Why a hurricane devastated the Italian coast | Weather expert speaks


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The weather events that hit our coasts were an out of the ordinary phenomenon, which did tens and tens of millions in damage with its devastating fury. Some have blamed pollution, global warming based on “unscientific” research.

Is that really the case? To see for ourselves, we contacted Riccardo Ravagnan, Meteo Forecast & Services Manager at marine meteorology “giant” Meteomed who also warned us, “It’s not over yet.”

Riccardo Ravagnan, Weather Forecast & Services Manager
by Meteomed.

“To explain what happened,” Ravagnan began, “I use the words of our climate analysis expert, Francesco Nucera. What has characterized the event these days, in addition to the precipitation, is the strong winds that swept from north to south across the Peninsula. In Liguria, the anemometer at Marina di Loano recorded a peak of 90 knots while a gust of 85 knots was recorded at Follonica in Tuscany.

The vortex, formed south of the Balearic Islands, has been deepening significantly due to a powerful jet streak, which is an intense strong wind at altitude that blows above 10,000 meters and is usually associated with disturbances. Such wind at altitude works as a kind of vacuum; it sucks in air from below and creates a drop in pressure on the ground.

To compensate for the vacuum in the lower layers, winds blow toward the center of the depression, the stronger the faster the decrease in pressure occurred. This wind is called the isallobaric wind and is added to the wind generated by the pressure difference between one point and another.

Why did a hurricane devastate the coast of Italy?

The powerful Jet streak is then itself capable of increasing the wind on the ground through a transfer of momentum from the bottom to the top, especially where the wind on the ground and the wind at altitude are parallel.”

Ravagnan explains that it’s not over yet: “During these hours, I tried to support a great many customers who, between alerts and real inconveniences, needed continuous support and monitoring of conditions. I must thank all of our staff because the team made themselves available to any of our users who needed to communicate and, unfortunately, at any hour. Safety is the issue closest to our hearts as far as navigation is concerned, and we have not backed down from the need of those who have had to manage a crisis even at the berth!

Among other things, we are preparing for the new wave of bad weather, a new depression, approaching Italy. The low-pressure low currently in Spain over the next 24-36 hours will move toward the Balearic Islands, feeding an intense disturbance front that will bring bad weather across Italy from north to south on Thursday. The worsening will be accompanied by a general strengthening of sirocco winds and seas up to very rough. It will not be like the past few days but we will have some tense situations especially considering the activated hydrogeological risk condition of the country.”

And, on the devastating phenomenon that just occurred, he concludes, “Some time ago we had the opportunity to talk about Mediterranean Cyclones, and in this case the pressure value may be the lowest for such an event. A real Mediterranean Cyclone has hit Italy and will probably go down in history as one of the strongest in recent decades. The pressure below 979 hPa for Piedmont and also for Corsica could even be a record high for a Mediterranean cyclone. In the past, some Medicanes have reached values just below 990hPa.

We remain available to anyone who needs marine weather support, you can contact us at+″



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