DISCUSSION: Rapid snowmelt and heavy rainfall led to ice buildup along the Vaser River in Maramures, Romania on Saturday February 4, 2017. A weak low pressure area moving across the region provided just enough rainfall to cause the horrific flooding. Along with the rainfall came sudden warmer temperatures which aided in the rapid snowmelt. Ice, that had formed along the river during this most recent arctic outbreak, caused a massive buildup of water behind it which led to the water over flowing its bank and flooding surrounding towns and neighborhoods. Known as an ice jam or ice dam, these events typically occur when a prolonged period of freezing temperatures is followed by a rapid thaw. The warmer temperatures and rainfall push the ice downstream where it collides and gathers together to form a blockage. The water behind begins to buildup and overflow, once the ice dam breaks, flooding can occur downstream as well. This event often occurs in late winter and early spring when the temperatures quickly begin to rise across the Northern Hemisphere.
Several reports of damaged homes and automobiles were reported along the Vaser River. This is an ongoing situation across the region and with more rainfall expected on Monday this will only exacerbate the problem.
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~ Meteorologist Jake Keiser