Posted by: viewfromtheriva | March 7, 2015

Bura blows into Split with 100+mph winds!


85 mph winds whipped through Split, often ripping off huge tree limbs and sending them crashing to the street.

Hurricane force winds whipped through Split over the past few days, often ripping off huge tree limbs like this one right opposite our local bus stop

Every year around this time the bura blows into this part of the Adriatic.  With hurricane force winds, all ferry traffic is closed and trees, chunks of buildings and seawalls come crashing down and locals simply wait it out until the bura finally blows itself away.  What was strange about this bura was that it went on for three days–even blowing over a semi on the highway just outside the city. truck

The bura (or bora) is a cold, north-easterly wind, which surprisingly, all locals consider the “good wind”.

The main reason that Dalmatians like bura is because they believe that the moist air created by the constant wind is absolutely essential to curing their meats and cheeses that are hung out to dry age.

But this bura was anything but kind, leaving a wake of destruction up and down the coast from Rijeka to practically Dubrovnik.

Whether it’s the afternoon “maestral”, a sea wind, the “nevera” or a the bura, winds play an important part of Dalmatian life.

The bura actually has a nasty brother–the region’s other famous wind called the jugo (pronounced “yugo” like the funky Yugoslavian mini car).

Dalmatians are so spooked by the jugo that according to local legend it has been used as an excuse for crime–“I couldn’t help it, it was the jugo!”

And in fact, headaches, bad tempers and all around misery are an actual fact of life when the jugo comes–even to the point where my friends have told me in all seriousness, “never make a big decision or sign a contract during jugo”.

Having lived in Maine, where blustery “nor’easters” were common during winter, experiencing the full fury of the Croatian version was exciting–but I am glad I have a garage for my 22 year old Mercedes!

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