Poniente (Ponente)

picture Location: Straits of Gibraltar and north-western Mediterranean

The Poniente is a warm and dry westerly or northwesterly wind blowing in the Straits of Gibraltar and along the coasts of the north-western Mediterranean. It's the opposite of the Levante (Levanter) and it can switch frequently with this wind throughout the year. The Poniente (or wind from the west), however, brings hot, clear and mostly dry weather.


picture Synoptically the Poniente is more or less any westerly wind in this area. However, during winter and spring the pre-frontal Levante may turn into a southwesterly squally gale, known as Vendaval. Once the cold front has passed and high pressure builds up again, winds turn westerly or northwesterly and are now called Poniente. During Poniente-days visibility increases significantly and the opposite shores of Africa can be seen from Gibraltar.


In other areas of the Mediterranean the Ponente is known as a land-breeze around the Gulf of Lion, as a weakened flow from the Mistral on the Cote d'Azur and over the Ligurian Sea , where it often precedes the Tramontana.