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Weather in the Tropics! 

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011


At present Cairns has not sustained any major flooding episodes, unlike those poor souls who have been inundated in South West & Central Queensland some 1000's of kilometres away.


From Christmas Day onward our weather has thrown sunny days, days with sun & a little rain and the odd day with just rain, but this is to be expected as the monsoon trough has arrived signaling the beginning of our ‘Wet Season’. The rain is warm and as long as the winds are light and there isn’t a cyclone sitting directly off the coast of Cairns, then the weather is generally more than pleasant on land and at out at sea.


At this time of year with extreme humidity it's too hot to bear if it doesn’t rain! Consequently when one sees and hears of a thunderstorm starting to develop west ‘up over the mountains’ in the late afternoon, it is often a welcome relief to the day’s intense heat and humidity and we pray for some respite that the warm tropical rains may bring!


The unique and somewhat rare rainforest areas that we have on our doorstep just outside of Cairns i.e. the Daintree Rainforests and the Atherton Tablelands to name a couple only exist because of our ‘area specific’ annual amounts of rainfall. If we didn’t receive the amounts of rainfall that we do in this part of the world, perhaps you would be visiting a desert rather than the tropical rainforests! The rainforest truly comes alive with the rain, birds sing, frogs croak and the emerald rainforest trees glisten in the wet and the waterfalls start to flow! 


Sadly, I do think that a few internet weather predictors and some of our national news stations always seem to mention Cairns weather at this time of the year, showing a picture icon with clouds and lightening symbols, sometimes with the sun peeking out from the clouds; even on days when the writer is sitting (here in Cairns) looking outside the window at bright blue sunshine and bemoaning the stiflingly hot and humid conditions. Perhaps it’s easier advertise Cairns weather conditions by giving a blanket prediction in order to hedge their bets in ‘predicting conditions’?  


So whilst you might be reading headlines such as “Gillard to Boost Aid for Flood-Stricken Queensland as Thousands Evacuated” and graphic images regarding “Queensland's Flood Crisis” please remember that the state of Queensland encompasses a very large area and whilst it may be flooding in Central and South West Queensland it is not necessarily flooding in Cairns! 



Tourists swim with whale shark off Port Douglas

Daniel Bateman

Monday, November 8, 2010

© The Cairns Post


THERE are few things on the Great Barrier Reef to make the world famous coral pale in comparison.

And according to passengers and crew on board Port Douglas based Aristocat, a rare sighting of the world’s biggest fish on the outer reef is definitely one of them.

This spectacular whale shark, estimated to be about 5m long, was spotted cruising alongside the tourist boat at St Crispin’s Reef, off Port Douglas on Friday afternoon.

The shark stayed with the boat for about 25 minutes – more than enough time for 25 tourists to swim alongside the large filter feeder and take pictures of it.

Aristocat skipper Scott Nelson said the sighting was extremely rare.

"In 20 years, I’ve probably seen about 10 of them," Mr Nelson said.

"November definitely seems to be the month for them, but to get them out here with tourists in the water, it’s a very rare sight indeed."

Mr Nelson said the tourists were "absolutely gobsmacked" to have the chance to swim with the gentle giant.

"We had them in the water at our next site, and we were just showing them the normal coral, and it just didn’t cut it," he said.

"Even though it was one of our better reefs, it was a bit of an anti-climax."

Whale sharks, which are listed as protected species within the Great Barrier Reef marine park, are only occasional visitors to the reef. A 7m long whale shark was spotted by a tourist vessel at Osprey Reef in June.

The animals were not known to science until 1828, when the first whale shark specimen was discovered off the coast of South Africa


Article courtesy of Cairns Post