Photographer's Note

Mild Subtropical South Coast
The south coast of São Miguel is 50 km long.
The first twenty kilometers, around Povoação (which curiously means settlement, it was the first one between Europe and North America) are actually not suitable for human settlements, since they are almost as steep as these.
The last twenty kilometers, around the capital Ponta Delgada, are no more protected from the northern winds.

Absolute Mild Subtropical South Coast
In the middle, the littoral that crowns the mild and green subtropics, in the northern hemisphere. The only absolute south coast between the USA and Europe, stretching from Vila Franca do Campo to Caloura.
10 km long, even smaller than the only absolute subtropical south coast between US and Africa, around Funchal, Madeira.

The Islet of Vila Franca and the 'Campo'
Vila Franca do Campo, the middle point, where meridian 25° 26' finally meets land again after having seen nothing but the Atlantic Ocean ever since the Antarctic.
The "Campo", the only almost flat area of this coast, facing the islet of Vila Franca, is the mildest spot in the Azores.

Southern Azores: Current Weather, updated daily; Climate Data
Water Temperature: Ponta Delgada - Temperatura da água à superficie.

Air Temperature: Santa Maria - Graph for the daily maximum and daily minimum temperatures of the last 52 weeks.

Note: Santa Maria Airport, in the exposed west shore, elevation of 100 m causing yearly average wind speed of 20km/h, as of August 2006, for the last 52 weeks:
All but three times, Maximum daily temperatures in the 16°C to 28° C range; All Minimum daily temperatures in the 10°C to 23° C range

Vila Franca do Campo, sea level, climate: Yearly average wind speed: 7 km/h; Water temperature in the 17° to 25° range, similar to the mean monthly maximum air temperature, ranging from 18° in February to 27° in August. 1°C warmer than the only Azores WMO littoral station located to the south, Santa Maria Airport.

Contrast this with the cliche "Four seasons in one day" that you will find in about any travel guide about the Azores.

South Coast Climatology
Topography - mountain range orientation, altitude, vertical gradient - is the basic factor defining an absolute south coast. See Theme.

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Additional Photos by Ilena Lo (NaturalLand) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 26 W: 0 N: 141] (639)
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