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Tropical Cyclone Narelle (08S) Southwest of Perth, Australia – January 15th, 2013

27.8S 109.6E

January 15th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm 08S – January 14th, 2013

Enhanced image

Track of Tropical Storm 08S - January 14th, 2013 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 08S

Tropical Cyclone Narelle (08S) located approximately 195 nm west-southwest of Perth, Australia, has tracked and accelerated southward at 18 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 19 feet.

The Darling Scarp, Parallel to the Coast of Western Australia

31.9S 115.8E

October 25th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Australia - September 4th, 2009

Australia - September 4th, 2009

Most of the southwest corner of Western Australia is covered by bright green vegetation and fields, with the exception of one dark brown strip running parallel to the coast.

This is the Darling Scarp (previously known as the Darling Range), a low escarpment running north-south to the east of the Swan Coastal Plain and Perth. It extends generally north of Bindoon, to the south of Pemberton, and easterly to include Mount Bakewell near York and Mount Saddleback near Boddington.

The dark green and brown is dense vegetation on and above the scarp, which has been retained for forest reserve and water catchment purposes. The sharp vegetation boundary on the coastal side coincides with the edge of the scarp.

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.

Coast of Western Australia, from Arid to Agricultural

April 23rd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Australia - April 14th, 2009

Australia - April 14th, 2009

The land in this part of the western coast of Western Australia changes from semi-arid to agricultural, as more rainfall occurs along the coast as one moves south. This transition is evident from the colors in the image, which change from rusty red to tan and dark green.

At the northern extreme of this image is Shark Bay, a world heritage site on the westernmost point of Australia.

The bay itself covers an area of 10,000 km², with an average depth of 10 metres. It is divided by shallow banks and has many peninsulas and islands.

Moving over 800 kilometres south towards the city of Perth, at the far bottom of the image, the Darling Scarp (or Darling Range) can be seen as a dark green area amidst tan agricultural lands.

It is a low escarpment running north-south to the east of the Swan Coastal Plain and Perth.

From Temperate to Desert Climates in Western Australia

January 27th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

January 22nd, 2009

January 22nd, 2009

The state of Western Australia boasts an interesting mixture of climates, from temperate in the South, to semi-arid or desert in the center, to tropical in the North.

The tan area in the lower left corner is the southwest coastal area. It  is relatively temperate and was originally heavily forested. This agricultural region of Western Australia has great biodiversity.

In this region there are several national parks, including the Peak Charles National Park and the Stirling Range National Park. The former is located 507 km east of Perth, and is easily identifiable as a dark green area shaped like a perfect square.

The latter is located approximately 337 km south-east of Perth, and has a rectangular shape. It protects the Stirling Ranges, or Koikyennuruff, a range of mountains and hills over 60 km wide from west to east, which is one of the richest areas for flora in the world.

The red area in the upper half is part of the state’s central semi-arid or desert area. This region is lightly inhabited with the only significant activity being mining. Annual rainfall averages about 200 to 250 millimetres (8–10 in), most of which occurs in sporadic torrential falls related to cyclone events in summer months.

There are many salt lakes in this region, including the intermittent Lake Barlee, shaped like the letter “M”.  Lake Barlee is more than 100 km wide from west to east, and about 80 km wide from north to south. It is usually dry, though it fills about once every ten years, after which the water persists for a little less than a year.

source Wikipedia