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E - 129 : Wind and Weather this Summer

Updated: Apr 16, 2021


Love this site which provides accurate weather and wind predicions


Just finished the detailed plan for this summer’s sailing. One of the things I had to look up was the weather for July. Most people go on holiday assuming summer will be just hot and without wind. Well, we learned the hard way in summer 2017 that this was not the case. When we crossed from Monemvasia on the Peloponnes to Bodrum in Turkey, we got into the Meltemi and faced wind speeds of >80 kt/h with waves up to 3 meter high. Luckily, we had a resilient crew and resilient guests. Everybody laughed it off riding the strong winds out. To our astonishment, nobody got seasick. But we lived on sandwiches for two days!


We are now far better prepared in the planning of our trips thanks to a couple of good applications (see above). We know pretty well what to look out for. Temperature and sunshine will be as expected - hot and plenty. On average, day temperatures will climb to above 30 Celsius by mid day and night temperatures remain in the 25 Celsius range. Dinner at the back of the AFAET's deck should thus be possible every night.

Average temperatures in the Ionic Sea over the year


In Malta, Syracuse and then Greece, temperature will be about 2 -3 degrees higher than indicated on the chart above..


Wind conditions should also be fine, mostly not exceeding 8 – 12 knots. There will be stronger winds when crossing from Malta to Syracuse, mostly blowing from the West to Northwest with up to 20 knots. Once in the shadow of Sicily, they will die down. But they will pick up again when we cross the Straits of Messina on the way to the Aeolian Islands. We may have to expect winds again around the 20 knots range blowing mainly from the North to Northwest. I guess we will have to motor our way up north as the wind will blow straight into our face.


On the way back the wind will be in our favor. Returning through the Straits should be possible on sail all the way around the toe of Italy. After that, on the coasts of Calabria, the winds will be mostly thermal. Wind blowing from the land in the morning and a land breeze in the afternoon and evening. The ancient sailors travelled with these thermal winds along the coasts and so will we.


Wind directions in Otranto


Crossing the Adria will be a different game though. As we approach Taranto, the wind will freshen up and consistently blow from the North. There is a good chance that we will have windspeeds of 15 - 18 knots from Taranto to Otranto. For the crossing of the Adria we may again see winds up to 20 knots - possibly all the way down to the Greek island of Lefkada.


Once in the Gulf of Corinth, the wind will change again and drop back to the levels we had along Sicily's east coast. Finally, after reaching the Saronic Gulf, it will drop to almost zero. I guess the last few days we will have to motor after enjoying plenty of sailing from Taranto to Lefkada.

Almost no wind in the Saronic Gulf


As usual, we will have to see. There is a 20% probability that some local thunderstorm grows into something bigger as it did off the coast of Albania in 2019, when we were forced to sit out a growing storm for 24 hours in Durres. Weather is always good for a surprise and still today nobody is able to make precise long-term predictions.


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