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Climate & Weather

Croatia is characterized by three main climatic areas: Adriatic or Mediterranean, mountain - alpine and continental - Pannonian. Continental - Pannonian region has a temperate continental climate, while the central hill and mountain areas have characteristics of snow - forest climate. The entire Adriatic coast has a pleasant Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. Springs and autumns are mild along the coast, and the winter is cold and snowy in central and northern areas. The average temperature in January ranges from 0 to 2 ° C, and in August from 19 to 23 ° C. The average temperature at the seaside is higher: January from 6 to 11 ° C, and in August from 21 to 27 ° C.

Main winds on the Adriatic

Mistral is northwestern wind that appears in periods of high air pressure, usually between 9 and 10 o'clock, about 14 o'clock reaches its maximum and always ends before sunset. It can reach up to 5 Beaufort and cause rough seas, but calm down in the late afternoon, and the next day - after a calm night - starts blowing a similar intensity as the previous day. Sometimes blows with gale force as a result of passage of of Cyclone. Mistral follows good weather which significantly alleviates the summer sultriness. It is usually accompanied by a characteristic crowded white clouds of weak vertical development.

Burin is a wind which blows from the opposite direction of mistral, from land to sea. It usually blows at night, mostly from the northeast on the northern Adriatic, and from the east or northeast on the southern Adriatic. Strongest blows before dawn and soon after that cease to blow. Burin is usually weaker than mistral, but in some areas (for example, in Bol on Brač) can reach a strength of up to 5 Beaufort.

Bora is strong, dry and cold northeast wind that occurs during periods of high air pressure, blows from the land towards the sea in powerful gusts. It requires two conditions for the formation of bora: the flow of cold air from the north or northeast and mountain barriers perpendicular to the flow of air. While all winds blows horizontally, bora is exception. Cold air masses, heavier than air over the sea, running from the seaside mountains, mostly mountain saddles, as jets falling diagonally towards the sea, tearing the tops of the waves and scattering foam converting it into sea dust. The greater the distance from the coast, the lower the power of bora gusts. Bora encountered in all seasons, but is more common in winter, when blows with gale force. In summer bora usually blows only a few hours, but sometimes it can take up to a day or two.The main areas where bora is blowing are Gulf of Trieste, Kvarner and Kvarnerić, Velebit channel, Zadar channel and around Šibenik, Split, Pelješac and Dubrovnik.

Jugo (scirocco) is a warm and moist southeast wind. It blows along the entire Adriatic Sea and causes rough seas. It is accompanied by high waves, very overcast sky but most often with prolonged rain. Encounter in all seasons, on the northern Adriatic mainly from March to June, and on the south from autumn to winter. Sirocco often blows for several days (three days in summer and in winter and up to nine days), while rough sea can last even longer. From time to time this wind also brings the reddish-brown sand from Africa. Its average strength is between 4 and 5 Beaufort, but often reaches the gale force. It should be noted that sirocco can change its direction in just a few minutes and turn into a very strong bora (NE wind). Sirocco has its anticyclonic and cyclonic shape with characteristic differences in the distribution of atmospheric pressure and weather conditions. However, sirocco is usually cyclonic origin.

Nevera is name for weaker thunderstorm at Adriatic Sea. It generally occurs during the summer, from June to September, and is more common in northern Adriatic. It strikes suddenly, causing rough sea, but is generally of short duration. The main features of unbelief are storm and lightning, rain showers or hail and wind with strong gusts. By passing of unbelief, atmospheric pressure gradually returns to normal, temperature rises and weather clear up.

Other winds in the Adriatic are:

Libeccio is southwest storm wind with high waves and heavy downpours. In summer it is local thermal wind of nevera, in other seasons has cyclonic feature. Libeccio is most pronounced on central and southern Adriatic. The sign of libeccio is low fog railway over the southwestern part of the horizon with very separated lower edge, while atmospheric pressure suddenly drops.

Levant is east wind, type of bora which blows pretty equally and usually brings rainy weather with moderately low temperatures. More often blows on the northern Adriatic.

Tramontane is a type bora which blows from the north. Doesn't blow so hard and unpredictably as a storm. The shape of coastline affects on direction of tramontane, and often occurs on the southern Adriatic.

Sea currents and tides

Sea currents - In the Adriatic prevails relatively weak, but under the influence of wind and currents of tides, constant sea current. From the Ionian Sea into the Adriatic coming branch of Mediterranean currents, which runs along the eastern Adriatic coast to the northwest and down the Italian coast turns to the northeast. Current power is an average of 0.5 - 1.5 knots. It's atronger in the summer than in winter, and along the east coast is weaker than the west. In the channels and straits current is much stronger.

Tides - Growth and decline of sea level occurs mostly by action of tidal forces of the moon and a smaller part of the sun. The amplitudes of sea level in the Adriatic for sailing smaller with boats are not significant. They are lowest in the central Adriatic, rising to the south and the north. Highest amplitudes sea level occur in a full moon and Waxing Crescent, and the lowest during the first and last quarter moon. On the change of sea level affect atmospheric factors; increase of atmospheric pressure and bora reduce sea level, and raises the drop of atmospheric pressure and southern winds.