Bulgaria at Risk of Snowmelt Flooding in end-February

Environment | February 9, 2012, Thursday // 09:34|  views

Photo by dariknews.bg

The southern Bulgarian regions of Haskovo, Harmanli, Galabovo, Svilengrad and Kardzhali are under threat of floods resulting from the melting of snow in end-Februay and the beginning of March.

The snow that has piled up in the the Rilo-Rhodope massif is likely to start melting in end-February or early March with the influx of warm air masses and may cause flood waves, according to Assoc. Prof, Dobri Dimitrov, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (INMH) at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS).

Asked to specify when the snow melting would start, he said that the warm weather often arrived suddenly, rather than gradually, triggered by atmospheric cyclones.

As a result, there were several warmer days followed by a new cold snap, Dimitrov explained.

He said that the pace of snow melting would depend on how warm the weather would get and whether it would be accompanied by rain and warm winds.

The researcher noted, however, that the snow cover in Bulgaria usually stayed until mid-March and the serious melting of snow started in late February.

He suggested that the snow cover in the regions below 800 m a.s.l. would melt no later than mid-March.

He urged the institutions in charge to take steps to prevent flooding around end-February, when the critical period was expected to start.

The meteorologist also pointed out that the snowmelt freshet in rivers in northern Bulgaria usually lasted longer than in Southern Bulgaria, where the Mediterranean cyclones and the influx of warm air masses accompanied by rain happened more regularly.

Regarding the prolonged cold spell in Bulgaria, Dimitrov said hat the country had not witnessed lasting periods of temperatures below -15 Celsius for a long time.

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Tags: snow, snow cover, National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, Bulgarian Academies of Sciences, BAS, NIMH, warm, Southern Bulgaria, flooding


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