On Monday, a series of storms put on the parking brakes over northwestern Italy, unleashing rainfall rates never before seen in all of Europe after over 29 inches (742 mm) of rain fell in just 12 hours. In Oman, a rare tropical cyclone dumped years’ worth of rainfall, bringing deadly floods to the desert landscape that rarely sees much rain in an entire year.
Italy’s Genoa province, known for its natural beauty and rugged coastlines, became the epicenter for the most recent extreme rains.
A series of slow-moving storms stalled in the region Sunday into Monday, dumping over 36 inches (925 mm) of rain in the town of Rossiglione, about 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Milan.
Rain in the desert
Less than 2 days earlier and a little over 3,000 miles to the southeast, Cyclone Shaheen made landfall in far northern Oman with winds just shy of a Category 1 hurricane.
A warming globe allows room for more rainfall
The significant increase in heavy rainstorms observed around the world is becoming more evident.
In the US, the summer of 2021 exemplified this as tropical systems such as Ida and Henri rewrote the record books several times over in a span of weeks.
These extreme rainfall rates are becoming more common because of human-caused global warming, scientists say. According to the UN’s report on climate change, “the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events have increased since the 1950s over most land area.”