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Flood in Prague – history

Central and eastern Europe are suffering some of their worst flooding in recent history. As the River Vltava threatens to surge into the city, thousands are under threat of evacuation from Prague, in the Czech Republic.

What has caused the current Prague floods ? 

The present flooding in Prague was not caused by flash flooding, which is usually the result of a large storm which simply overloads both natural and artificial drainage systems. For a large river like the Vltava to burst its banks, a period of heavy sustained rainfall (about a week) is required. Whilst depressions (low pressure systems) are not unusual in these regions at this time of year, they rarely produce the amount of rainfall that Prague has experienced recently. Meteorologists believe that the heavy rainfall in central europe is the result of several factors :

1. The track of the depressions in the region has been unusual – the jet stream appears to have diverted weather systems out of their normal path. Instead of moving eastwards across the north Atlantic, picking up relatively little water because of the low temperatures at those latitudes, the system crossed into Europe at a lower point, carrying far more moisture as a result. When it delivered its payload on countries such as Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and Italy, this was in the form of much heavier rainfall than normal.

2. The slow-moving nature of the depression compounded the problem, leading to a week of torrential downpours.

Here is Gallery of Prague Floods in history

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