Monday, February 13, 2006

Why it's been a cold summer

Why it's been a cold summer - Seasonal(Nov 6 -Feb 4) sea surface temperature anomaly from NOAA Climate Diagnostics Centre map room.

This map shows why this summer has been so cool in the south west. Essentially the Leuwin Current has switched off for the time being and instead of there being warm tongues of water off the coast it's all cold upwelling from the southern ocean.

It's probably going to be a really good for the fishing and it could be a bumper year for the gnurri(salmon)fishing. Traditionally in the season of Metelock(Feb - Mar) Minang Noongar men speared salmon in the surf, waiting for them to appear in the window of the wave.

Today, the gnurri is the mainstay of family based inshore net fishery on the south coast who own camp spots on the beaches at this time of the year and woe betide any brave surfer who ventures too close. Sharks might be the lesat of their worries.

In the shallows of the harbours, traditionally herring and skippy were trapped in fish traps into which they were driven by laughing women and children during the day or enticed into at night with the light of grass torches. The numbers are down but there's still a feed for the patient on the jetty or off the bridge.

It's the holiday season on the south coast and it's in full swing.
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