There have been very heavy rains in England and Wales in the past few months and the ground is very soft. Come the equinox, if the gales blow across the land high winds will blow down trees now anchored in soft ground. Many homes have been affected by flooding, and a couple of people have died as a result. These effects are serious and in Britain we gaze intently at our navels while accusing others of doing the same. If we lift up our eyes and look to Russia there we shall find heavy rain which has had far worse consequences than those we have experienced in Britain.
In Krasnodar 172 souls lost their lives when a wave of water washed across the town. The water came from heavy rains in the mountains. Around 5000 homes were badly damaged and 250 of them were completely destroyed. Water, so soft and pliable, is an irresistible force when released by record rainfall into places where it has never been before.
Some 77 years ago the region experienced heavy rainfall and floods but the recent rainfall has set new records. In a few days the amount of rain that fell was equivalent to six month’s worth of rainfall in an average year. Rainfall fell as though the region was engulfed in a tropical storm. 35,000 people have been affected by this weather.
In Chechnya it was that region’s turn to be affected by heavy rainfall a few days after the weather in Krasnodar. Heavy rains, breaking all previous records, have left 47,000 people without electricity and caused extensive damage. Moscow suffered record rainfall on 13th July where in thunderstorms three people were struck by lightning and dozens of cars floated then sunk un the roads that had become rivers.
These record breaking rains are founded in science and climate change will help us understand why there are more frequent times when record rainfall occurs in some regions and record drought in other places. As the climate warms the atmosphere can hold more water vapour, causing the climate to warm more. An atmosphere holding more water vapour will in places produce more rainfall. For many of us, the sky cried.