Torrential rain over Skopje

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The area of Skopje, in the Republic of Macedonia, had 100 mm of rain in two hours on 6 August 2016, causing severe flash flooding.

Torrential rain over Skopje
Date & Time
06 August 2016 12:00–23:00 UTC
Airmass RGB, Infrared

By HansPeter Roesli

A cut-off low that had already produced a lot of rain over the Alps a few days earlier, moved to the Balkans. In picking up additional water vapour over the Adriatic Sea, it fired up long-lasting convection along the border between Albania and the Republic of Macedonia (also known as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia or FYROM) (Figure 1, right).

The evolution of the event can be seen in the animation from 6 Aug, 12:00–23:00 UTC (MP4, 5 MB). It shows imagery of Meteosat-10 that combines Airmass RGBs with IR10.8 temperature (overlaid in semi-transparency). Over a period of 11 hours repetitive convective events moved northward and discharged torrential rains.


Over the area of Skopje 100mm of rain were recorded in two hours — an amount the area was not used to. Flash flooding overwhelmed houses, flooded the beltway and moved cars. At least 21 people were reported to have died.

Villages remained blocked due to earth slides and lightning caused several fires.

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