Unsettled in the Med

  • Synoptic chart for Friday night. High pressure over Scandinavia extends westwards over the UK. Low pressure over north Africa is moving north-east towards Italy, while a frontal system containing the remnants of hurricane Joaquin is approaching Iberia.

    Synoptic chart for Sunday. Low pressure has deepened and moved into the Adriatic, while the system containing the remnants of Joaquin lies just west of Iberia.

    Rainfall totals from 0000 Thursday 8th October to 0000 Friday 16th October.

    24 hour cumulative French radar for 0600 Saturday 3rd October to 0600 Sunday 4th October. Rainfall totals of well over 100mm were recorded in places.

  • Unsettled in the Med
    08.10.2015 15:08


    After an unsettled start to the week with some heavy rain and showers around, much of the UK saw a return to dry and fine conditions on Thursday as a ridge of high pressure reasserted itself from the south. And while high pressure will remain a feature through the coming days, it is set to turn increasingly chilly as the easterly breeze picks up with some local overnight frosts.

    For many, an October holiday to the Mediterranean can be an ideal way to escape the autumn chill. But anyone jetting off to central parts of the Mediterranean this weekend in hope of some late sunshine could be left disappointed with two rounds of very disturbed weather set to strike the region in the coming days.

    The first of these systems will move up from north Africa through Friday, bringing some torrential rain and thunderstorms to much of Italy, the Balkans, northern Greece and south-east Europe through the weekend, bringing the risk of flash flooding. Local gales may also develop on exposed coasts as the low deepens. The remnants of ex-hurricane Joaquin will then move into Iberia by the start of next week, combining with another disturbance to bring some further intense downpours and thunderstorms to Italy and the Balkans around the middle of next week. Some considerable weekly rainfall totals are likely, with holiday hotspots in south-west Italy and southern Croatia perhaps seeing 200mm.

    Although early autumn weather can be hit and miss in the Mediterranean, persistent high pressure blocking to the north in recent weeks has driven a branch of the jet stream and surface low pressure systems further south. The unusually high sea surface temperatures over the Mediterranean have contributed to fuel some intense storms in recent weeks.

    Just last weekend, flash floods claimed at least 17 lives on the French Riviera. The storms dumped 191mm of rain in Cannes, most of which fell in just a couple of hours through Saturday evening, with nearby Nice recording 110mm. Some of the Greek islands, including Kefalonia and Skopelos, also suffered devastation from intense rains a week earlier.

    By: Billy Payne