Photos: Venice, Italy, inundated by high tide, causing widespread flooding
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By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
October 31, 2018, 4:48:43 AM EDT
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More than 70 percent of Venice, Italy, is under water after strong winds flooded the area by raising the water level by more than 5 feet.
The flooding has been described as the worst to hit the city in at least a decade, according to CNN. This same storm system has been linked to at least nine deaths across Italy.
"Geography of Venice is key to its storm-tide problem. It is nested within a lagoon at the far-northwest end of the Adriatic Sea," AccuWeather Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.
Due to this extreme flooding, tourists and residents were seen wading in nearly waist-deep water.
"Winds on Monday reache d 45 mph at the Marco Polo airport on the nearby mainland. Winds may have been stronger in the city itself, as it is more exposed to higher winds from open water," Andrews said.
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According to Andrews, wind direction has been southeasterly, as would be expected.
"Another factor is the air pressure difference between Venice and the southern end of the Adriatic Sea. Monday, this difference h as reached 0.44 to 0.59 inches of mercury (15 to 20 millibars), which is quite significant. This pressure difference tends to lift water at the north end of the Adriatic Sea (thus Venice), contributing to the lift caused by the 'wind set' (southeasterly onshore winds)," Andrews said.
More unsettled weather is on the way for Venice and surrounding parts of Italy as a storm arrives from Thursday into Friday.
A brief period of southeasterly winds could result in renewed flooding problems Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening corresponding with high tide.
Rainfall of 13-38 mm (0.5-1.5 inches) will accompany the gusty winds and further elevate the risk for flooding.
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