Discover & Escape 11.03.2016

Adriatic Winds: Bura

Bura is known for its capriciousness. This is probably the most famous of the winds, and certainly the coldest and powerful. At one point it is the most feared and yet desired.

Bura is a wind that blows from NNE to ENE,

which, along the Adriatic coast, means that he blows from the land to the sea, gaining strength and power as he cascades down the mountainsides before hitting the water, fanning out and causing a mess of the sea, often beginning suddenly and unexpectedly.

It is relatively cold and dry, reaches moderate strength and can last for several hours. It purifies the air, and therefore brings nice weather. Visibility during Bura is excellent and the weather is sunny and clear. Although Bura is primarily a winter wind, it blows throughout the year, especially in the morning. When Bura is of local origin, it will blow itself out in less than a day.

The signs of Bura:

* Air pressure increases, temperature and humidity drops

* Clouds form over the peaks and along the tops of coastal mountain ranges. From time to time they break off and spread and eventually disperse and disappear.

* During the warmer seasons, large storm clouds with lightning but without thunder are created. Lightning is accompanied by a rise in pressure, and later with a breeze from the south.

Dalmatian folk traditions believe in 3 powerful “March Buras”

This belief is rooted in fact, because March is one of the windiest months on the Adriatic coast and Bura is the most common wind in this time. Folk meteorologists even predict the three exact dates in March, when the stormy Bura occurs, often referred to as 7, 17 and 27 March.


Sailing during Bura

Sailors generally believe that Bura lasts nine days – it takes three days to be born, then grows for three days, and takes three days to die. In Dubrovnik, a folk saying claims that there is no winter if Bura hasn’t done its job.


If you are sailing along the coast and see a rocky zone without vegetation, be aware that a strong Bura blows there. Bura blows in gusts which can be very severe and unexpected, bringing strong waves that can endanger sailing vessels. If you find yourself at sea when Bura springs up, we advise you to reach the nearest harbour. For all the surprises that Bura brings, sailing during Bura is not recommended as it requires expertise, extreme caution and skill to navigate in these difficult sailing conditions.

“May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face.“

(The quote from “Fair Winds and Following Seas”- origin of this old Irish song is unknown but is often used as a nautical blessing.)


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