18 Mar What is a Meltemi Wind?
If you are a frequent sailor in the Greek seas or if you are planning your sailing holiday in Greece, then you have probably encountered the term Meltemi. This is a term that you must have seen in sailing guides or travel books about Greece.
So, what exactly is Meltemi?
Meltemi is the most characteristic wind of the Greek summer. This is a strong & dry Northern wind that blows over the Aegean Sea and affects all the Aegean islands. It occurs in the summer season, from June to September, with a peak from the end of July until the end of September.
Meltemi is a strong wind that may start in the afternoon and continue until night time when it usually fades out. However, it may even last for several days without a break. Meltemi wind averages at 4-5 in the Beaufort scale, but it can also reach 8-9.
Meltemi is also a characteristic wind of the Aegean Sea in Greece. The Ionian Sea is not affected by Meltemi throughout the charter season, but by another calmer wind called Maistro.
How Meltemi affects daily life
As Meltemi is a dry wind, it offers much comfort from the summer heat. Summer in the Greek islands is very hot, reaching 40-42oC in the months of July and August. Therefore, Meltemi offers a nice breeze during the hot days and nights in Greece. It is also a nice wind for sports, such as windsurfing and kitesurfing, which are two very popular sea sports in some islands, such as Paros, Naxos, Mykonos and Rhodes.
How Meltemi affects sailing
Although sailing yachts are all-weather vessels, skippers in Greece should take into consideration the weather reports and be prepared to sail in wind conditions. Moreover, there are some island passages that get more affected by meltemi winds, therefore more attention is needed when crossing these passages.
In conclusion, although Meltemi can be a nice wind that comforts from the hot summer temperatures in Greece, attention is needed when sailing because occasionally it may get strong and difficult to handle.