Black bura

There is a saying that there are three strong bura wind storms in March (or 7 light ones…) and if we are to judge by this first one, on March 5th 2015, we will hardly make it… Last year we had almost no bura days and everyone was blaming global warming. This year, we are getting slammed as I write. The forecast was for strongest bura in decades – up to 240 Km/h (cc 150 Mph, 130 knots). To give you an idea how bad that is:
To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph (33 m/s; 64 kn; 119 km/h) (Category 1). The highest classification in the scale, Category 5, is reserved for storms with winds exceeding 156 mph (70 m/s; 136 kn; 251 km/h).
Here is a great article on bura and how it is formed: It is also called bora in English but we, in Croatia, always use the term bura.

Approaching Ražanac harbor
Approaching Ražanac harbor

As the forecast was serious, I decided to go to one of the most picturesque places one can shoot great photos of the storm. The village of Ražanac, at the very coast of Velebit channel, is the place. And it always gets a proper slamming as the wind is formed up in the clouds over Velebit’s peks – just few miles across the channel.
This is what Ražanac beach and small harbor look in the summer:

Ražanac in the summer
Summer in Ražanac

And this is what it looked like yesterday…

Bura in Ražanac
Bura in Ražanac

The drive to Ražanac was scenic as always. Once I entered the village, not only the strong winds were slamming the car in the narrow streets, but there was sea water everywhere: in the air, on the streets, on the houses… The little harbor looked as if the hell broke loose…

Several locals were guarding their boats in fear that the chains and ropes will give in to the massive waves.

The news channel on the radio was telling that all the bridges were closed down for winds and that there were several turned over cars and trucks and people getting injured. Since I was close to Pag bridge, I decided to go there and just take few photos. If possible.

On the way there, the Ljubljana peninsula and it’s ruins of ancient Ljubljana town looked very impressive…

Peninsula ljubljana
Peninsula Ljubljana
Sea spray all over...
Sea spray all over…

The gusts were getting stronger and stronger and I was feeling my 2 ton car shaking like a toy… The idea of getting to Pag bridge did not look that cool any more…

Broken branches all over
Broken branches all over

Less than a mile away from the bridge, it became very clear that it is much better (and safer) to simply turn back. The big branches on the road made that decision definite. It was not worth getting in trouble for a photo of Pag bridge and I pulled in the first car wash to get all the salt off my car…
A windstorm to remember!