Largest wave ever recorded in the Adriatic Sea near Dubrovnik

Craig Brokensha
Swellnet Analysis

Croatia observed its largest measured wave at 4pm on Tuesday afternoon, with a buoy sitting off the Dubrovnik coast in the Adriatic Sea recording a Maximum Wave Height of 10.87m, with Significant Wave Heights coming in at 4.75m.

This tops the previous record of 10.8m recorded over 30 years ago in 1986.

When visualising the Croatia coastline, most think of the picturesque cliffs, calm seas and hot weather (a perfect escape from the Australian winter), but autumn and winter are a different story. Strong southerly winds can surge up the Adriatic Sea, known as Jugo winds, bringing humid, wet weather to the region.

History of the name Jugo (translates to south) is interesting. It's irritating to the Croats owing to the uncomfortable humidity and stickiness that it brings in along with the stormy weather and rain.

"The Republic of Dubrovnik had a collection of books written between the period of 1272 – 1808 which stipulated all manner of life and law in Dubrovnik. In it, the Republic had a provision stating that no major decisions, rulings or deliberations could be made when Jugo was blowing and punishment for crimes committed during Jugo would be reduced."

A Get Out of Jail Free card when the winds blow south.

This event was quite significant with a broad low moving in from western Europe, directing a vigrous front up through the Adriatic Sea.

A fetch of 35-40kt winds surged up the Sea from the south in a captured fetch like motion, with a peak in intensity right off Dubrovnik, reaching 45kts.

What can also be seen are gale-force Mistral Winds blowing south off France.

This surge of winds and the Inverse Barometer Effect owing to the low pressure across the region lifted sea levels higher than normal, whilst also coinciding with the full moon spring tide.

With Venice sitting at the northern end of the sea, widespread flooding was seen throughout the city, with 85 per cent under water.

Back in Croatia the Split Maratime Sation recorded its highest sea level since installation in 1955, coming in at 1.52m, 0.91m above mean sea level, inundating the Croatian seaside.

Split Maritime Station tidal observations, predicted vs observed

The Tvrava Bokar under assualt and on calmer days..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

nomad1's picture
nomad1's picture
nomad1 commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 7:32am

For keen observers the place that bay where the vid is from is in Game of Thrones quite a bit.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 7:38am

Ah yes!

Patrick's picture
Patrick's picture
Patrick commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 9:33am

Hmmm....that storm indicates the white walkers have moved further south than I thought.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 10:57am

Was surfing with a guy from Austria once (go figure) and he said their go to local spot was in Croatia.

Tabby10's picture
Tabby10's picture
Tabby10 commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 12:05pm

Do you know where garyg1412 my parents are originally from there and I never go there cause i thought it has no waves, looks like I’m wrong

dez's picture
dez's picture
dez commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 11:14am

Wow. Love these little forecasting tidbits. Thanks!

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 12:49pm

Wonder if there are any point breaks on the arch of the foot of Italy...

Chicinho's picture
Chicinho's picture
Chicinho commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 3:24pm

Couple of great little spots just south of Ancona. Also, around Rimini area and Ravenna some nice break walls set up nice but heavy rights. 8-9 sec period is what they were getting from a 'lake'. Epic but short lived much like Irish Sea surf used to be.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 1:28pm

VJ - Roberto D'Amico surfing Italy...he is your man..

kaki bibaita

scoopmaster's picture
scoopmaster's picture
scoopmaster commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 1:46pm

Thanks, i was wondering why venice wouldn't go underwater more often if all it took was a high tide.....

A Cripple's picture
A Cripple's picture
A Cripple commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 3:59pm

Elsewhere on the net people are claiming the Venice inundation is due to rising sea levels.......
Once again it takes a surfer to explain the truth about an abnormal weather phenomena!

If 6 was 9,
I would be fine.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 4:02pm

Thanks, there would be a tiny bit of sea level rise influence but it's mostly down to the storm surge up the Adriatic Sea from the winds and swell, Inverse Barometer Effect and spring tide.

Feralkook's picture
Feralkook's picture
Feralkook commented Monday, 18 Nov 2019 at 7:15pm

Do a search on Venice subsidence, that is a real eye opener.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 16 Nov 2019 at 3:29am

Craig that is top shelf ...level above.
Deserves a reward...tbb found a nice kicker from fellow SURF forecast.
https://www.surf-forecast.com/weather_maps/Croatia?over=pressure_arrows&...
Chart zooms out & shows the whole beast charging at Venice.
Venice just got owned...that's a lot for one town to take...soon disappear alright!

tbb is trying to track down any recent Medulin Surf footage.
Happy to share this lot with Craig & crew!
tbb tracked Medulin about 20 years back & swears it was only half the size back then.
tbb thought that was impressive enough considering where it sits...all grown up now!
What you see below has come on more each year alongside Venice sinking.

Reckon here & Gulf of Carpentaria are 2 new freakish Climate Change Surf Spots
Your new surf Hub Medulin...the locals sure seemed stoked & never miss a swell.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN-kxM7PZac
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_qUg-pkwK8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufcT2esbbJY
https://it.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Camp-Kazela-Medulin/photos/9685
https://www.wannasurf.com/spot/Europe/Croatia/Camp_Kazela__Medulin_/phot...

gunther's picture
gunther's picture
gunther commented Monday, 18 Nov 2019 at 10:12pm

tell me more about the gulf tbb

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 19 Nov 2019 at 12:35pm

gunther...Stu (Who else!) was onto this in 2015...'Northern Territory Pumping'
Only fair to link gunther to Stu's site...tbb will join in & update that site at same time.
https://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/244741

Oz Timor Sea & Gulf are getting a bit more grunt corresponding to Adriatic enclaves.
Likely to be more surprise corner pockets getting a boost.
For the Big Wave hunters here... in 2008 Weipa recorded a 7.1m wave.(XTC Helen)