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Weather tracker: Storm Ariel brings heavy rain and lightning to Greece

On Thursday night last week, an area of low pressure formed off the southern coast of France. During the course of Friday, low pressure deepened into a storm as it travelled south-eastwards towards Italy.

It brought heavy rain to much of Italy; however, the west coast received the brunt of the wet weather on Friday night with 197mm of rain recorded in 24 hours on the island of Capri. The island of Ischia, close to Capri, experienced flooding and a landslide early Saturday morning, which killed at least 10 people.

This week, the Greek meteorological service issued a rainfall warning for Storm Ariel, situated south of Italy at the time. The warning, issued on Tuesday morning, detailed vast amounts of heavy rain and strong winds from Tuesday night through to Thursday afternoon before easing. A warning for frequent lightning strikes was also issued for Greek islands and coastal areas on the mainland.

Staying true to the forecast, Ariel proceeded to slowly propagate east-north-eastwards towards Greece, bringing heavier rainfall to the country’s western islands. Zante recorded 113mm, with about 50mm recorded in central and eastern Macedonia, as well as northern parts of Thessaly.

These heavy rainfall totals led to power cuts in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, and subsequent problems with water supply. High rainfall totals have resulted in the flooding of roads, homes and businesses in parts of west Macedonia and landslides elsewhere.

It is now December, meaning autumn is officially over and so is the North Atlantic hurricane season. Starting on 1 June, this season had 14 named storms that affected the US, of which eight were hurricanes and two intensified to become major hurricanes with winds exceeding 110mph – Hurricanes Ian and Fiona.

Despite the unusually quiet start, this season ended up having fairly average number of storms. This was mostly due to the high level of activity in September, with five named storms and the two major hurricanes. It also left 337 dead and caused about $110bn in damage.

Source : The Guardian