Croatia is known as a windsurf destination throughout Europe. No matter how much sailing experience you have, every sea, including Croatia’s, has its own secrets. The Adriatic Sea does not belong to seas that are dangerous and unpredictable, and sailing can take place all year round. Nevertheless, the most favorable conditions in general are from mid June to mid October when even those with little experience can enjoy in sea adventures.
The bura is an unpredictable wind that blows from the mainland towards the sea in gushes. It is relatively cold and dry, reaches moderate strength and can last several hours. It cleans and clears up the atmosphere, therefore visibility after the bura wind is excellent and the weather is sunny and clear.
Although the bura wind is generally a winter wind, it is present year round and mostly in the morning, reaching an average speed of 11 m/s. Given that it gushes from mountain slopes towards the sea, it comes most often from the northeast, that is from the NNE, NE or ENE directions. On the open sea, the bura often changes into the northwestern wind.
The bura is known for its “capriciousness”, that is, its blowing in gushes, as well as sudden and often unexpected beginning. The gushes of wind can be accompanied by rumbling and exchange with calm or weak wind in periods of one or more minutes.
The summer bura appears mostly in the northern Adriatic in the area where the mountains are narrowest (Velebit). The coming of the bura can be recognized by the cloud cap that covers the top of Velebit before the beginning of the wind.The waves that are created by the bura are short and move away quickly from the mainland, while their broken tops are transformed into white sea foam. Strong gushes can temporarily lift drops of water into the air creating a “sea dust”.
Levant or Levanat (E)
Warm eastern wind that brings moist air
Jugo is a southwestern wind of moderate strength that blows from the sea towards the coast, and is present along the entire coastline, blowing in the ESE, SE or SSE directions. Generally, you will run into it more often when sailing south of the northern Adriatic and, as it belongs to the group of spring-fall winds that are accompanied by rain and humidity, the jugo does not blow often in the summer. When it does, you can recognize it by the following characteristics: the wind blows with a gradual increase without interruptions, creating very beautiful, long waves without noise and foam. Only when a strong jugo blows do the waves pound against the shoreline, retreating towards the open sea with a rumble.
Seeing as its wave are equal, and its constant strength and wind direction are its greatest challenge.
Blows from southwest, from the African coast – this wind is called “libeccio” in Italy and this means that it blows “from Libya”.
Moist west wind which is rather frequent during springtime. Pulenat can be quite dangerous, because sudden storms could occur with heavy wind strikes.
Maestral is a typical Adriatic summer northwestern wind and one of those winds that are characteristic for beautiful and stable weather. After the morning calm, almost always around noon during summer begins its pleasant circulation that can last, with increases, to dusk. The maestral can reach force 5 to 6 winds, while areas where this wind is most common are the Zadar and Korcula channels.
It is almost as though the maestral was created for pleasant and carefree sailing without maneuvering because its force is constant and its nature is predictable and mild. While the bura and jugo, each in their own way, offer yachtsmen excitement and challenge, the maestral guarantees pure pleasure during which you can enjoy in the sea without any worries. Due to the fact that, at sunset, the necessary conditions for the creation of the maestral disappear, at the first sign of darkness, a gentle night force 3 breeze starts to blow from the mainland to give way at sunrise to a calm sea that will, on a regular basis, once again around noon be replaced by the refreshing maestral.
The name tramontana comes from the Italian word “tramonto” which means sunset. It’s a northern thermal wind (usually it’s a little bit colder) and blows in the evening when the weather is stable. When it’s on in the afternoon (for example in Pula) the wind is never stronger than 10-15 knots. However, the Tramontana is also a wind that comes after rain or a storm and then it’s a different ball game: 20-30 knots with 1-1,5 meter high waves (Pula). The best period is from May until the end of November.
It is interesting that the weather forecast is always precise regarding the Tramontana!