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Tuesday, 16 May 2023, 17:00 UTC

Visible satellite imagery of the Italy low Chuppa over Italy,
16.05 17 UTC
Source: Sat24
500 hPa Geopotential and sea surface pressure
over Europe,
17.05 00 UTC
Source: wetterzentrale
850 hPa circulation over Italy,
16.05 12 UTC
Source: wetterzentrale
Accumulated precipitation over Italy until
22.05 06 UTC
Source: wetterzentrale

Heavy precipitation
Northern Italy

Issued: Tuesday, 16 May 2023, 17:00 UTC

A strong Italy low beneath a cut-off over the Mediterranean is producing heavy precipitation in large parts of Northern Italy. Widespread 24 h precipitation totals of more than 100 mm, locally more than 150 mm/24 h must be expected, inducing potentially strong river flooding as well as localized flash flooding especially in mountainous regions of the Apennine.


A distinct cut-off formed in the past days over the central part of the Mediterranean following a strongly amplified trough pattern present over Central Europe. At the southern tip, the cut-off formed with a distinct lower-tropospheric cyclonic circulation. The surface low named “Chuppa” is advecting warm and moist from the southern part of the Mediterranean and leads the air masses around the lower-tropospheric circulation center situated over Central Italy.

Over Italy, these moist air masses lead to excessive precipitation, with precipitation totals in a 24 h period of more than 100 mm. Especially, along northeasterly facing flanks in the Apennine precipitation totals of more than 150 mm/24 h must be expected. The highest precipitation totals are expected in the Emilia-Romagna, with continuous precipitation until tomorrow, May 17, 2023, noon. Further intense precipitation must be expected until the weekend, with multi-day precipitation totals reaching locally more than 200 mm. In the alps, due to cool temperatures, intense snowfall is possible above 2000 – 2500 m along northern facing flanks with fresh snow accumulation of up to 50 cm.

The precipitation in this region helps to reduce drought concerns in Northern Italy together with past precipitation events in the past weeks, though river flooding must be expected along minor rivers in the Po Valley. Potentially, the heavy precipitation can also cause disruptions at the Autodromo di Imola, where at the weekend a Formula 1 Grand Prix is hosted.

Issued: May 16, 2023, 17:00 UTC

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