by Caleb, KE0FOE
Did you know that the Mediterranean Sea can sometimes spawn storms very similar to hurricanes? These tropical-like cyclones over the Mediterranean Sea are often referred to as “medicanes”. Like tropical storms and hurricanes, medicanes develop over warm waters and have strong winds and torrential rainfall that rotate around an eye. However, unlike hurricanes, medicanes can develop over waters as cool as 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and they rely on cool air above instead of the warm core needed by a hurricane.
Medicanes can develop sustained winds as high as those in a Category 1 hurricane. However, they are relatively rare with only around 100 medicanes recorded over the Mediterranean Sea between 1947 and 2011.
The most recent medicane – Medicane Ruma – was recorded last month. Medicane Ruma slammed into Greece on November 16, 2017, bringing flash floods and mudslides. It reportedly killed 20 people and damaged 1,000 homes.