Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Queensland Climate


Now despite living a more sustainable lifestyle, this page is not a lecture on climate change!


This is more to do with the climate we live in and how it affects the animals, plants and lifestyle here. (Though have to admit how our choices continue to effect the climate, this will affect how it affects us...)




Winter sunrise
Anyway, so whilst some may accuse me of 'bragging' and other think it of little consequence; particularly those who have lived in the tropics their whole lives, to us the climate is a huge factor in our lifestyle. And something we have to learn to live with, plan around and occasionally, just deal with.

Winter Sunset






We are in North Queensland, part of the "Sunshine state", whose motto is 'Beautiful one day, perfect the next'. And with an average of around 270 days of sunshine and average (highs) temperatures of 23-30 degrees, you could see why.




Climate data for Mackay (Mackay Aero 1950-2013)
MonthJan
Feb
MarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)35.8
(96.4)
37.3
(99.1)
34.1
(93.4)
32.9
(91.2)
28.9
(84)
32.0
(89.6)
28.5
(83.3)
32.1
(89.8)
35.4
(95.7)
38.5
(101.3)
36.6
(97.9)
38.2
(100.8)
38.5
(101.3)
Average high °C (°F)30.1
(86.2)
30.0
(86)
29.2
(84.6)
27.6
(81.7)
25.1
(77.2)
23.0
(73.4)
22.5
(72.5)
23.6
(74.5)
25.7
(78.3)
28.2
(82.8)
29.4
(84.9)
30.6
(87.1)
27.1
(80.8)
Average low °C (°F)22.9
(73.2)
23.2
(73.8)
22.0
(71.6)
19.3
(66.7)
15.4
(59.7)
12.6
(54.7)
11.1
(52)
11.9
(53.4)
14.6
(58.3)
18.2
(64.8)
20.4
(68.7)
22.2
(72)
17.8
(64)
Record low °C (°F)16.5
(61.7)
18.0
(64.4)
14.2
(57.6)
7.8
(46)
3.8
(38.8)
1.7
(35.1)
−0.4
(31.3)
2.0
(35.6)
4.7
(40.5)
9.5
(49.1)
12.8
(55)
15.6
(60.1)
−0.4
(31.3)
Rainfall mm (inches)317.1
(12.484)
371.2
(14.614)
240.0
(9.449)
170.4
(6.709)
92.2
(3.63)
63.2
(2.488)
35.7
(1.406)
35.8
(1.409)
26.7
(1.051)
35.2
(1.386)
81.1
(3.193)
138.3
(5.445)
1,606.9
(63.264)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2mm)16.617.716.7
14.6
11.910.07.76.85.36.28.510.9132.9
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[9]

But don't be miss-led. This tropical environment can be volatile and extreme.


The wet season is the summer and dry season in the winter (there is little in between). A vast contrast to the four seasons we grew up with in Wales... a temperate climate; so it would not have been unusual to see all four of those seasons in one day!





The wet season brings our main source of water- as we are not on town mains, but rely on collecting rainwater, or storing water from the bore (similar to a small well). However it can also bring with it cyclones.
A cyclone is a weather system generated by the warm sea temperatures. Its effectively the same as a hurricane, but rotates the opposite direction; hurricanes occur in the Northern hemisphere, Cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere.



Cyclones are rated in a similar fashion to hurricanes too. Each are named and rated category 1-5 (5 being the most extreme). These are dependent on wind speed, pressure and rain fall. And can be exceptional destructive!
 
So we have to adjust and be prepared. The 'wet season' is also when we gather most of our water supply. As we're not on 'town water' we rely on storing rain water or pumping bore water (like tapping into a well, of sorts).

And this cycle of vast rains (and being Welshman we thought we knew rain!)and prolonged dry seasons also affects our animals ;and we have to accommodate appropriate housing and feed in systems, so they stay dry and healthy. And obviously what we plant, though this I'll touch on more in the garden section.

So the climate here is an everyday factor and something we are also having to learn from and adapt too.