VIDEO: 'Fifth season' arrives early yet again ({{commentsTotal}})

Soomaa National Park, first flood of 2016
Soomaa National Park, first flood of 2016 Source: (Blizzarfoto/

Soomaa, a national park in southwestern Estonia that stretches over 390 square kilometers of wetlands, floods every year during what is called the “fifth season” in Estonia. However, for several years now, the flooding has started in January, considerably earlier than before.

According to local tour guide Algis Martsoo, this year's flood is special for its unusually sharp water level rise – two meters in four days. “For instance, on Sunday, the water level rose 70 centimeters in 24 hours, which is very unusual. It is more characteristic of spring floods,” Martsoo told ERR.

The water should keep rising for at least another few days, he added.

The fifth season occurs every year when vast amounts of meltwater run down from Sakala Upland and flood the plains and forests on the banks of Soomaa rivers. The floodplain, covering up to 175 square kilometers, is the largest frequently flooded area in Northern Europe.

Click here for more photos and here for another video (in Estonian).

Editor: M. Oll