Mediterranean Sea. Climate.
flow into the Mediterranean Sea is through gaps in the mountain ranges, except
over the southern shores east of Tunisia. Strong winds funneled through the gaps
lead to the high evaporation rates of summer and the seasonal water deficit of
the sea. The mistral, a cold, dry, northwesterly wind, passes through the
Alps-Pyrenees gap and the lower Rhone valley; the strong northeasterly bora
passes through the Trieste gap; and the cold easterly levanter and the westerly
vendaval pass through the Strait of Gibraltar. Hot, dry, southeasterly
winds--known locally as the sirocco, ghibli (gibleh), or khamsin--frequently
blow into the Mediterranean basin from the Sahara and the Arabian Peninsula as
low-pressure centres traverse the sea in late winter and early spring. These
winds reduce heat and moisture in the surface waters to a significant degree by
evaporative cooling; and this colder, denser surface water sinks. Atmospheric
conditions over the Mediterranean also increase the salinity of incoming
Atlantic water because of the evaporation of surface waters.
climate is confined to coastal zones and is characterized by windy, mild, wet
winters and relatively calm, hot, dry summers. Spring, however, is a
transitional season and is changeable. Autumn is relatively short.
The amount and distribution of rainfall in Mediterranean localities is variable and unpredictable. Along the North African coast from Qabis (Gabes) in Tunisia to Egypt, more than 10 inches (250 millimetres) of rainfall per year is rare, whereas on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia there are places that receive 100 inches. Maximum precipitation is found in mountainous coastal areas.
Mediterranean Marinas Mediterranean Sailing
All rights reserved.
Reproduction any image or drawing
without prior permission is prohibited.