Typhoons at the door of Siberia

In June 2019 Irkutsk region of Russia (located in the East Siberia in close vicinity to Baikal lake) has experienced a paramount amount of precipitation.The anomalous precipitation rates have subsequently caused extremely quick inundation of the rivers within the region. For giving a clue, the maximum rate of inundation of the river Iya in the town of Tulun has reached 14 meters meanwhile the critical threshold is 14 cm. The inundation has further caused monstrous flooding in the town of Tulun with the estimated damage of more than 450 million dollars USD. Most sadly, the flooding left 25 people dead. Not long after the flooding, Russian media have stated all in one voice that the flooding is seemingly attributed to the global climate change. Since Russia had made a little progress in climate action implementation, and has often demonstrated unwillingness to link natural disasters to climate change effects, this is a prominent phenomenon. Moreover, the scientists from Irkutsk State University have already stated that the flooding has been caused by the anomalous development of atmospheric processes that were corresponded by the local and global patterns of global warming. More specifically, the period of maximum precipitation (typical for this region) has temporally overlapped with the onset of the landing of first strong tropical typhoon that hit the region in 2019. Moist and warm air have done their dirty deed by providing very favorable conditions for forming additional anomalous precipitation. From our side, we note that according to insitu precipitation measurements (performed in the close vicinity to Tulun town) this year did not even hit the record of the anomalous precipitation of 2016. It simply means that the amount of precipitation cannot solely explain the destructive consequences of the flood and we are very excited to see fresh research publications on that topic that can shed light on the hidden drivers of the flooding. As far as we know, the researchers have not published the results about Irkutsk flooding 2019 in any peer-reviewed journal yet.

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