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The južina wind phenomenon

The famous južina wind blowing on the Dalmatian coast

by Iva Ralica

While it’s almost impossible to get experts to agree on anything, it’s widely accepted that the wind can play a part in how we feel and behave.

In Croatia’s Dalmatian region, winds, and the effects on the body and mind, are taken very seriously. The evening television weather forecast not only tells you what the weather will be the following day, but will also tell you how you will likely feel based on what the winds are doing.   

One wind which is credited for bringing out the worst is the famous warm southerly južina or jugo wind. When it blows, it is responsible for bad moods, nausea, migraines, craziness and a lack of concentration.

There is even a common urban myth in Croatia that if a crime was committed while the južina wind was blowing back in ancient times, people would be given lighter sentences. 

Južina arises from a warm, dry, tropical airmass that is pulled by low-pressure cells moving eastward across the Mediterranean Sea. The wind originates in the Arabian or Sahara deserts. The hotter, drier continental air mixes with the cooler, wetter air of the maritime cyclone, and the counter-clockwise circulation of the low propels the mixed air across Dalmatian coast. 

The južina wind, however, is not exclusive to the coast and can reach even continental parts of the country, depending on the depth of the cyclone.

Studies have shown that the weather really does affect humans’ health and mood. This was partially confirmed by many scientists, recently those of the Manchester University in a study Cloudy with a Chance of Pain. 

The južina is even responsible for a rare phenomenon of bending the peak of Croatia’s most famous beach, Zlatni rat. The beach returns to its usual shape in a couple of days once the Južina subsides.

Zlatni rat changes shape (Photo credit: Roni Marinković)

Those who have not experienced it may laugh about it, but people that live near the sea in Croatia will vouch for it. Whilst there are no secret remedies to take when the južina is blowing in full, some things which can help including eating leafy green vegetables, drinking camomile tea, tinctures and taking vitamin C.  

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