Storm Janus develops into medicane, will wallop western Greece with flooding rain, strong winds

Storm Janus develops into medicane, will wallop western Greece with flooding rain, strong winds

An area of low pressure that moved into the Mediterranean Sea earlier this week has strengthened into a medicane before turning toward Greece.

This low moved off the northern coast of Libya on Tuesday and drifted to the north across the Mediterranean Sea into Thursday.

Once over water, the storm was able to strengthen and was designated as a medicane on Wednesday.

Medicane is an informal name for a nontropical storm that moves over the Mediterranean Sea and gains some tropical characteristics as it strengthens over the warm water. Medicane is a combination of the two words "Mediterranean" and "hurricane."

This medicane is expected to drift to the east and provide Greece with flooding rainfall and damaging winds Friday into Saturday


Ahead of impacts from this storm, the National Observatory of Athens designated the medicane Storm Janus, spelled Ianos in Greek. The Hellenic National Meteorological Service also issued an extraordinary weather warning and a gale warning ahead of impacts expected from Storm Janus.

As the storm passed to the south of Italy on Wednesday, it produced heavy rain across southern Italy and the south coast of Sicily. As much as 35 mm (1.38 inches) of rain was reported in Reggio Calabria. This is more than the city‘s normal September rainfall of 29 mm (1.14 inches).

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys, heavy rain and strong winds are forecast in parts of Greece as Storm Janus moves across the area.

With a track near the Ionian Islands from Friday into Saturday, western Greece is expected to receive the greatest impacts from the storm.

"This storm can bring widespread wind gusts of 80-97 km/h (50-60 mph) to western Greece, with the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 120 km/h (75 mph) through Saturday evening," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Tony Zartman.

Winds of this speed can cause downed trees and power lines as well as localized structural damage. As a result, power outages are likely across western Greece.

Zartman added that coastal flooding is also likely along exposed beaches.

This satellite loop shows a medicane, Storm Janus, spinning over the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 17, local time. (RAMMB/CIRA)

Flash flooding is also likely in areas along the western coast of Greece, where 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) are expected. Otherwise, 25-50 mm (1-2 inches) of rain can fall across southern Italy and much of central and southern Greece.

Storm Janus is forecast to begin dissipating through the end of the weekend as it slowly tracks to the south. Locally heavy thunderstorms and gusty wind and flooding rain can impact northeastern Libya on Sunday.

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