Covid-19 and Global Warming: Two Problems, Two Responses

June 24, 2020

Skeptics have often faced the argument, “You trust medical experts, so you should trust the climate experts”.  The science, after all, is settled.

That argument is nonsense- there is no comparison between them.

Medical researchers, in the fight against Covid-19, are using the time honoured scientific method used for decades in the search for treatments, vaccines, or cures for a host of crippling and deadly diseases- cancer, diabetes,  HIV, to name a few.

This usually involves years of careful examination of patient data and all existing information and literature, forming an hypothesis to test, designing studies, writing protocols, implementing and evaluating laboratory trials, designing and conducting animal trials, designing and conducting clinical trials, analyzing results, and then reporting findings.  It is a continuous process built on past and current evidence. 

The sought-after treatment or vaccine must pass the tests of safety and efficacy.  Doctors are enjoined: First, do no harm.  As well, the treatment must be effective.  There are many examples of trials that were stopped because they were causing higher risk of harm or were showing no benefit. 

It would be too much to expect automatic success from any of the programs under way around the world to find a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine.

The same approach is not used in climate science:-

It is assumed that the patient (the world) has an unusually high and increasing temperature, even though patient records indicate periods of higher temperature in the past.

It is assumed that this will continue and will worsen.

It is assumed that this is dangerous and must be treated.

It is assumed that we know the cause, because of an untested hypothesis that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, lead to increasing temperatures.

It is assumed that “the science is settled”, (and, even more dangerously, conflicting opinions have been actively suppressed.)

Based on these assumptions, all manner of treatments have been rushed into service, with no testing and no thought for safety or efficacy.   Unwanted and dangerous side-effects have been ignored.  Enormously expensive treatments with no proven or even possible benefit have been implemented, while other treatments (e.g. nuclear energy) are beyond consideration.

Why do I trust medical experts?

When discussing a cancer diagnosis, I trusted my specialist because he showed me the evidence, welcomed a second opinion, discussed the benefits and side-effects of different treatments (and none), gave me research papers on the safety and efficacy of the recommended treatment, and gave me time to think about it.  Nearly three years later the treatment is (so far) successful.

Thank God climate experts are not involved in the search for a Covid-19 vaccine- or cancer treatment.

A Closer Look at CO2 Growth

June 11, 2020

For a while I have been looking at atmospheric carbon dioxide data from stations around the world.  This post draws together some observations, many of which are pretty much common knowledge- but some of what I’ve found is surprising.

So I’ll start by listing some of this common and not so common knowledge:-

-The often quoted figures for global CO2 levels are not at all global, but are the local readings at Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

-The long term carbon dioxide record shows continuing increase at all stations, indicating greater output than sinks can absorb. 

-Southern Hemisphere CO2 concentration is increasing but more slowly than the Northern Hemisphere.  Their trends are diverging.

-Seasonal peaks in CO2 concentration occur in late winter and spring in both hemispheres.

-There is very great inter-annual variation in the seasonal cycle of CO2, which can be even more than the average annual increase.

-This inter-annual variation occurs at the same time in both hemispheres, even though the seasonal cycles are 6 months apart.  This implies a global cause, such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).  Large volcanic eruptions also have an impact.  There are likely to be other factors.

-Sea surface temperature change precedes CO2 change by 12 to 24 months.  It is difficult to reconcile this with ocean out-gassing as a cause of the inter-annual CO2 changes.  It is nonsense to claim that CO2 change leads to sea surface temperature change.

-ENSO changes occur at about the same time as CO2 changes.

-CO2 concentration increases during La Ninas. 

-El Ninos precede higher sea temperatures by 4 to 6 months.

-Because of the “oscillation” part of ENSO events, strong events are followed by opposite conditions 16 to 24 months later.  In this way a strong El Nino will lead to strong ocean warming often followed by La Nina conditions and higher CO2 concentration.

-The slowing Southern Hemisphere trend and flattening curve at the South Pole lacks satisfactory explanation.

CO2 measuring stations

Geoffrey Sherrington has shown differences existing between NOAA and Scripps daily CO2 data at Mauna Loa, and that uncertainty in daily data must be much greater than the claimed 0.2 part per million.  His article confirmed my decision to use Scripps instead of NOAA data.  In this post I use Scripps monthly data from many stations across the Pacific, and data from the CSIRO station at Cape Grim in Tasmania, to compare observations from different locations.

Figure 1 shows the locations of stations in the Scripps network, and Cape Grim.

Figure 1:  Scripps stations and Cape Grim

Point Barrow is the most northerly part of the USA, and Alert is the most northerly part of Canada.

The often quoted figures for global CO2 levels are not at all global.  They are not the global average, nor are they representative of other locations.  They are in fact the local CO2 concentration from the slopes of Mauna Loa in Hawaii.  The trend in CO2 increase is similar to, but not the same as, those in other locations.

Figure 2 shows monthly CO2 concentrations from all of the Scripps stations.

Figure 2:  Monthly CO2 at all locations

It is clear that all stations show a similar rising trend, and all show seasonal variation of varying degrees.  However, few stations have long term records, and most have periods of missing data. 

Differences, similarities, and divergence

Figure 3 shows monthly differences from the Mauna Loa record of stations with fairly complete records. 

Figure 3:  Six stations’ difference from Mauna Loa

Monthly differences show huge seasonal variation, so Figure 4 shows 12 month average differences.

 Figure 4:  Six stations’ difference from Mauna Loa, 12 month averages

Clearly, there are major differences between the different records: 

-La Jolla has too many gaps for further analysis. 

-There are differences between Cape Grim and South Pole from about 1980 to the early 1990s.

-Southern Hemisphere stations (American Samoa, Cape Grim, and South Pole) are diverging from Mauna Loa, and from Barrow Point and Alert.  Figure 5 shows these trends more clearly.

Figure 5:  Barrow Point and South Pole difference from Mauna Loa, 12 month averages

While South Pole and Mauna Loa are strongly diverging, Barrow Point and Mauna Loa are becoming slightly more similar.

In Figure 6, the divergence of South Pole data is evident in monthly readings.

Figure 6:  Monthly CO2 concentrations, Mauna Loa, Barrow Point, and South Pole

Note how much larger the Barrow Point seasonal range is.  More importantly, note how South Pole data begin well within the Mauna Loa range, but 50 years later barely reach the bottom of the Mauna Loa range, as Figures 7 and 8 show.

Figure 7:  Monthly CO2 concentrations, Mauna Loa and South Pole 1965-1975

Figure 8:  Monthly CO2 concentrations, Mauna Loa and South Pole 2010 -2020

Why the divergence?  How can a well-mixed gas show a lower trend at the South Pole?  Why is it that the South Pole summer draw down has decreased and is now a plateauing?

