Tallinn saw 10th of annual rainfall on Tuesday

Kadriorg Park
Kadriorg Park Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

A tenth of Tallinn's annual rainfall fell on the capital yesterday, the Environmental Agency's chief forecaster told ERR. But while this is an extraordinary amount, it is not a new record.

Taimi Paljak, of the agency's weather forecasting department, said the rain was a quarter of Tallinn's summer norm.

Data gathered at the Tallinn-Harku monitoring station shows 67.3 millimeters of rain fell in 24 hours.

"The highest 24-hour rainfall recorded at Tallinn-Harku station over the last 30 years (1991-2020) is 81.4 mm. The average July rainfall at Tallinn-Harku is 82.0 mm, so yesterday's rainfall was 82 percent of the monthly average. The average rainfall over three summer months is 235 mm, of which yesterday's rainfall accounted for 28.6 percent. The average rainfall for the whole year here is 699.9 mm, of which yesterday's rainfall accounted for 9.6 percent," said Paljak told ERR in a written comment on Wednesday.

Rainfall can increase with climate change, but no evidence so far

Taimi Paljak in the Vikerraadio studio. Source: ERR/ Owe Petersell

Asked if climate change has led to higher amounts of precipitation in Estonia, Paljak said there is no evidence for this and that rainfall has decreased over the last 30 years.

Estonia's average rainfall increased slightly in the period that measures 1961-2010, but over the last 30 years (1991-2020) precipitation has decreased.

Below is the average annual precipitation in Estonia by period:

1961-1990: 627 mm

1971-2000: 645.6mm

1981-2010: 668.6mm

1991-2020: 661.9mm

Extremes weather has not increased

Paljak also discussed data for extreme weather events in Estonia, but said the data does not support arguments that they are becoming more common.

Extreme weather events:

Maximum rainfall intensity (measured over 3 minutes): 3.6 mm/min — 23 July 1957 — Tooma, Jõgeva County.

Maximum rainfall intensity (measured over 10 minutes): 2.3 mm/min - 23 July 1957 -— Tooma, Jõgeva County.

The largest daily precipitation, maximum daily precipitation sum: 148 mm - 4 July 1972 — Metsküla (Saaremaa).

The wettest month, maximum monthly rainfall: 351 mm — August 1987 — Haanja.

Driest month, minimum monthly precipitation 0 mm (without precipitation): August 2002 — several places in South Estonia.

The wettest year, maximum annual precipitation: 1157 mm — 1990 Nääri (Rapla County).

"Most of the above values ​​remain in the last century, and based on this, there is no basis for the claim that all weather phenomena become more extreme year by year," Paljak wrote.


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Editor: Mait Ots, Helen Wright

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