If you plan to charter a yacht in Croatia it would be advisable for you to get familiar with the types of wind you can encounter while cruising. Having more details about a particular wind could save you, as a skipper, from unforeseen damage of your charter boat. Even if you are just a participant of a cruise trip in Croatia who rented your own cabin, knowing the wind types could help you understand why the captain was forced to give up a predetermined cruising route and moor in a different port. The same goes for crewed yacht charters where sometimes clients that hire such a yacht with a captain and crew, cannot understand why certain locations on their cruise route cannot be reached due to adverse wind conditions.
Unless you are a skipper on either your own or a chartered boat bearing complete responsibility for the boat and crew members, you must trust the assessment of the person in charge, which, on every cruise, is the captain.
Knowing the winds can help you to better understand what the skipper or captain has to take into consideration in order to make the optimal decision for the comfort of the cruise and the safety of the cruise participants.
The most frequent winds on the Adriatic are the Bura, Jugo and Maestral. The Ostro, Lebic, Pulenat, Tramontana and Levant rarely blow, as well as winds of coastal circulation like the Burin or Zmorac. During the summer the Maestral and Tramontana winds dominate. In winter months, the dominant winds are the Bura and Jugo. On the Adriatic coast the weather conditions can change rapidly. Wind can turn direction very fast. Therefore it is always good to follow the weather forecast and respect conditions at sea.
Bura (NNE to ENE)
The Bura is a dry and cold north-easterly wind blowing from land to the sea. Extremely unpleasant and unpredictable because it begins abruptly and blows in gusts. The strongest bura occurs in mountain passes and its strength weakens as it moves away from the coast. On the coast it can reach speeds of over 200 km/h. The bura is the most powerful in the winter period, when it can last up to 10 days. It often causes problems in traffic. During the summer it usually blows for one or two days as a local wind. For sailors it can be very dangerous because it comes very suddenly and with strong wind gusts. Bura makes short waves with foam on the top. It raises the sea mist and reduces visibility. Bura is most dangerous in its strength and speed in the Kvarner region, Velebit channel, the Maslenica area, Nin bay, Vrulje bay and on the Peljesac peninsula.
Jugo (ESE to SSE)
The Jugo is mostly a warm and moist southeasterly wind. It comes from Otranto and creates large, long waves. It develops slowly over 24 hours and blows up to 5-6 days. The air pressure drops and there are many low rainy clouds. It can develop into a stormy south wind without rain. During the summer it occurs as a local wind, mainly in the southern Adriatic.
Maestral (SE to NW)
The Maestral is a pleasant summer wind that blows from the northwest. It is caused by a temperature difference between the shore and sea. It begins blowing every day around 11:00, slowly increasing and ends with the sunset. With its low constant speed, it relieves summer heat along the coast. The Maestral is ideal for sailing in the summer and during the charter season. It is well known to the sailors.
Tramontana (N to NW)
The Tramontana is a northern dry wind that lasts for a very short time, usually one day. It occurs more frequently in the southern Adriatic and it comes with good weather and high air pressure.
The Burin is a gentle summer wind or breeze. Blowing from the north at night and announces clear skies.
The Nevera is a thermal storm coming from the west and open sea. It is very unpleasant as it comes suddenly and rapidly.Before the storm it is usually very calm and quiet. The colours of the sea are more intensive. It lasts a very short time, but has vast power and can cause major damage. The strongest storms occur in summer and early autumn, when you should be very careful. Don't let it surprise you, so it's best to change the route immediately!