At least two people have been killed and more injured after torrential rain hit the popular holiday destination of Crete on Saturday morning. Heavy, thundery rain turned streets into rivers. The worst effects were felt in the Heraklion part of the island where there was huge damage. Cars were washed into the sea while beaches were covered in all sorts of debris, with the resort of Agia Pelagia on the north coast particularly affected.
An area of low pressure moving south-eastwards from Italy brought torrential downpours and thunderstorms to the island, which continued through the afternoon and evening in places before easing. Northern and eastern parts of the island received the highest rainfall totals, with 130mm recorded in 30 minutes and about 300mm seen within three hours.
For context, western parts of Crete typically record 500-600mm of rain over a full year while eastern parts only get 300-400mm. As a result, some north-eastern parts of the island will have seen almost a year’s worth of rain fall in the space of a few hours.
Areas of low pressure across eastern parts of the US have helped drag cold air southwards across many central and southern parts of the country over the last few days. High pressure has been building into central parts of the US helping to lock in the colder air in southern parts of the country. It is expected to stay much chillier than average in southern areas over the next few days with temperatures about 10-15C below normal. Some parts that normally record temperatures in the 20s at this time of year will struggle to reach double figures while central states such as Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri will experience widespread overnight frosts.
Meanwhile, a stagnant area of low pressure off the west coast has helped bring unseasonably warm air to Canada from the south. As high pressure builds over the next couple of days, temperatures will rise into the low 20s celsius, 10-15C higher than average for this time of year.