2018-19 Mediterranean medicane season

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2018-19 Mediterranean medicane season
First system formed September 7, 2018
Last system dissipated April 10, 2019
Strongest Storm Carlos - 80 mph; 987 mbar
Medistorms 12
Severe Medistorms 10
Medicanes 3
Major Medicanes 1
Catastrophic Medicanes 0
Total damages $155 million (2018 USD)
Total fatalities 23
2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21

The 2018-19 Mediterranean medicane season was the most active medicane season on record. The season started on July 1, 2018 and ended on June 30, 2019. The first storm of the season formed on September 7, 2018, and the final system dissipated on April 10, 2019. A total of 12 medistorms formed, making it the most active season in the era of reliable records. The strongest storm of the season was Carlos, also known as Zorbas, which reached a peak intensity of 80 mph and 987 millibars, becoming the strongest storm in the Mediterranean basin since Medicane Qendresa in 2014 by wind speed. The season was highly damaging, causing an estimated $155 million in damages (2018 USD), and resulting in 23 deaths.

Seasonal Summary

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The 2018 - 2019 season storm track summary. (Currently lacks Elena).

The first storm of the season formed on September 6 in the Black Sea, Apollo. Apollo reached peak winds of 45 mph before making landfall in Crimea and then Russia. The next storm of the season developed on September 20 just barely east of Sardinia in the Tyrrhenian Sea. This system was named Boron and moved south into Tunisia. In Tunisia, it killed 7 people and caused extreme flooding. The next storm was the strongest of the season, Carlos, which featured an eye as it made landfall in Greece and crossed the Cyclades Islands. The fourth storm, Diana, was particularly weak as it crossed the Tyrrhenian Sea. The fifth system, Elena, was very weak and short-lived, striking Sicily and then almost immediately dissipating, and was initially struck-off the season after it was discovered to not have been tropical in nature, however was re-added to the season when further reanalysis showed that it was indeed a tropical cyclone. The sixth system was Federico, a subtropical depression that caused major flooding once again in Tunisia and Algeria, which killed 2 people. However, reanalysis concluded that Federico was not a subtropical or tropical system, and was thus removed from the season. The next system to be designated was Gracchus, which formed off of Italy on October 22, and lasted only a day before it dissipated near Sicily. The next designated system was Hermione, which struck Sardinia on November 5, but was struck off due to it being extratropical. After Hermione was Ines, which was a hybrid-subtropical system in the Black Sea in mid-November. Less than a week after Ines, Jacintha and Kostas formed, but were struck off due to being extratropical systems. Lucia formed in late-November, and became the second medicane of the season in the Adriatic Sea. In December, Mateo formed and lasted about a day before it moved off toward Greece. At the end of the year, and the beginning of 2019, Severe Medistorm Nadya formed, and reached winds of 50 mph before making landfall in Libya on January 2. No activity occurred for a few months before Orpheus formed and made landfall in Corsica on April 10. Then, at the very end of the season, Medivest Petra (operationally assessed as Medistorm Petra) formed in the Black Sea, and lasted less than a day.

Storms

Severe Medistorm Apollo

Severe Medistorm
Duration September 7 – September 9
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (1-min)  999 hPa (mbar)

Apollo's origins traced back to an extratropical cyclone that developed over the Cantabrian Sea on August 28. After this extratropical cyclone had developed over the Cantabrian Sea, it moved over France, and eventually into the Mediterranean on September 1. The slow moving system was eventually named Xenia by the Free University of Berlin by the same day. Xenia moved over Italy on September 2, and was designated as Invest 91M, after 90M had moved through the same general region just days earlier. 91M moved back over Central Europe on September 3, staying extratropical as it slowly moved to the northeast. Although it was over land, Invest 91M continued to strengthen as it continued its trek toward the Black Sea. On September 5, Xenia finally reached the Black Sea, where it began its transition from an extratropical cyclone into a subtropical storm. On September 6, Invest 91M was designated as Medistorm Apollo, the first storm of the 2018-19 season. The storm continued to strengthen, and on September 7, Apollo became a severe medistorm, with winds of 40 mph and a pressure of 1001 millibars. Continuing into the evening, Apollo strengthened into a 45 mph storm, with the same pressure. However, on September 8, Apollo began to suddenly become weaker in intensity, rising to a pressure of 1003 millibars. However, this was quickly reversed by the next advisory, when Apollo reached winds of 50 mph with a pressure of 999 millibars, its peak. At this moment, Apollo made landfall in Crimea, causing severe damage to a Russia-Crimean bridge. After this, Apollo eventually made its way into the Sea of Azov, where it quickly weakened back into a medistorm, before making a second landfall in Ukraine. On September 9, Apollo transitioned into a remnant low, and dissipated over Ukraine.

Unnamed Severe Medistorm

Severe Medistorm
Duration September 15 – September 16
Peak intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (1-min)  1007 hPa (mbar)

An extratropical cyclone transitioned into a subtropical cyclone on September 15 in the Sea of Azov, reaching tropical-storm strength. It then transitioned into a tropical cyclone not long before landfall, with winds of 40 mph and a pressure of 1001 millibars. Soon after, the system made landfall in Russia, on September 16.

