Mallorca and basic concepts of meteorology

If we are interested in kitesurfing and planning to understand why happen what happens it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of meteorology. In the following lines we will talk about Mallorca and basic concepts of meteorology.


Problems at sea must be solved with common sense, without pause and with imagination. The main thing is to assess the scope and consequences of the problem, check if there are other boats in the vicinity and decide quickly if you can solve the situation by your own means.


How to determine wind direction?

In the northern hemisphere, which is where our island Mallorca is situated, the winds rotates in clockwise direction around anticyclones, and counterclockwise around depressions; in the southern hemisphere.  That would be just the opposite, that in case one is thinking of going to kitesurf to Argentina, South Africa or Australia.

The wind always blows parallel to the isobars, but due to friction against the ground and the mountains, the wind on surface, not in higher scales, it presents with the isobars an angle  of 15 ° to 20 ° at sea, and from 20 ° to 25 ° on the ground.




– The GEOGRAPHICAL and ATMOSPHERIC FACTORS that explain it are:
1.-  The drought in the summer is explained by the influence of the Azores anticyclone and the higher frequency of dry advections in North Africa.
2.-  The autumnal precipitations are due to the thermal contrast between the waters of the Mediterranean, very hot during the summer, with the cold air coming from the European continent (Eastern situations) or from the Peninsula; with the earth – which cools in autumn faster than the sea -; or with gusts of cold air in height caused by the beginning of the descent in latitude of the jet stream.
3.-  The moderate thermal amplitude is due to the regulatory influence exerted by the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, closed and bordered by mountainous reliefs that temper winters and in summer acts as a heat store, so it can not dampen much the high summer temperatures .


How to estimate wind speed?

To calculate, approximately, the wind speed in an area, we have to consider the following:  wind speed between two points is directly proportional to the pressure difference  between this two points. This means that when in the map, the isobars are closer together, the stronger the wind is going to be.

Between two parallels or two meridians are 10 degrees of distance. We can calculate the number of degrees between two isobars easily, also considering that to a bigger separation between the isobars correspond less wind intensity.

For a given space and the same latitude isobars,  winds blowing around a cyclone or high pressure area are stronger than the blowing around a low pressure area.

The wind does not exactly follow the isobars, but tends  to move outwards because of earth rotation and this fact it is called the Coriolis force.


The air masses above our heads.

The air above our heads weighs, but we do  not perceive this because we are accustomed to it.  The weight of this air is what we call atmospheric pressure, the pressure is exerted equally in all directions, so the objects are not pinched by the atmosphere.

We not able to feel the atmospheric pressure because human beings and animals also have their own inside pressure.

This phenomenon is known as blood pressure, pressure bloodstream exerts towards out of our body our own pressure, counteracting the “weight” of atmospheric pressure, that’s why when you have low blood pressure, you can feel weakness and heaviness, because the pressure of our body is not able to efficiently act against the pressure of the atmosphere.

Interior body cavities that are filled with air, blood and other fluids which are at the same pressure as the air and therefore remain in balance, both the internal and the external pressures pass almost unnoticed.

If the pressure of the body decreases or increases,  we will feel it immediately, but we noticed that we get plugged ears, when we go up on a mountain or travel by plane, since atmospheric pressure decreases.

Any weather changes, you may have a headache, if gets low, you feel sleepy, tired, and all this, while living in the same place, without changing geographical space.

If it will rain, some people bones ache and they become irritable, because our blood vessels are flexible, not rigid like the pipes in our homes, external pressure affects them and if you climb the outside, low inside.

Many people have noticed the lethargy that produces go to the beach in summer, and not just by heat, in the center of the Iberic peninsula in summer heat is as much or more than on the beach, but pressure influences us because it is a sensation that occurs in both summer and winter, until the body adjusts after a few days.

Our body also notes the weather changes when we reverse the route. That is, blood pressure rises and logically rather than torpor noticed increased nervousness when the trip is done from the beach to higher regions.


The World Meteorological Organization

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations system, whose objective is to promote and promote meteorology, hydrology and related geophysical sciences, as well as facilitate global cooperation in this field for the benefit of humanity.

The World Meteorological Organization

As a cooperative structure, WMO replaces the former International Meteorological Organization (IMO), created in Vienna in 1873. Meteorology is therefore one of the activities with the longest history of international scientific cooperation organized for social purposes.

Based in Geneva and created in 1947, WMO began its activities in 1951, the year in which Spain ratified the Convention, and currently has 191 member states, of which 185 are States and 6 territories.