The extraordinary, almost unbelievable rainfall in Henan Province, China in July 2021 – one in one thousand year event

extraordinary floods henan china july 2021, floods henan, henan flooding
Zhengzhou city in Henan Province was devastated by floods after it saw a year’s worth of rainfall in three days. Picture Get_y

There are widespread reports today of the terrible floods that affected Henan Province in China yesterday, triggering floods and landslides.

There are some dreadful videos and images of the result of this rainfall, some of which are deeply harrowing, focusing mainly on the city of Zhengzhou.

Xinhua is reporting that 25 people have been killed, but rescue operations continue and more heavy rainfall is forecast.

Extraordinary rainfall in Henan Province, China

What has not been widely reported is the extraordinary nature of this rainfall event.

The long term average annual rainfall in Zhengzhou is 640.8 mm.

These are the stats for the current rainfall as at the end of the day yesterday:

  • Max. 24 hour rainfall: 552.5 mm (from 20:00 on 19 July to 20:00 20 July);
  • Max. 72 hour rainfall: 617.1 mm (from 20:00 on 17 July to 20:00 20 July);

And unbelievably:

  • Max one hour rainfall: 201.9 mm (from 16:00 to 17:00 on 20 July).

This is extraordinary rainfall.

To put this in context, there is a yellow weather warning for the UK for this coming weekend because there are fears of localised convective storms that might lead to locations receiving 100 mm of rainfall over the course of a 24 hour period.

As such, statistically, this rainfall in Henan was one in one thousand year event.

The highest one hour rainfall ever recorded is 214.8mm in Penghu, Taiwan, but this was associated with a typhoon. To have >200 mm without the local presence of a tropical cyclone is very surprising.

The all time record one hour rainfall in China before yesterday was 168.3 mm, recorded at Maoming in Guangdong on 2 July 2002.

Clearly the Henan event has soundly exceeded that value. It is worth noting that this rainfall event extended over a wide area, whereas many large one and 24 hour totals are highly concentrated. This may well also be the highest rainfall intensity ever recorded within a major city. 

Cause of extreme rain in Henan

The cause of the heavy rainfall in Henan was a typhoon located to the east of Taiwan, with a high pressure system located to the north of Taiwan over the Sea of Japan.

This fed an atmospheric river of water vapour into central China.

This was intensified by another airstream from the south, pushed by a smaller tropical cyclone located off the south coast of China.

The warm, moist air encountered the uplands of Henan, generating orographic rainfall in vast quantities.

A few days ago, 2 dams collapsed in inner Mongolia:

This is of course only one of a series of extreme weather events in the last week, with severe flooding also being seen in western EuropeNew Zealand, Oman and elsewhere around the world. [Landslide Blog]

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  1. The regular Chinese people are very oppressed by the CCP, their government, just as the US government has turned America into a full blown police state and is busy oppressing Americans. I do not gloat over the misfortune the Chinese are experiencing due to massive flooding nor do I gloat over the fires and lack of water Americans are experiencing in the western states. We do better when we love each other and help each other.

    • What about the redchinesey bioweapon? That’s a friggin act of war. Yes, there is a difference between the people and the government. Agreed. However, no justice in this matter makes them enemies. They have always been enemies. It was that imbecile Dick Nixon and his Kissingerm that opened that door. Asinine political move!

  2. The eastern U.S is constantly being aerosoled ahead of and during storm fronts to break apart the rain clouds and to disrupt the hydrological cycle for many reasons that I probably can’t give a answer for but I do think that when you consider what you have seen on radar over the pass 35 years that the storm fronts are much bigger than they used to be and if they weren’t blocking them or breaking them up, they would be much more destructive and more rainfall totals. So who or what is making our fronts more destructive? And who is trying to stop it. Because it’s definitely happening. I know and understand the weather that I have been fascinated with my whole life.

  3. No no this is all bs. The earths atmosphere is not warming but cooling. Unstable jetstreams are caused by the earths waining magnetic fields. Ire us it cow farts?

  4. Hopefully the 3 Gorges Dam Collapses soon then China goes backwards 50 -100 years & No time to worry about “External Threats”. Bye Bye CCP DEMONS!

  5. Weather is a weapon.
    Germany gets a once in a thousand year flood and suddenly Merkel bows to the US government over Nord Stream 2.

    China will not bow, they will retaliate.

    • We understand HAARP much better than they. How about a flood into 3 Gorges? How about a tidal wave into Quangdong? How about an earthquake in Wuhan? You get what you give is an old, old saying, but true. Don’t let the quirky publicity out of the Pentagon fool you! They know! They will act!

  6. Yeah, well marxists often use money earmarked for infrastructure, and funnel it into their pockets.

    Swimming is good exercise. How’s the 3 Gorges Dam water level doing?

    Tick tok, tick tok.

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