Wild Easterlies

The ferocity of 40-knot easterly winds and heavy seas made for a spectacular storm day. The barometer, deflected by a big low-pressure system (965 hPa) passing by offshore, started to drop at about 08:00 this morning from the overnight high of 1008. As this piece was posted at 17:00, the pressure is 994 hPa and still falling.

A gale warning is in effect and the Environment Canada marine forecast calls for winds to veer to the south 25 to 35 tonight. The wind is supposed to drop to southwest 15 to 25 knots by Thursday morning and to light by evening. Although there was a brief period without rain in the morning, sea spray and rain mixed in the afternoon. Rain is forecast on and off for the rest of the week.

Not surprising, there were no vessels seen in or around the Ecological Reserve today. The neighbourhood explosions continued mid-day and I did not envy those standing by in the two little boats, on watch, as the winds and sea rose.

Ecologically, it almost feels like a step back into winter except for warm temperatures and longer days. The flowers are taking a beating and facing west away from the wind. Even the sea lions retreated to the sea and the young ones spent the day surfing and catching airtime. Some gulls seemed to savour the chance interact with high winds, doing skilled flying with high speed turns and tucks, while others hunkered down, facing into the wind and occasionally blown off their roosts. Geese were easily persuaded to flock off early.

Ocean surface temperature dropped from the last few days’ readings, by 0.1 degrees to 8.9o C. The mixing caused by the storm was palpable as large breakers’ tops blew off and the circular motion of the waves was exaggerated by opposing tidal currents.

There were no visitors and chores were routine. Photos were only taken through the window to save the camera from salt spray.

This photo doesn't really capture the mighty waves, but it gives you an idea.

This photo doesn’t really capture the mighty waves, but it gives you an idea.