Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Foggy fall

Actually, it's been a foggy summer. John Lindsey, meteorologist for Pacific Gas & Electric, attributes that to the cool water conditions of La Nina combined with persistent northweseterly winds recorded at Diablo Canyon's meteorological towers, http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2010/09/18/1294247/kelp-enjoying-the-fattest-summer.html. Water temperatures at Diablo have averaged as low as 51 degrees on some days in August. Today, NOAA reports the water temperature at Avila as 55.8 degrees, http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/cwtg/cpac.html.

Mr. Lindsey's reports are interesting, but should be viewed with some scepticism. His primary purpose is to advocate for his employer, PG&E.

He ties the winds and cool water temperatures to an increased upwelling that has brought nutrients to the coastal kelp forest, producing exceptional growth in the kelp forest.

Monday was foggy on the bluff. It makes the seals look even more magical.

Juveniles are arriving all the time now for their fall haul-out rest. They take four to six weeks on the beach at this time of year. The young of the year return from their first migration. This mixed-age group of young males tops out with a five-year-old. The development of his elephant-like nose, his proboscis, indicates that's about how old he is.

This youngster surfs up on the beach, somewhat wary at the young male already resting there. They made their peace and the newcomer made his way onto the sand.

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