Seasonal change

Now zooming in to look at seasonal swings in just two years, 2011 and 2012:

Figure 9:  Monthly CO2 concentrations, Mauna Loa, Barrow Point and South Pole

The Barrow Point range from low to high is nearly three times the size of the Mauna Loa range, and the South Pole range is tiny.  The peak concentrations at Barrow Point and Mauna Loa are in late spring, with a sharp drop at Barrow Point to August and a smoother curve at Mauna Loa to lows in autumn; while at the South Pole the annual curve is better described as a shallow rise in winter followed by a “peak” in spring and a long plateau over summer, with a very small decrease in late summer.  The next three plots show the timing of highs and lows at these three stations for the whole record.

Figure 10:  Timing of seasonal high and low CO2 concentrations, Mauna Loa

Annual lows are in September or October, and highs are almost always in May.

Figure 11:  Timing of seasonal high and low CO2 concentrations, Barrow Point

Lows are always in August, while highs are spread across late winter to late spring, with a plateau from February to May (and extending twice into June).

Figure 12:  Timing of seasonal high and low CO2 concentrations, South Pole

At the South Pole, seasonal highs are reached in spring or early summer, with lows in late summer and early autumn, with one instance in June.

Inter-annual changes

While the seasonal cycles appear to be regular, the timing and size of seasonal changes can vary considerably from year to year.

The next plots show detrended data since 1985 for several locations (few have good data before 1985).  Detrending allows us to compare inter-annual variation more easily.  We do this for each record by subtracting the trend.

Figure 13:  Detrended monthly CO2, Mauna Loa

Figure 14:  Detrended monthly CO2, Barrow Point and Alert

Figure 15:  Detrended monthly CO2, South Pole and Cape Grim

While the seasonal range is different for each location, there is remarkable similarity in timing of changes, for example the late 1980s- early 1990s and 2009-2013.  Note how close Cape Grim and South Pole are, although Cape Grim is at 40.68 degrees South, 49 degrees north of the South Pole.  The South Pole data appear to be representative of a large part of the Southern Ocean.

Because the detrended data retain enormous seasonal variations, it is necessary to show the detrended data (this time from 1979) with monthly means subtracted, for Barrow Point in the far north, Mauna Loa in the middle, and South Pole at the extreme south.  Here are the seasonal signals:

Figure 16: Seasonal signals of monthly CO2 data

As an example, Figure 17 compares detrended data from Barrow Point with monthly means:

Figure 17:  Detrended monthly CO2 with monthly means, Barrow Point

Subtracting the monthly means shows the residual variation in carbon dioxide for Barrow Point:

Figure 18:  Detrended monthly CO2 with seasonal signal removed, Barrow Point

Figure 19 combines the three stations:

All three records follow the same pattern, with a large increase from 1979 to the late 1980s, followed by decrease in the 1990s.  There appears to be another steep increase from 2012 to the present.  Notice that Mauna Loa and South Pole values can be from 1 ppm below to 2 ppm above the trend, while at Barrow Point the range can be from 4ppm below to 5 ppm above the trend, which is about 2.5 ppm per year. 

However, there is still a large amount of variation in the monthly figures.  A centred 13 month rolling mean makes comparison much easier.

Figure 20:  Centred 13 month mean of detrended monthly CO2 with seasonal signal removed

The similar pattern followed by stations from north to south, from the Arctic Ocean, across the Pacific, to the Antarctic, far from any industrial or cropping contamination, is immediately obvious.  The Barrow Point record appears to lag behind Mauna Loa and South Pole data by from one to five months.  South Pole can be a few months ahead to a few months behind Mauna Loa, even though South Pole absolute monthly concentration peaks are from four to seven months later.

Ocean temperature effects

In Figure 14 of my post on 2nd May, Will Covid-19 Affect Carbon Dioxide Levels? I showed that CO2 change lags one year behind sea surface temperatures (SSTs).  The next plot shows the centred 13 month mean of HadSST4 data, scaled up to compare with CO2 data.

Figure 21:  Scaled, centred 13 month mean of detrended monthly HadSST4 and CO2 data with seasonal signal removed

Now the same data with SSTs lagged 12 months…

Figure 22:  Scaled, centred 13 month mean of detrended monthly HadSST4 and CO2 data with seasonal signal removed, HadSST4 lagged 12 months

Large change in CO2 concentrations appears closely linked with sea surface temperature a year before- (or even two years, as between 2002 and 2010).  Sea surface temperatures have a global effect.

ENSO effects

Another cause of CO2 variation is the El Nino- Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which appears in the swings between El Nino and La Nina conditions.  ENSO has a great effect on weather conditions globally, affecting winds, clouds, rainfall and temperature.  Figure 18 shows how CO2 levels respond to the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), which is a good indicator of ENSO conditions.

Figure 23:  Centred 13 month means, scaled SOI and detrended CO2 levels

CO2 increases in La Ninas.  The pattern becomes more intriguing when we plot inverted SOI levels with sea surface temperatures, as in Figure 19.

Figure 24:  Scaled, centred 13 month mean of detrended monthly HadSST4 with seasonal signal removed and scaled inverted SOI

Inverted SOI data indicate SST data 4 to 6 months later.  (The early 1980s and early 1990s don’t match because of the huge volcanic eruptions of El Chichon and Pinatubo.)  In other words, an El Nino will raise ocean temperatures, and a La Nina will lower ocean temperatures, 6 months later.  Because of the oscillating nature of ENSO, El Ninos and La Ninas approximately reflect each other 16 to 24 months later, as Figure 20 shows.  (Again, El Chichon and Pinatubo have a large impact.)

Figure 25:  Scaled SOI, normal and inverted

That pattern recurs, with varying lag times, throughout the whole 144 year SOI history.

Which is why SSTs will probably increase to about February of 2021…

Figure 26:  Scaled SOI, normal and inverted, and detrended HadSST4

…and with them, CO2 concentration.

Figure 27:  Scaled SOI, normal and inverted, and detrended HadSST4, with South Pole CO2 data

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is soi-inv-sst-co2-1.jpg

Discussion

The long term carbon dioxide record shows continuing increase at all stations, indicating greater output than sinks can absorb. 

CO2 concentrations and trends, while similar, have discernible differences at different locations, notably between the hemispheres.

CO2 concentrations at Southern Hemisphere stations are increasing, but more slowly than those in the Northern Hemisphere, such that their trends are diverging.

On the long term CO2 rise are seasonal rises and falls, most likely due to seasonal vegetation, crop, and phytoplankton growth and decay. 

Peaks in CO2 concentration occur after winter and spring in both hemispheres- February to May at Barrow Point, April and May at Mauna Loa, and September-December at the South Pole.  This is not due however to a six month delay in CO2 mixing from sources in the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern, otherwise the South Pole trend would be the same.  It is lower, and becoming more so. 

There is great variety in seasonal range of CO2 at different locations, with greatest variation in the Arctic and the least in the Southern Hemisphere.

