Meltemi

The Meltemi wind was known by the old Greeks as the Etesian northern winds, and results from a high pressure system (>1025) laying over the Balkan/Hungary area and a relatively low pressure (<1010) system over Turkey.

Although this katabatic wind can bring very bad kayak conditions on multi day trips it also provides cooling, low humidity and good visibility. Furthermore, it can be characterized as one of the few Mediterranean winds that do not necessarily die out at the end of the day and last for days without a break. In 2013 we had the Meltimi blowing non stop in Crete for 20 days (force 4-6, 24 hours in the whole island).

Typical weather associated with a meltemi event is dry with clear skies. Especially during the high season (July to August) a meltemi is heralded by scattered altocumulus and sometimes orographic clouds on the lee side of islands during the previous day. Typically a meltemi is accompanied by a sudden drop in humidity, improved visibility and a raise in atmospheric pressure.

Unfortunately Meltemi as you can imagine affect a lot our kayak trips and there is a big chance to cancel trips during July, August when participants are not comfortable paddling in force 4, sea state 4 (at least).