Due to the melting of large amounts of snow, a severe flooding situation occurred in Volgogradskaya Oblast in Russia in early April 2018.
By Jose Prieto (EUMETSAT)
Ice jams caused the flooding in the first days of April 2018. The frozen condition of the ground made it unable to absorb the melted water, which exacerbated the flooding.
Meteosat-8, located at 41.5°E, witnessed the quick withdrawal of the snow limit in the first days of April 2018 (Figure 1).
Almost continuous rain, with humidity from the Caspian Sea by a large cyclonic circulation centred on northern Europe, added to the fast melting.
Viewing the sequence of Natural Colour RGB images (Figure 2) and on Google Earth shows the considerable retreat of the snowed surface in four consecutive days. Snow on the ground appears cyan in the Natural Colour composite. On the flooded area, a similar course of the melting is assumed, probably accelerated by the rain.
The image on Google Earth shows the centre of the most affected area, not far from the town of Mikhaylovka.
Thirty-one inhabited locations were affected, 790 houses and 2,680 yards flooded. More than three hundred people (including 105 children) were evacuated.
Previous case study
Record Russian spring snowmelt (5 May 2013)