The name of the wind
One of the things we love about living in Fethiye (and there are many) is how the winds have names. This isn’t unusual in itself, but what is more unusual is the locals, many of whom make a living on the sea and have intimate knowledge of the winds, talk about them with the familiarity of an old friend.
To make sure you don’t feel at a complete disadvantage if you find yourself in the middle of one of these conversations, we’d like to tell you a bit more about a couple of the winds that affect us here in Fethiye.
Meltemi is the Greek and Turkish name for the well known etesian wind blowing from north to northwest across the Aegean Sea. The meltemi flows from a high-pressure ridge over the Balkans towards a heat trough over the Anatolian Plateau.
Although the etesian winds are part of the large scale Asian monsoon system, the Meltemi might also be caused or enhanced by regional-scale weather patterns, i.e. a local heat trough over Turkey, the relatively cold Aegean waters and resulting high pressure. This is especially true at the beginning and end of the Meltemi season (May to October).
The Meltemi are at their strongest in the afternoon and often die down at night, but sometimes Meltemi winds last for days without a break.
These winds generally bring low humidity, good visibility and beautiful blue clear skies.
They bring cooling relief from hot Mediterranean summer months and many visitors head to Çalış Beach in the afternoons to enjoy the summer breeze.
It is also great for windsurfing and sailing. For the seasoned sailor, it can be a real joy when the Meltemi starts to blow as it means there is some serious sailing to be enjoyed.
However, for newcomers to yachting and boating, it can prove pretty challenging when the Meltemi blows as this wind can be unpredictable and can suddenly start up without any warning, even when the weather is glorious, thus catching you off guard because you don’t expect it.
The Lodos has been classified as a fierce south westerly wind (blowing from the south west) which may prevail on the Mediterranean shoreline of Turkey all through the year.
The word Lodos is Turkish, comes from the Greek word “Notus”, and originally means “southern wind”.
Lodos winds are at their strongest in the afternoon and often die down at night, but sometimes they last for days without a break.
The Lodos brings wind and waves from the south from October to April, with a peak season in December.
The Lodos is not an unusual wind type since it occurs around twenty times or more yearly. Its sudden nature, however, makes it rather unique and often a danger to sailors who are often not equipped to deal with calm, clear weather suddenly changing to treacherous one.
The wind is not entirely bad news because its occurrence drives warm waters from the south and these warm currents bring African dust from the Sahara Desert, giving the appearance of a sandstorm.
This dust is very rich in many minerals such as sulfate, iron, zinc and other minerals that are beneficial to plants which form the basis of the local people’s livelihood.
However, if Lodos winds continue for more than a day, these same mineral-rich dusts can cause different types of illnesses due to the fact that these minerals are not human body-friendly at all. These illnesses which can occur include headaches, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases.
Next time you’re in Fethiye and the wind blows, you’ll be able to greet it by name.
Sources: Geo Lounge/Weather Online