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Mediterranean tropical cyclones, known as "medicanes", are a rare meteorological phenomenon in which tropical cyclones form in the Mediterranean Sea. The reason why they are so rare is because the Mediterranean region is fairly dry and so tropical cyclongenesis cannot occur, however if moisture is able to reach the region, usually in the form of a extratropical cyclone from the North Atlantic, then it may pass over the warmer waters of the sea and undergo tropical transition into a tropical cyclone.

 

They are more common in the autumn and winter months when the jetstream moves farther south and allows low-pressure areas to reach the Mediterranean region.

 

There have been rare instances of them though. Between 1948 and 2011, only 99 low-pressure systems with tropical or subtropical characteristics formed in the Mediterranean Basin. One example is the storm pictured below that formed in January 1995, that formed a distinctive eye.

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Edited by ScottRichards10
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