Massive floods hit Catania after annual rainfall in just two days, Italy

Massive flooding has hit the Italian port city of Catania in the past few days after the city received its annual average rainfall in just 48 hours.

There has been massive damage throughout the city, with at least 2 people dead and one missing. The rains were caused by a nontropical low pressure area south of Sicily that consolidated into weather storm Gloria on Oct. 26.

The weather station in Lentini, Sicily, received 275.4 mm (10.8 inches) of rain on Oct. 24, with a maximum hourly intensity of 153.4 mm (6.03 inches).

In 24 hours on Oct. 25, the weather station in Linguaglossa recorded 312.2 mm (12.29 inches) of rainfall and Lentini recorded 279.8 mm (11.01 inches).

Rainfall continued the next day, exceeding the annual average of 586 mm (23.1 inches) in about 48 hours.

On October 26, the streets and squares of Catania turned into cascading “rivers” due to flooding that caused not only deaths but also enormous destruction.1

At least 2 people died as a result of severe flash flooding that forced residents to evacuate and several businesses to shut down in an emergency. Footage circulating on social media shows water flowing through Catania’s streets, turning roads into rivers, with cars floating and trash falling into the water.

Gloria has continued to drift slowly eastward since it formed on Oct. 26; however, according to the Mediterranean Cyclone Center, it is expected to turn west or west-northwest soon.

Models continue to insist that it will make landfall in Sicily, although there remains uncertainty about Gloria’s subsequent path. The GFS and CMC agree on a slower path to landfall, followed by a slow and erratic movement near or over Sicily. The Euro agrees with this, but the speed of movement to landfall is higher.

Therefore, the most likely result would be a dispersion over Sicily due to landfall interaction.” GFS and Euro now agree that Gloria or the residual Gloria minimum will return to the Ionian Sea and dissipate as it moves southeast, and the motion forecast has been adjusted accordingly. Conditions are expected to become more favorable for strengthening over the next few days, so the intensity forecast has been raised slightly to match the GFS data. If landfall occurs earlier, Gloria’s peak intensity will be lower.”

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