The amount and timing of these seasonal rises and falls varies from year to year.  These inter-year changes in CO2 concentrations can be as much as or greater than the normal annual increase.

Even though the South Pole station is far from the Southern Ocean, especially in winter when sea ice extends further, and even further from any vegetated land areas, its data appear representative of a great part of the Southern Hemisphere.

Small inter-annual changes in sea surface temperatures have a large impact on these changes in CO2 concentrations at South Pole and Mauna Loa about 12 to 24 months later.  There can be a further delay of up to five months in the effect at Point Barrow. 

This is not controversial.  According to the CSIRO, these variations “have been shown to correlate significantly with the regular El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and with major volcanic eruptions. These variations in carbon dioxide are small compared to the regular annual cycle, but can make a difference to the observed year-by-year increase in carbon dioxide.”

While sea surface temperature rise precedes CO2 concentration increase, there is no evidence at all of CO2 concentration change preceding sea surface temperature change.

With an apparent approximate 12 – 24 month delay between ocean temperature change and inter-annual CO2 change, changes in ocean out-gassing and absorption rates appears to be an unlikely mechanism.  Changes in land vegetation, forests, crops, and oceanic phytoplankton, moderated by the changing circulation, rainfall, cloud, and temperature patterns of ENSO events, appears to be a more likely mechanism, with the much smaller land area of the Southern Hemisphere accounting for the much smaller changes. 

The unresolved problem

This does not however explain the decreasing amount of summer draw down at the South Pole, and the divergence from Northern Hemisphere data.   Perhaps Southern Ocean phytoplankton are not decreasing as much during winter, so the CO2 sink is slightly increasing, slowing the CO2 growth trend a little and smoothing the CO2 growth curve.  Who knows?  I have yet to see a satisfactory- or any- explanation.

CO2vid Watch: May

June 8, 2020

I have been wondering whether the largest real-life science experiment in history will show whether atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will decrease as a result of the Covid19-induced economic slowdown.

Earlier I concluded:  “I expect there may be a small decrease in the rate of CO2 concentration increase, but it won’t be much, and I will be surprised if it turns negative.  A large La Nina later this year will lead to a CO2 increase a few months later, in which case there will be a larger downturn in annual CO2 change in 2021.

However, if the major cause of CO2 increase is fossil fuel consumption, there will be an extra large decrease in CO2 change in 2020 and 2021- and a noticeable jump if the global economy rebounds.”

(In a coming post I will update my expectations for the end of the year and next year.) 

The CO2 concentration number for May is now published: 417.07 p.p.m. (parts per million).  That’s an increase of 0.86 ppm over the April figure, and 2.41 ppm above the figure for May last year.  Figure 1 shows the 12 month change in CO2 at Mauna Loa since 2015-that is, January to January, February to February, March to March.

Fig. 1:  12 month change in CO2 concentration since 2015 to May 2020- Mauna Loa

Notice the amount of 12 month change has decreased a little.

Figure 2 is a monthly update for 2020 I will show as each month’s CO2 figures become available (and 2021 if necessary):

Fig. 2:  Updated 12 month changes in CO2 concentration for 2020- Mauna Loa

Note that so far this year, 12 month changes are in the normal or even upper range, and there is no sign of any slow down.

Watch for next month’s update, and enjoy the ride!

Mysterious Jump in Ocean Temperatures

May 31, 2020

Back in 2018 Jo Nova publicised Dr John McLean’s exposé of the many ridiculous flaws in HadCruT4, the global temperature dataset, which included until a year ago the oceanic component, HadSST3. That was bad enough, with some data from positions 100km inland from the nearest sea. But in June 2019 the long awaited HadSST4 was released, in which many corrections were made to reduce “problems” in the sea surface temperature record.


Corrections indeed.


Figure 1 is a comparison of HadSST4 with HadSST3.

Figure 1: HadSST3 and HadSST4 since 1850

And figure 2 shows the extent of the “corrections”.

Figure 2: Adjustments: HadSST4 minus HadSST3

You will no doubt note how the “corrections” have made the past cooler, as is standard practice for all those curating temperature records. Indeed, apart from a small foray in the 1940s, the whole 100 years from 1875 to about 1975 has been made ever so slightly- up to a tenth of a degree- cooler.


But in an interesting move, all temperatures since then have been corrected, and, would you believe, upwards. Who would have thought that the average sea surface temperature measured just a couple of years ago in September 2017 was 0.1875 degrees too cool, and needed revising upwards?

Figure 3: HadSST3 and HadSST4 since 2010

Modern thermometers just aren’t what they used to be.

CO2vid Watch: April

May 7, 2020

In my last post I wondered whether the largest real-life science experiment in history will show whether atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will decrease as a result of the Covid19-induced economic slowdown.

I concluded:  I expect there may be a small decrease in the rate of CO2 concentration increase, but it won’t be much, and I will be surprised if it turns negative.  A large La Nina later this year will lead to a CO2 increase a few months later, in which case there will be a larger downturn in annual CO2 change in 2021.

However, if the major cause of CO2 increase is fossil fuel consumption, there will be an extra large decrease in CO2 change in 2020 and 2021- and a noticeable jump if the global economy rebounds.”

 Figure 1 shows the 12 month change in CO2 at Mauna Loa since 2015-that is, January to January, February to February, March to March (as in Figure 6 of my previous post):

Fig. 1:  12 month change in CO2 concentration since 2015- Mauna Loa

The CO2 concentration number for April is now published: 416.21 p.p.m. (parts per million).  That’s an increase of 1.71 ppm over the March figure, and 2.89 ppm above the figure for April last year.  Figure 2 is the April update on Figure 1.

Fig. 2:  Updated 12 month change in CO2 concentration since 2015- Mauna Loa

Notice the amount of 12 month change has increased, despite at least two months of downturn in China and at least a month in most other countries.

Figure 3 is a monthly update for 2020 I will show as each month’s CO2 figures become available (and 2021 if necessary):

Fig. 3:  Updated 12 month changes in CO2 concentration for 2020- Mauna Loa

Figure 4 shows the range of 12 month changes for each decade since the record began in 1958:

Fig. 4:  Updated 12 month changes in CO2 concentration all decades- Mauna Loa

Figure 5 shows the same, but just since 2000:

Fig. 5:  Updated 12 month changes in CO2 concentration since 2000- Mauna Loa

Note that so far this year, 12 month changes are in the upper range, and there is no sign of any slow down.

Watch for next month’s update, and enjoy the ride!

Will Covid-19 Affect Carbon Dioxide Levels?

