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Port-aux-Français

Port-aux-Français
Village
Port-aux-Français is located in Kerguelen
Port-aux-Français
Coordinates:
Country France
Territory French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF)
District Kerguelen Islands

Port-aux-Français is the capital settlement of the Kerguelen Islands, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, in the south Indian Ocean. The port station is located on the Gulf of Morbihan, at . It has about 45 inhabitants in winter, which can rise to more than 120 in summer.

The station was selected in 1949 by the chief of mission Pierre Sicaud because of its sheltered position which was suitable for a runway that was never built. From 1955 to 1957, and using Australian equipment, a French slaughterhouse company called Sidap constructed a sealing factory. The factory opened following the first marriage on the islands, that of Marc Pechenart and Martine Raulin on 16 December 1957. The factory closed in 1960, and the equipment was sent to Réunion in 2005.

Contents

  • Organisation 1
  • Tidal gauges 2
  • Climate 3
  • References 4

Organisation

Port-aux-Français has a shallow seaport and a quay for unloading supply ships, including the Marion Dufresne. The station, in addition to logistics necessary to its operation, consists of scientific laboratories (biology, geophysics), technical installations (meteorology, telecommunications, satellite tracking, et cetera), and a small medical centre.

Tidal gauges

The base of Port-aux-Français is equipped with a recently installed marigraphic station, having 3 measuring devices:

  • two tide gauges to measure pressure at sea bottom
  • a radar measuring the sea level.

The two marigraphs and the radar send data to a local server, which relays them hourly to the Internet via the Argos satellite system.

Climate

Port-aux-Français has an ocean moderated tundra climate (Köppen climate classification ET) with cool conditions year round.[1] Temperatures (without windchill) tend to remain fairly stable throughout the year, rarely reaching over 18 °C (64 °F) or falling below −8 °C (18 °F).[2] The average temperature in February, the warmest month, is 7.5 °C (45.5 °F) with a maximum of 11.5 °C (52.7 °F) during the day and 4.3 °C (39.7 °F) during the night. In winter, August and July are the coldest months, averaging 4.8 to 5.0 °C (40.6 to 41.0 °F) during the day and −0.8 °C (30.6 °F) at night. Snowfall is possible in all months, even in summer though it is more common during the winter months than during the summer months. The climate is very windy, with wind speeds that can reach 80m/s.[3] The lowest recorded temperature was −9.5 °C (14.9 °F) on 11 August 2014, which beats the old record of −9.4 °C (15.1 °F) set in June 1953.[4]

The highest temperature was 23.0 °C (73.4 °F) on 30 January 1959.[5]

Climate data for Port-aux-Français, Kerguelen Islands
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.0
(73.4)
22.3
(72.1)
21.0
(69.8)
23.0
(73.4)
16.8
(62.2)
14.5
(58.1)
13.4
(56.1)
14.4
(57.9)
15.8
(60.4)
19.1
(66.4)
21.3
(70.3)
21.6
(70.9)
23.0
(73.4)
Average high °C (°F) 11.2
(52.2)
11.5
(52.7)
10.7
(51.3)
8.8
(47.8)
6.6
(43.9)
5.0
(41)
4.8
(40.6)
5.0
(41)
5.3
(41.5)
6.8
(44.2)
8.4
(47.1)
10.2
(50.4)
7.9
(46.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 7.2
(45)
7.5
(45.5)
7.0
(44.6)
5.6
(42.1)
3.7
(38.7)
2.4
(36.3)
2.0
(35.6)
2.0
(35.6)
2.2
(36)
3.3
(37.9)
4.7
(40.5)
6.3
(43.3)
4.5
(40.1)
Average low °C (°F) 4.1
(39.4)
4.3
(39.7)
3.7
(38.7)
2.6
(36.7)
0.9
(33.6)
−0.3
(31.5)
−0.8
(30.6)
−0.8
(30.6)
−0.7
(30.7)
0.4
(32.7)
1.6
(34.9)
3.1
(37.6)
1.5
(34.7)
Record low °C (°F) −1.5
(29.3)
−1.0
(30.2)
−0.9
(30.4)
−2.7
(27.1)
−5.9
(21.4)
−9.4
(15.1)
−8.0
(17.6)
−9.5
(14.9)
−7.7
(18.1)
−5.0
(23)
−3.7
(25.3)
−1.2
(29.8)
−9.5
(14.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 48.9
(1.925)
45.5
(1.791)
59.4
(2.339)
67.0
(2.638)
69.0
(2.717)
56.2
(2.213)
65.1
(2.563)
66.7
(2.626)
65.3
(2.571)
54.6
(2.15)
52.6
(2.071)
57.6
(2.268)
707.9
(27.87)
Average precipitation days 16 13 17 18 19 20 21 22 21 20 18 18 223
Average rainy days 16 13 16 16 14 13 13 13 12 13 14 16 169
Average snowy days 1 0 2 4 6 10 11 13 12 11 7 2 79
Mean monthly sunshine hours 188 159 147 114 94 71 84 105 126 151 175 186 1,600
Source #1: NOAA (normals 1961-1990)[3]
Source #2: Weatherbase (record high and low)[6] (precipitation, snow, and rainy days)[2]

References

  1. ^ Peel, M. C. and Finlayson, B. L. and McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world map of the Köppen–Geiger climate classification" (PDF). Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 11: 1633–1644.  
  2. ^ a b "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Port Aux Francais, France". Weatherbase. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Climate Normals for Port Aux Francais 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.ogimet.com/cgi-bin/gsynres?ind=61998&decoded=yes&ndays=2&ano=2014&mes=08&day=12&hora=00
  5. ^ http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/cd008A_pdf/0025873d.pdf
  6. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Port-Aux-Francais, French Southern and Antarctic Lands". Weatherbase. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 

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