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Coast of Western Australia from King Sound to North West Cape

21.8S 114.1E

September 19th, 2011 Category: Sediments

Australia - September 18th, 2011

The greenish sediments visible in the upper right corner of this image are spilling from the Fitzroy River and out of King Sound.

Moving southwestward further down the shore, one comes to a white stretch of coastline. These are the white sands of Eighty Mile Beach.

Continuing southwestward, the large peninsula jutting out of the coast of Western Australia is North West Cape. The Cape Range runs down the spine of the peninsula and Ningaloo Reef runs along the western edge.

Coast of Western Australia from the North West Cape to Perth

31.9S 115.8E

October 20th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Australia - September 4th, 2009

Australia - September 4th, 2009

Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the continent. Australia’s largest state and the second largest subnational entity in the world, it has 2.1 million inhabitants (10% of the national total), 85% of whom live in the south-west corner of the state.

Here, the westernmost part of the state is visible from the North West Cape (the peninsula towards the upper left) in the Gascoyne Region to Perth, the state’s capital city. In total, the state has 12,889 km of coastline.

Here, the terrain gradually changes from rusty red and arid to bright green and vegetated. This is because the southern part of the state receives the bulk of rainfall, due to west- to east-moving cold frontal low pressure depressions, originating off the edge of the winter pack-ice in the Southern Ocean, south of South Africa.

Cold southern airflows, wedging beneath humid north westerly winds triggers vertical instabilities, bringing this region the bulk of its rain between May and August.

Tropical Cyclone 22s (Ilsa) Intensifies Rapidly

March 19th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Cyclone 22s - March 18th, 2009

Tropical Cyclone 22s - March 18th, 2009

Track of TC 22s - March 19th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TC 22s - March 19th, 2009

Tropical Cyclone 22s (Ilsa), located approximately 720 nautical miles east-southeast of Cocos Island, has tracked southwestward at 12 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 18 feet.

It has passed between Jakarta, Indonesia, and Learmonth, on Australia’s North West Cape (the peninsula on the bottom right).

Animated water vapor imagery shows that the convection around the low level circulation center has further deepened and consolidated.

Upper level analysis indicates the system has tracked closer to the subtropical ridge axis and consequently, vertical wind shear (VWS) has weakened, contributing to the rapid intensification over the past 12 hours.

TC 22s - March 18th, 2009 © JTWC

TC 22s - March 18th, 2009

TC 22S will continue to track west-southwest along the northern periphery of the subtropical ridge and further intensify up to TAU 36. After that time, the system will slightly weaken with increased VWS as the ridge to the South builds.

Tropical Cyclone 17S (Gabrielle) Tracks Eastward

March 3rd, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Cyclone 17S - March 3rd, 2009

Tropical Cyclone 17S - March 3rd, 2009

TC17S - enhanced image

TC17S - enhanced image

Tropical Cyclone 17S (Gabrielle), located approximately 630 nautical miles east of the Cocos Islands, has tracked eastward at 3 knots over the past 6 hours.

It is visible here northwest of Australia’s North West Cape, the peninsula near the center of the visible coastline.

Animated infrared satellite imagery and an SSMI/S image indicate the low level circulation center (LLCC) had
become completely exposed over the past 12 hours, but in the past 4 to 6 hours has tracked towards deepening convection that has quickly started to organize.

The LLCC has been able to maintain its structure and an edge of swath QUIKSCAT pass indicates 30-35 knots of unflagged winds on the western periphery.

Upper level analysis indicates TC17S is under the axis of an upper level subtropical ridge, providing an environment with decreasing vertical wind shear and a rapidly developing poleward outflow.

TC17S will begin to track along the northwestern periphery of a low to mid-level ridge that is beginning to re-orient and build over Western Australia as a mid-latitude shortwave trough tracks eastward across Australia.

The increased outflow and favorable sea surface temperatures will provide some intensification through TAU36, but as the system tracks into stronger vertical wind shear and colder SST, it will weaken beyond TAU 36.

Maximum significant wave height is 12 feet.

North West Cape and Ningaloo Reef, Australia

February 20th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Peninsula, Australia - February 19th, 2009

Peninsula, Australia - February 19th, 2009

North West Cape is a large peninsula of land in the north west coast of Western Australia. It includes the towns of Exmouth and Learmonth.

Cape Range, a national park, runs down the spine of the peninsula and Ningaloo Reef runs along the western edge.

Ningaloo Reef is a fringing coral reef,  of 280 kilometers in length. It is Australia’s largest fringing coral reef and the only large reef positioned very close to a landmass.

In 1987 the reef and surrounding waters were designated as the Ningaloo Marine Park.

It is known for its seasonal feeding concentrations of the whale shark, and the conservation debate surrounding its potential tourism development.

Although most famed for its whale sharks which feed there from March to June, the reef is also rich in coral and other marine life.

During the winter months, the reef is part of the migratory routes for dolphins, dugongs, manta rays and humpback whales.

The beaches of the reef are an important breeding ground of the loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles. They also depend on the reef for nesting and food.

The Ningaloo supports an abundance of fish (500 species), corals (300 species), mollusks (600 species) and many other marine invertebrates. The reef is less than half a kilometer offshore in some areas, such as Coral Bay.

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