One of the strongest Mediterranean tropical-like cyclones (medicane) on record has started to hit the Ionian Sea.
Severe Weather warns of an “extremely dangerous” cyclone tonight through Friday morning, with severe impact for western Greece.
Peak gusts could exceed 200 km/h, and huge amounts of rainfall are expected to lead to dangerous flash floods. Along with severe destructive winds, it is expected to bring torrential and excessive rainfall, resulting in dangerous flash floods.
The minimum central pressure of the medicane, officially named Ianos by the National Observatory of Athens, is expected to drop to near 980 mbar, with sustained winds reaching hurricane-force Category 1 strength.
Up to around 400 mm of rainfall is likely in the coming 36 hours, and tornadoes are expected to form along the Ionian coast starting from tonight.
Kathimerini newspaper reports that medicane has begun to make its presence felt on Thursday evening with strong winds blowing. It is expected to hit a large part of the country in the next 48 hours.
On Thursday it hit Italian islands of Calabria and Sicily, but it will reach its peak on Friday along the Ionian coast of Greece.
Greek authorities and inhabitants alongside the coast have been put on alert. The Civil Protection Agency has issued strong recommendations to inhabitants of Ionian island to avoid travelling in the next 48 hour.
Whilst satellite images and projections in Greek, Italian and other international media show the cyclone hitting the southern coast of Albania as well, the Albanian government has not made public any measures or warnings.