Rare Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone forms, heading toward Greece

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Rare Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone forms, heading toward Greece

A rare tropical cyclone-like storm dubbed ‘medicane’ formed in the Ionian sea on November 17, 2017, and is affecting the region with heavy rain and strong winds. This strengthening storm is expected to hit the western coast of Greece on Saturday, November 18 or early November 19. This is the second medicane to form this year and the second within the past 20 days.

Named Numa by the Free University of Berlin, and known as Zenon in Greece (derived from theonym Zeus), the center of this system is currently located southeast of Italy. Heavy rain it produced over the past couple of days has already caused severe flash flooding near Athens, Greece, on November 15, killing at least 16 people and leaving 2 others missing.

Heavy rain is still affecting the country, causing serious flooding:




The system is strengthening and is expected to start moving east towards the western coast of Greece on November 18.

Numa will dump more heavy rain on already saturated ground and most like result in another wave of serious flash flooding across the country.

Medicanes, short for Mediterranean hurricanes, are relatively rare in Europe, typically forming once or twice each year. They can be very destructive and deadly, even when they don’t reach their full potential.

This is Europe’s second medicane this year and the second within 20 days. The last one started forming on October 28 and dissipated before October 30, after striking Malta with strong winds and large waves. The previous one formed October 31, 2016, also in the Ionian Sea, between the west coast of Greece and southern Italy.

Although the first official medicane was named by NOAA in 2011 (Medicane Rolf), such storms have been observed way before that. In 1969, for example, a very strong medicane hit the coast of north Africa, killing nearly 600 people in Tunisia and Algeria.

​Medicane Numa, also known as Zenon, on November 17, 2017

Medicane Numa, also known as Zenon, on November 17, 2017. Credit: NASA Aqua/MODIS

There is still no official forecasting center dedicated to medicanes, but since some studies predict there will be more of them in the future, it might be a good time to form one.

It is interesting to note that the name Numa when written backward says Amun. Amun was a major ancient Egyptian deity who appears as a member of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. It was associated with wind and known in Greece as Zeus, god of sky and thunder. Greek name Zenon is derived from the theonym Zeus.


November 18 @ 02:20 UTC

The system has developed a well-defined eye. Its center is just southeast of Puglia, southeast Italy. The system is still expected to gain more strength and make landfall over the coast of western Greece late Saturday/early Sunday, November 19.

Medicane Numa (Alex) EMMC forecast track November 18, 2017

Medicane Numa (Alex, Zenon) EMMC forecast track November 18, 2017

According to the European Mediterranean Medicane Center, a newly formed organization providing unofficial information on tropical storms and cyclones/Medicanes in the Mediterranean Sea, Numa (or Alex as they named it) will soon become a Category 1 Medicane (MTCIS scale) with sustained winds of 120 km/h (74 mph) and could gain more power, reaching up to 160 km/h (99 mph).

Featured image: Medicane Numa, also known as Zenon, on November 17, 2017. Credit: NASA Terra/MODIS



Extreme hail accumulations in Cordoba, Argentina, 1.5 m (4.9 feet) within 15 minutes

Note: This is Argentina’s second major hailstorm in Oct 2017, see links below

Extreme hail accumulations in Cordoba, Argentina, 1.5 m (4.9 feet) within 15 minutes

An intense storm accompanied by strong winds and extreme amounts of hail hit the province of Cordoba, central Argentina on Thursday afternoon, October 26, 2017, causing extensive infrastructural and agricultural damage.

The worst affected were the cities of Rio Tercero, Almafuerte, Berrotaran, Embalse and especially the area around La Cruz.

About 70 mm (2.75 inches) of rain was recorded in La Cruz (population 3 000) and an impressive amount of hail, La Nacion reports. “Everything was over in just 15 minutes. More than 1.5 m (4.9 feet) of hail accumulated, leaving route E-21 completely cut.”

Fire Chief Martin Bustos said meteorologists issued alerts before the storm hit but they ‘never’ imagined such an impressive phenomenon. Bustos said they worked for hours to free the cars trapped on roads and make the roads passable again.

The mayor of La Cruz, Mauricio Jaime, said the city received between 50 and 70 mm (1.96 – 2.75 inches) of rain and added that although the hailstones were not large, the amount was impressive.

Franco Cejas, of local FM 98.7, reported that according to a survey carried out in La Cruz, there were four damaged roofs and several affected cars in the urban area. “The worst of the damage was in rural areas surrounding the city,” Cejas said.

One person was injured in neighboring Embalse. According to La Voz, a woman was driving her motorcycle near Embalse when the storm hit. She took shelter under a tree and got stuck in a large amount of hail. She was eventually rescued and treated for hypothermia.

A car and a van were also trapped in hail in the vicinity of La Cruz, Bustos said, adding that it took firefighters almost two hours to rescue them.

The storm damaged numerous homes, cars and trees, as well as crops.

Impressive hail accumulation in Cordoba, Argentina on October 26, 2017

Hail accumulation near La Cruz, Cordoba, Argentina on October 26, 2017. Credit: SMN

Impressive hail accumulation in Cordoba, Argentina on October 26, 2017

Hail accumulation near La Cruz, Cordoba, Argentina on October 26, 2017. Credit: SMN

Impressive hail accumulation in Cordoba, Argentina on October 26, 2017

Hail accumulation near La Cruz, Cordoba, Argentina on October 26, 2017. Credit: SMN

A similar storm hit the province of Formosa on October 25. Although hail accumulations were nowhere near those we saw in Cordoba yesterday, hailstones were considerably larger, up to 8 cm (3.14 inches) in diameter.

