Medicane “Nikolai” (Avgi) makes landfall in Israel

medicane nikolai avgi 2330 utc february 1 2024

Medicane “Nikolai” — internationally known as Storm Avgi — formed during the afternoon hours (UTC) of February 1, 2024, near the coast of Egypt as the first medicane of the year. Before making landfall in Israel on February 2, the storm brought heavy rain and snow to parts of Greece and Cyprus.

The Mediterranean Cyclone Center (MCC) confirmed that the system, which met the criteria for a medicane at 18:00 UTC on February 1, exhibited maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h (30 mph) and a minimum central pressure of 1 016 hPa as it approached the coast.

After originating off Cyprus and taking a looping trajectory, Nikolai reached its southernmost point before steering east towards Israel. Despite limited time for intensification, Nikolai made landfall with winds of approximately 55 km/h (34 mph). The storm showcased well-organized convection bands and an intermittent eye-feature, with earlier ASCAT data suggesting winds were around 46 km/h (29 mph).

Before reaching medicane status, Storm Avgi impacted Greece on Sunday, January 28, with heavy snowfall and significant temperature drops. Avgi made landfall in Cyprus on January 30, with up to 100 mm (4 inches) of rain expected in parts of the island.

According to the MCC, the storm is expected to dissipate over land by 00:00 UTC on February 3.

“We have already “got used” to the rains in the current rain system that has been going on for over a week and a half, but the last night was the windiest in this system mainly in the area of Gush Dan, Sharon, and Ono Beak,” Israeli Meteorological Service said early February 2.

Since yesterday evening, 76 mm (3 inches) of rain has been measured at Kfar HaYarok station, 73 mm (2.9 inches) in Bik’at HaYarden, and 71 mm (2.8 inches) in Horshim, southeastern Sharon.

As a result of the rain, more and more stations in the Sharon area, the northern coastal plain, the Carmel and the western Galilee exceeded the annual average for the season.

The storm passed with strong winds and maximum gusts of 92 km/h (57 mph) in Haifa, 87 km/h (54 mph) in Ashkelon Port, and 80 km/h (50 mph) in Beit Dagan.


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