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Fox News Weather Center

Potential Medicane System Targets Sardinia to Italy, Southeastern France

Regardless of whether it is classified as a rare "medicane," a system in the western Mediterranean Sea threatens to heavy rain, strong gusty winds and rough surf from Sardinia, southeastern France and Italy.

A "medicane" is a rare tropicallike cyclone that forms in the Mediterranean Sea whose formation is similar to that of a subtropical system in the Atlantic Ocean. "Medicanes" are typically small cyclones with a short lifespan.

These cyclones originate from non-tropical systems, then they feed off the warm waters of the Mediterranean and take on tropical characteristics.

The current system is showing some tropical characteristics. However, it will soon interact with the mountainous islands of Sardinia and Corsica, which will end any further development.

Regardless of its classification, the impacts from the system will not change.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms will spread across Sardinia and Corsica to southeastern France and coastal northwestern Italy, stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.

"There will be widespread rainfall totals of 25 to 75 mm (1 to 3 inches) with the highest amounts in the higher terrain," he said. "This can lead to additional flash flooding and mudslides."

More localized drenching showers and thunderstorms, along with an isolated flash flood threat, will spread to Sicily and western Italy into Friday. This includes Rome and Naples.

In addition to the rain, the system will kick up wind gusts of 65 to 95 kph (40 to 60 mph) in and around Sardinia and Corsica. The strongest winds are likely west of these islands.

"That will lead to rough seas and minor coastal flooding at high tide," continued Roys.

Weather Outlook for Europe

Winds gusted to nearly 100 kph (62 mph) at Capo Mele, Italy, earlier Thursday.

The system will significantly weaken by the start of the weekend as it dots Italy with scattered showers and thunderstorms on Saturday. Another non-tropical system will bring similar weather to most of France this day.