The winds of the Mediterranean

Ponente (Italian: [poˈnɛnte], Spanish: Poniente, Croatian: Punenat, Catalan: Ponent, Portuguese: Poente, Maltese: Punent, Greek: Πουνέντες, Serbian: Punenat) is the traditional cardinal point West, more specifically a wind that blows from the west.

The name is derived from the Latin via Italian for "setting", meaning sunset, and appeared by that name in the traditional compass rose on the Mediterranean Sea nautical charts since the Middle Ages.

Regional variations include the Catalan "ponent" and the Spanish "poniente", which is the name for the warm and dry westerly breeze that blows across the Atlantic onto the west Mediterranean coast and through the Straits of Gibraltar.

It sometimes appears as Zephyrus, the ancient Greek name, probably derived from "zopho" (meaning dark, gloomy, a reference to the sunset rather than the quality of the wind.) Romans also called it Favonius, probably meaning "favorable", as the westerly wind in the Mediterranean was regarded as a mild wind that brought relief from the summer heat and some useful moisture for crops.

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