::Winds in the Peljesac Channel

 

Winds in the Peljesac Channel can be divided into 3 groups:
Westerlies; winds blowing from the western channel entrance, along the channel: Tramontana (N), Maestral and Maestralun (NW) and Pulenat (ital. Ponente)(W).
Easterlies; winds blowing from the eastern channel entrance, along the channel: Levant(E), Jugo Silocco (SE) and Jugo Ostro (S).
On/off shore winds blowing across the channel: Lebic (ital. Libbecio)(SW), Bora (loc. Bura) and Burin (loc.) (NE).
Channel's topography has a strong influence on the direction and speed of the wind.

 

::Maestral

 

The two major driving factors of Maestral wind are the Etesian winds (a large-scale flow system over the Mediterranean that is usually related to the summer and autumn pressure gradient between the Azores high and the Persian low) and the local sea breeze circulation. Such, settled weather pattern maintain a perfect daily cycle of the winds. Even a small disruption in weather pattern is enough to disturb daily cycle of the wind, what makes Maestral difficult to forecast, especially its speed and timing. Maestral is additionally reinforced (at least 5 knots) by the funnel effect due to the western channel's entrance topography. Mostly flat-water conditions occur on St. Libearan beach in Viganj, while more choppy conditions can be found around Zamosce beach.

Daily cycle of the winds
Usually, in the summer morning's the prevailing wind direction is from E or SE with typically light winds, produces perfect safe conditions for beginners. Around noon, after a short period of calm, an approaching line of little rough water from the NW direction can be seen. In the afternoon, the pleasantly refreshing wind Maestral picking up to 4-5 Bf, occasionally 6 and diminishing in the evening. After a 4-5 hours period of calm, the night time katabatic, gusty land breeze Burin (NE) starts to blow and diminishing before sunrise.

Burin has similar characteristics as bura with a gusts of maximum 5 bf, reaching the peak force before dawn. It blows during night in gusts, therefore is not convenient for windsurfing.

 

::Land and sea breeze

 

 

::Jugo

 

Jugo (ital.Sirocco, lok. Siloko) is generated by large-scale synoptic weather patterns. Jugo can be classified under two general categories: cyclonic and anticyclonic sirocco. The more frequent, cyclonic type is related to the low pressure field northwest of the affected area which usually corresponds to the Genoa cyclone. Anticyclonic sirocco is primarily forced by the high pressure field above the Mediterranean.

Cyclonic Jugo
As the air travels northward across the Mediterranean Sea, the Jugo picks up much moisture because of its high temperature and causes clouds and rain over Adriatic sea. Usually, Jugo gradually increasing before reaching maximum speed of 5-6 Bf and ocassionally 7 and more, on the third day. Jugo winds can occur anytime during the year. However, the peak frequency occurs in the cold season (from November to April in southern Adriatic area), when it lasts around one week,while in the warm season lasts 1-3 days.

Antiyclonic Jugo
Anticyclonic Jugo is primarily forced by the high pressure field above the Mediterranean. The anticyclonic Jugo usually occurs during spring or autmn.
Nineteen islets of Korcula Archipelago actually serve as a breakwater in all easterly winds, providing excellent slalom, freeride and freestyle, cross-shore conditions throughout the Channel during rainless periods of cyclonic Jugo and anticyclonic Jugo. Jugo generates higher waves near western breakwater of Korcula's old town.

 

::Bura

 

The Bora (eng.) is a cold and typically very dry and gusty katabatic wind (fall-wind) from the north-east. Bora winds can occur anytime during the year. However, the peak frequency occurs in the cold season (November - March). In general, the frequency of gale force bora winds varies from one day per month, or less, in the summer to six days per month during winter months. The bora is most common blowing down from the mountains on the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea where it flows mainly from the northeast through gaps in the Dinaric Alps. On occasion, the Bora can be very localized, extending only a few miles offshore. At other times, the Bora will dominate the entire Adriatic Sea and, when the area of steep pressure gradiant is large enough, the Bora can extend as far south as Malta. The strongest winds occur along the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea from Trieste to the Albanian border. There are two primary weather patterns associated with the bora and both are locally classified as being a white bora and a black bora. In either case, the pressure is higher on the European side of the mountains and lower on the Mediterranean side. However, it always takes a cold pool of air accumulating over the Balkan Peninsula at first. When the depth of the cold air pool reaches the height of mountain passes, the bora will commence breaking through the numerous passes that lie along the mountain barrier and sweeping westwards towards the coast. Enhanced by funneling and topography.

