The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 105- Gladstone Airport (Qld)

Friday 20/09/2019

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.

Station: Gladstone Airport  39326

Opened: 1993

Daily Temperature data from: 1993

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Bundaberg, Gayndah, Rockhampton.

Location:   Co-ordinates  -23.8697 151.2214

GladstoneAir map

About 435km north-north-west of Brisbane.

2018 BOM site plan:

GladstoneAir plan2018

2019 Google satellite image:

GladstoneAir aerial

Google satellite image wider view:

Gladstoneair wider

Very poor siting for many reasons:  It is less than 20 metres from a bitumen road, 25 metres from a tarmac aircraft apron, 35 metres from the taxiway.  Suburban houses are 60 metres away.   Railway yards and industrial sheds are 500 metres away.  Gladstone is an industrial city and port producing coal, electricity, alumina, aluminium, and gas, so there is no shortage of UHI.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all Australian sites not compliant: 14.5%.

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2 Responses to “The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 105- Gladstone Airport (Qld)”

  1. Bill in Oz Says:

    Well said Ken
    I would add the following
    1: The BOM weather station is very close to a row of parking bays for small aircraft. There are three small planes parked in the Google earth shot. When the move into these parking bays they use the propellers which generate pretty strong wind directed at the Stevenson screen.Ditto when they leave the parking bays.
    Such artificial wind will affect the temperatures recorded.

    2: Looks like Gladstone is a busy airport from the size of it’s terminal. I wonder how many jet aircraft land & take off. Now they generate a lot of heat as well as wind.

    • kenskingdom Says:

      1. Exactly right- the reason for the minimum distance of screen from aprons and turning areas (80m) is exactly as you describe, propwash. To start moving from stationary, and to turn while at very low speed when taxiing, pilots have to increase revs to overcome inertia. From experience, I would have thought 80m was far too short. A plane starting up at dawn could easily prevent cold air from settling and mix in warmer air from above the screen.
      2. Gladstone is a busy airport, but less so than during the gas export construction phase. There are fewer flights daily nowadays than 3 or 4 years ago.
      Teaser:- Rocky (tomorrow) is much busier, plus has Flying Doctor and rescue helicopter bases. Plus when the US and Singapore have their regular military exercises (and occasionally other countries) there is greatly increased activity from some very big planes.

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