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Captain's Blog

Local winds in the Western Mediterranean

The weather conditions in the western Mediterranean are heavily influenced by the local land masses and can be a little unpredictable. Visit the weather page for a general overview.

The winds

The winds have all been given names, which vary from country to country and even region to region. The main winds are shown below, with a discussion of the most important ones.
Balearic name Other names Direction Comments
Mestral Maestral, Mistral NW The feared Mestral can arrive at short notice, bringing strong winds of up to force 10. It is particularly dangerous along the high cliffs of northern Mallorca, where Soller is the only port of refuge for 100 miles. The mistral normally blows for three days (local folklore says it will be blow for multiples of three days: if it is still blowing on day four, it will be blow for at least two more days.)
While common in the winter, blowing about 30% of the time, it is very much less common in summer, and the south coast of Mallorca is well protected from the mestral. If a mestral has been blowing, the seas are likely to be quite rough for a couple of days in the Menorca Channel.
Tramontana Tramontane N  
Gregal   NE  
Levante Levanter E  
Xeloc Chaloc SE  
Sirocco   S Short-lived, but often brings Saharan sands mixed in with rain. This can be very damaging to moving parts, particularly winches, and it is worth covering them if a sirocco is forecast or the boat will be left for an extended period
Lleibeig Llebeitx, Libeccio SW  
Poniente Vendeval W Usually short-lived
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