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The Scirocco and its creation

The Scirocco [ʃiˈrɔkko] (also Sirocco or Schirokko ) is a hot wind from south to south-east directions that blows from the Sahara towards the Mediterranean . It's a steady, hot desert wind that often blows in spring, early summer, and fall. In extreme cases, the speeds of a tropical cyclone can be reached.


It arises from the pressure difference between cool low pressure areas in southern Europe and the hot air over the Sahara . Central Mediterranean subtropical cyclones and typical Genoa / Adriatic lows (V weather conditions) can also form the core of the action. The greater the temperature difference, the stronger the Scirocco becomes. The Scirocco is dry over Africa , but absorbs moisture over the Mediterranean , which may rain down in the European Mediterranean countries.

Saharan dust over Kufstein / Tyrol on February 22, 2004

Because it is formed over the desert , the Scirocco carries large amounts of sand dust with it, which gives the air a yellowish-reddish-brown color. The visibility can drop to less than a kilometer and the storm can take on the character of a sandstorm .

The sand carried along is also deposited on alpine glaciers , which leads to a visible brown coloration of the snow surface and thus to a reduction in the albedo (reflectivity) and to increased ablation . However, the Scirocco is not solely responsible for the retreat of the European glaciers, as these layers can also be covered with white snow again ( accumulation ) and other factors also play a role. The deposited dust can be partially recovered by ice cores and thus provide information about the climatic conditions of the last centuries.

For naming

Winds in the Mediterranean

The Scirocco has different names depending on the region:

country designation
Italy Scirocco
Malta Xlokk
Spain Lebeche or Leveche
Canary Islands Calima
Catalonia Xaloc
Greece Sirokos (Greek σιρόκος)
Turkey Sirokko, Siroko
Albania Shrokë, Shroka
Croatia Jugo ("south wind")
Montenegro Yugo
France Sirocco
Tunisia Chehili
North africa Chergui, Chili, Gibli (Libya), Chamsin , Samum

Web links

Commons : Scirocco  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Leveche . In: John E. Oliver (Ed.): Encyclopedia of World Climatology . 2008, ISBN 978-1-4020-3264-6 .
  2. see Xaloc , Wiktionary