There are currently several active tropical cyclones over the Atlantic. Category 2 Hurricane “Sally” reached the US south coast (Alabama area, Florida Panhandle) on Wednesday and is causing destruction from storms, heavy rain and storm surges.
But something is also happening in the Mediterranean: In the area of an altitude low, a thunderstorm low formed on Tuesday over the very warm Mediterranean north of Libya. This shifts with intensification north-east to the Ionian Sea and is expected to develop into a medicane called “Cassilda”.
Medicane vs. hurricane
A medicane is a Mediterranean cyclone with characteristics of a tropical storm. It has a lot in common with a hurricane: it can bring dangerous gale force gusts, meter-high waves and torrential rain. As with a hurricane, a cloud-free eye can be seen on satellite images.
But there are also differences to tropical cyclones in terms of formation, extent, lifespan and intensity. A strong medicane can reach level 1 on the five-point hurricane scale.
“Cassilda” sets course for Greece
The exact development and trajectory of «Cassilda» is still unclear. The Medicane is likely to cause storm and hurricane gusts, large amounts of rain and high waves on the Ionian Sea on Thursday. He is expected to face western Greece early on Friday morning. In addition to storms, there is also a threat of torrential rainfalls with 200 to 400 mm in places until Saturday.