MEDEX: a general overview
The general objective of the international MEDiterranean EXperiment (MEDEX) was the better understanding and forecasting of cyclones that produce high impact weather in the Mediterranean. This paper reviews the motivation and foundation of MEDEX, the gestation, history and organisation of the project, as well as the main products and scientific achievements obtained from it. MEDEX obtained the approval of World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and can be considered as framed within other WMO actions, such as the ALPine EXperiment (ALPEX), the Mediterranean Cyclones Study Project (MCP) and, to a certain extent, THe Observing System Research and Predictability EXperiment (THORPEX) and the HYdrological cycle in Mediterranean EXperiment (HyMeX). Through two phases (2000–2005 and 2006–2010), MEDEX has produced a specific database, with information about cyclones and severe or high impact weather events, several main reports and a specific data targeting system field campaign (DTS-MEDEX-2009). The scientific achievements are significant in fields like climatology, dynamical understanding of the physical processes and social impact of cyclones, as well as in aspects related to the location of sensitive zones for individual cases, the climatology of sensitivity zones and the improvement of the forecasts through innovative methods like mesoscale ensemble prediction systems.