Preliminary Climate Assessment for Bulgaria in
(Based on data from the basic operational meteorological network of the Bulgarian
Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, processed by its Information Center)
Base period for climatology 1961-1990.
2006 is 0.43ºC above normal countrywide which is close to the global temperature
anomaly (+0.42ºC). Northern Bulgaria is 0.65ºC warmer than normal while Southern
Bulgaria is only 0.25ºC warmer. The warmest months are August (1.8ºC above normal)
and October (+1.5ºC). The coldest months are January (1.7ºC below normal) and
2006 is rather normal in terms of precipitations. The average annual amount of
precipitation per station is 572 mm which is about 96% of the normal. Above normal
numbers can be found in Northwestern Bulgaria (Vidin 110%, Vraca 104%), the Upper-
Thracian Valley (Pazardjik 124%, Panagjurishte 115%), the Eastern Rodopi
(Krumovgrad 123%), and Southwestern Bulgaria (Dragoman 121%, Sofia 109%,
Kjustendil 104%). In terms of precipitations, Northern Bulgaria is in average 7% below
normal while Southern Bulgaria is only 2% below normal. The wettest months are March
(189%) and August (140%). The driest months are May (40%) and November (50%).
Some of the wettest places are Kotel (March 198mm), Panagjurishte (June 178 mm),
Malko Turnovo (July 326 mm), Krumovgrad (September 150 mm). The wettest high
mountain station is Rojen (June 168 mm).
There are registered 123 days with thunderstorm activity within which there are 60 days
with registered hailstorms. There are also registered at least 10 days with widespread
damage from hailstorms in at least 6 administrative regions. June is the month with the
most widespread and the most frequent (in all of its 30 days) thunderstorm activity.
Details on some of the extreme weather events in 2006 in Bulgaria
January: Falling temperatures and a snowstorm on 05.01 caused heavy road accidents with casualties and blocked road traffic across the country. Around 24.01 (Razgrad -
21.0ºC) very low temperatures caused damage and brought victims.
February: The lowest temperatures were registered on 08.02. On 24.02 and 28.02 there were conditions for icing.
March: A Mediterranean cyclone brought abundant precipitations (Zlatograd 81mm) on 12.03. Combined with a rapid snow melting, it created favorable conditions for
overflowing of rivers and water reservoirs and caused floods in the regions of Sofia,
Kurdjali, Yambol, Pleven, Plovdiv, and Pazardjik. It also provoked land slides at
endangered sites. There was property loss as well as flooded lands and roads.
April and May: Around 09.04 in Central Europe, there were favorable conditions for
abundant precipitations. There was therefore a significant snow accumulation in the Alps
followed by rapid melting which provoked swelling of rivers in the Danube basin and
consequent overflowing of the low Danube at the Bulgarian-Romanian border. A state of
emergency was declared in 12 municipalities bordering the Danube. The monthly average
level of Danube reached 271-316mm above normal. The government intervened in the
critical region between 12.04 and 04.05 and unblocked 1.4mln. leva to tackle the crisis.
June: An intensive frontal system brought strong thunderstorms with heavy rain, hail, and gust winds and caused damage in 3 administrative regions in Western Bulgaria on
02.06. Dragoman reported 50mm of precipitation. There was reported a tornado event
between Dolno Selo and Jeravino in the region of Pernik. The regions of Northwestern
Bulgaria, the Upper-Thracian Valley and the Rodopi Mountain also experienced strong
thunderstorms with heavy rain and hail on 14.06, 15.06, and 20.06. Torrential rains
caused local floods in Varna (15.06) and Sofia (23.06). Sofia also reported 30-40 mm/h
of rain intensity and hail grains as big as walnuts.
July: Eastern Bulgaria suffered damage from torrential rains and gust winds associated with a cold front system passing through around 02.07. Burgas reported 86 mm of rain
and Obzor – 170 mm. On 03.07, Malko Turnovo reported 301 mm, Tokachka – 118 mm,
and Sredec – 91 mm. The Black Sea coast suffered the most with flooded camping
domains, hotels, and restaurants as well as collapsed bridges (in Irakli, Emona, and
Kiten). The rains also activated land slides at endangered sites. 30.07 also marked
intensive rain events which caused local floods mainly in the western part of the country.
Sofia reported 42 mm of rain. A heat wave between 25.07 and 28.07 favored at least 7
field and forest fires.
August: There were 2 significant storms on 10-11.08 and on 28.08 and they caused damage in 6 administrative regions mainly in Northeastern Bulgaria: Varna, Veliko
Turnovo, Shumen, Dobrich, Silistra, Yambol. Extreme rains were reported on 28.08 in
Shabla – 113mm, Varna – 54mm, and Straldja – 88mm. Varna also reported a tornado
event and local floods. A heat wave around 18-20.08 hit temperatures as high as 41.6ºC
in Sandanski and 40.2ºC in Veliko Turnovo. There were reported 9 victims of
By Assoc. Prof. Dr. Petio Simeonov and the Information Center of NIMH
Sofia, January 2007