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Cyclone #Gloria causes destructive flooding by extreme rainfall and major storm surge across the eastern Spain

As we were concerned in the mesoscale discussion over the weekend, a Rex block pattern over Europe resulted in a trapped deep upper low – cyclone #Gloria – over the Iberian peninsula. The associated surface low developed over Spain and the western Mediterranean, lead to an extreme amount of rainfall. Combined with major storm surge, the situation resulted destructive flooding.

With the arrival of the cold mid-levels over the warmer western Mediterranean sea, widespread storm activity has developed as well. Convective lines with training cells were bringing intense and excessive rainfall into the ENE Spain, especially into Valencia and Catalonia region’s coastal areas.

During the first stage of the developing surface cyclone, a strong pressure gradient established an intense windstorm along the coast of Valencia, eastern Spain. Severe to locally extremely severe winds over the broad area resulted in significant sea waves and flooding due to storm surge.

Major flooding event was caused by both major storm surge (from severe winds) and excessive rainfall amount. Some areas received more than 300 mm of rain within the 48-hour period. Attached are the reports of both ground and aerial views of widespread flooding:

Storm Gloria caused a storm surge that has ravaged the Ebro delta up to 3 km inland, resulting in severe damage to the rice paddies
Attached is before and after satellite image of a widespread flood on Jan 22nd:

A huge amount of snow has accumulated across the eastern Pyrenees, as strong and persisting orographic snowfall was occurring. The highest mountains received more than 150 cm of snow, significantly enhancing avalanche danger.

See also – initial mesoscale discussion:

Impressive satellite presentation of a rapidly intensifying cyclone near Iceland – pressure drops more than 30 mbar in west Iceland