July and August are behind us, so typically stormy months. This year they were characterized by a small number of extreme phenomena. The most violent events took place in the winter months, informed the IMGW.
The stormy season 2022 started exceptionally early, already in winter. According to the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, January and February were warm and windy months, and the weather conditions favored the formation of lightning discharges. The aura of January 17th was particularly exceptional. The PERUN system (a network of lightning detection and location sensors) detected on that day more than 4.6 thousand ground-based and nearly 23 thousand cloud-based lightning discharges – ten times more than in the record-breaking January 2017.
In addition, a greater than usual number of such phenomena was recorded on January 14, 20 and 30. On February 17, a record number of whirlwinds was registered – more reports were submitted to the databases on that day than in the entire summer season.
The calm aura of spring
After a rather abrupt start to the year, the following months were much calmer in the weather. Early spring storms they appeared very sporadically, which was a consequence of a very dry March and cold April. Also in May, many events were not recorded – less lightning discharges this month occurred only in 2006 and 2020. According to IMGW, the best conditions for the development of convection occurred on the night of May 20-21, but a strong front, which then appeared from the west over Poland, it gradually weakened and did not bring major rainfall or lightning.
The most stormy month
The stormiest month of this year, taking into account the total number of discharges, was June. Strong phenomena occurred:
– June 9, when there was heavy rainfall mainly in the south and in the center (a very large number of reports of heavy rains come from this day);
– June 13 in central and eastern Poland, with intense hailstorms in Lublin;
– June 20, with strong winds in the south of the country;
– between 28 and 30 June, when storm phenomena of varying intensity were recorded almost all over Poland (from June 30 comes a large number of wind and hail reports from the area from Eastern Pomerania to the center and Silesia).
Summer storms with no records
The stormiest day of the entire 2022 season was July 1. At that time, a front was moving through Poland, which ended a heatwave lasting several days. On that day, St. Tarnow the temperature rose to 38 degrees Celsius at in Warsaw It was 36 degrees Celsius. The conditions for the development of storms were therefore favorable.
As IMGW recalls, the strongest systems developed in the west, with strong winds and torrential rains, which resulted, among others, in a flash flood in Szczecin. There were also some strong hailstorms – the maximum diameter of the hailstones was even about four centimeters. The largest number of events and interventions in connection with violent storms (over 3.5 thousand) also comes from that day, the largest number in the province. Kuyavian-Pomeranian, West Pomeranian and Greater Poland.
The following weeks were relatively quiet until July 23, when severe storms formed in the southern and south-eastern provinces. The State Fire Service intervened more than two thousand times, and two people died crushed by trees blown by strong winds.
After the relatively calm first decade of August, severe storms developed in the following days, mainly due to the influx of very humid air from the Black Sea. The highest number of reports of the effects of heavy storms was recorded between August 20 and 24 and the twenty-eighth day of the month.
Relatively calm storm season
According to the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, large disproportions in the distribution of the number of storms and lightning discharges over Poland are noticeable throughout the entire storm season of 2022. Most of the phenomena occurred in the south and in the strip from Silesia, through the center of Poland, to Kujawy and Żuławy. There were less storms in the west and east, and the least in the northeast.
According to the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, despite the dynamic beginning of the year, the passing stormy season was relatively calm compared to previous years. Although there were strong storms, there were few days with really extreme phenomena. It is true that storm phenomena may appear in Poland in September, and even in later months, but they are generally very rare and characterized by a rather low intensity (although there are exceptions, such as the storms of October 2020).
How was the aura in Europe?
On the scale of the entire continent, the situation was quite different. For example, the number of reports of large hailstorms in Europe in 2022 was 60 percent higher than in the United States, although it should be noted that in the United States this season activity is lower than the average this season.
Exceptional phenomena occurred on August 18, when a violent storm system traveled from the Balearic Islands, through Corsica, northern Italy, Slovenia, Austria, and the Czech Republic. These storms resulted in extremely strong gusts of wind (up to 225 kilometers per hour) and hail with a diameter of about 11 cm. 12 people were killed and 106 were injured. The storms also brought great material losses.
Main photo source: IMGW, Contact 24