The Fremantle Doctor, or 'The Freo Doctor' is the Western Australian vernacular term for the cooling afternoon sea breeze which occurs during summer months in coastal areas of Western Australia. Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. Vernacular refers to the Native language of a country or a locality A sea-breeze (or onshore breeze) is a Wind from the sea that develops over land near coasts The sea breeze occurs because of the major temperature difference between the land and sea.
During summer months it consistently blows from the South-West along the southern half of the west coast, starting between noon and 3 pm. Summer is one of the four Temperate Seasons Summer marks the warmest time of year with the longest days It can penetrate as far inland as 100km, reaching York in the early evening. For other places named York, see York (disambiguation. York is the oldest inland town in Western Australia, situated
In Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, the wind is named the Fremantle Doctor because it appears to come from the nearby coastal city of Fremantle, and it brings welcome relief from the summertime high temperatures. Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. Fremantle (commonly known as Freo is a Port City in Western Australia, located southwest of Perth, the state capital at the mouth of However, it is almost certain that the term Fremantle Doctor has its origins in Fremantle's dark past. At Catherine Point, a short distance south of Fremantle, crematoriums were established during the colony's early days to dispose of the corpses of those who had fallen to the illnesses which preyed upon the population in the city's early days. It is reported that the Doctor was named in honour of the wind which blew the stench of burning human flesh inland, as this was otherwise noticeable in both Fremantle and her environs.
The Fremantle Doctor often cools the Perth suburbs by several degrees, whilst nearer the coast the wind can be quite strong, often blowing between 15 and 20 knots and making afternoon beach visits unpleasant.
On days when the wind fails, the afternoon temperatures of Perth suburbs are considerably higher, often reaching 40°C, although this is also attributable to the influence of a strong easterly wind blowing in hot desert air from the arid interior of the state.
The wind is sometimes called the Fremantle Docker, allegedly because in the days of sail, ships would lie offshore waiting for the afternoon wind to carry them into the Fremantle Dock. This is not to be confused with the Fremantle Dockers, the local Australian Football League team. Fremantle Football Club, unofficially nicknamed The Dockers and known informally as "Freo" is one of 16 teams in the Australian Football League (AFL The Australian Football League (AFL is both the professional Australian national competition in the Sport of Australian Rules Football and its highest
The Fremantle Doctor is strongest in December and January, when the temperature differential between the land and ocean is greatest. In February and March the breeze is not as strong, because the ocean temperature is a bit warmer. Though October and November are not as warm, the ocean temperature is cooler resulting in the sea breeze in these months.
Other months have a weak or non-existent Fremantle Doctor. In the winter months, the land temperature is usually cooler than the ocean temperature, and this sometimes results in the weaker land breeze in the early morning.
When the Fremantle Doctor first arrives it is from the west-south-west (WSW) direction. Later when it is at maximum strength, the direction is usually from the SW or SSW. By the early evening, the direction is from the south. This change in wind direction is due to the Coriolis Effect. In physics the Coriolis effect is an apparent deflection of moving objects when they are viewed from a Rotating frame of reference. Other factors like the prevailing wind of a particular day can also have an effect on the direction.
A wind rose showing the different wind directions for Perth can be found at the Bureau of Meteorology. A wind rose is a graphic tool used by Meteorologists to give a succinct view of how Wind speed and direction are typically distributed at a particular location