Sea Storms in the Adriatic Sea and the Western Mediterranean during the last millennium


Data regarding the frequency and occurrence of sea storms in the Adriatic Sea and the Western Mediterranean during the last millennium have been extracted from historical written sources. The Adriatic Sea shows two anomalous periods of high storm frequency: the first half of the1500s and the second half of the 1700s. In the 1500s the storms were more frequent in autumn, while in the late 1700s they occurred at high frequency in winter. In the Western Mediterranean, storms had a higher frequency in the first half of the 1600s, with two lesser periods of high frequency in the 1400s and at the end of the 1700s. Although both records show a maximum frequency of sea storms during the Spörer Minimum (1416–1534) of solar activity, sunspot series yield no, or poor, correlation during the other periods of lowest activity, i.e., Oort Minimum (1010–1090), Wolf Minimum (1282–1342), and Maunder Minimum (1645–1715), suggesting that a teleconnection between sea storm sand sunspots is improbable or masked in this region. No teleconnection was found either between the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and surges flooding Venice or the Western Mediterranean storms or between Venice surges and the Northern Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

1 National Research Council, CNR-ICTIMA, Padova, Italy
2 ITRE srl, Campodarsego PD, 35011, Italy
3 School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, U.K.
4 Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geography and History, University of Barcelona, E-08007 Barcelona, Spain