May 2, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has already caused a huge downturn in many industries world-wide- especially tourism, manufacturing, and transport.  Prices of oil and thermal coal have fallen dramatically.  The first impact was on China, as this plot from the World Economic Forum shows:

Fig. 1:  Industrial production in China

Industrial production has fallen by 13.5% in January and February, and exports have dropped by 17%.  While China may be recovering from the virus, the rest of the world is not and knock-on effects from low Chinese production of essential inputs will hold back recovery in other countries.

So the question is: if atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are largely a product of fossil fuel emissions, and if fossil fuel emissions decrease, will we see a reduction in the rate of increase of CO2, and if so, how much?

This is the biggest real life experiment we are ever (I hope) likely to see.

Background:

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing, as in Figure 2.

Fig. 2:  CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa

Cape Grim in Tasmania samples the atmosphere above the Southern Ocean and shows a similar trend, with much smaller seasonal fluctuations:

Fig. 3:  CO2 measurements at Cape Grim

But what we are vitally interested in, is how much we may expect CO2 concentration to change.  We can show change, and remove the seasonal signal, by plotting the 12 month differences, i.e., March 2020 minus March 2019.  Thus we can see how much real variation there is even without an economic downturn.  And it is huge.

Fig.4:  12 month change in CO2 concentration- Mauna Loa

Fig. 5:  12 month change in CO2 concentration- Cape Grim

Not very much smaller at Cape Grim.

However, the Mauna Loa record is the one commonly referred to.  Figure 6 shows the 12 month changes since 2015.

Fig.6:  12 month change in CO2 concentration since 2015- Mauna Loa

We will keenly watch the values for the remaining months of 2020, and then 2021.

My expectation?

I will be very surprised if there is much visible difference from previous years at all, as the following plots show.  Figure 7 shows the time series of annual global CO2 emissions and scaled up atmospheric concentration from 1965 to 2018 (the most recent data from the World Bank):

Fig. 7:  Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Concentration to 2018

Fig. 8:  Carbon Dioxide Emissions as a Function of Energy Consumption to 2018

There is a very close match between emissions and energy consumption of all types- including nuclear, hydro, and renewables.

Fig. 9:  CO2 Concentration as a Function of Carbon Dioxide Emissions to 2018

Again, it is close, they are both increasing, but with some interesting little hiccups….

So what is the relationship between change in atmospheric concentration and change in emissions?

Fig. 10:  Percentage Change in CO2 Concentration as a Function of Percentage Change in Carbon Dioxide Emissions to 2018

Not very good correlation: 0.01.

Fig. 11:  Percentage Change in Energy Use, GDP, and Carbon Dioxide Emissions to 2018

GDP fluctuates much more than energy or emissions, which are very close, and if anything tends to follow them.

Figure 12 is a time series of annual percentage change in energy and emissions and absolute change in CO2 concentration.

Fig. 12:  Percentage Change in Energy Use and Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Absolute CO2 Change to 2018

You will note that during the three occasions (1974, 1980-82, and 2008-09) when global emissions growth went negative (as much as minus two percent), CO2 concentration barely moved, and still remained positive, and on two occasions when CO2 concentration increased by 3 ppm or more (1998 and 2016), emissions increase was much reduced. 

Ah-ha, but that’s because the volume of the atmosphere is so huge compared with the amount of greenhouse gases being pumped out- according to the Global Warming Enthusiasts.

In Figure 10 I showed that there was little relationship between annual change in CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentration.  Figure 13 shows what appears to have a much greater influence on CO2 concentrations: ocean surface temperature. 

Fig. 13:  Annual Change in CO2 Concentration as a Function of Change in Sea Surface Temperature (lagged 1 year)

Remember the correlation of CO2 with emissions in Figure 10 was 0.01.  The correlation between CO2 and lagged SSTs is 0.59.  That’s a pretty devastating comparison.

Figure 14 shows how in most years SST change precedes CO2 change throughout the entire CO2 record.

Fig. 14:  Annual Change in CO2 Concentration and Sea Surface Temperatures

There is little evidence for CO2 increase causing SST increase, while there is evidence that SST change (or something closely associated with it) leads to CO2 change.   The largest changes coincide with large ENSO events.

Conclusion:

Therefore, I expect there may be a small decrease in the rate of CO2 concentration increase, but it won’t be much, and I will be surprised if it turns negative.  A large La Nina later this year will lead to a CO2 increase a few months later, in which case there will be a larger downturn in annual CO2 change in 2021.

However, if the major cause of CO2 increase is fossil fuel consumption, there will be an extra large decrease in CO2 change in 2020 and 2021- and a noticeable jump if the global economy rebounds.

As I said, a very large real life experiment. So watch this space!

Australia’s Wacky Weather Station Comparison 4: Penrith (NSW)

February 20, 2020

After surveying 666 weather stations across Australia and finding nearly half (49.25%) are not compliant with Bureau of Meteorology siting specifications, in this series of posts I compare daily temperature data from pairs of compliant and non-compliant stations. Here’s the first in this series.

Penrith and Richmond RAAF

These stations are in western Sydney, 16km apart.

Fig. 1:  Penrith map location per Google Maps

Fig.2:  Penrith and Richmond

Penrith Lakes AWS 67113 is beside a large area of excavation and bare soil, and 200 metres from a large artificial lake.

Fig. 3:  Penrith (Google satellite image 2019)

Richmond RAAF 67105 is at an Air Force base. It is open, flat, and at least 50 meters from any concrete or tarmac.

Fig. 4:  Richmond RAAF site plan 2016

Fig. 5:  Richmond RAAF (Google satellite image 2020)

Richmond is 6 metres higher than Penrith.  Both are Automatic Weather Stations with electronic temperature probes transmitting data every minute. While there can be no observer error, as we shall see there can be instrumental error.

Richmond RAAF is an ACORN station. The Bureau says in its Station Catalogue: “The region is a major growth corridor for Sydney and there is evidence of anomalous warming of minimum temperatures in recent years.”

If we plot all daily maxima from 2010 to 2019 for Richmond against Penrith, we see that temperatures match quite closely:

Fig. 6:  Tmax at Richmond as a function of Tmax at Penrith

Richmond is on average cooler than Penrith. A time series of the 31 day centred mean of the daily difference between them shows more detail:

Fig. 7:  31 day mean daily difference Penrith minus Richmond Tmax

Values above zero mean Penrith is warmer than Richmond; below zero, Penrith is cooler.  Most summers Penrith is warmer, and winters slightly cooler, though the record appears to have breakpoints in early 2012 and early 2016, and some unusually high values.

This is a plot of mean differences by month:

Fig. 8: 31 day mean daily difference Penrith minus Richmond Tmax by month

Penrith is warmer in every month, especially in summer, though there are some cooler values in every month.

Minimum temperatures at Richmond are much cooler than Penrith:

Fig. 9:  Tmin at Richmond as a function of Tmin at Penrith

Fig. 10:  31 day mean daily difference Penrith minus Eichmond Tmin

Penrith is 2C to 2.5C warmer in cooler months and up to 0.5C warmer in summer.

