Rare medicane to bring flooding to Egypt, Israel
What do we get when we see a storm with tropical storm-like characteristics over the Mediterranean? We get a "medicane." Let's find out more about this unusual storm system.
A rare storm system with tropical characteristics located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea is expected to bring wind and flooding to portions of Egypt and southern Israel through the start of the weekend.
Known as medicanes, these semi-tropical storms form across the Mediterranean Sea and have similar characteristics of a tropical storm or hurricane.
A medicane is seen across the Egyptian Coast in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (NASA)
Strong wind gusts will occur around the center of the storm system, and bands of heavy rain can lead to flash flooding.
This medicane will take a rare track across Egypt's Sinai Peninsula through Saturday night, bringing the risk of flash flooding and damaging wind gusts with it.
Medicanes are more common in the central or western Mediterranean Sea. They rarely occur this far to the east.
"This is a compact storm," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Houk said. "Its main impacts as far as wind, rain and thunder will be anywhere from northeastern Egypt through Israel and perhaps southern Lebanon into Saturday."
Despite being small in size, significant impacts may target some locations. Flash flooding will generally impact areas to the east of Alexandria and north of Cairo, although both cities can get some rainfall.
Port Said, Arish and the Gaza Strip are areas that will be at greatest risk for downpours that can cause flash flooding. Normally dry rivers may quickly swell with water.
As bands of rain sweep across the area, 25-50 mm (1-2 inches) of rain can fall within a short period of time. An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ rainfall of 150 mm (6 inches) is possible where the storm moves onshore.
Houk warns that "Even amounts to 25 mm (1 inch) in a short time in these normally dry areas can bring flooding problems."
In addition to rain, strong winds will lash the coast of northeastern Egypt through Saturday. Houk expected the winds to reach near 80 km/h (50 mph). This will be strong enough to cause minor wind damage in coastal areas.
The shipyard at Port Said may endure damage and delays due to the wind. The region typically does not get wind of this magnitude.
Any strong inland winds will be more isolated in nature and will occur in heavier rain bands.
In areas where strong winds occur before any rainfall, blowing sand and dust may limit visibility, causing travel delays.
Once the storm moves inland and away from Mediterranean moisture, it will quickly dissipate by the second half of the weekend.Report a Typo