ISSaR

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

Last update
22.05.2013

 


Key question

What were the temperature and precipitation conditions on the Czech Republic’s territory in 2012?


Key message

 

In 2012, there were above-average annual mean temperature and average precipitation on the territory of the Czech Republic. The average annual air temperature (8.3 °C) was by 0.8 °C higher than the long-term mean (1961–1990); the annual rainfall (689 mm) represents 102% of the long-term mean (1961–1990). Distribution of rainfall during the year has been uneven, both dry and very wet months have been recorded.

 

Most of the months in 2012 have had above-average temperatures, only February was significantly below average in terms of temperatures. On 20 August 2012, the meteorological station in Dobřichovice recorded 40.4 °C, which is a new maximum air temperature ever measured in the territory of the Czech Republic. The original record was from the year 1983. There were no major flood events in the Czech Republic in 2012.

Overall assessment

Change since 1990

Change since 2000

Last year-to-year change

N/A

N/A

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References to current conceptual and strategic documents and their targets

Temperature and precipitation rates affect the national economy and they also influence the level of environmental burden resulting from economic activity. Energy consumption, and hence the production of pollution from energy (electricity and heat) generation, is affected by temperature; in the winter, lower temperature increases heat consumption while in the summer, energy consumption increases due to operation of air conditioning during hot days. The sectors of agriculture, water management and forestry are greatly dependent on the temperature and precipitation conditions. Major impacts on the population and damage to the national economy are associated with emergency situations caused by hazardous hydrometeorological phenomena, such as floods, extreme droughts or very strong wind.

Indirect effect of the weather conditions consists in affecting the state of the environment. This concerns, in particular, the conditions for air pollutants dispersion, which are, together with the production of emissions, the main factor in air quality fluctuation and the cause of high concentrations of pollutants in certain locations. In the summer, high temperatures and intense sunlight support formation of ground-level ozone, which is harmful to human health. Temperature and precipitation conditions also affect the surface water quality; high temperatures promote eutrophication of still water and thus worsen the water quality for swimming.


Indicator assessment – graphic part

Chart 1: The annual average air temperature (areal averages*), the Czech Republic [°C]
Source: The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute

The annual average air temperature, the Czech Republic

 
Note:
* Areal averages for temperature and precipitation are used in order to smoothen the spatial differentiation of temperature and precipitation as needed for expressing time dynamics and for comparisons with the norm. They are calculated using a method of mathematical interpolation and, rather than a value for any particular location, they express the average value for the entire Czech Republic (corresponding to the median altitude).
 
 
Data:

Chart 2: Monthly average air temperature (for the last available year, see data) (areal averages* compared to the 1961–1990 long-term mean), the Czech Republic [°C]
Source: The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute

Monthly average air temperature, the Czech Republic

 
Note:
* Areal averages for temperature and precipitation are used in order to smoothen the spatial differentiation of temperature and precipitation as needed for expressing time dynamics and for comparisons with the norm. They are calculated using a method of mathematical interpolation and, rather than a value for any particular location, they express the average value for the entire Czech Republic (corresponding to the median altitude).
 
 
Data:

Chart 3: Monthly precipitation totals (for the last available year, see data) (areal averages* compared to the 1961–1990 long-term mean), the Czech Republic [mm]
Source: The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute

Monthly precipitation totals, the Czech Republic

 
Note:
* Areal averages for temperature and precipitation are used in order to smoothen the spatial differentiation of temperature and precipitation as needed for expressing time dynamics and for comparisons with the norm. They are calculated using a method of mathematical interpolation and, rather than a value for any particular location, they express the average value for the entire Czech Republic (corresponding to the median altitude).
 
 
Data:

Indicator assessment – text part

There were above-average temperatures on the territory of the Czech Republic in 2012; the average annual air temperature (8.3 °C) was by 0.8 °C higher than the long-term mean (1961–1990). Although seven warm to very warm months were recorded, the year 2012 as a whole is slightly colder than the year 2011, particularly thanks to cold February. Temperature conditions of the year 2012 confirm the generally warmer character of the beginning of 21th century. In 1961–1999, only 5 years with an averacge annual temperature higher than that in 2012 were recorded (1989, 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1999), however, in the timeline of annual average temperatures after 2000, the year 2012 is on the level of the arithmetic mean and median.

According to the preliminary WMO report on the state of the climate in 2012, the global temperature of the Earth's surface was by 0.45 °C higher compared to the long-term average (1961–1990), which is 14.0 °C. From a global perspective, the year 2012 is therefore the ninth warmest year for the entire duration of measurement since 1880. In Europe, too, the 2012 temperatures were above the long-term average, however, the situations in the northern and southern Europe varied greatly. While in some countries of southern Europe there was one of the hottest summers ever recorded, in the northern part of Europe, by contrast, the 2012 summer temperatures were below average.

