28°S 149°E Toorumbee – Queensland by Degrees

AT THE POINT

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Point information & photos: Col Grant, Sept 2008, Author's email:  cgrant@vnc.qld.edu.au

 

Observations carried out at exact degree confluence. The site is on cultivated land, in the catchment of the Moonie River.

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Ground Cover

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GPS

Acknowledgement: Jack of "Toorumbee" for the property access.

IN THE DEGREE SQUARE

Approaching St George

St George is well known for the number of lakes, weirs, billabongs and rivers in the district. These provide fine opportunities for fishing for locals and visitors. Murray cod and yellowbelly are caught here. Just north of the town the Maranoa River meets the Balonne River. South of the town the Culgoa and Narran Split from the south-west flowing Balonne to form a wide floodplain. The Moonie River is not far east of the town.

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Approaching St George

Climate: The closest representative weather station is at Surat, which is 95 km north of the confluence and has an elevation of 246 m. The station has been recording data since 1881.

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Mean max
(ºC)

34.2

33.5

31.9

28.2

23.6

20.1

19.7

21.6

25.6

29.2

31.9

33.9

27.8

Mean min
(ºC)

20.6

20.3

17.8

13.1

8.9

5.5

4.2

5.6

9.3

13.8

16.9

19.3

12.9

Mean rain
(mm)

72.1

73.0

56.9

31.2

24.7

37.0

38.9

27.3

28.8

50.2

54.6

70.1

575.4

The highest temperature recorded was 44.0°C in January 1980 and December 1981, and the lowest was -5.9°C in May 1987. The greatest rainfall recorded in a year was 1 278.9 mm in 1980, and the lowest was 166.5 mm in 1915. These and other climate statistics for Surat can be found at: Australian Bureau of Meteorology, http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_043035_All.shtml

Extremes of Nature: Since 1906 there have been two cyclones to pass within 50 km of the degree confluence (1956 Unnamed, 1964 Audrey), and a further 6 have passed within 200 km. Cyclone information for this area and all of Australia can be found at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website, http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/cyclones.cgi

Cyclone tracks within 200 km of the confluence, 1906 to 2006 (Bureau of Meteorology web site)

Extreme heat is also a potential danger. Records show that Surat experiences 50 days annually with temperatures over 35°C, although vary rarely does it reach 40°C or warmer. Such extreme temperatures can cause heat stroke and death if appropriate measures are not taken such as avoiding strenuous physical effort, keeping as cool as possible and drinking lots of water. Heat waves kill more people in Australia than all other natural hazards combined. In contrast, the area is also subject to the cold, in that in an average year there are 29 days with minumums cooler than 2°C.

More to come.

Today:

The total population of the degree square at the 2011 national census was approximately 400. This has been in decline for at least a decade as the rural industries that dominate the area have been under drought and other hardships.

MEASURE

1996

2001

2006

2011

Total population

526

566

452

401

Total males

289

327

264

218

Total females

237

239

188

183

Under 5 years

54

49

34

36

65 years and over

51

40

51

54

Indigenous

11

21

6

6

St George is a thriving centre that offers many services to residents and visitors. St George is the administrative centre of the Balonne Shire. In addition, cotton growing, grazing and grain farming are carried out in the district. Cotton is irrigated. Grapes and wine are produced locally. The town is an important road transport node.

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Edited by: Hayley Freemantle

More to come.