FIDO has just installed a second online weather station on K’gari at Eurong as part of an ongoing FIDO program to capture weather data from a broader area to assist in environmental monitoring. Through FIDO’s website, anyone in the world with access to the internet can see the temperature, barometric pressure, wind direction and rainfall at both Happy Valley and Eurong in real time and for the previous 14 days. FIDO also feeds the data to Weather Underground and the Bureau of Meteorology, where it can also be seen. They also add FIDO’s weather station input to their permanent storage.
FIDO has plans for extending the network of online weather stations on K’gari as a community service as its resources allow. Apart from resources, the critical factor is having access to suitable open sites within 3G range so that the data can be transmitted. This so far precludes installation in most interior parts of the island. Sites such as Central Station and Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora) are currently out of the question, but are priority sites once reliable 3G signals are available.
To most Fraser Island visitors, seeing the weather pattern helps them understand the likely conditions for fishing and the state of the tracks, but not much more. However, having better and readily accessible weather data is useful in fire planning and management. It enables the correlation of road erosion to the intensity and volume of rainfall events and the hydrology that affects subterranean and surface waterflows to lakes, creeks and fens. The weather is also critical to plant growth, which in turn is critical to the island’s whole ecology.
FIDO has been able to afford these weather stations because Gold Coast volunteer, Alex Zangeri has assembled them from parts at minimal cost and, with the aid of Keith Sinclair, installed them. FIDO has also collaborated with the Fraser Island Retreat at Happy Valley and Eurong Resort, who have provided suitable sites and a continuous power supply.
Article contributed by John Sinclair, AO, FIDO