The winds of the Mediterranean
Sirocco wind diagram by Piotr Flatau
is derived from the Arabic word sharqiyya
) which means 'easterly
'. This wind has different names in different languages, including:
- Italian: scirocco
- Sicilian: sciroccu
- Spanish: siroco
- Catalan: xaloc
- Maltese: xlokk
- Occitan: siròc or eisseròc
- Greek: σορόκος, romanized: sorókos, or σιρόκος sirókos
- Albanian: shirok
- Croatian: jugo or rarely širok
- Ligurian: sciöco or mainasso
- Libyan Arabic: قبلي, romanized: ghiblī, which means 'coming from the Qibla', or scarcely qibli
- Egyptian Arabic: خمسين, romanized: khamsīn, which means 'fifty' ('fifty-day wind')
- Tunisian Arabic: شلوق, romanized: chlūq, probably from شروق shurūq with the same meaning as sharqiyya; or شهيلي ch'hīlī
- Moroccan Arabic: شرقي, romanized: chergui, also meaning 'easterly'.
It arises from a warm, dry, tropical air mass that is pulled northward by low-pressure cells moving eastward across the Mediterranean Sea
, with the wind originating in the Arabian or Sahara deserts
The hotter, drier continental air mixes with the cooler, wetter air of the maritime cyclone
, and the counter-clockwise circulation of the low propels the mixed air across the southern coasts of Europe
The sirocco causes dusty dry conditions along the northern coast of Africa
, storms in the Mediterranean Sea, and cool wet weather in Europe. The sirocco's duration may be as short as half a day or may last several days. While passing over the Mediterranean Sea, the sirocco picks up moisture; this results in rainfall in the southern part of Italy
, known locally as "blood rain" due to the red sand mixed with the falling rain.
Sirocco is commonly perceived as causing unease and an irritable mood in people.
In addition, many people attribute health problems to the wind, either because of the heat and dust brought from African coastal regions, or because of the cool dampness further north in Europe. The dust within the sirocco winds can cause abrasion in mechanical devices and penetrate buildings.
Sirocco winds with speeds of up to 100 km/h (62 mph; 54 kn) are most common during autumn and spring. They reach a peak in March and in November when it is very hot.
This wind also has an impact on fishing. For example, the anchovies caught in the Gulf of Trieste
, which are in great demand as a delicacy, are only caught in Sirocco. In cold winds, like the bora
, the fish disappears into the vastness of the Adriatic
Santa Ana winds
: wind phenomenon observed in California with similar impacts on mood and health.
- ^ Golden Gate Weather Services. Names of Winds. Retrieved on 2006-12-28.
- ^ "Južina značenje, definicija i primjeri". Jezikoslovac (in Croatian). Retrieved 13 July 2020.
- ^ Georges Desrues "Eine Lange Nacht am Meer", In: Triest - Servus Magazin (2020), p 73.
Last edited on 15 April 2021, at 15:19
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