A large-scale Mediterranean cyclone is looking more and more likely for development in the Ionian sea. The development of the tropical cyclone is likely to occur on September 28th, pending GFS and ICON-EU hold true. If this happens (and it likely will), it could lash the southwest portion of Greece with large swells, intense winds, and flash floods on Saturday/Sunday.
The “Medicane,” a term used to describe Mediterranean tropical cyclones, would have three full days of fuel as it spins over the warm seas before making landfall in Greece. This would substantially add to the intensity potential of the storm.
But what may be more compelling is that the development of the storm is being predicted by Euro models well in advance of its formation.
Tropical Cyclone Greece – Development Patterns In Play
UPDATE (Sep 26th ARPEGE model)
You can see below that the model is continuing to confirm a life-threatening situation to southern Greece. The “dirty side” of the storm will most certainly lash regions previously devastated by wildfires.
The western portion of Europe is currently experiencing warm, but stable weather patterns. However, the eastern portion is locked into a more turbulent pattern due to a powerful arctic front that’s holding strong. This has created a ridge that runs along southeast Europe which is likely to cause cold advection in the Mediterranian. This ultimately will allow for cyclonic fuel.
Furthermore, this pattern is being predicted eerily early.
The Mediterranean sea is still a warm beast that can help brew a major cyclone. Its currently hovering around 82 to 83 degrees, which is a ripe temperature for cyclonic production.
The Liguria and Adriatic seas are warm as well, as can be seen on the sea heat map below.
The absurdity involved in this storm is that its warm air mass development is being predicted far earlier than normal. The warm air mass will develop in a surrounding area of cooler air mass.
Here’s a look at the dangerous dynamics of what will likely become a dangerous cyclone. This predictive model has winds hitting 89 MPH at the core, but the overall windfield is robust and covers a large amount of real estate.
On the Saffir-Simpson scale, this would be a strong category 1 hurricane.
The cyclone should begin development on Friday morning in the southern portion of the Ionian sea. It will take a northwest route initially, but eventually be steered eastward directly for Greece.
It’s important to remember that Greece experienced a number of violent wildfires this summer. Charred landscape combined with torrential downpours and wind are a formula for devastating mudslides.
Visit my hurricane survival guide for life-saving information.
When it comes to cyclones, rainfall is ultimately the most devastating consequence. In the case of Greece, the situation is amplified due to the previous wildfire conditions.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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