Red warnings have been issued for “particularly severe” weather as Storm Daniel batters Greece
A large-scale storm is lashing the waters of the southeastern Mediterranean, and will continue to unleash potential historic amounts of rain in Greece this week. Earlier this week, the storm was named “Daniel” because of the massive flooding it threatens to bring to the area.
Heavy rain is expected to lash the southeastern corner of the Mediterranean until late this week as Daniel heads toward western Greece. Due to the heavy rainfall nature of Greece, the Hellenic National Meteorological Service, Greece’s state meteorological agency, issued Red Alerts, warning of “particularly severe” weather with heavy rains and storms across the region.
In the government’s three-level warning system, red alerts are the highest category of warning that can be issued for a country, and are used specifically for dangerous and severe weather events.
The storm comes just days after a separate storm caused severe flooding on the other end of the Mediterranean, across parts of Spain and Portugal, over the weekend.
“Heavy rain will continue in Greece through Thursday thanks to the Omega Massif keeping Storm Daniel nearby for a few more days,” Jason Nichols, AccuWeather’s chief meteorologist, explained.
AccuWeather experts define an “omega mass” as a twisted pattern in the jet stream, which resembles the Greek letter “omega,” hence the name. This setting tends to prevent the natural movement of weather features from west to east and tends to maintain cold and windy conditions in some areas.
On Monday, a report from the European Severe Weather Database indicated that a water column had spread off the coast of Mantodi, a village in the Euboea region in east-central Greece, as a result of the energy vortex from Daniele. Another funnel cloud was observed along the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea at Bagnara Calabra, located in southern Italy. Meteorologists warn of the possibility of additional water springs along the coasts during the coming days, especially along the southern coasts.
A visible satellite image shows the storm circling over the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday evening, local time.
The local fire department in Volos, Greece reported one death after a wall collapsed on a man, according to an Associated Press report. Another man was reported missing in the area and is believed to have been washed away by the heavy flood waters.
On Tuesday, police departments ordered a traffic ban at the hardest-hit locations in Volos, Pelion and Skiathos Island, all located in east-central Greece. With additional rainfall expected across the country, more traffic restrictions may be issued until the historic storm subsides.
On Tuesday, the Greek village of Portaria reported an average of 23.65 inches (600.6 mm) of rain since the start of the day, with rain continuing to fall across the region. Other nearby locations across will The provinces of Agia along the central eastern coast of Greece recorded amounts of 7.64 inches (194 mm).
The Zeus long-range lightning detection system, operated by the National Observatory in Athens, recorded more than 30,000 lightning strikes across Greece by the evening hours of Tuesday, local time, as powerful thunderstorms continued over the region. From Sunday afternoon to Tuesday evening, more than 220,000 lightning events were recorded across the region by AccuWeather Lightning Strike data.
More than 222,000 lightning strikes were detected over Greece, Turkey, the Black Sea, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania and the Mediterranean Sea in the previous two days on Tuesday evening local time.
AccuWeather meteorologists say that as the feature moves over the warm waters of the Mediterranean, it will likely become what meteorologists refer to as “medicine.”
Medicane is a combination of the two words “Mediterranean” and “hurricane”. Although not an official term, the name separates the regional differences experienced by these storms, compared to tropical storms, hurricanes, or hurricanes. On rare occasions, medical hurricanes have been recorded as Category 1 hurricane strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with sustained winds of up to 74 mph (119 km/h). And meteorologists say these powerful storms are becoming more common than they were in the past.
“We’ve seen more of these cases reported in the past 20 years than in previous time periods,” said Tyler Ruiz, AccuWeather’s chief meteorologist. “The last third of the year, which is fall and early winter, is when we see them.”
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Sea temperatures in the southern Mediterranean currently range between 80-86°F (27-30°C). By comparison, these values are high enough to meet the threshold for tropical development in ocean basins around the world.
Significant flood effects, bridge collapses, overflowing riverbanks and mudslides occurred at locations in Bulgaria, North Macedonia and southern Albania earlier this week. From mid to late this week, less rain and winds from Daniel are expected across the Balkans.
The outer rainbands extending from Daniele reach parts of southern Italy, and rain is expected to continue in these locations through the end of the week as the storm slowly moves south across the Mediterranean.
Rainfall totals in southern Italy were not as extreme as in Greece, but amounts of 1.15 inches (29.2 mm) were observed across higher terrain in Sella National Park.
And in the western Mediterranean last weekend, a separate storm caused widespread severe thunderstorms and heavy rain in parts of Spain and Portugal. The Spanish weather agency named the hurricane “Dana” over the weekend.
Numerous reports of flooding, damaging winds, hail and tornadoes occurred as the storm spread over the Iberian Peninsula. The floods were so severe that a 10-year-old boy had to be rescued after hanging from a tree overnight in order to escape the heavy flood waters.
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