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The tropical Australian state of Queensland is enduring the worst floods in living memory. Almost half of the state’s 700,000 square miles are under water. Rockhampton is one of 20 towns and cities hit by the flooding that now covers an area larger than France and Germany combined, with about 200,000 people affected. Rivers are surging to new heights and overflowing into low-lying towns as the water makes its way towards the ocean.
Because of its size, there is significant variation in climate across the state. Low rainfall and hot summers are typical for the inland west, a monsoonal ‘wet’ season in the far north, and warm temperate conditions along the coastal strip. Inland and in southern ranges low minimum temperatures are experienced. The climate of the coastal strip is influenced by warm ocean waters, keeping the region free from extremes of temperature and providing moisture for rainfall.
There are five predominate climatic zones in Queensland, based on temperature and humidity:
* hot humid summer (far north and coastal)
* warm humid summer (coastal elevated hinterlands and coastal south-east)
* hot dry summer, mild winter (central west)
* hot dry summer, cold winter (southern west)
* temperate – warm summer, cold winter (inland south-east, e.g. Granite Belt).
Even in a land as vast as Australia, the scale of the flooding is hard to comprehend. In central Queensland, murky brown flood waters are rising and the crisis is far from over.
A winter getaway for many Australians, Queensland has many attractions, fabulous beaches, coastal islands and the Great Barrier Reef. The Tropic of Capricorn runs through the state.Click here for reuse options!