JRL NEWSWATCH: “What’s Causing Russia’s Record Floods?” – Moscow Times/AFP

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

“… The cause is primarily the rapid onset of warm spring weather meeting lots of winter snow, causing a sudden melt and quick filling of rivers. [The University of Reading’s Maria] Shahgedanova said about half of all floods in this region have started this way, with another third attributed to rainfall and about 15% due to ice blockages in rivers. … This region of Russia and Kazakhstan experienced above-average snowfall this past winter, with snow depth exceeding normal levels by 60% in some areas. Shahgedanova said this was followed by a sudden jump in temperatures from below zero to nearly 20 degrees Celsius in a matter of days as spring arrived. This rapid shift compounded by heavy rainfall ‘exacerbated the already critical situation’ ….”

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