Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the Mediterranean wind. Sirocco is also the name of an Australian band, and Scirocco is an automobile.
It arises from a warm, dry, tropical airmass that is pulled northward by low pressure cells moving eastward across the Mediterranean Sea. The hot, dry, continental air mixes with the cooler, wet 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 km/h are most common during the autumn and the spring. They reaches a peak in March and in November, with a maximum speed of about 100 km/h (55 knots, hurricane-force).
The corroding wind of a hot Sirocco has known depressing effects. People have reported various symptoms such as an unwonted dulness, an aching melancholy feeling, enervation, being easily annoyed, having irritating dreams etc. The wind incites depression both when it blows with force and when it is a mere exhalation rather than a strong wind. It can easily affect anyone visiting the areas where the wind blows, unaware of the cause of their mental misery.
Other prominent wind systems in the region are the bora/bura (northwestern) and the lebeccio/lebić (southwestern).
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