A persistent heat wave replaced with severe thunderstorms: Rain, hail and strong winds sweep Croatia

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A front accompanied with the low pressure field, formed above the northern Italy, has brought a long expected change of weather and relief from persistent heat to majority of regions in Croatia. Severe and intense thunderstorms accompanied with strong rainfall and hail have swept most of the country on August 15 and August 16.

Meteoalarm has issued an orange alert for Croatia, on August 15, as heavy rainfall, intense lightning and hail swept the country. 52.3 mm (2.1 inches) of rain was measured at St. Martin station, 40.4 mm (1.6 inches) at "High school" station and 23.8 mm (0.94 inches) in Roc, in the region of Istria. An abrupt fall in temperatures was measured in Buzet, where they plummeted from 32 ºC (90 ºF) to 20 ºC (68 ºF), Crometeo reports.

Weather conditions over Croatia, August 16, 16:21 UTC. Image credit: Terra/MODIS, NASA

In northern Istria, a stroke of thunder triggered fires in St. Donat, Sovinjska Brda and in the vicinity of Labin. Luckily, the fires have been quickly extinguished. ​Strong wind across Vinica and Bednjan in the region of Varaždin uprooted several trees, on August 15.

Rainfall over Croatia, August 16, 16:15 UTC. Image credit: Crometeo radar

3.8 mm (0.15 inches) of rain was measured in Brinje, Lika, while the Turjak station in Požega reported 31 liters per one square meter (about 0.62 US gallons per square foot) of rain in just 1 hour. Also, temperatures plummeted from 35 ºC (95 ºF) to 16 ºC (61 ºF), in only 4 hours.

The highest amount of precipitation was measured in the region of Gospic, where 20 mm (0.79 inches) was reported by 18:00 UTC on August 15, according to the National Meteorological and Hydrological Service. Ogulin measured 18 mm (0.71 inches) of rainfall, Krapina 9 mm (0.35 inches) and Knin 6 mm (0.24 inches).

Hailstorm in the vicinity of Buzet, Istria, August 15. Video credit: Advija Mackovic-Krbavcic

Around 12:00 UTC, August 15, a severe hailstorm, accompanied with intense lightning, hit Buzet region. 50 mm (2 inches) of rain was reported locally and a size of hail balls was estimated to 2.5 cm (1 inch). The storm completely devastated crop plants across the region.

​Hail ball in the vicinity of St. Donat, August 15. Image credit: Snjezana Andrejev Majcan

Despite the intense lightning activity along the coast of Adriatic Sea, on the night of August 15 until the morning of August 16, the amount of measured rain was insignificant. 20.1 mm (0.79 inches) of rain was measured in Ploce, 17.3 mm (0.68 inches) in Mali Losinj and 13.6 mm (0.54 inches) on Zadar airport, during the last 24 hours, in contrast to the continental Croatia, where about 54 liters (14 US gallons) of rainfall was reported.

Thunderstorm timelapse, vicinity of Split, August 16, 2015. Video credit: Nikola Brboleza

Rainstorms accompanied with strong winds and lightning are forecasted to continue over the next 48 hours, according to the National Meteorological and Hydrological Service.

Featured image: Storm clouds above Pola, Croatia, August 16, 2015. Image credit: Elvis Emre Malagic Photography.

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