Meteorological aspects of heavy precipitation in relation to floods – An overview

A.J. Breugem*, J.G. Wesseling, K. Oostindie, C.J. Ritsema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Floods do have multiple aspects: they are integral phenomena by nature. In this paper we deal with the meteorological aspects, which need to be adequately understood in order to understand the occurrence and development of floods. This holds the more as different meteorological environments and accompanying mechanisms can result in different types of heavy precipitation and so in different flood responses. In this paper, the meteorological aspects of floods are described from the perspective of a precipitation event. The characteristics, the categorisations and the ingredients of the storm systems are presented. The influences of global warming on heavy precipitation events will be discussed as well. The sequence of these aspects reads as a logical succession of the distinct topics of the meteorological aspects of a heavy precipitation event. Since floods commonly have a profound impact on environment and society, the understanding of the meteorological aspects is a first and necessary step in a challenge of dealing with floods. The ultimate goal of this step is to diminish the harmful consequences of floods as adequately as possible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103171
JournalEarth-Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Characteristics
  • Classification
  • Climate change
  • Heavy precipitation
  • Ingredients
  • Storm types


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