Vendaval (Vendavales)

picture Location: Straits of Gibraltar and southern coasts of Spain

The Vendaval is a strong, blustery, wet and moist south-west wind associated with cyclonic activity across the Iberian Peninsula. Vendavales mostly occur during the wet winter season from November to April and is often accompanied by violent squalls and thunder.


Synoptically the Vendavales follows the Levanter and preceeds the cold front passage with the fair and dry Poniente. Sometimes, during a moderate Vendaval, a rotor cloud is forming on the eastern side of the Rock of Gibraltar, but some distance away from it. In winter it might be a warning sign of impending rough weather. The cloud is locally known as La Carlota. This rotor cloud is formed by the moist southwesterly winds, being - in some way - the opposite of the Levante cloud.