In the Czech Republic, February was the coldest month of the year; the average monthly temperature reached the value –5.2 °C, which is by 4.3 °C less than the mean in 1961–1990. In the past 30 years, a lower average February temperature was recorded only in 1986 (–7.7 °C) and in 1985 (–5.7 °C). A significant decrease in the air temperature as a result of outbreak of cold Arctic air from the east was recorded already in late January, and the low temperatures continued till 13 February. The coldest day was 6 February, when the minimum air temperature fell below –14 °C throughout the territory of the Czech Republic, in some places it was –30 °C. At the meteorological stations of Jezerní slať and Rokytská slať in Šumava Mts., the temperatures reached –39.4 °C and – 38.1 °C respectively. Strong frosts associated with worsened dispersion conditions led to declaration of the smog situation, at first in the Moravian-Silesian region and then gradually in almost the whole of the Czech Republic. Cold weather that struck the whole Europe also took human lives; there also have been several victims in the Czech Republic.

The months of March and May were warm in comparison with long-term mean. The average air temperature in March was 5.1 °C which is by 2.6 °C higher than the mean in 1961–1990. The average May temperature (14.4 °C) was by 2.1 °C above the 1961–1990 mean. The hottest months of the year were July and August, with the same average temperature. In terms of temperature, August was highly above the long-term mean; its average temperature (18.2 °C) was by 1.8 °C above the 1961–1990 mean. During the summer, there were several heat waves in the Czech Republic. A significant heat wave occurred at the turn of the second and third decades of August, when the maximum temperature ever recorded in the Czech Republic (in 1983) was exceeded at the meteorological station in Dobřichovice in Central Bohemia on 20 August; the new maximum daily air temperature is 40.4 °C. In Moravia and Silesia, the highest daily maximum temperature for the year 2012 was also measured on 20 August; the station at Dyjákovice recorded 38.1 ° C.

In terms of temperature, November was also highly above the long-term mean; its average monthly temperature (4.8 °C) was by 2.1 °C above the 1961–1990 mean. As a result of temperature inversion, a smog situation was declared in mid November in the Moravian-Silesian region, which lasted until the beginning of the third decade of the month. At the end of the year, there were normal temperatures again.

In 2012, there have been in the average 51 summer days and 12 tropical days, which are above-average values in both cases. There were also 110 frosty days and 38 icy days recorded in 2012. Concerning icy days, the year 2012 was close to normal while the number of frosty days was slightly below average.

In terms of precipitation, the year 2012 has been normal on the territory of the Czech Republic; the average annual rainfall (689 mm) represents 102% of the long-term mean (1961–1990). The highest annual rainfall was recorded at the station Špičák (1652.7 mm) while the least annual rainfall was measured in Lednice where it amounted to 373 mm. January and July can be included in the very wet to wet months while March was the driest month of the year.

Concerning precipitation, January was highly above the long-term mean; its average rainfall (81 mm) represents 193% of the mean in 1961–1990. Most precipitation fell in the Liberec region (140 mm, which is 203% of the normal value) and in the Karlovy Vary region (121 mm, which is 216% of the normal). As a result of above-average temperatures, snow cover occurred mainly in the mountains; in the low-lying areas it was only sporadic.

March was dry, the average March rainfall in 2012 was only 15 mm, which represents 38% of the long-term mean in 1961–1990. The least precipitation was recorded in the South-Moravian region; the rainfall amounted to 5 mm here, which is 17% of the long-term mean in 1961–1990. For the last 50 years, March 2012 was the third driest month among the spring and summer months in the territory of the Czech Republic. Only April 2007 with the total rainfall of 5 mm and March 2003, when the rainfall amounted to 14 mm, were drier. Below-normal rainfall was recorded also in May; the average rainfall (48 mm) represented 65% of the long-term mean in 1961–1990.

There was above-normal precipitation in July with the average rainfall of 113 mm, which is 143% of the long-term mean in 1961–1990. Most precipitation fell in the region of Liberec (162 mm, which is 182% of long-term mean) and in the region of Hradec Králové (156 mm, which is 188% of the long-term mean). Strong thunderstorms associated with torrential rain, hail and wind gusts occurred especially in the first decade of the month, rising of river levels has been recorded in some areas in the North and South of Bohemia. In the autumn and at the end of the year, precipitation was around normal levels; October was somewhat wetter with rainfall being 133% of the long-term mean, on the other hand, November was drier.


Data sources

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute


Links to additional information

Information about climate on the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute’s website
The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute’s Department of Climate Change
The World Meteorological Organization
The European Environment Agency

 

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