Fig. 11: 31 day mean daily difference Penrith minus Richmond Tmin by month

A note on accuracy:

The centred 31 day running correlation is useful for detecting inconsistencies.

Fig. 12:  Centred  31 day running correlation between Penrith and Richmond maxima

Fig. 13:  Centred  31 day running correlation between Penrith and Richmond minima

The much poorer correlation in the summer of 2013-2014 shows in Figures 7 and 10. Here are the actual minimum temperatures recorded:

Fig. 14:  Daily minima at Penrith and Richmond Summer 2013 – 2014

It appears that the Richmond probe began malfunctioning in mid-December and failed completely in mid-January. It failed again a few months later.

In recent years, Penrith Lakes AWS 67113 has recorded generally warmer maxima than Richmond RAAF 67105 in summer and comparable or slightly cooler maxima in winters. Minima are always much warmer at Penrith. This may be due to the proximity to the large artificial lake.

In this example, siting non-compliance has a large effect on temperature.

***

This will be the last comparison, as it is very difficult to identify non-compliant stations with nearby compliant sites with similar environment. We can conclude however that non-compliance with siting specifications affects temperatures recorded, which varies between locations. Sometimes maxima are much warmer, sometimes minima. Temperatures at 329 non-compliant stations cannot be regarded as reliable for weather or climate analysis.

Australia’s Wacky Weather Station Comparison 3: Echuca (Vic)

February 18, 2020

UPDATE 20/02/2020: As reader Phil has reminded me and as I said after Figure 5 below, Kyabram appears to be irrigated and so should be added to the non-compliant list (making 329 or 49.25% of checkable stations). Therefore these sites are not suitable for comparison as factors other than siting (e.g. cooling due to evapo-transpiration following irrigation) will affect temperature difference. It is very difficult to find compliant sites that are near enough to non-compiant stations- but these are still interesting sites.

After surveying 666 weather stations across Australia and finding nearly half (49.25%) are not compliant with Bureau of Meteorology siting specifications, in this series of posts I compare daily temperature data from pairs of compliant and non-compliant stations. Here’s the first in this series.

Echuca and Kyabram

These stations are about 170km north of Melbourne, about 33km apart.

Fig. 1:  Echuca map location per Google Maps

Fig.2:  Echuca and Kyabram

Echuca Airport 80015 is right beside a large gravel parking area and less than 40 metres from the tarmac aircraft parking area.

Fig. 3:  Echuca Airport (Google satellite image 2019)

EchucaAir aerial

Kyabram 80091 is at a former research station in an open paddock as the 2008 plan shows:

Fig. 4:  Kyabram site plan 2008

Fig. 5:  Kyabram (Google satellite image 2020)

Kyabram is 9 metres higher than Echuca.  Again, an important difference is that Echuca is a manual station with liquid-in-glass thermometers, while Kyabram is an Automatic Weather Station (installed 1998) with an electronic temperature probe transmitting data every minute. The satellite image shows the enclosure is not well maintained with what appears to be long grass. The area around the enclosure is probably irrigated so this station should probably be classified as non-compliant as well.

If we plot all daily maxima from 2010 to 2019 for Kyabram against Echuca, we see that temperatures match quite closely:

Fig. 6:  Tmax at Kyabram as a function of Tmax at Echuca

The trend equation shows Kyabram is on average cooler than Echuca. A time series of the 31 day centred mean of the daily difference between them shows more detail:

Fig. 7:  31 day mean daily difference Echuca minus Kyabram Tmax

Values above zero mean Echuca is warmer than Kyabram; below zero, Echuca is cooler.  Note that apart from a few brief episodes, Echuca is always warmer than Kyabram.

This is a plot of mean differences by month:

Fig. 8: 31 day mean daily difference Echuca minus Kyabram Tmax by month

Echuca is warmer in every month- apart from those brief periods shown in Figure 7.

Minimum temperatures don’t match as closely…

Fig. 9:  Tmin at Kyabram as a function of Tmin at Echuca

Fig. 10:  31 day mean daily difference Echuca minus Kyabram Tmin

Echuca is generally warmer. There are several examples of odd deviations.

Fig. 11: 31 day mean daily difference Echuca minus Kyabram Tmin by month

A note on accuracy:

The centred 31 day running correlation is useful for detecting inconsistencies.

Fig. 12:  Centred  31 day running correlation between Echuca and Kyabram maxima

Fig. 13:  Centred  31 day running correlation between Echuca and Kyabram minima

The weaker correlation in 2011 is coincident with the unusual difference as seen in Figure 10 and is worth a closer look.

Fig. 14:  Daily minima at Echuca and Kyabram Winter 2011

Here we see probable examples of temperatures being recorded on the wrong date.

In recent years, Echuca 80015, a manual station that does not comply with site specifications, has warmer maxima than its neighbour Kyabram 80091 except for brief episodes, and mostly warmer minima.

In this example, siting non-compliance has a large effect on temperature, but may affect both sites.

Australia’s Wacky Weather Station Comparison 2: Wagin (WA)

February 16, 2020

After surveying 666 weather stations across Australia and finding nearly half (49.25%) are not compliant with Bureau of Meteorology siting specifications, in this series of posts I compare daily temperature data from pairs of compliant and non-compliant stations. Here’s the first in this series.

Wagin and Katanning

These stations are about 200km south-east of Perth.

Fig. 1:  Wagin map location per Google Maps

Katanning is in a paddock 48.7km south-east of Wagin.

Fig.2:  Wagin and Katanning

Wagin 10647 is in the middle of a small town. The screen has a bare dirt path leading to it. It is 10 metres from a bitumen street. A colourbond fence is to the north-east and an 18 metre tree is less than 20 metres away. More trees are to the south.

Fig. 3:  Wagin (Google satellite image 2019)

Katanning 10916 is in an open rural setting, on a slope as the 2013 site plan shows:

Fig. 4:  Katanning site plan 2013

Fig. 5:  Katanning (Google satellite image 2020)

Katanning is 64 metres higher than Wagin, but the surrounding country is similar- dry, flat or gently sloping.  Again, an important difference is that Wagin is a manual station with liquid-in-glass thermometers, while Katanning is an Automatic Weather Station (installed 1998) with an electronic temperature probe transmitting data every minute.

If we plot all daily maxima from 2010 to 2019 for Katanning against Wagin, we see that temperatures match quite closely:

Fig. 6:  Tmax at Katanning as a function of Tmax at Wagin

The trend equation shows Katanning is on average more than 0.5C cooler than Wagin. A time series of the 31 day centred mean of the daily difference between them shows more detail:

Fig. 7:  31 day mean daily difference Wagin minus Katanning Tmax

Values above zero mean Wagin is warmer than Katanning; below zero, Wagin is cooler.  Note that apart from a brief episode in 2012, Wagin is always warmer than Katanning.

