Date: 02 Aug 2013

A long-term climatology of medicanes

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Abstract

Medicanes, intense and destructive mesoscale cyclones exhibiting several similarities with tropical hurricanes, are known to struck occasionally the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to a high-resolution dynamical downscaling effort, we are able to study for the first time the long-term climatology of those rare storms in a systematic way. The distribution of medicanes frequency in space and time is discussed, and the environmental factors responsible for their formation are investigated. We find that medicanes develop in those areas of the Mediterranean region where intrusions of cold air in the upper troposphere can produce configurations of thermodynamical disequilibrium of the atmosphere similar to those associated with the formation of tropical cyclones.