What is a Medicane?

Medicanes are typically experienced in Greece.
Medicanes are typically experienced in Greece.

A medicane is a type of storm, and its name is said to have been derived from the combination of the words "Mediterranean" and "hurricane." This type of storm has similar features to those of hurricanes and typhoons; therefore one can easily understand the nature of medicanes by analyzing tornadoes or hurricanes.

What Is a Medicane?

A medicane can be described as a type of Mediterranean tropical cyclone; these types of storms are mostly observed over the Mediterranean Sea. Medicanes are rarely strong storms, but on some occasions have been noted to reach the strength of a category one hurricane. Although a medicane does not pose the threat of destructive winds, these storms can cause loss of life due to the formation of torrential rains and flash floods. This type of Mediterranean tropical cyclone was first observed in the 1980s around the Mediterranean basin; this was made possible through the use of widespread satellite coverage that revealed the formation of tropical low pressure that formed a cyclonic eye. The formation of these types of cyclones is very hard to detect due to the dry nature of the Mediterranean region. Therefore, before the introduction of the modern weather forecasting technology, the formation of these cyclones was almost impossible to detect.

Formation of Medicanes

The formation of this type of storm occurs at least once or twice a year due to the Mediterranean Sea’s cold waters. After their creation, they can take the characteristics of tropical or sub-tropical storms. One of the most affected countries (by the formation of medicane) is Greece. According to meteorological reports concerning the establishment of this type of storm near Greece, medicanes result in several inches of rain, rough seas across the country, and the formation of destructive winds advancing at speed as high as 60 MPH; this makes it similar to a tropical storm. It can also be experienced across the Atlantic Ocean where medicanes exhibits similar characteristics as those of the subtropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean.

Features of Medicanes

Since medicanes have been classified as a type of tropical cyclones, they exhibit similar characteristics. Therefore, just like the tropical cyclones, a medicane is a low-pressure system that is driven by huge thunderstorms that are crowded around the center of the storm. The thunderstorms that generally power these storms acquire their energy from warm ocean waters; the air around these storms is uniformly warm throughout the storm. The medicane is formed through what is known as an upper-level-cut off low.

No official agency is mandated with the naming of medicanes. Just like any other type of storm, medicanes are typically formed across large water bodies such as the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. However, the formation of these storms is rarely experienced in the Mediterranean Sea since the Mediterranean waters don’t get easily warm as compared to that of the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean.


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