Publication details.


Author(s):T. Toomey, A. Amores, M. Marcos, A. Orfila, R. Romero
Title:Coastal Hazards of Tropical-Like Cyclones Over the Mediterranean Sea
Journal:Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans
Issue No.:2
Abstract:© 2022. The Authors.Medicanes, for Mediterranean hurricanes, are mesoscale cyclones with morphological and physical characteristics similar to tropical cyclones. Although less intense, smaller, and rarer than their Atlantic counterparts, medicanes are very hazardous events threatening islands and continental coasts within the Mediterranean Sea. The latest strong episode, Medicane Ianos (September 2020), resulted in severe damages in Greece and several casualties. This work investigates the oceanic response to these extreme events along the Mediterranean coasts under present-day and future (late 21st century) climate conditions. To this end, a coupled hydrodynamic-wave model is used to simulate both storm surges and wind-waves generation and propagation in the Mediterranean Sea at high resolution (∼2 km) along the coastlines. A data set of thousands of medicanes synthetically generated from 20 global climate models and two atmospheric reanalyses is used to derive the atmospheric forcing fields. Regional coastal hazards assessment is performed for the present and future climates. For the first period, highest medicane-induced waves are found in the central and the southwest part of the western Mediterranean, while greatest storm surges are found in the Adriatic Sea and regions characterized by wide and gently sloping continental shelves. Results obtained for future changes show amplitudes generally smaller than the associated uncertainty due to limited agreement among models (especially for coastal elevation). Though, model consensus is reached (60–75%) and relative intensity change is significant (10–20%) at some locations (e.g., 1 m increase of medicane-induced significant wave height on average for south coasts of Sicilia).

Related staff

  • Alejandro Orfila Förster
  • Marta Marcos Moreno
  • Tim Toomey
  • Ángel Miguel Amores Maimó
  • Related departments

  • Oceanography and Global Change
  • Related research groups

  • Marine Technologies, Operational and Coastal Oceanography