Tramontana - Garigliano

Location: West coast of Italy

The tramontana (Italian tramontano = from the mountains) is a cold wind from the north or northeast tinged with frigid air from the Alps and northern Apennines, particularly to the west coast of Italy and Northern Corsica. It is associated with the advance of an anticyclone from the west following a depression over the Mediterranean, known as 'Genoa Low'. The Gulf of Genoa is among the most active regions of cyclogenesis, especially during fall and winter. Thus the tramontana blows most frequent in winter, but may occur from mid-September through April.

The tramontana is also known locally as garigliano. It may reach force 8 on the Beaufort scale (35 to 40 knots) or even stronger during night to mid-morning, when it is enhanced by the land-sea breeze. Hence it reaches its maximum just before sunrise and usually decreases to Beaufort force 5 (17 to 21 knots) during afternoon. During winter, the tramontana poses a quite significant wind chill hazard to exposed persons, e.g. ship crews.