Geographia Polonica (2006) vol. 76, iss. 2

Extreme precipitation events on the northern side of the Tatra Mountains

Tadeusz Niedźwiedź

Geographia Polonica (2006) vol. 76, iss. 2, pp. 15-24 | Full text

This article reviews the occurrence and variability of extreme precipitation on the northern slope of the Tatra Mountains (southern Poland), using rainfall amounts of duration from 1 to 30 days. Daily data from 76 years (1927-2002) are used for the Hala Gąsienicowa meteorological station at 1520 m a.s.l. This is the place with the heaviest rainfall in Poland. The highest daily precipitation total (300 mm) was recorded on 30 June 1973 during a northern cyclonic situation. For longer durations extreme values of precipitation were observed during different years. In July 1934 the highest 3-day total reached 422 mm, and during the 11 days between 16 to 26 July 2001 the total amount of rainfall reached 500 mm. In the last 7 years the precipitation totals and the number of extreme events are distinctly greater than in the previous part of the analysed 76 years period, although a strong influence on the results may be the data from the extreme year 2001. However, an earlier period saw extreme precipitation concentrated during the years 1958-1978. A transition to a rather wetter phase of climate has been noted since 1995. However, there is no sign for any of the elements studied of any departure that has exceeded the values typical for fluctuations of climate in the 20th century, and which could therefore be taken as indication a permanent change in the climate.

Keywords: climatic change, extreme precipitation events, Tatra Mountains, Poland

Tadeusz Niedźwiedź, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia Będzińska 60,41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland. Institute of Meteorology and Water Management Borowego 14, 30-215 Kraków, Poland.