This is a plot of mean differences by month:

Fig. 8: 31 day mean daily difference Wagin minus Katanning Tmax by month

Wagin is warmer in every month- apart from a three month period in 2012 which shows in the black ellipse.

Minimum temperatures don’t match as closely…

Fig. 9:  Tmin at Katanning as a function of Tmin at Wagin

Fig. 10:  31 day mean daily difference Wagin minus Katanning Tmin

Wagin is warmer in summer but cooler in winter. Possibly, due to the sloping ground at Katanning, cold air flows downhill away from the screen in cool months, keeping recorded minima higher than in Wagin.

Fig. 11: 31 day mean daily difference Wagin minus Katanning Tmin by month

A note on accuracy:

The centred 31 day running correlation is useful for detecting inconsistencies.

Fig. 12:  Centred  31 day running correlation between Wagin and Katanning maxima

Fig. 13:  Centred  31 day running correlation between Wagin and Katanning minima

Although there are a couple of obvious inconsistencies in maxima, the correlation in minima has been much worse every year.

Fig. 14:  Daily difference in maxima

There are examples of up to 6 degrees difference on some days, and some much larger, possibly due to observation or recording error- for example, by recording temperature on the wrong day, or recording 19.6 instead of 29.6.

In recent years, Wagin 10647, a manual station that does not comply with site specifications, has warmer maxima than its compliant neighbour Katanning 10916 all year round, and has warmer minima in summers. 

In this example, siting non-compliance has a large effect on temperature.

Australia’s Wacky Weather Station Comparison 1: Keith (SA)

February 15, 2020

After surveying 666 weather stations across Australia and finding nearly half (49.25%) are not compliant with Bureau of Meteorology siting specifications, in this series of posts I compare daily temperature data from pairs of compliant and non-compliant stations.

The difficulty is to find pairs of sites in close physical proximity and similar surroundings.  Large numbers of non-compliant stations especially in WA and SA have no compliant neighbours. 

Another difficulty is that it is impossible to control variables other than siting.  Screen maintenance, enclosure maintenance, probe or thermometer accuracy, are some of the variables that may adversely affect comparisons.  Never-the-less, we shall try.

I have restricted analysis to the last 10 years (2010 – 2019).

Keith and Munkora

These stations are in the far south-east of South Australia, not far from the Victorian border:

Fig. 1:  Keith map location per Google Maps

 They form the closest pair of stations I have found, just 2.66 kilometres apart, as this map shows.

Fig.2:  Keith and Munkora (Keith West)

Keith 25507 is in the middle of town between the highway and the rail line between Adelaide and Melbourne.

Fig. 3:  Keith (Google satellite image 2019)

Munkora 25557 is in an open rural setting, but is really “marginal” rather than compliant, as the grass in the enclosure is up to 0.5m high, and the surrounding paddock has at times been a cultivation, as the 2017 site plan shows:

Fig. 4:  Munkora site plan 2017

Still, it’s better than Keith.

Fig. 5:  Munkora  (Google satellite image 2020)

There is only 2 metres difference in altidude.  However, an important difference is that Keith is a manual station with liquid-in-glass thermometers, while Munkora is an Automatic Weather Station (installed 2001) with an electronic temperature probe transmitting data every minute.

If we plot all daily maxima from 2010 to 2019 for Munkora against Keith, we see that temperatures match quite closely:

Fig. 6:  Tmax at Munkora as a function of Tmax at Keith

A time series of the 31 day centred mean of the daily difference between them shows more detail:

Fig. 7:  31 day mean daily difference Keith minus Munkora Tmax

Values above zero mean Keith is warmer than Munkora; below zero, Keith is cooler.  Note that Keith is warmer in cooler months but Munkora is warmer in summer and autumn.  Note also strange things happen in the summers of 2010-2011, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016.

This is a plot of mean differences by month:

Fig. 8: 31 day mean daily difference Keith minus Munkora Tmax by month

Keith is warmer in cool months (May to September).  However, the warmer maxima at Munkora in warmer months may be due to the rapid response of the AWS probe to sudden temperature changes which an LIG maximum thermometer will not detect.  The BOM denies this happens.

Minimum temperatures don’t match as closely…

Fig. 9:  Tmin at Munkora as a function of Tmin at Keith

But minima at Keith are consistently warmer (averaging about 1.5 degrees C) than 2.7km out of town, and the differences are much greater:

Fig. 10:  31 day mean daily difference Keith minus Munkora Tmin

Keith is warmer in all seasons, especially spring and summer.

Fig. 11: 31 day mean daily difference Keith minus Munkora Tmin by month

A note on accuracy:

The centred 31 day running correlation is useful for detecting inconsistencies.

Fig. 12:  Centred  31 day running correlation between Keith and Munkora maxima

Fig. 13:  Centred  31 day running correlation between Keith and Munkora minima

Although there are a couple of obvious inconsistencies in maxima, the correlation in minima has been getting worse over the years and was much worse in 2019.

Fig. 14:  Daily difference in minima

There are examples of up to 10 degrees difference on some days, possibly due to observation or recording error- for example, by recording temperature on the wrong day.

In recent years, Keith 25507, a manual station that does not comply with site specifications, has warmer winter maxima but cooler summer maxima than the AWS at Munkora 25557 just 2.66km out of town, and has warmer minima all year round. 

Keith, with a population of just over 1,000, appears to have an Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, due to its poor siting.

In this example, siting non-compliance has a large effect on temperature.

Downwelling Infra-Red Radiation and Temperature: Part 2

February 7, 2020

In Part 1 I showed that:

  • Downwelling infra-red radiation (so called “back radiation”) is real and measurable including at night.
  • It is greatly increased by cloud and humidity,
  • It results from daytime heating of the ground, which then loses heat by conduction, convection, evaporation, and radiation, into the atmosphere where the IR is repeatedly absorbed and re-emitted in all directions by greenhouse gases (including water vapour).
  • A warmer atmosphere from whatever cause, natural or enhanced, will result in greater downwelling IR.

In this post I will look at the relationship between downwelling IR and temperatures at five Australian locations during 2018 (the last year for which complete irradiance data is available.)  Those locations are Alice Springs, Darwin, Rockhampton, Melbourne, and Cape Grim, and are shown on this map.

Fig.1:  Australian stations with solar exposure data

Cape Grim, set on a clifftop above the Southern Ocean, is most exposed to marine influences.  Melbourne, Rockhampton, and Darwin are surrounded by land but are subject to marine influence at times when the wind blows from the ocean.  Alice Springs has a desert climate and the ocean is thousands of kilometres away.  Most examples in this post will come from the Alice.

