Jugo - The Moody King

If it could be said that the Bura is a furious wind and that it can also blow to such a strength that it is dangerous for boaters (which is, luckily, mainly during the winter), the Adriatic’s second main wind could not be given the same epithet, however during sailing it can cause some kinds of problems, it undeniably fits.

The wind in the Adriatic that in fact blows from the southeast is called the Jugo and should not be confused with the wind that really blows from the south, therefore from the direction of the north, which is called the Oštro or “real Jugo”, and has the same characteristics and can frequently pass from one to the other. To highlight this difference, the people of Dubrovnik and the general inhabitants of the Southern Adriatic call this wind Šilok.

It appears in all seasons, in the Northern Adriatic most frequently in the spring, and in the south in autumn and winter. In general, it is more frequent in the south than in the north of the Adriatic. The Jugo brings warmth, a drop in pressure, mostly high humidity, clouds and rain frequently followed by thunder. All of this affects the mood, and since it usually lasts a long time, people are overcome by a total “fjaka”, from the Italian word “fiacca” meaning “weariness” or “listlessness”. This kind of Jugo is cyclonal (the centre of the cyclone at that time is in the Western Mediterranean) and most often blows in winter. An anti-cyclonal Jugo is characteristic of spring and is born in the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula. This kind of Jugo does not bring rain, yet it gets stronger as the sun rises, and so towards sunset it dies down.

The Jugo does not start suddenly like the Bura, but usually gradually, over a day, two, and even three gaining more strength, so during a “young” Jugo sailing is excellent, even when it gets stronger, and for those to whom it blows excessively, they always have enough time to find shelter until it blows itself out. Unlike the Bura, which blows in squalls, the Jugo is a uniform wind. It can start to blow at any time of day, however, it usually starts to blow in the morning. It can be expected to stop in the afternoon or evening.

From the outer open sea side along the coastal line of islands the Jugo raises great waves, whilst in the narrow channels between islands and in large bays (Vela Luka, Stari Grad, Mali Lošinj…) there are no large waves, however it does gain extra speed. In the wider channels, such as between Dugi Otok, Ugljan and Pašman and similar landscapes it is possible to “creep” by sailing alongside Dugi Otok to a certain extent without great waves, but then with occasional gusts due to the configuration of the islands.