‘Zorbas’ poised to become the 18th Medicane since 2010

Written by on September 26, 2018 in Rest of Europe with 0 Comments

For several days now the models have been in good agreement on the development of a warm or semi warm core low over the central Med basin off Libya and is expected to intensify as it’s projected to track across southern Greece this weekend.

These relatively rare features are known as Medicanes or Mediterranean hurricanes. They tend to initially develop from a dipping trough which pushes out over the warm Mediterannean waters. The cool upper level energy of the trough triggers thunderstorms and these can grow and cluster.

If the setup is just right, the growing thunderstorm cluster can begin to rotate, drawing in warm surrounding air and more importantly off the warm water below in a low sheared environment. The exact same principle which can be found in the tropics. The formation of a closed warm core low can mature with the formation of an eye.

How rare?

Since 1947, there have been 107 recorded tropical or subtropical cyclones in the Mediterranean. Though these systems can pop up at any time of the year, September is historically the most active month but the winter months are also quite active. September through December is the busiest time given waters are warmest and when summer heat lingers over the Med well into winter.

Waters are currently around 27-28C to the SW of Greece where the models show this developing.

It appears to spin up thanks to a big hooking dip into the jet stream. When the jet reaches the warm Med at this time of the year, look out for these to quickly spin up.

Credit: wxcharts.eu

Some modelling is a little crazy with strength. The ARPEGE takes this thing into Greece packing a Cat 2 punch.

Credit: wxcharts.eu

GFS has a closed but lopsided system moving into southern Greece with most of the weather on it’s east side.

Credit: wxcharts.eu

Here’s a satellite image of 90M from October 2016.

Medicane Zuma from November 2017.


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