Severe Medistorm Boron

Severe Medistorm
Duration September 20 – September 23
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (1-min)  1007 hPa (mbar)

Medicane Carlos

Major Medicane
Duration September 27 – September 30
Peak intensity 130 km/h (80 mph) (1-min)  987 hPa (mbar)

Medistorm Diana

Medistorm
Duration October 5 – October 6
Peak intensity 55 km/h (35 mph) (1-min)  1012 hPa (mbar)

Severe Medistorm Elena

Severe Medistorm
Duration October 12 – October 14
Peak intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (1-min)  1009 hPa (mbar)

Elena was a weak subtropical cyclone that formed from a wave that developed on October 10 near Corsica, which moved southward, to Sicily. On October 13, it developed into a medistorm while hugging the coast of Tunisia, much like Boron, before making a quick turn to the northeast, where it briefly strengthened into a TS-equivalent storm, and made landfall in Sicily with winds of 35 mph. Minor damage occurred from this system.

Severe Medistorm Gracchus

Severe Medistorm
Duration October 22 – October 23
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (1-min)  1007 hPa (mbar)

Severe Medistorm Ines

Severe Medistorm
Duration November 14 – November 15
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (1-min)  1009 hPa (mbar)

On November 14, a non-tropical low began to develop over extreme Eastern Turkey. This non-tropical low then detached from a front as it moved off of Turkey late that day. At this time, the system was named Ines by the Mediterranean Cyclone Centre, with winds of 30 mph and a pressure of 1014 millibars. Medistorm Ines rapidly intensified with SSTs of 61-65F, with very little shear. On November 15, Ines became a strong subtropical storm, attaining a peak intensity of 45 mph and a pressure of 1009 millibars just off of Sochi, Russia. Late that evening, Ines made landfall just northwest of Sochi, dissipating in the first hours of November 16.

Medicane Lucia

Medicane
Duration November 26 – November 29
Peak intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (1-min)  992 hPa (mbar)

An extra-tropical cyclone formed on November 22, after moving off of North America. The system quickly made its way to the Azores by November 23, earning the name Gitte by the Free University of Berlin. On November 24, the system entered the Cantabrian Sea, just north of Spain. On November 25, a frontal system split off of Cyclone Gitte, moving over Spain and France. Around 12:00 UTC on November 26, the frontal system was declared a medisturbance, and was undergoing slow development. At this time, wind shear had been fighting the disturbance, especially as it was crossing the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, and Corsica. This caused the disturbance to weaken around 18:00 UTC the same day. However, at 00:00 UTC on November 27, the system had fully developed and was declared Medistorm Lucia by the Mediterranean Cyclone Centre. Soon, conditions became very conductive for rapid intensification, as Lucia rapidly became a medicane just 6 hours later. Winds of 70 mph and a pressure of 994 millibars were recorded as the system made its first landfall in Salerno, Italy. Lucia then entered the Adriatic Sea around 09:00 UTC on November 27, retaining its medicane status, with a pressure of 994 millibars. Lucia moved very slowly across the Adriatic Sea throughout the rest of the day, weakening very slowly to a 50 mph severe medistorm. At 06:00 UTC on November 28, Lucia re-intensified into a medicane, with a pressure of 996 millibars. However, cold air and shear began to penetrate the system, causing it to rapidly weaken as it made its fifth and final landfall in San Cataldo, Italy. The system then turned tropical at 18:00 UTC on November 28, as a 40 mph severe medistorm. Despite the conditions, Lucia began to steadily strengthen as it exited the Adriatic Sea, reaching a peak of 50 mph before rapidly weakening once again. At 13:00 UTC on November 29, Lucia became a remnant low.

Severe Medistorm Mateo

Severe Medistorm
Duration December 15 – December 16
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (1-min)  1009 hPa (mbar)

Medicane Nadya

Medicane
Duration December 31 – January 1
Peak intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (1-min)  1004 hPa (mbar)

Medistorm Orpheus

Medistorm
Duration April 9 – April 10
Peak intensity 55 km/h (35 mph) (1-min)  1004 hPa (mbar)

On April 9, a subtropical wave developed near the Balearic Islands, moving in the general direction of Sardinia and Corsica. On April 10, the wave developed into a subtropical depression, gaining the name Orpheus. According to ASCAT, winds never reached above 35 mph, and surface analysis charts took the system up to 1004 or 1005 millibars. The system slowly exited Corsica and dissipated on April 11. The system could have possibly reached a windspeed of 40 mph, but it is debatable.

Other systems

Medivest Petra after a majority of its convection waned away, exposing a well-defined center of circulation.

On the night of June 22, 2019, an area of convection just north of the Turkish coastline in the Black Sea developed a circulation, and was declared a medistorm later in the day, with the name Petra. However, after further research, it was determined that while the system was a tropical cyclone, it did not attain 25 mph winds, and was thus not a medistorm. It remained a named system but was promptly struck-off the season storm list.

Storm names

The naming list for the 2018-19 season was produced by Hypothetical Hurricanes Wiki (HHW) in late-August to early-September 2018. The storm name list was extended on October 21, 2018 to compensate for active seasons, excluding the letters U and W due to the lack of names in the region starting with that letter. Names will be retired if they are deemed too inappropriate for use, such as in destructiveness or even political reasons. Names that are not retired will be used again in future use. The names Federico, Hermione, Jacintha, and Kostas were used, but after further research, the storms were determined to have been non tropical, and thus were struck-off the season storm list. The name Petra was also used, but after further analysis its system was determined to not have attained medistorm status, and was thus officially not accounted for in the season.

  • Apollo
  • Boron
  • Carlos
  • Diana
  • Elena
  • Federico
  • Gracchus
  • Hermione
  • Ines
  • Jacintha
  • Kostas
  • Lucia
  • Mateo
  • Nadya
  • Orpheus
  • Petra

Retirement

Throughout the season, the names Boron, Carlos, Federico, and Hermione were retired. They were replaced by Borella, Callisto, Flavia, and Hyacinth for future use. The name Elena was replaced with Ernie after it the list expansion due to an error in the naming pattern.