Sirocco

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sirocco

(Also spelled scirocco.) A warm south or southeast wind in advance of a depression moving eastward across the southern Mediterranean Sea or North Africa.

The air comes from the Sahara (as a desert wind) and is dry and dusty, but the term is not used in North Africa, where it is called chom (hot) or arifi (thirsty). In crossing the Mediterranean the sirocco picks up much moisture because of its high temperature, and reaches Malta, Sicily, and southern Italy as a very enervating, hot, humid wind. As it travels northward, it causes fog and rain. In some parts of the Mediterranean region the word may be used for any warm southerly wind, often of foehn type. In the extreme southwest of Greece a warm foehn crossing the coastal mountains is named sirocco di levante. There are a number of local variants of the spelling such as xaroco (Portuguese), jaloque or xaloque (Spanish), xaloc or xaloch (Catalonian). In the Rhône delta the warm rainy southeast sirocco is called eissero. On Zakynthos Island it is called lampaditsa.
See solano, ghibli, chili, simoom, leveche, marin.

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