Maintenance at Roman Rock lighthouse

Real time weather in False Bay

Sometimes a weather forecast is useful, and sometimes being able to scrutinise current weather conditions from the comfort of your couch is useful. Maybe you want to go diving, and suspect (quite rightly) that weather conditions in Kenilworth or Durbanville may not correspond with those at your planned dive site.

Maintenance at Roman Rock lighthouse
Maintenance at Roman Rock lighthouse

I therefore bring you the following:

  • There is a data buoy in False Bay, operated by the Centre for Observational Oceanography, which is connected to the Oceans and Coasts section of the Department of Environmental Affairs. The buoy data is here, and shows wind speed and direction, sea surface temperature, atmospheric pressure, and some 7 day charts of historical data. The rest of the CFOO website has some interesting stuff on it, if you can overlook the early 1990’s design vibe. The position of the buoy is noted in longitude and latitude – it’s in False Bay, but I’m not sure exactly where.
  • There is a CSO weather station at Roman Rock which reports wind speed and direction, air temperature, and barometric pressure.
  • There is another weather station at Roman Rock lighthouse, which reports (when it is working – not often lately) wind speed and direction, air temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, and solar radiation. There are charts showing these readings over time, and a summary table at the bottom of the page. It is updated every half an hour. The nice thing about this data is that you know exactly where it was measured.
  • Fish Hoek Beach Sailing Club has a live weather station at Fish Hoek beach that will give you an excellent idea of (particularly) when the south easter is trying to blow the south peninsula away!

Wind speeds are reported in metres per second or knots (check carefully). There is an excellent wind speed converter here. Just fill in the value you have in the box corresponding to the units it’s reported in, and click convert to see the wind speed in all the other units.

Sea temperature

For current sea temperatures try these two links – Sea Temperature Info and Surf Forecast. The SST chart at FishTrack might help to see the location of upwellings (cold water) or plumes of warm current in the bay.

Update: The links above come and go… Apologies in advance if any of them are broken. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t for months at a time. I’m leaving them here, however, for when the equipment gets back online.

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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