Articles | Volume 13, issue 3
Research article
20 Mar 2013
Research article |  | 20 Mar 2013

A database of high-impact weather events in Greece: a descriptive impact analysis for the period 2001–2011

K. Papagiannaki, K. Lagouvardos, and V. Kotroni

Abstract. This paper introduces the development of a database of high-impact weather events that occurred in Greece since 2001. The selected events are related to the occurrence of floods, flash floods, hail, snow/frost, tornados, windstorms, heat waves and lightning with adverse consequences (excluding those related to agriculture). The database includes, among others, the geographical distribution of the recorded events, relevant meteorological data, a brief description of the induced impacts and references in the press. This paper further offers an extensive analysis of the temporal and spatial distribution of high-impact weather events for the period 2001–2011, taking into account the intensity of weather conditions and the consequent impact on the society. Analysis of the monthly distribution of high-impact weather events showed that they are more frequent during October and November. More than 80 people lost their lives, half of which due to flash floods. In what concerns the spatial distribution of high-impact weather events, among the 51 prefectures of the country, Attica, Thessaloniki, Elia and Halkidiki were the most frequently affected areas, mainly by flash floods. Significant was also the share of tornados in Elia, of windstorms in Attica, of lightning and hail events in Halkidiki and of snow/frost events in Thessaloniki.