The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 108- Emerald (Qld)

Sunday 22/09/2019

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

Station: Emerald Airport 35264

Opened: 1981

Daily Temperature data from: 1992

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Barcaldine, Bundaberg, Charters Towers, Longreach, Rockhampton.

Location:   Co-ordinates  -23.5694 148.1756

About 650 km north-west of Brisbane, 240 km west of Rockhampton.

Emerald map

The  BOM site plan 2017 doesn’t tell us much:

Emerald plan2017

But the 2019 Google satellite image is much more revealing:

Emerald aerial

The wider view shows the airport size:

Emerald airport

Emerald is a busy regional airport with jet flights carrying in FIFO workers for the many coal mines of the district.  The screen is only 30 metres from the turning area/apron which has nearly 3 hectares (more than 6 acres) of tarmac.  BOM specifications for screens at airports stipulate a minimum distance of 80 metres from turning areas: the World Meteorological Organisation recommends 150 metres.  This is because starting and turning aircraft must increase throttle to overcome inertia, generating large amounts of propwash or jet exhaust.  This interferes with temperature measurement.  Further, that large area of tarmac absorbs and releases much more thermal energy than grass or soil, also increasing recorded temperature.

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


Percentage of all Australian sites not compliant: 14.92%.

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One Response to “The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 108- Emerald (Qld)”

  1. Bill in Oz Says:

    I’ve never been to this part of Australia Ken. So looking at the landscape via Google earth is interesting. The size of the car park indicates how busy this airport is. And I suggest the FIFO workers leave their work vehicles ( 4WD ) at the airport while away at home with family.

    I wonder why BOM ignores it’s own guidelines ( again ) re distance from tarmac at his airport and the consequent prop wash or jet air wash…

    Perhaps they think it simply doesn’t matter ? After all thye can sort out the impact on temperatures with some more modelling & adjusting, eh !.

    Ignore the real world !

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