The west wind: everything you need to know, and that in this way you are perfectly prepared to fully enjoy your favorite water sport.
The west wind is the one that originates from the West. We can know this orientation since it is the place where the sun sets. The west wind is also known by other names such as: west, favonio, in Latin and used by the Romans to designate the favorable direction of the west wind in the Mediterranean since it reduced the temperature and provided the necessary humidity for the crops, vesper , I hope, zefiro, provence, favognano, zephyr, which comes from the Greek name zopho (used to refer to a dark or gloomy element, such as dusk).
There are two types of west wind, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Both come from the western area, however, they have different characteristics.
The west wind from the Mediterranean is more frequent during the summer season and causes the aforementioned changes of moderation of heat and increased humidity. It is a wind that thanks to the Foehn Effect, that is, the loss of temperature of a wind as it travels through higher altitudes, while when it descends towards heights closer to sea level it acquires higher temperature, producing very pleasant temperatures. when it reaches the area of the Spanish east and the coast of Murcia in winter.
On the contrary, in summer temperatures increase and, due to its dry nature, make it a powerful ally for fires. That is why these areas are often the hottest in Spain, with Murcia registering the highest historical temperature in the country with 47.2ºC in June 1994.
In the Atlantic area, the west wind is much more moderate and the temperatures are more pleasant in summer, without exceeding 30ºC in the central hours of the day. It is usually accompanied by an increase in humidity and on winter days it causes the cold to acquire a humid character that makes it difficult to cope with the low temperatures.
The east and west winds have different characteristics that affect surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing in one way or another.
If, on the one hand, the east wind offers us strong gusts of dry wind that come from the West, on the other, the west wind appears with constant winds, between 2 and 5 on the Beaufort scale, side on and with more pleasant temperatures, in addition, the waves it causes are less important, so for an initiation level or training without the need to get great tricks, it is perfect.
For the east wind we will use kites or sails of medium or small size, since their intensity could cause the breakage of a larger one or make us not be able to control it.
For the west wind, we will always look for kites or sails of medium or large size to make the most of the gentle wind that allows us to perform the best tricks.
Although these are the general and normal conditions for the west wind, we must bear in mind that its characteristics will depend on the beach where we are and the area of Spain where we are going to kitesurf. Thus, if we go to a beach where the western area is practically « covered » by buildings from a nearby town, it is likely that the west wind is barely noticeable and has no influence on our navigation.
In Tarifa, you can learn to kitesurf with Kite and Roll and we take care that you do it in the best weather conditions;)