A high-pressure system over the Tasman Sea, driving northerly winds, was one of the factors that led to the intriguing sea mist which shrouded the Narooma coast as far south as Bermagui on Saturday.
Bureau of Meteorology aviation meteorologist Jiwon Park, said that such mists or sea fogs were “tricky and mysterious,” but it appears the causes were natural and not a harbinger for the arrival of pirate ghost ships.
“We have had a lot of moist air about the eastern seaboard over the past several weeks, and the dew point, the temperature at which dew forms, and the sea-surface temperature are close, both around 20 degrees, and this creates the possibility of sea mist,” he said.
“Data from our buoy off Batemans Bay shows that the sea-surface temperature close to shore is about three degrees colder than the sea-surface temperature further off shore, and this would be a factor. There is as high pressure system over the Tasman Sea, and driving northerly winds, and this leads to upwelling, when cooler water comes up from underneath the the surface. There is an inversion when warm maritime air meets the warmer coastal air about 300 metres above sea level.”
Mr Park said the bureau had also heard from pilots having difficulty landing at Moruya Airport on Friday due to the mist. He isn’t sure when or if the Far South Coast will experience the phenomenon again. “It is hard to predict where or when, but it could be possible,” he said.
There were many photos and comments on the Narooma News Facebook page about the mist.
Kirsty Lee got a great photo at the Bermagui Seaside Fair of the boats on parade with the sea mist thick over Horseshoe Bay. Also at Bermagui, Tony Bailey and Dave Moore got some eerie shots of Gulaga Mountain floating above the mist.
Tim Burke got a photo of family trying to take in the sun on a Narooma beach, even having the beach umbrella set up. Hayley Robinson snapped the fog bank approaching Surf Beach at Narooma at the late hour of 1pm.
The Wallaga Lake bridge was also a sight to behold with Anne McDougall and Trisha Booth both getting dramatic shots.
The sea mist or sea fog extended right the way up the South Coast – click here for massive gallery