The area of low pressure is expected to form in the sea west of Italy before tracking south and strengthening as it moves east, eventually hitting parts of Greece.
These systems, which resemble tropical cyclones in the Mediterranean Sea, have been dubbed medicanes.
Recent research by scientists such as Shimon Wdowinksi at the University of Miami have shown that storms like hurricanes can force movement within the earth’s crust, triggering earthquakes and volcanic activity.
A hurricane in the Mediterranean Sea could set up Mount Etna
It is a view supported by Principal Researcher at the University of Maryland Surja Sharma, who told Express.co.uk that the Medicane could trigger activity.
Dr Sharma said: “There are two things. Can a hurricane influence the dynamics of the solid earth. That’s easy to answer, it can. The other thing is how likely is it? hen if we say it is likely, we have to then look at the likelihood. So the first one, can it influence? Yes it can, that’s my belief.”
However it is not quite so clear-cut, with Dr Sharma adding: “Is it likely or not likely in the next few days, it is very hard to say, with a good degree of accuracy.”
“The dynamics – there is Etna and Vesuvius and Italy is earthquake prone. A hurricane is likely, so what can happen? That is the dynamics of the situation. We have to know what is happening today to predict what is likely tomorrow.
“From that point of view, the triggering makes good sense. The earthquakes are potentially there in the solid earth due to many things like fault lines and so on.
“If something can trigger it, it is likely to happen.”
A medicane could form off Italy later this week
The medicane could strike southern Italy and Greece
He said: “If we think of hurricanes and earthquakes over Italy the two will have different timescales which can overlap so there can be a correlation and causation.
“These are difficult to analyse though for two reasons. One is that they are not equilibrium systems.
Graph of where the medicane could hit southern Europe
“From that point of view we need a good level of data for both hurricanes and earthquakes and that is lacking.
“I would conclude and say that these are very interesting possibilities with immense consequences but our knowledge is not good enough to say anything with significant certainty.
“But yes, theoretically it is possible.”