Weather expert dismisses heat theory
By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE is unlikely to be missing out on storms because of heat generated by industry, according to weather expert Livio Regano.
The Channel 7 meteorologist said it was unlikely that Gladstone industry was widespread enough to affect the city's weather.
However, he said it was true the Gladstone region was in a 'storm shadow' and tended to miss out on rain even though areas north (Mackay) and south (the Sunshine Coast) could receive plenty.
Mr Regano said although large developed areas could have some influence on the weather, it was unlikely to be the case in Gladstone.
A number of Observer readers said weather patterns observed on the Bureau of Meteorology radar image website on Monday showed storms skirting Gladstone.
However, Mr Regano said it was a common occurrence for locals to have such ideas about their weather.
'The fact is a lot of these storms are isolated and they could hit anywhere,' he said.
Mr Regano said even areas that had a greater degree of development, such as Australian capital cities, were not likely to have significant local weather effects although they may have a minimal influence on the overall weather patterns.
Mr Regano said there were two main reasons why the Capricornia region missed out on rain and thunderstorms.
One was that there was no high range close to the coast (such as there is at Mackay and the Blackall Ranges at the Sunshine Coast) to lift wet winds into the upper atmosphere to condense and come down as rain.
The other was that the shape of the coast, an east-to-west alignment, meant that the south-easterlies tended to follow the coast rather than crossing it.
'The more square to the coast the winds are, the more likely it is to bring rain because the moisture-laden breezes are lifted by the land to the cooler atmosphere for them to condense.
He also said that talk of this region being a desert zone depended on a person's point of view.
'You can always find statistics of wet or dry periods to fit your view as to whether the region is wet or dry,' he said.