windswept…

  With the season’s having clearly changed we are well into now what I term on the south Gippsland coast as ‘the windy season’. Which on the Victorian south coast starts before winter and the and prolongs after the calender dates of winter. The tightening pressure gradients between high and low pressure systems and more so the slow northward drift of the high pressure belt in the mid latitudes enabling cold fronts to cross the sounthern coastline with growing intensity.

  So on many parts of the exposed southern coastlines persistant gales are not uncommon. These gales can often reach ‘storm force’ (winds averaging from 89 km/h and up to 116 km/h in coastal waters and high seas areas). Wilsons Promontory lighthouse AWS at the southern tip of the mainland would be one of the windiest weather stations in Australia. Even over the last 27yrs of this data being available, here are the record peak gusts (km/h) recorded for each month;

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
128 148 139 141 148 165 148 171 150 154 141 139

*more climate data available here

  April’s record gust of 141km/h being surpassed just a few weeks ago with a 159km/h gust. To get an idea of how often the winds are greater than gale force on this exposed coastline take a look at last months daily maximum windgusts here.

  It’s no wonder that once the native vegetation has been cleared it is pretty hardwork for anything more than coastal grasses to take hold or flourish again.

windswept coast

‘windswept coast’ 

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~ by Tony Middleton on May 4, 2009.

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