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Bit Of A Blow For Your Holiday

 

Friends have just returned from a couple of months in Cyprus and while they had a fabulous last week, they mentioned that the earlier weeks were a little spoiled by a constant wind.

Of course in a hot sunny climate it is quite likely there will be an afternoon breeze as the sea breeze starts blowing. This is because the air over the land warms more quickly than the air over the sea and as it rises the colder air from the sea comes in to take its place. Sea breezes can often have a welcome cooling affect after a hot sunny day.

But in parts of the world there are regular winds than can become a real nuisance and sometimes it is worth researching the wind as well as the levels of sun and rain before you book a holiday.

Many people have heard of the Mistral; this is a strong wind which can last for several days and often flows down the Rhone valley and across southern France, bringing cooler air.

Sirocco is another wind that people have heard of; a warm southerly flow of air which originates from the Sahara and then picks up moisture as it flows north across the Mediterranean, bringing warm and humid conditions for Italy and Greece especially.

The Leveche is less well known; a wind that comes from the Sahara and brings hotter and humid conditions to Southern Spain.

The Etesian wind really affects the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean sea in summer time. It is a north to north westerly wind bringing in fine and settled weather, but can be strong enough to be a nuisance to holidaymakers.

The Bora, which mainly affects the northern Adriatic coast and northern Italy in winter and spring, is cold and blustery and can definitely be annoying to holidaymakers.

Out of Europe, most of us are now savvy enough travellers to be aware of the hurricane season, especially if we are travelling to the Caribbean and the south eastern states of America. Generally they occur between July and October; catch the right time and you can sometimes enjoy a lovely holiday at reduced prices; get it wrong and a trip could become a nightmare and worse! Hurricanes are just so unpredicatable.

The same with cyclones and typhoons; terms mainly used for similar tropical weather disturbances in the Indian and Pacific Ocean and the China sea. In the Northeast Pacific, the official season runs very precisely from May 15 to November 30. In the Northwest Pacific, typhoons are most common from late June through December. The North Indian Ocean sees cyclones from April to December, with peaks in May and November. The Southwest Pacific and South Indian oceans (including the northern Australia coastlines) get most of their activity from November to May.

However, if the conditions are right, tropical cyclones can develop outside their official seasons, especially in the Northwest Pacific, where they can occur all year round.

The Khamsin is a hot dry wind that lifts temperatures on the Mediterranean costs of Egypt and Israel. Not only does it bring heat, but it is also often laden with dust making it very unpleasant to go out of doors; hence the term dust storm. It usually occurs in spring and autumn.

One wind which is sometimes very welcome is the Chinook which usually occurs on the eastern side of the Rockies in Canada and America. This is a warm and dry wind and can bring a quick end to the snows and cold of spring weather in the region.

Of course levels of rain and sun are vital aspects when planning a holiday, but it can be useful to check out the local winds as well to ensure you aren’t caught out by an unexpected blow!

 


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