Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Children

These last few months have been pretty interesting climatically. I started the year in a peruvian summer that seemed to be cloudy  all the time, then spent a day in minus 15 New York before returning to the driest and coldest English winter I remember. Something else which has been funny round here of late is the frequency with which the south coast is working, big, good, great banks....its not so normal.

 The answer is El Nino or potentially la Nina. A Pacific phenomenon which has made its presence felt all the way over here in the North East Atlantic. The normal weather pattern for the Pacific  is shown below.

The right hand side is South America's west coast and the left hand side Asia's Pacific Rim. The moisture is heading off to Asia.

Now when the trade winds don't play ball and decide to not generate enough force it leads to hot water flooding too far south in South America and a reversal of the cycle. Hence moisture goes where it doesn't normally and visa versa. In effect the environments get the opposite of what they where designed to cope with, Jungle's drought and deserts rain.This explains the landslides etc of the central Andes this year as well as the constant cloud in Lima. El Nino.
The Above picture is the opposite again: it is called La Nina - The girl. This is caused by a dropping of eastern Pacific temperatures,  the opposite of El Nino. La Nina years often follow an El Nino year. El Nino years happen every 5 to 7 years, so next year is looking good for more funky weather.

 Anyway without getting really spoddy about it, the resulting effect on the Thermal conduction belt is that a swell chart like below is the result of  El Nino by the time its effects are felt here in Cornwall, UK. The low pressure systems sweep much further south rather than crossing over the top of Scotland. Hence a few weeks back my posting about the Norwegians mentioned their lack of swell, it was an El Nino effect and it screwed over the beardies for surfing.

Well as the South coast is way nicer, its beautiful coves and varied igneous rock and proliferate flora all do it for me. The fact that the Perran Pipe and Praa Sands all have classic shape right now helps.

Porthleven has had one of the best winters in History and if you see Wavelength this month and the pictures by Greg Martin and Ben Selway, you'll surely agree. 

Old style north charts might keep populations safe from landslides etc, but it doesn't fire up Cornwall's south coast enough.


  1. Freakin Awsome! 2 weeks in indo and i didnt see a wave like that! Praa?

  2. Leven! Check out this months Wavelength.(online).south coast has just been all time.