Southern Italy recently experienced an incredibly dangerous weather phenomenon known as a ‘Medicane,’ which short for Mediterranean Hurricane. Strong winds and extreme rains ripped through much of Sicily on Tuesday, flooding homes and damaging roads. CNN estimates that the cyclone dumped nearly half the island’s expected annual rainfall in just under a few hours, causing infrastructure to fail in many places. Streets were essentially turned into fast-flowing rivers and thousands of vehicles were submerged. The worst of the storm has passed but heavy rains are expected to continue throughout the week; the very same week that environmental experts are meeting in Rome to discuss their strategies for combatting climate change.
Europe has already had a much more difficult summer than usual, experiencing heightened rainfall and unseasonably warm weather throughout most of the later months. This has caused issues for a number of citrus products within the region including bergamot, lemon, and orange. Blood oranges, in particular, are heavily reliant on favorable weather conditions during their post-flowering season in order to retain a strong crop. With the extreme winds and rain brought by this most recent Medicane storm, it seems as though the crop will likely be delayed by at least 2-3 weeks. Sicilian lemon is also likely to have been affected by the storm, though we are still waiting on the full damage report from the region. Berjé would like to wish the people of southern Italy a swift and full recovery from this event.
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