Bura: Wind that clears the sky, cools the sea and dries prosciutto

Bura (bora) is a north-to-northeast wind (NNE) that blows along the Adriatic coast, and its name comes from the Greek mythological character Boreus – the north wind.

Bura blows in gusts and is most common in winter, but it can occur at any time of the year.



Bura in Baška on the island of Krk, Photo: Blanka Žluticky, WMO, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED


Bura is a dry and cold wind that descends from the mountains towards the sea. This is why it is often very cold in winter on a sunny and cloudless day. If the sun is out and you’re freezing, be sure it’s bura.

Bura is also the perfect and necessary wind for drying prosciutto, the Dalmatian dried meat, which matures in open spaces throughout Dalmatia. There is also a saying “Without bura, there is no good prosciutto!”

The incredible taste and saltiness of cheese from Pag is also attributed to the bura. When the wind blows, it brings salt from the Adriatic Sea onto the island’s grass. The sheep graze on salty grass and herbs, which makes their milk extremely good for making cheese.


Istrian prosciutto, Photo: Tim Ertl, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED


In Dalmatia, the sky can be cloudy with fog that makes the islands barely visible. When bura comes it wipes out the sky. After bura stops and when the sky clears, you can often see Italy from the peaks of the mountains Biokovo and Velebit.


Bura in Ražanac, Photo: Aleksandar Gospić, WMO, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED


Bura can reach a speed of 220 kilometers per hour, and the highest recorded speed was at the Maslenica bridge, at 248 kilometers per hour (in 1998). It is a hurricane force. Fortunately, the houses are built of concrete, not wood, which prevents them from blowing away as they would in the United States.

The strongest bura usually occurs in Senj, near Rijeka. Due to its position on the coast, the bura can blow in several directions.



Bura is a wind that has a big influence on the life and culture of people on the Adriatic. It clears the sky, cools the sea, dries prosciutto, gives flavor to cheese, and creates challenges for navigation and traffic.

Bura is a wind that is respected and appreciated but also feared.



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