Analysis of tropical-like cyclones over the Mediterranean Sea through a combined modeling and satellite approach



[1] Several Mediterranean vortices with characteristics similar to tropical cyclones are analyzed by means of numerical simulations, satellite products and lightning data. Numerical analysis suggests that the broad tropical-like cyclone category includes in reality a set of different cyclones, ranging from very small and weak vortices to larger and stronger cyclones. One case displays a much longer persistence of tropical features than the other events. The analysis of the tracks identifies two preferred areas of occurrence: the Ionian sea and the Balearic Islands. The satellite analysis of cloud top height and retrieved rainfall indicates that the stage characterized by the most intense convective activity and rainfall anticipates the mature phase, when the cyclone is more intense and characterized by tropical features, during which convection is shallower and rainfall weaker. This result is confirmed by a preliminary analysis of the lightning activity.