Hailstorm in Formosa, Argentina on October 25, 2017

Featured image: Impressive hail accumulation near La Cruz, Cordoba, Argentina on October 26, 2017. Credit: SMN

Severe hailstorm hits Formosa, Argentina, more than 1 000 buildings damaged

An intense hailstorm swept through the municipality of Formosa in northern Argentina late Wednesday afternoon, October 25, 2017, causing severe damage. More than 1 000 buildings were damaged as well as numerous trees and cars after the storm dumped hailstones up to…

October 26, 2017

Violent storm, orange-sized hail hits Corrientes, Argentina

A surprisingly violent hailstorm accompanied by heavy rain hit the city of Corrientes and its surroundings on Sunday, October 8, 2017, causing massive damage to cars and properties. The storm hit in the middle of the afternoon while people were voting for the…

At least 25 killed after massive floods hit Iran

Note: Heart-wrenching footage of some of the worst flooding in memory, sending prayers and waves of healing-love-vibrations to everyone in Iran affected by the flooding. Blessings, {~A~}

April 15, 2017: An unbelievable flood is underway in NW Iran that has swept away 50 villages, overwhelming roads dramatically sweeping cars away as if they were toys. Yet another “Atmospheric River” has apparently caused the intense flooding. Very dramatic footage coming out of Azerbaijan.

At least 25 killed after massive floods hit Iran

At least 25 people have been killed and 16 others are missing after heavy rain caused massive floods and landslides in Iran’s northwest over the past couple of days. Parts of the region saw water levels not seen in the past 40 years. The heaviest downpours were registered on Friday, April 14, 2017.

According to Esma’eel Najjar, the head of the country’s Crisis Management Organization, the affected provinces are East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Kordestan, and Zanjan Provinces.

The worst affected were Azar-Shahr and Ajab-Sheer counties of East Azerbaijan, where at least 19 people were killed and 16 remain missing. Khalil Sa’ei, the head of crisis management at the Provincial Governor’s Office, said the province had witnessed the heaviest downpours of the past several years on Friday. The Ajab-Shir and Azar-Shahr counties had borne the brunt of the disaster, amid reports that water levels in the latter region had risen to levels last seen 40 years ago, Axar reported.

Video courtesy PressTV (April 14, 2017)

Video courtesy Focus Iran (April 14, 2017)

PressTV said Kordestan Province was hit by both flooding and landslides.

Shahin Fat-hi, of the Iranian Red Crescent Society’s Search and Rescue Department, meanwhile, told ISNA that the operations had provided assistance to as many as 1 150 people in 33 cities and villages.

Damage reports are still coming in and search and rescue operations are underway. Military and law enforcement forces have been asked to assist.

Latest reports mention severe damage to infrastructure and at least 50 villages destroyed.

Featured image: Massive floods in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province on April 14, 2017. Credit: PressTV


Severe Storms, Tornadoes to Rattle Mississippi Valley Monday

Heads up, be prepared…

By Brian Edwards, Meteorologist
Apr 24, 2011; 4:10 PM ET
This graphic shows how wind shear, or the twisting of the winds in the atmosphere, contribute to tornadic development.

A major severe weather outbreak is forecast to affect much of the middle and lower Mississippi Valley on Monday.

April 2011 has already been a month to remember in terms of severe weather outbreaks and the damage they have caused.

Just last Friday, an EF-4 ripped through the northern side of the St. Louis metro area.

So far this month, 11 of the first 23 days have each featured over 200 preliminary reports of severe weather across the country. Two of those days had over 1,000 reports of severe weather!

AccuWeather.com meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski has already warned of the multiple tornado outbreaks expected early this upcoming week from the southern Plains through the Ohio Valley.

A strong disturbance will dive into the southern Plains on Monday interacting with warm, moist air in place across the southern portion of the country. This will set the stage for a major outbreak of severe weather.

Monday’s outbreak will begin during the afternoon hours with thunderstorms firing up from eastern Oklahoma and northeastern Texas through Arkansas and the southern half of Missouri. Cities in line for dangerous weather Monday afternoon include Tyler, Texas, Little Rock, Ark., and Springfield, Mo.

Widespread damaging winds, hail to the size of baseballs, and tornadoes will all be possible. There may even be a couple of strong, long track tornadoes due to the amount of wind shear, or twisting of the winds, present in the atmosphere.

Thunderstorms will then expand into portions of the lower Ohio Valley on Monday evening and during the overnight. Severe weather will be possible across Paducah and Louisville, Ky., along with already hard-hit St. Louis, Mo.

By the evening and nighttime hours, thunderstorms will evolve into more organized lines producing widespread wind damage and large hail. Along with these threats, flooding downpours will prevail as many areas will receive multiple thunderstorms throughout the day.

Residents living from the southern Plains through the Ohio Valley should check back with AccuWeather.com frequently as this severe weather outbreak evolves on Monday.


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