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Friday, October 05, 2012

Dirty skies, hot day, and Flying Termites

Today was one of the most unpleasant days (climatically) I can recall in ages.
Sure there have been much worse days, but we in Robertson need a bit of acclimatisation to these hot north-westerlies. 

OK it was only 27.1 C (max), but the humidity is the clincher. Close to 100% at present.
I can't get a retrospective reading on that, from the Fire Brigade Weather Station, unfortunately. But it was "sticky as...." (as the young people say).

This is what the sky looked like at Albion Park Airport, at lunchtime.

Normally one can see the Illawarra Escarpment
really clearly from here.

This is the view from the top of the Macquarie Pass
Under the dirty cloud
(which is not pollution, by the way)
one can normally see Lake Illawarra
and the Port Kembla Blast Furnaces.
This is simply a result of nasty atmospheric conditions.

The immediate effect of the burst of hot weather was an enormous swarming of Termites.
All the way up Macquarie Pass (through the rainforest)
I was driving through clouds of flying Termites.
If you look at this image closely, you will see little creamy "dots"
They are the wings (the only things clearly visible on these insects)
of hordes of flying Termites.
Termites swarming in the hot air.
There are probably 80 or so in that one frame.
and that was literally a single "snapshot"
of one place, at one time.
The drive up the Pass is about 6 Km long.
How many Termites hatched today?

Late in the day, the sky turned a dirty yellow
with the sun just about to disappear.
This was at 7:02PM
Strange colours. Not a classic sunset at all.
Lets hope tomorrow is a better day.

In writing this, I am aware that there have been bushfires in the Central Coast area, and I am not trying to compare our conditions to theirs. But the "dirty sky" is not smoke haze from burn-offs, and certainly not smoke drifting down from those fires. It was just a very strange day.


Mac_fromAustralia said...

Ewww! Would those be the house-munching termites or some other variety, or can't you tell when they're flying?

Flabmeister said...

The weather in Canberra yesterday was simply glorious. Not a cloud in the sky, and much lighter winds than many days recently. A bit hot for running but that, to use a cliche, is a personal problem!

No termites as far as I could see.


Jane Hood said...

Dear Denis,
Ron and I thought we were
back living in Perth.
It was the warmest day since
we have lived in Robertson.
We didn't see any termites in town. Today is back to the misty
rain that we know and love.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mac, Martin and Jane.
Your comments just confirm how "local" our weather is.
The Termites did not appear to rise above the Escarpment.
I have seen them in late summers getting carried high in the air. Visiting Swifts then have a feast on them, tearing through at great speed, catching them.
If you ever see a flock of Swifts circling, it is very instructive to watch what they are feeding on, and how good they are at it.
But no Swifts yesterday.
Too early in the season for them, anyway. Still on their way back from China and Japan.

Snail said...

We've had a couple of hot days here, which is very unseasonal. (About 6C cooler in the rainforest, thank goodness!)

Looks like the swifts really did miss out on a decent feed down your way.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Snail.
No doubt there will be other hatchings for the Swifts to feast on, later in the season.