October 1, 2020

blogger - Medicane Has Arrived

Each time we have a strong storm in the Mediterranean towards the end of Summer and Autumn the word Medicane has started to pop up. Medicane meaning for Mediterranean Hurricane is how the media has started to call these storms. But is this a new phenomenon or are we looking at media sensationalism. Was Rapallo 2018, and Ionian Greek Islands 2020 a blip, or we will be seeing more of these in the near future. 
Due to the particular layout of the Mediterranean, Atlantic type Hurricanes are very difficult to happen. The reasons are two, not enough open sea space for the storm to gather energy, and the global depth of the Mediterranean sea. Enters global warming, the rise in temperatures, which equals a more refined fuel for the storm to gather energy faster, which means a stretch of water of couple hundred miles is enough.
Yes and no. Late Summers and Autumn storms are nothing new in the Mediterranean. Even the same Rapallo had a very bad one in year 2000. Then someone decided later to that to redesign and lower the breakwater so that from the water front the Portofino hills can be seen. Enters the storm of 2018 which was stronger to that of 2000 and there you have the result. Past months Greek storm and damage caused most of the mayhem in the Summer semi-protected marinas, which are protected to various winds minus that one direction. 
Going a bit back in time and out of my mind we had other similar storms which did a lot of damage; Mallorca in around 2011, South of France a year or so after, and also one in the Eolian Islands in 2004 around end July. All these storms had winds beyond sixty knots meaning that in the Atlantic they would have been classified as a hurricane. So the reality is that Medicane or end of Summer Mediterranean storms have always happened and will continue to happen. It is possible that due to the rise in sea temperatures towards the mid-end Summer season they have that extra power in the present or near future. 
So if you are still at sea during these months watch out a bit more and when the forecast is called try and go to the safest possible harbour.

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