Variability of precipitation and runoff in the entire high Tatra Mountains in the period 1961–2010

Marek Górnik,

Ladislav Holko,

Joanna Pociask-Karteczka,

Svetlana Bičárová


The High Tatra Mountains are the highest mountain chain of alpine landforms in Central Europe to the east of the Alps. The northern (windward) part of the mountains is mostly located in Poland while the southern (leeward) part is in Slovakia. The article presents the first analysis of daily precipitation (10 stations) and discharge (7 catchments) data
covering the entire territory of the mountains. Data from the period 1961–2010 were used in the analysis. The precipitation data confirmed significant differences between the windward and the leeward sides. We found an increase in the number of days with precipitation amounts 40 to 60 mm in the season from May to October in the decade 2001–2010 compared to previous decades. More frequent long wet periods in the decades 1991–2000 and 2001–2010 were found as well. Runoff from the catchments located on the windward side of the mountains is higher than on the leeward side. It reflects higher precipitation on the windward side, but also a higher mean elevation of the catchments. The statistical analysis revealed inhomogeneities in 5 of 7 runoff data series. An increase in the number of events classified as small and large floods found in several catchments on both sides of the mountains in the decade 2001–2010 can be attributed to the increase of the number of days with daily precipitation 40–60 mm
and a higher frequency of the long-term wet periods.

Słowa kluczowe: mountain hydrology, precipitation, river catchment, runoff, Carpathians, East- -Central Europe

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