Oct 6, 2021 - Science

European rainfall record set in Italy after 12-hour deluge

Floods in Liguria Region, Italy, 04 October 2021.
Flooding in the Liguria region of Italy on Monday. Photo: Liguria President Giovanni Toti/Facebook

Northwestern Italy has been hit by record rainfall from a complex of thunderstorms, triggering flooding and mudslides, per AP.

By the numbers: 29.2 inches of rain fell in 12 hours on Monday in Rossiglione, Genoa province, just south of Milan. That's a new, all-time European record, meteorologists noted Tuesday.

Meanwhile, 7.1 inches of rain poured down in one hour on Vicomorasso — "more than double the 3.15 inches that fell during the record-setting one-hour cloudburst that overwhelmed New York City on Sept. 1 as the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed," per WashPost.

  • The storm generated over half a million lightning strikes in the region in 48 hours, meteorologists noted.

Of note: The coastal city of Savona in the northwestern region of Liguria, which borders France, was the worst affected by flooding and mudslides, AP reports.

  • There were no immediate reports of casualties, but dozens of people were rescued, per WashPost. A bridge in the town of Quiliano collapsed in the floods, according to Milan news outlet Corriere della Sera.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: The extraordinary deluge follows other recent and deadly extreme precipitation events in Tennessee, the New York City area, and this past summer in Central Europe, among others.

  • The most recent assessment report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicated increased confidence that heavy precipitation events are tied to human-caused climate change, since warmer air holds more moisture that storms can tap into.
Go deeper