The Relationship Between Maxima and Minima:

Consider this plot of temperature at Walgett (NSW):

Fig. 2:  Latest weather graph for Walgett 27 – 31 January 2018

During a fine clear day the sun heats the ground which by conduction and convection raises the near-surface air temperature.  The hot ground emits upwelling IR, some of which greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb and re-emit in all directions, including towards the earth.  This is downwelling IR (DWIR), which adds to the solar radiation during the day, and slows the loss of heat at night.  The air temperature, and DWIR, peaks usually in the mid to late afternoon.  As the ground cools slowly throughout the evening and night hours, IR continues to be exchanged upwards and downwards, with enough being lost to space for ground and air temperatures to cool to the minimum.  This is usually reached, in fine clear conditions, sometime after sunrise.  And that is usually the time when DWIR also reaches minimum values.

Before I look at the relationship between DWIR and minima, let’s look at plots of maxima and minima.

Fig, 3:  Maxima and Minima at Alice Springs during 2018:

Note that usually (but not always!) peaks in maxima are matched by peaks in minima.  Here’s a closer look at the period from 6 May to 20 July, with minima scaled up by 19 degrees:

Fig. 4:  Maxima and Scaled Minima, 6 May – 20 July 2018

Note that maxima highs and lows precede those of minima by one day NEARLY ALWAYS.  (Sometimes they occur together, and sometimes maxima precedes minima by two days.)  The minimum temperature reflects the previous day’s maximum.  Why?  Due to DWIR, the ground cools slowly.  A hot day generates lots of DWIR, which keeps the ground (and air temperature) warmer next morning.  A cool day means less DWIR available next morning.  However, clouds lower maxima by reflecting sunlight but increase DWIR to keep nights and minima warmer, as we shall see later. The pattern seen above is also seen at Cape Grim, Melbourne, and Rockhampton, but not in Darwin where it is not so clear at all.

The Relationship Between Downwelling IR and Minima:

I used solar irradiance data to find daily (to 9.00 a.m.) minimum DWIR values for 2018 at Alice Springs, Darwin, Rockhampton, Melbourne, and Cape Grim, for comparison with daily temperature minima. 

Fig. 5:  Daily minima for 2018 at all stations

Fig. 6:  Daily minimum DWIR for 2018 at all stations

At all sites, as daily minimum IR increases, daily minimum temperature increases.  However, the strength of the relationship varies.  I calculated derivatives of Tmin and IR to find the daily change in values.  The relationship is strongest at Alice Springs, with a correlation of 0.69, Figure 5:

Fig. 7:  Change in temperature as a function of change in DWIR at Alice Springs.

Melbourne has almost exactly the same correlation (0.68), followed by Cape Grim (0.64) and Rockhampton at 0.61.  However Darwin is much different:

Fig. 8:  Change in temperature as a function of change in DWIR at Darwin.

The reason for this is not as complex as I thought, but first I’ll show a method of showing (and testing) the relationship between DWIR and Tmin more easily.

Converting DWIR to Representative Atmospheric Temperature

From the Bureau’s solar radiation glossary, http://reg.bom.gov.au/climate/austmaps/solar-radiation-glossary.shtml#globalexposure :

Downward infra-red irradianceis related to a `representative (or effective radiative) temperature’ of the Earth’s atmosphere by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law:

E = σ T4

Where: E = irradiance measured [W/m2]
σ = Stefan-Boltzmann constant [5.67 x 10-8 W/m2/K4
T = representative atmospheric temperature [K]

From this we can calculate the daily Representative Atmospheric Temperature (RAT) above each weather station.  Here is a plot of RAT for Alice Springs.

Fig. 9: Representative Atmospheric Temperature and Minima at Alice Springs

RAT is always colder than the surface.  Notice how closely Tmin tracks with RAT. 

To compare them more closely, I scaled up RAT by adding the average monthly difference from Tmin.  Now you can see how closely minimum temperature is related to RAT and thus DWIR.

Fig. 10:  Scaled Representative Atmospheric Temperature and Minima at Alice Springs

Zooming in to the period from 31 March to 4 June:

Fig. 11 :  Scaled RAT and Minima at Alice Springs, 31 March – 4 June 2018

The timing of variations is very close.

Here is a plot of the actual daily difference between minimum surface temperature and Representative Atmospheric Temperature.  I have marked some unusually low and high values for closer inspection..

Fig. 12:  Daily difference between Surface Minima and RATat Alice Springs

What causes these fluctuations?  Returning to actual temperature and calculated RAT, here is the plot for the year to 15 April:

Fig. 13:  RAT and Minima at Alice Springs, 1 January – 15 April 2018

Both Tmin and RAT usually move in unison, rising and falling together.  However, notice at point A there is very little difference between the values, but at point B there is a very large difference.

Here’s the plot for November and December.  A and B have very small differences, while C and D have very large differences.

Fig. 14:  RAT and Minima at Alice Springs, 6 November – 31 December 2018

Cloudy conditions increase downwelling IR.  With no daily cloud data, rainfall will be a proxy for some cloudy days.  (There will be plenty of cloudy days when there is no rain.)  Here is a plot of rainfall and the difference between surface minima and calculated RAT.

Fig. 15:  Rainy weather and Tmin minus RAT at Alice Springs

Rainfall appears to coincide with very low differences when RAT (derived from DWIR) has increased but corresponding Tmin has not increased as much as expected.  Let’s zoom in to look at Points A and B from Figure 13 above.

Fig. 16:  Rainy weather and Tmin minus RAT at Alice Springs, January – April

In fact rain coincides with nearly all of the low differences.  Point B remains anomalously high.  What about November and December?

Fig. 17:  Rainy weather and Tmin minus RAT at Alice Springs, November – December

Here we have a problem.  Points A and B from Figure 14 above line up with rain events.  Instead of being a low difference as expected, point C has a high value coinciding with a small rain event, and D is on its own.  Why?

When RAT is scaled up, the problem (and likely reason) is obvious:

Fig. 18  Scaled RAT and Minima at Alice Springs, December 2018

No IR data is recorded for 11 December.  I suspect that IR values should also be missing for 12 and 13 December.  Moving remaining data for the month two days later removes these strange inconsistencies (and also dramatically improves correlation between IR change and temperature change to above 0.7.)

Which still leaves the odd spike in Figure 13 at point B.

The Exception Proves The Rule

Here is a count of the number of days with no IR data at Alice Springs in 2018.

Fig.19:  Count of days with no data at Alice Springs

There are a few minutes of missing data on nearly every day, but data was completely absent for eight whole days in March, and three days in December.  Did the pyrgeometer stop recording suddenly?  Was it a sudden fault or was it failing gradually?  Figure 20 shows the 31 day centred running correlation between change in DWIR and change in Tmin, with missing days shown.

