Low pressure vortex Daniel entered the Mediterranean Sea and turned into a dangerous Mediterranean hurricane. It brings heavy rains to Greece, and that’s just the beginning. The tvnmeteo.pl synoptic channel Arleta Unton-Pyziołek predicts that up to 1000 liters of water per square meter may fall in a few days.
During the Millennium Flood of 1997, about 500 liters of water per square meter fell on the Polish-Czech border within a few days. Hundreds of square kilometers of southwestern Poland were flooded due to rivers bursting from their banks. Meanwhile, in Greece, several days of rain brought 700 liters of water to places in the central-eastern part of the country, and it is still raining there, meteorologist Arletta Onton-Pyziolek told tvnmeteo. .pl.
What is happening now, among other cities in the city of Zagora on the Pelion peninsula in Thessaly, resembles the scenes we know. In 1997 and now, buckets of water have been dumped across the Mediterranean depression. “Our” came from the Genoese region and stopped over the Sudetenland. The low pressure vortex “Daniel” is currently centered over Greece, formed over Turkey and then entered the waters of the eastern Mediterranean. It behaved like an Atlantic tropical cyclone that entered the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks to the steam, it gained strength and became a dangerous hurricane in the Mediterranean Sea – the so-called Medican.
Mud floods in Greece
Cities like Volos in the region of Thessaly are engulfed by a mass of mud, not so much water as a mudflow. The force of the water in this area not only destroys bridges, but on its way to the lower areas, it removes everything that comes across it on the way.
In the red coastal waters, where the azure waters of the Aegean loomed not so long ago, there are cars. The amount of rain that fell in Greece in the past few hours is rare in Europe, and the meteorological station in the city of Zagora stopped broadcasting and is believed to have malfunctioned.
What are doctors?
Something similar happens when a tropical cyclone passes over the Caribbean or the southern United States. Weather stations reach a critical moment when measuring wind or precipitation amounts and fall silent. The depression over Greece can be compared to a tropical cyclone. It is a swirl of air that has developed over extremely warm surface waters – now around 30°C around Cyprus, 28°C around Rhodes, and 26°C around Crete. . To form a tropical cyclone, and to operate the whole machine in the atmosphere, a water temperature of 26.5 degrees Celsius is required, so conditions were ideal, although of course the medicane does not reach the size of a tropical cyclone.
Medicans are deep depressions that typically form over the central Mediterranean. A cyclone, unlike a tropical cyclone, can form when the water temperature is below 26°C, usually in late summer and fall, when the water is at its warmest. They are created as a result of the flow of cold air, usually arctic, over hot seawater. Only in recent days has a strong infiltration of cold air been observed directly from the Russian subarctic region into the eastern Mediterranean. The drop of hail on Greece added fuel to the fire and caused clouds to rise strongly over the Greek mountains and hills.
When the cold air from the north collided with the warm and moist air above the sea water, a group of thunderclouds formed for the first time, which began to rotate slowly over time. In the process of giving birth to the doctor, the center of the whirlpool can sometimes be distinguished clear and wind, the eye of the hurricane. This type of phenomenon occurs in the Mediterranean region once or twice a year on average. But as the region continues to warm, with wildfires providing additional condensation nuclei to form rain clouds, weather risks increase.
Mediterranean cyclones may not only occur more often, but they may become stronger and become as dangerous as tropical cyclones. It has been researched so far that sustained winds around the center of the vortex can reach strength equivalent to that of a Category 1 hurricane on the five-point ascending Saffir-Simpson scale (i.e., up to about 150 kilometers per hour). But the Medicans bring not only strong winds but also heavy rains, which poses a risk of landslides and mudslides in the mountainous region. After all, Greece is a region that has been changing for thousands of years, exploited by humans, with a thin layer of soil. Unfortunately, landslides in fall and winter are the norm there.
Who throws “buckets of water”
The outlook for central and eastern Greece is disastrous. “Water buckets” dumps are still stationed. According to calculations of the global GFS model, the decrease may reach about 500 l/m2. This means that a total of over 1,000 l/m2 is expected to fall in the Thessaly region over the next few days. These totals exceed the annual rainfall totals for this region.
For weeks we have been looking at Greece, and not only because of the feelings that Poles have towards Greece and the Greeks. Fires, heat and now floods involuntarily make us ask the question – is this the beginning of the end of paradise? Because Greece and its islands have so far been a very interesting place to live, although not without challenges.
While wandering around Crete at the end of August, looking at the ancient palace of the Minoan culture at Knossos and the artifacts in the impressive archaeological museum at Iraklion, I listened to my Polish guide’s story about the end of that world. The cradle of European civilization, an impressive prosperity and art, which lasted for a long time, came to an end in the blink of an eye – as a result of the forces of nature, a volcanic eruption and a powerful tsunami. People at that time were forced to leave their lands. Everything indicates that a new chapter now begins in the history of Greece.
Main image source: PAP/EPA/Nicholaos Hatzipoulitis, EUMITSAT
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