Hurricanes, or tropical cyclones
, appear in mid-latitude areas above the surface of relatively warm water in the ocean. They are characterized by very strong spiral winds blowing around the hurricane core, ranging between 20-30 miles in diameter. Besides very strong winds they create extraordinary big waves, causing problems to sailors and coastal populations.
In the Mediterranean, specifically in the Adriatic, there are no such big and powerful weather systems, but there are still some things to warn you about. A sudden meteorological phenomenon characterized by thunders, strong wind, heavy rain and sometimes ice pellets
is called nevera
. A typical nevera
develops as a result of a clash between the cold and the warm air
at the fronts of cyclones (low pressure areas). They are easy to notice as the air rises vertically and cumulus clouds form, soon turning into anvil-shaped cumulonimbus clouds. The features are similar to those of tropical hurricanes, but nevera
is smaller and lasts shorter.
Precaution for both hurricane and nevera
is basically the same. It is always better to avoid them
if possible. It is simpler in the Adriatic because nevera
is a storm of short duration and can be recognized in time to change the course and avoid it. The sails have to be reefed
while all the crew members must wear life vests
. If nevera
strikes you while you are anchored or close to a buoy, the engines should be turned on
and ready to take off immediately. Furthermore, sailor-knives have to be prepared in order to cut the mooring lines
It is always recommended to leave the anchorage and your berth in the port until nevera
passes. An old seafarers pray says "Dear God, may my boat save me from the sea and I will save it from the shore", meaning that no nevera
will last forever and that it is better to sail out
and keep away from the shore during the storm.
I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!