Publication details

Changes in Weather-Related Fatalities in the Czech Republic during the 1961–2020 Period



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Atmosphere
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords weather fatality; vehicle accident fatality; documentary data; fatality database; spatiotemporal variability; fatality characteristics; climate variability; Czech Republic
Description Fatalities associated with severe weather, collected from newspapers and other documentary sources, were used to create a corresponding database for the 1961–2020 period for the Czech Republic. Fatalities attributed to floods, windstorms, convective storms, snow and glaze ice, frost, fog, and other severe weather, on the one hand, and vehicle accident fatalities connected with rain, snow, glaze ice, fog, and inclement weather, on the other, were analysed separately for two standard periods, 1961–1990 and 1991–2020. The number of weather-related fatalities between these two periods increased in the flood, windstorm, and especially frost categories, and decreased for the convective storm and fog categories. For snow and glaze ice they were the same. Despite significant differences in both 30-year periods, the highest proportions of fatalities corresponded to the winter months, and in individual fatality characteristics to males, adults, direct deaths, deaths by freezing or hypothermia, and to hazardous behaviour. A statistically significant (p < 0.05) Spearman rank correlation between fatalities and climate variables was only found in the 1991–2020 period for snow/glaze ice-related fatalities, with the number of days with snow cover depth and frost-related fatalities having days with daily minimum temperatures below -5 °C or -10 °C. Despite the highest proportions of the rain and wet road categories being in the number of vehicle accident fatalities, a statistically significant correlation was only found for the category of snow-related fatalities in the number of days with snowfall. The results and conclusions of this study have to be evaluated in the broader context of climatological, political, economic, and societal changes within the country, and have the potential to be used in risk management.
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