If you see a cluster of clouds lingering above the Velebit mountain chain, headed neither here nor there or perhaps seeming to slowly inch their way towards the sea, get ready to unpack your hoodies. It’s a sure sign the bora wind is making its approach.
With mean speeds of over .5 km/hour and its characteristic gusts hitting at over 100 km/hour, the bora wind (bura) is a cold and dry northeastern wind that blows down from the mountains along the eastern Adriatic. Customarily it builds up moderately and lasts an average of 12 hours. Some say its course always runs an odd number of days, making it possible to predict to a certain extent when it will pass.
The town of Senj is known for being hit hardest by this wind, which sometimes reaches speeds of up to 220 km/hour, disrupting traffic and causing light damage to trees and buildings. When less extreme, it can put some wind in your sails if you’re surfing, but it can also be the making of a dangerous sport.
The bura is not all bad, though. For when it passes, it leaves behind crisp, clean air, giving the landscape around you a new depth. Look up at Velebit. Look twice at neighboring islands.
What’s more, the bura is part of the drying process required for famous Dalmatian prsut, more than well worth a day or two of even the most wicked winds.