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Where the Winds have Names

It’s been exceptionally windy in the UK this week and it’s sparked a couple of conversations about the naming of storms. One of these conversations ended with me mentioning the ‘Fremantle Doctor’. Not Fremantle’s local G.P., this doctor is a particular breeze which comes in off the Indian Ocean and relieves Perth (via Fremantle) during the hottest summer months.

Perthfargerio via Flickr

From there the conversation became one about other winds with names. And it turns out there are loads! Australia’s other famous wind is the Sydney’s ‘Southerly Buster’, which is as aggressive as it sounds, dramatically cooling Sydney down in summer - sometimes even bringing black clouds. Our South African friend mentioned another doctor, this one the ‘Cape Doctor’, a dry southeasterly which also soothes the coast during summer time. California has the evocatively named ‘Sundowner’, which seems to promise cocktails on the balcony overlooking the dunes and the ocean. San Francisco has a ‘Diablo’, which maybe does the opposite to sooth? But again it comes in off the ocean to the northwest of the bay area.

Hawaii has the famed ‘Kona’, which used to be thought of as one of the trade winds, and promises increased humidity - and possibly even storms as for as our Hawaiian expert is concerned.

HawaiiLuke Addison via Flickr

The French Alps have the prettily named ‘Mistral’ which blows from the mountains, over central France and out to the Mediterranean. Another storybook name for a wind is the ‘Sirocco’, which is a southerly wind which blows in from Africa to Southern Europe. We also like the sound of Southern Spain’s ‘Solano’, which sounds like an ice-cream, and British Columbia’s ’Squamish’ how’s that for onomatopoeic?

We don’t know if ‘wind tourism’ is a thing? It makes sense that windsurfers and kitesurfers would naturally want to ‘taste’ certain winds, but it’s been quite neat to learn about famous local winds.

If you fancy feeling any of these winds for yourself here are our Guru’s recommendations for


Written by Kat Parr Mackintosh

posted Wednesday, 10th February 2016
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