From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Medicanes
Mains level : Frequent landfalls of tropical cyclones in India
Very recently, a medicane named Ianos made landfall along the coast of Greece and caused heavy rainfall and flooding on the islands of Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Ithaca.
Try this PYQ:
In the South Atlantic and South-Eastern Pacific regions in tropical latitudes, cyclone does not originate. What is the reason?
(a) Sea surface temperatures are low
(b) Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone seldom occurs
(c) Coriolis force is too weak
(d) Absence of land in those regions
What are Medicanes?
- Medicanes are extra-tropical hurricanes observed over the Mediterranean Sea.
- Medicanes occur more in colder waters than tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons.
- Hence, the cores of these storms are also cold, as compared to the warm cores of tropical cyclones.
- Warmer cores tend to carry more moisture (hence rainfall), are bigger in size and have swifter winds.
- The main societal hazard posed by Medicanes is not usually from destructive winds but through life-threatening torrential rains and flash floods.
Why in news?
- This year is a mild La Niña, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
- La Niña is the cooling phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, as opposed to the warming El Niño phase.
- It is characterized by the unusual cooling of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean.
- A La Niña produces more rain in the central-eastern part, where most of the Mediterranean cyclones develop.