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. 

List of cyclones in India in 2019-20

What is an Ex-Tropical Cyclone?

Related Categories

Also Read +

Live users reading now