In the US, the term would seem to suggest an expansion of federal government medical benefit programs, following medicare and medicaid, possibly for those seniors who need canes. The reality is that the term is an abbreviation for “Mediterranean” and “hurricanes,” and it is also includes typhoons.  The storms originate in the Mediterranean sea and they tend to be smaller and weaker than their tropical equivalents.  Still their storms, like medicane Daniel, unleashed extreme weather that recently killed thousands of people in Libya.

Medicanes will form over the Mediterranean Sea’s cooler waters and because the Sea is surrounded by land the medicanes tend to be less extensive than hurricanes that form over warmer, unbounded wide-open oceans.  Yet climate change is intensifying these storms, as much else in our environments.


Some further ideas to explore on Medicanes:

Have there been any medicanes that have affected the area where you live?

Are there measures for predicting when a medicane will unleash a violent storm?

If so, how can these measures be improved?



Agence France-Presse, “What are medicanes? The ‘supercharged’ Mediterranean storms that could become more frequent,” The Guardian (14 Sept 2023). via @guardian

Derek Van Dam, “‘Medicane’ is not just a weather buzzword. It’s a real phenomenon,” CNN (27 Oct 2021).

Sarah Fecht, “What We Know About Medicanes—Hurricane-Like Storms in the Mediterranean,” Columbia Climate School, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (21 Nov 2017).

NASA Earth Observatory, Storm Aftermath in Derna, Libya.

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