a day in Greece in summer when the meltemi winds pick up. Two people overlooking the rough sea and palm trees with a cloudy sky

The Bourini. A summer storm in Greece

A “Bourini” (also spelled “vorini” or “vourini”) is a type of summer storm that is common in Greece, especially in the northern and central regions of the country. These storms typically occur between June and September and are characterized by strong winds, heavy rain, and sometimes hail. They can last for several hours and can cause damage to crops, buildings, and infrastructure. The rain can also be heavy and cause flash flooding in low-lying areas. The storm can last several hours and make it dangerous to be outside.

The science

Bourini storms are often accompanied by thunder and lightning, and they can be quite intense. They are formed when the hot air from the land rises and meets the cooler air from the sea, creating a strong updraft that can quickly turn into a storm. 

Another possible cause of a Bourini is the high-pressure systems that move over the Greek mountains. This causes the rising of hot air from the interior of the country, creating a thunderstorm.

The name

The term “Bourini” is derived from the Greek word “voros” (βόρος), which means “northeast wind”. These storms typically come from the northeast direction, bringing strong winds and heavy rain. The term “Bourini” is also used to refer to the strong winds that can occur during these storms.

The experience

The experience of a Greek Bourini can vary depending on the location and intensity of the storm. But usually, you will first see the sky turning black. Then, all of a sudden, a strong wind picks up. And the storm starts.

During the storm, it is common for power outages to occur, and the wind can make it dangerous to drive or walk. Umbrellas fly around, but also tree branches or roofs can get loose and cause danger. The storm is often accompanied by lots of thunder and lightning. This can be intense.

Once the storm has passed, the air can feel fresh and clean, and the sky can be a beautiful deep blue color. The rain can also make the countryside look greener and the flowers more colorful. But the aftermath of a bourini storm can be severe, with damages to crops and buildings, and sometimes landslides. Therefore, it is important to be prepared and safe during a storm.

Overall, the experience of a Bourini summer storm in Greece can be intense and potentially dangerous. Nevertheless, it can also be a unique and memorable experience for those who can witness it safely.

Don’t get too worried

It is important to note that these storms are not as common in the southern regions of Greece and on the islands. Besides, they are not a frequent occurrence. They do happen, but not every year and not in every part of the country. 

Additionally, the Greek National Meteorological Service gives out forecasts and alerts in case of severe weather conditions. Therefore people can be prepared, and casualties are limited.

Are you in Greece and want to stay updated on the weather? In my experience, the default apps on our phones often don’t do a good job predicting the Greek weather. Check Meteo.gr during your holiday!

Do you want to prepare yourself for a visit to Greece? Or do you simply want to learn all there is to known about this beautiful country? Leave your email below and stay updated!

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Girl traveling in Greece on small boat over blue water

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