Wave HeightsWith few tides and frequent periods of sustained high pressure weather systems, the Mediterranean is often a calm place. The Spanish have three different words for waves of less than 0.5 m, whereas us Brits have only one. The Balearics are no exception, with calm seas to be found often on the south coasts of Mallorca and Menorca. The North coasts tend to have larger waves, as a result of the long fetch to mainland Spain and France and the famous tramontana wind (known as the mistralin France which can blows from the north-west. Folklore holds that the tramonatana always blows in multiples of three days, and it can certainly set up a swell onto the north coasts and in the Menorca Channel.
To help with understanding the local forecasts, these are the English and Spanish wave height definitions.
|Rizada||Less than 0.1 m|
|Marejadilla||Smooth||Less than 0.5 m|
|Marejada||Slight||0.5 m - 1.25 m|
|Fuerte marejada||Moderate||1.25 m - 2.5 m|
|Gruesa||Rough||2.5 m - 4.0 m|
|Muy gruesa||Very rough||4.0 m - 6.0 m|
|Arbolada||High||6.0 m - 9.0 m|
|Montañosa||Very high||9.0 m - 14.0 m|
|Enorme||Phenomenal||More than 14.0 m|