Cierzo

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Cierzo wind blowing in Zaragoza.

The cierzo is a strong, dry and usually cold wind that blows from the North or Northwest through the regions of Aragon, La Rioja and Navarra in the Ebro valley in Spain. It takes place when there is an anticyclone in the Bay of Biscay and an low-pressure area in the Mediterranean Sea.

It is known since ancient times, and its name stems from the Latin word circius, which probably came from an Iberian word. Cato the Elder described it in the 2nd century BC as "a wind that fills your mouth and tumbles waggons and armed men."[1] It reaches a speed of more than 100 km/h several times each year. Its maximum recorded speed has been 160 km/h in July 1956.[2] It is more usual in autumn and winter, when larger pressure gradients take place, but a small pressure difference along the Ebro valley is sufficient to initiate a cierzo wind in any season.[1]

The cierzo wind is similar to the mistral of the Rhone valley in France or the bora in the Balcans.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b R. Riosalido, L. Vazquez, A. Gordo and A. Jansa, «'CIERZO': NORTHWESTERLY WIND ALONG THE EBRO VALLEY AS A MESO-SCALE EFFECT INDUCED ON THE LEE OF THE PYRENEES MOUNTAIN RANGE; A CASE STUDY DURING ALPEX SPECIAL OBSERVING PERIOD.», Scientific results of the Alpine experiment (ALPEX)-VOLUME II, GARP publication series No. 27, WMO/TD No. 108
  2. ^ CUADRAT PRATS, José María, «El clima de Aragón», en J. L. Peña, L. A. Longares y M. Sánchez (eds.), Geografía Física de Aragón. Aspectos generales y temáticos, Zaragoza, Universidad de Zaragoza e Institución «Fernando el Católico», págs. 15-26. 2004.
  3. ^ PERALES DÍAZ, José Antonio, «Símbolos y representaciones del viento en Navarra» , in Cuadernos del Marqués de San Adrián: revista de humanidades, nº. extra 5, 2007, pg. 159-182. «Cierzo, el rey de los vientos», pg. 9-11. ISSN 1579-4806

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