What happened exactly?
Could this phenomenon happen? is maybe one of the most asked questions when looking at the (awful) images that took place last Saturday here on Madeira.
There was no tropical storm … no hurricane …. no cyclone … no devastating hard winds … no tsunami-like waves. Just lots of rain …. plus the fact that …. Madeira is an island!
So how could this happen?
But first …. I am only looking for scientific or climatological explanation … and not political reactions. I do not want to hear/read politics …
My thoughts are the following:
Madeira was plagued by bad weather during the week before. On Saturday 20th of February the combination of heavy rainfall and winds over 60mph saturated the higher mountain regions, plus the fact that there was also snow in that area and the sudden increase of temperature, … caused an immediate swelling of the mountain streams, … resulting in walls of water and mud cascading down the slopes towards the southern coast. The abundance of water could not be handled by the drains and catch basins.
What do you think?