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Saharan Dust Between Italy and Greece – May 19th, 2013

39.0N 18.6E

May 19th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day, Winds

Mediterranean Sea – May 19th, 2013

A cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert blows across the Mediterranean Sea, hovering between Italy (left) and Greece (right). The dust is likely related to a phenomenon known as the Sirocco, a Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara and reaches hurricane speeds in North Africa and Southern Europe.

It arises from a warm, dry, tropical airmass that is pulled northward by low-pressure cells moving eastward across the Mediterranean Sea, with the wind originating in the Arabian or Sahara deserts. The hotter, drier continental air mixes with the cooler, wetter air of the maritime cyclone, and the counter-clockwise circulation of the low propels the mixed air across the southern coasts of Europe.

Windstorm Xynthia Causes 45 Deaths in Western Europe

48.8N 2.3E

March 1st, 2010 Category: Winds

France - February 28th, 2010

France - February 28th, 2010

At least 45 people have been killed in storms that have lashed parts of Spain, Portugal and France, officials say. Forty of the victims died in western France, where many drowned or were hit by parts of buildings or falling trees.

The windstorm system, named Xynthia, has put five of the 95 French departments on red alert – only the second such warning since the new emergency system was introduced in 2001. Here, the storm can be seen over northern France. Upon opening the full image, Spain and Portugal are visible to the south, and Norway can be seen to the north.

Winds of up to 140km/h (87mph) caused chaos as they moved from Portugal up through the Bay of Biscay. Upon reaching Paris, wind speeds hitting 175km/h at the top of the Eiffel Tower, were reported. The storm system is moving north-eastwards and was expected to reach Denmark by the evening of the 28th, French meteorological authorities said.

Worst affected are the Vendee and Charente-Maritime regions on the western coast of France. Huge waves and strong gusts battered many coastal towns, spreading floods inland and destroying buildings. Residents took to their roofs in the Vendee region and police helicopters were in action attempting to locate and rescue them.

At least a dozen people are said to be missing in France and 59 others injured. In Germany, a man was killed and his wife injured when a tree fell on their car in the Black Forest region. Earlier on Sunday a falling tree killed two Spanish men in a car near Burgos. A Spanish woman was killed by a falling wall in Galicia, and a Portuguese boy was killed by a tree in Paredes.

More than a million homes in France have lost electricity. Rail services were severely affected in northern Spain and a number of trains in western France were delayed because of flooded tracks. Air France said 70 of its flights had been cancelled from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Spain’s Canary Islands, particularly La Palma, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, were also hit by the storm, although there was no great damage.

Scirocco

September 6th, 2008 Category: Winds

SciroccoScirocco

September 6th, 2008 - Scirocco

Dust storm detail

Dust storm detail

Scirocco and Sirocco are Italian names from which its Greek name, “σιρόκος” (sirokos), is derived, while Jugo is its name in Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia, and Ghibli in Libya. The Sirocco reaching the south of France contains more moisture and is known as the marin. In the Canary Islands this oppressive, hot, dust bearing wind is called La Kalima.

The name of Sirocco in the southwest of Spain is Leveche, and Xaloc in Catalan. The Leveche usually carries red Sahara dust and is associated with storms and heavy rain, the wind being very strong, lasting about 4 days. In Malta, it is known as Xlokk.

It arises from a warm, dry, tropical airmass that is pulled northward by low-pressure cells moving eastward across the Mediterranean Sea, with the wind originating in the Arabian or Sahara deserts. The hotter, drier continental air mixes with the cooler, wetter air of the maritime cyclone, and the counter-clockwise circulation of the low propels the mixed air across the southern coasts of Europe.

The Sirocco causes dusty, dry conditions along the northern coast of Africa, storms in the Mediterranean Sea, and cold, wet weather in Europe. The Sirocco’s duration may be a half day or many days. Many people attribute health problems to the Sirocco either because of the heat and dust along the African coastal regions or the cool dampness in Europe. The dust within the Sirocco winds can degrade mechanical devices and invade domiciles.

These winds with speeds of almost 100 kilometres per hour are most common during the autumn and the spring. They reach a peak in March and in November, with a maximum speed of about 100 km/h (55 knots).

source Wikipedia

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