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sirocco(sərŏk`ō) [Ital., from Arab. sharq=east], hot, dust-laden, dry, southerly wind originating in the N African desert (most commonly in the spring) and reaching Italy and nearby Mediterranean areas. The term more generally denotes any oppressive, warm, southerly or southeasterly wind in this region.
a warm and strong southern or southeastern wind from the remote regions of the desert in North Africa and the Arabian peninsula that blows primarily on the Mediterranean Sea basin. Although the sirocco takes up moisture as it moves across the Mediterranean, it still primarily has a drying effect on the vegetation of much of the European Mediterranean. The wind is especially felt in Italy and on the Dalmatian coast of Yugoslavia, where it occurs most often during the spring. On the lee side of mountain slopes a sirocco sometimes acquires the characteristics of a foehn. [23–1370–]