Tramontana

From Glossary of Meteorology



tramontana

A cold wind from the northeast or north, particularly on the west coast of Italy and northern Corsica, but also in the Balearic Islands and the Ebro Valley in Catalonia.

Like the mistral, it is associated with the advance of an anticyclone from the west following a depression over the Mediterranean. Weather is fine with occasional instability showers. In Languedoc and Roussillon (southern France) a similar wind (tramontane) blows from the northwest, but the name is also applied to an invasion of polar air from the northwest, which is squally or tempestuous, dry, and cold except south of the Cévennes where it becomes foehn-like. This type occurs during the filling of a depression in the Gulf of Genoa and persists for eight to twelve days, mainly in winter and early spring; it rises to a peak at midday and weakens at night. On the Côte d'Azur and in eastern Provence, the tramontane is sometimes called the montagnère or montagneuse.