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What is the difference between Medicanes and Hurricanes?

Mediterranean tropical-like cyclones are commonly known as 'Medicanes' or 'Mediterranean hurricanes'. Medicanes do not occur frequently and are not strong but on rare occasions, they have reached the strength of Category 1 hurricane. However, scientists have warned recently that these kinds of cyclones have now become frequent due to the human-induced climate change. 

What is the difference between Medicanes and Hurricanes?

Medicanes Hurricanes
1- Medicanes are hybrid storms featuring an eye and are generally formed during the winter season. 1- Hurricanes are rapidly rotating storm system with a low-pressure centre, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation with strong winds and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms. 
2- They have strong winds spinning around a core with torrential rainfall.  2- They are winds whirling round their central clear eye, with their winds blowing counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. 
3- They lasts for about 24 to 48 hours.  3- The Hurricanes may last long for a month. 
4- They are less intense (30 mph - 70 mph). They rarely reach the strength of a Category 1 hurricane.  4- They are intense and in extreme cases may exceed 150 mph - 200 mph. 
5- They occur once or twice in a year.  5- They occur frequently in a year. 
6- Core of medicanes is colder.  6- Core of hurricanes is warmer. 

 

Image source: Wikipedia

Why it is in news?

Recently, scientists have warned that medicanes have started occurring frequently due to the human-induced global warming. 

The surface temperature of the Mediterranean sea has increased, giving them the appearance of a tropical cyclone. The increased sea surface temperature is also raising the wind speed of the storms, causing heavy rainfall. 

Interesting Facts about Medicanes and Hurricanes

1- Medicanes are not formally classified as cyclones and are not monitored by any agency. 

2- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Hellenic National Meteorological Service are the governing agencies for Medicanes.

3- Medicanes used to occur only in the Mediterranean sea, but in the last two decades they have been formed over the Black sea too.  

4- The cyclones in the Mediterranean sea do not form easily because it is dry but due to SST (sea surface temperature), it has caused floods in Italy, Spain and France. 

5- As per the World Meteorological Organisation, this year is a La Nina year. This means that the number of hurricanes will occur less this year. However, due to global warming, the hurricanes are very active. 

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