Europe Is Bracing For a Rare “Medicane”—Here’s What That Means
The tropical hurricane-like storm is expected to deliver heavy rain and strong winds to southern Greece and western Turkey.
While the Caribbean and Southeastern United States might be all too familiar with the , the idyllic Mediterranean coasts are not. Yet, in a rare twist in an , a tropical cyclone-like storm is currently swirling over the Mediterranean’s piercing blue seas.
Dubbed a (Mediterranean + hurricane), the weather phenomenon forms when non-tropical weather patterns feed off the sea’s warm waters and produce systems that exhibit tropical-like qualities, such as strong, swirling winds and an eye at the center. According to a 2011 study, only 1-2 Medicanes occur per year, usually during the months of September and October when the water is at its warmest.
This storm, which meteorologists are calling Zorba, is currently barreling toward the Greek islands, where it’s expected to drop several inches of rain over the weekend before making its way toward western Turkey. On Crete and other Southern Greek islands, the downpour—as much as 8 inches of rain—could lead to flash flooding and mudslides. , the storm could also deliver widespread 60 mph wind gusts—and possibly isolated gusts of up to 90 mph—to parts of coastal Greece and Turkey.
On the bright side, Medicanes are typically small systems that don’t tend to stick around for long. According to AccuWeather, most of Zorba’s side effects will have subsided by early Monday.