as a slow-moving storm system moves over the region.

Flooding was reported in parts of eastern Italy, Slovenia and Croatia as downpours struck the region on Monday.

On Tuesday, flooding spread into Bosnia and Herzegovina. Rescuers were searching for a 6-year-old boy who fell into a swollen stream in the village of Begov Han, according to the Associated Press. The flooding closed schools and led to landslides across the country, which closed some roads.
Damaging winds downed trees and caused power cuts in Zagreb, Croatia, Sunday night into Monday. Strong winds also blasted the port city of Split, Croatia, according to Aljazeera.

Drago Ban inspects the damage to his car from fallen branches of a tree, in Zagreb, Croatia, Monday May 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

The heavy rain and wind postponed the opening of Floraart in Zagreb from Monday to Thursday, according to Jutarnji list .

The garden show draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city each year. The wind caused damage to some exhibits in the park.

Blinding downpours and flash flooding will remain the biggest concerns into Thursday, but locally strong storms will also be a possibility, which could lead to damaging wind gusts.

Italy 5/13

The areas at greatest risk for flooding and strong thunderstorms on Thursday will stretch from southern Italy into northwest Greece, western Bulgaria and central Romania.

Most of Italy and the Balkan Peninsula will receive 25 mm (1 inch) or less of rain through Thursday; however, the hardest-hit locations could have up to 75 mm (3 inches) leading to flooding problems and an increased risk for mudslides in the higher terrain.

A storm of this size and magnitude this far south is a little unusual for this time of year.

“This is typically the type of storm that we see during the winter and early spring,” Roys said.

The rain from this storm will add to what has already been a wet stretch over much of the area. Many places received two to three times their normal rainfall during the month of April.

Venice, Italy, received 230 mm (9.09 inches) of rain during the month of April, which was more than triple the average for the month. The wet pattern has continued into May, as the city has already recorded almost double its average rainfall for the month of May.

With the storm being very slow moving in nature, showers and thunderstorms will linger into Thursday and Friday, continuing the risk for localized flooding and travel disruptions.

While there still will be some localized downpours, these heavier pockets of rain will not be as widespread.

Another storm may approach the region by this weekend bringing more chances for rainfall.