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Flooding Rainfall for France and Italy; Snow for Sochi Olympic Venues

By By Dan DePodwin, online journalist/meteorologist
January 21, 2014, 12:54:16 AM EST

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A train of storms chugging across southern Europe will set the stage for flooding rainfall in southeastern France and northern Italy through early next week. Farther east, a persistent snowy pattern is expected to unfold for the Olympic venues around Sochi as storm systems run into cold air.

Flood Threat From Marseille to Venice

A string of storm systems through Monday will bring several rounds of heavy rain to southeastern France as well as northern Italy.

The first round of wet weather brought heavy rain to northern Italy and far southeastern France Friday. Nice, France, was soaked by 66 mm (2.59 inches) of rain while Capo Mele, Italy, received 105 mm (4.13 inches) and a landslide occurred, according to Savona News.

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Another blast of rain will target the region into Sunday. Locations from Nice and Cannes and along the French Riviera as well as all of northern Italy as far east as Venice should be drenched by another 25-50 mm (1-2 inches) of rain by Monday morning.

In total, 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) of rain is expected across much of the region with localized amounts closer to 150 mm (6 inches). This prolonged period of rain, combined with already saturated ground from recent wet weather, will cause flooding.


Later next week, the focus of the rain should shift eastward into Croatia and along the east coast of the Adriatic Sea. This should allow a drier regime to take hold of southern France and northern Italy.

Plenty of Snow Chances Leading up to Olympics

With an active storm track across southern Europe, a stream of moisture will be directed across the Black Sea and into southern Russia, including Sochi, the home to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

A week ago, AccuWeather.com detailed the increased snow chances for Sochi prior to the Games.

Rain will fall along the coastal locations, especially Sochi, but even the mountains look to be mainly rain in the next few days. Towards the end of January, it may turn cold enough along the coast to get snow in the city of Sochi as well as the Olympic venues south of the city. Mainly snow is expected to fall over the next week or two, home to the skiing and sliding sports.

Sochi is similar in climate to Vancouver, Canada, the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Milder marine air influences the lower elevations near the coast, but inland locations much higher in elevation are cold enough to support snow through much of the winter.

Story updated by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Alan Reppert

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