"Sirocco", "scirocco", "jugo" or, rarely, "siroc" is a
Mediterranean windthat comes from the Saharaand reaches hurricanespeeds in North Africaand Southern Europe. It is known in North Africa by the Arabic word qibli (قبلی i.e. "coming from the qibla".)
Origin of name
"Scirocco" and "Sirocco" are Italian names from which its Greek name, "σιρόκος" (sirokos), is derived, while "jugo" is its name in
Croatia, Montenegroand Slovenia, and "ghibli" in Libya. The sirocco reaching the south of Francecontains more moisture and is known as the "marin". In the Canary Islands this oppressive, hot, dust bearing wind is called "La Kalima". The name of sirocco in the southwest of Spainis " leveche", and "xaloc" in Catalan. The "leveche" usually carries red Saharadust and is associated with storms and heavy rain, the wind being very strong, lasting about 4 days. In Malta, it is known as "xlokk". [Encyclopaedia Britannica. [http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic-546626/sirocco Scirocco/xlokk] Retrieved on 2007-05-19.]
It arises from a warm, dry, tropical airmass that is pulled northward by low-pressure cells moving eastward across the
Mediterranean Sea, with the wind originating in the Arabian or Sahara deserts. [Golden Gate Weather Services. [http://ggweather.com/winds.html Names of Winds.] Retrieved on 2006-12-28.] 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 cold, wet weather in Europe. The Sirocco's duration may be a half day or many days. Many people attribute health problems to the Sirocco either because of the heat and dust along the African coastal regions or the cool dampness in Europe. The dust within the Sirocco winds can degrade mechanical devices and invade domiciles.
These winds with speeds of almost 100 kilometres per hour are most common during the autumn and the spring. They reach a peak in March and in November, with a maximum speed of about 100 km/h (55 knots).
* [http://ggweather.com/winds.html Names of Winds]
* [http://1yachtua.com/Medit-marinas/Mediterranean_Sailing/mediterranean_winds.shtm Local Mediterranean winds]
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