The anticyclonic pattern - or white bora: A large high pressure cell is present over central Europe and generally lower pressure without a well defined low pressure center to the south over the Mediterranean Sea. The white bora is basically a dry and very gusty wind due to its katabatic nature. A white bora is characterized by cold, clear weather and good visibilities in the lee of the coastal mo untains, while thick clouds associated with up-slope motions are found on the mountain crests. These clouds subsequently dissipate in the descending air on the lee side, and appear as 'cap clouds' to an observer on their west side.

The cyclonic pattern - or black bora: A low pressure center (sometimes a so called Genoa Low) is present in the southern Adriatic Sea or in the Ionian Sea so that the weather across the area is cloudy and rainy. Black bora winds are less gusty than those in a white bora, but might bring substantial amounts of rain or snow to the region. With the cyclonic pattern, the black bora is often accompanied by low clouds and reduced visibilities associated with rain and/or drizzle. These conditions are more noticeable over the open water areas than along the coastal zone.

The Peljesac channel is protected from Bura by Sveti Ilija (Saint Elias) mountain (peak: 961m). In the northern part of the channel Bura is off-shore wind and typically starts to blow in short gusts from various directions followed by short periods of calm. The wind build up is gradual and gusts geting stronger. In the southern part of the channel Bura is on-shore wind, stronger and more constant, posing the danger of being blown toward a rocky shore of Korcula island. Generally, Bura is not suitable for windsurfing and can be dangerous, especially for beginners or intermediates.

 

::Maestralun, Ponent, Tramontana and Neverin

 

Maestralun has a similar name to Maestral and the same direction (NW), but origin is quite different. Once the cold front has passed over Adriatic Sea and high pressure builds up again, winds turn northwesterly (Maestralun) or westerly (Ponent, ital. Poniente, loc. Pulent). Maestralun events tend to occur during the warm part of the year and usually lasts one day, while Ponent events tend to occur during the cold part of the year and lasts few hours. Both winds are rare in the South Adriatic region and are funneled through the Peljesac Channel western entrance. They start to blow in gusts from the west direction, gradually building-up and becoming more constant, providing excellent choppy side-shore conditions, especially in the middle of the channel.

Tramontana is a strong northern wind generated by passing of the cold frontal over the Adriatic. Of rather short duration – usually after a single day it turns into bura – tramontana arrives suddenly and very soon reaches stormy force, causing gales and very rough seas. Tramontana creates high waves on the Southern part of the Peljesac Channel (cross-onshore conditions on Korcula coast), while north part is sheltered by mountains and blowing in gusts with rather flat water. It may be difficult to reach southern (windy) part of the channel with a small board.

Neverin (or Nevera, loc.) is sudden, thermal storm on the Adriatic, possibly the most unpleasant experience for beginners. These storms usually move over the open sea on the west (from SW to NW direction) to east. Neverin is preceded by a period of calm and dark fast-moving clouds, appear on the western horizon. After 10-15 minutes strong wind starts to blow, often accompanied by rain and sometimes a waterspout can occur. Usually neverin occur during the summer and lasts only 1-2 hours. If you are at sea, at the first sign of the storm clouds, it is time to head to the beach.

 

::Levant, Jugo-Ostro and Lebic

 

Levant (E) occur when Genoa low move north east over northern Adriatic (in that time strong jugo blows across Adriatic sea) and then change direction to SE. As it moves towards the southern Adriatic wind is backing to E direction (Levant). It lasts couple of hours and often is replaced with Bura (NE). In Peljesac channel Levant is deflected and partly shadowed by a Peljesac Peninsula mountains and blows in gusts. Gusts are visible on the sea surface and lasts 1-2 minutes followed by period of calm or light breeze (1-2 minutes). Gusts provide excellent flat speed sailing conditions, but care should be taken to Bura gusts, which can be expected after Levant.

Jugo Ostro, Ostro derives from the Italian austro, meaning south (as in Australia). In Croatian the word means “sharp” and blows from south. Ostro occur in advance of surface and upper level depressions moving toward Adriatic Sea from west (W) or north-west (NW) direction. It occur mainly during the cold part of the year. It provides similar conditions for windsurfing as jugo siroco, with side-onshore direction for northern part of the Peljesac Channel.

Lebic (ital. Libeccio, the alternative term Garbin; derives from the Arabic al-Gharb) has another local name - Pujiska bura because it blows from the Puglia region in Southern Italy (actually from the SW direction) and has similar characteristics to the bura. It is caused by Genoa low depression tracking north east over the Adriatic or when a deep depression pushed a cold front over the Adriatic and a high-pressure cell extends from Tyrrhenian sea. Lebic is neither frequent nor persistent and blow in a widespread gusts. Strong gale-force Lebic events are most common during the cold part of the year. For northern part of the Peljesac Channel is on shore wind (on Korcula Island's coast it has off shore direction).

 

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