Tramontana - Mr Feelgood

Tramontana - Mr Feelgood

According to Ian Gibson, Salvador Dali’s biographer, the famous artist moved from Figueres to Barcelona because he could not stand the tramontane any longer. In Croatia, the tramontane is a northern, cold wind, which brings good weather.


Its name originates from the Latin word transmontanus, which means “over the mountain”. The Italian meaning of the word translates into “northern star”. In Croatia, the locals changed some letters in the name, so that one can hear different variants such as: tramuntanatermuntanatrmuntantrmuntona or tarmuntona, but the name remains recognizable.


The tramontane is formed by air masses, which have partially cooled somewhere in the Dolomites in Italy or more northwards in the mountains of the neighbouring countries. The masses move towards the Adriatic with significant acceleration and can surprise us with occasional gusts – strong rushes of wind, because the tramontane is similar to the bora, inasmuch as it blows from the true north, is not as powerful and its gusts are less intense than the ones brought on by the bora. Since it is a herald of its stronger sister, the bora, it is often said that the tramontane is in fact bora in waiting.


During the summer, it appears as a local wind, which is transient and short-lived and it usually stops blowing within a day, but it can cause big waves, especially further from the coast. In extreme conditions, especially on the open sea, it can reach the strength of bora. This information is especially useful to boaters because bays open to the north when anchoring should be avoided.


Boaters love this wind, despite the rough sea, because it can blow up to 25 knots, affording passionate boaters entertainment because of its strength and consistency. It is a favourite of surfers in the Preluk bay, where the tramontane created a heaven on Earth. Due to a natural phenomenon causing greater temperature differences between the sea and the land, the wind is channelled through the bay. The tramontane in Preluk is the strongest between five and seven in the morning, so that one can find hundreds of surfers gathered in the Kvarner at the break of dawn.