"Medicane" over Ionian Sea causes storms in Italy and Greece

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Published on 12 October 2020

Tropical storm-like cyclone causing storms, severe wind and high seas over Ionian Sea.

Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone, also referred to as a Medicane or a Mediterranean hurricane, named 'Ianos' by the Hellenic National Meteorological Service, started to develop over the Mediterranean Sea on 14 September, just off North African shores.

The general synoptic environment was characterised by an upper level low over the Mediterranean, where additional synoptic forcing was ensured by the 300 hPa jet-stream bringing dry air (black in water vapour image) with high vorticity values from the upper levels to the system (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Left: Meteosat-11 IR10.8, 14 September 09:00 UTC, with 500 hPa absolute topography (blue) and Mean Sea Level Pressure (black) overlaid. Right: Meteosat-11 WV6.2, 14 September 18:00 UTC, with 300 hPa wind barbs overlaid

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