Fig. 20:  Centred 31 day running correlation between change in DWIR and change in Minima

If all is well, and the relationship between change in DWIR and temperature minima is sound, the correlation between them should be fairly constant.  However, if the pyrgeometer reads incorrectly (or else the temperature probe- another possibility, but not in this case), correlation will suffer.  This is shown in March and December.  From April to September, change in Tmin correlates well with change in DWIR being between 0.8 and 0.9 for nearly the whole time.

Now let’s look at Darwin, which we saw in Figure 8 above was poorly correlated.   The running correlation shows when faults may have occurred.

Fig. 21:  Centred 31 day running correlation between change in DWIR and change in Minima

The dips above coincide with equipment failure in January, March, November and December.  There also appears to be a problem in August – September.

It does not help that the equipment failures occur in rainy, cloudy periods (Wet and Build-up).

Fig. 22:  Rainy weather and Tmin minus RAT at Darwin

In the Dry, with no rain, the difference between Tmin and the RAT (Representative Atmospheric Temperature) still fluctuates wildly.  Here is a plot of the difference for June 2018:

Fig. 23:  Daily difference between Surface Minima and RATat Darwin June 2018

If the relationship is valid, and there are no recording problems, then large differences occur during fine and cloudless conditions and low values indicate cloudy conditions.  The daily total of Global Solar Exposure can also be a metric of cloudiness, because smaller amounts of sunlight reach the ground on cloudy days.   Figure 24 is a plot of the sum total of Global Irradiance in kiloWattminutes per square metre received each day.

Fig. 24: Daily total of Global Irradiance Darwin, June 2018

Apart from 10 – 12 June, the relationship holds.  Darwin’s apparent poor relationship between DWIR and Minima is very probably due to equipment failure.

The apparent exceptions to the “rule” that large differences between minima and Representative Atmospheric Temperature occur in dry, cloud free conditions, and small differences in cloudy conditions, in fact confirm it. 

Conclusion:

  • Downwelling infra-red radiation (so called “back radiation”) is real and measurable including at night.
  • It is greatly increased by cloud and humidity.
  • It results from daytime heating of the ground, which then loses heat by conduction, convection, evaporation, and radiation, into the atmosphere where the IR is repeatedly absorbed and re-emitted in all directions by greenhouse gases (including water vapour).
  • A warmer atmosphere from whatever cause, natural or enhanced, will result in greater downwelling IR.
  • Temperature Maxima highs and lows precede those of minima by one day NEARLY ALWAYS, due to the influence of downwelling IR.
  • Calculating Representative Atmospheric Temperature from downwelling IR using the  Stefan-Boltzman Law provides further insights.
  • The daily minimum RAT is always much colder than minimum temperature.
  • The difference between the two changes with the weather.  Sunny, dry, cloudless weather is associated with large differences, while cloudy weather is associated with small differences.
  • When recording error is accounted for there is very good correlation between downwelling infra-red irradiance and daily minimum temperatures at a range of sites across Australia.
  • In Australia, meteorological equipment can deteriorate for some time and fail completely, resulting in faulty data being included in national databases.
  • Finally, the effect of DWIR on minima is not site dependent.  Both Melbourne and Rockhampton have Urban Heat Island influence but the relationship is similar to that of other sites.  Minima are directly related to DWIR, but DWIR is increased not only by clouds, but also by large trees, nearby buildings, and areas of concrete and bitumen.

BBC Accused of Misleading Reporting About Melting Antarctic Glacier

January 30, 2020

Every morning I get these annoying “click bait” pop-ups on my phone, which I usually ignore. This morning I weakened, and tapped the headline:

Antarctica Melting: Climate change and the journey to the “doomsday glacier”.

Knowing a bit about Antarctica, I dismissed it as more BBC rubbish, but just a few minutes ago I received a message from the Institute of Public Affairs with a link to a press release and article by the Global Warming Policy Forum. Here it is in full:

Press Release 29/01/20
 
BBC Accused of Misleading Reporting About Melting Antarctic Glacier
 
Why did the BBC fail to mention the volcanoes underneath?

London, 29 January: The Global Warming Policy Forum has criticised the BBC for misleading the public about the melting of the Thwaites Glacier.
 
In its numerous reports online, on radio and on television, the BBC blamed the melting of this Antarctic glacier on climate change. However, the BBC’s reports do not mention an important fact that has been widely known and that the BBC itself has reported previously – the influence of volcanoes beneath the glacier.
 
Scientists have known for years that subglacial volcanoes and other geothermal “hotspots” underneath the glacier are contributing to the melting of the Thwaites Glacier.

“Despite claims about climate change and admonition to lower our greenhouse gas emission as a way to ameliorate the melting of Thwaites, the BBC should have been pointing out that what is happening underneath the glacier could be in large parts an act of geology and one of those natural and globally-important dynamics that have been occurring throughout the ages,” said GWPF science editor Dr David Whitehouse.

What is more, the scientists will remain on Thwaites for a while. They have not analysed their data yet, so claims that they have confirmed “the Thwaites glacier is melting even faster than scientists thought…” are premature.

…..

More information about the Thwaites Glacier and the BBC’s misleading reporting can be found on the GWPF website.

I have long suspected that any warming in Antarctica might be due to the large volcanic province beneath West Antarctica, when UAH satellite temperatures show no sign of Antarctic warming, as I have shown here.

I’m pleased the GWPF is onto it so quickly, and many thanks to the IPA for alerting me.

Downwelling Infra-Red Radiation and Temperature: Part 1

January 22, 2020

Way back in July last year I posted about the long term decrease in downwelling IR at Cape Grim and Alice Springs, despite rising CO2.

From the Bureau’s solar radiation glossary,
“Downward infrared irradiance is a measurement of the irradiance arriving on a horizontal plane at the Earth’s surface, for wavelengths in the range 4 – 100 μm (the wavelength emitted by atmospheric gases and aerosols). It is related to a `representative (or effective radiative) temperature’ of the Earth’s atmosphere by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law:
E = σ T4
Where: E = irradiance measured [W/m2]
σ = Stefan-Boltzmann constant [5.67 x 10-8 W/m2/K4
T = representative atmospheric temperature [K]
Consequently, this quantity will continue to have a positive value, even at night time. It can be measured using an Eppley PIR pyrgeometer.”

As atmospheric temperature increases, DWIR must also increase. This would be a symptom of warming.
A reader commented: ”What we need is DWIR nighttime measurements only (preferably without clouds) in a location where there is little or no water vapour. Atacama Chile would be perfect. Alice Springs maybe but less so. i am willing to bet that one couldn’t measure the DWIR at night without clouds in Atacama because it would be so low.”
I am unable to get data for Atacama, but here is DWIR data for Alice Springs for July 2018. July is mid-winter and usually dry and cloud free. No rain fell in July 2018 at the Alice.
Figure 1 shows maxima and minima for the month:
While July had no rain, there were several large weather changes shown by the spikes and dips in temperature. Coldest temperatures were on 12-13-14 July.
Fig.1: Surface temperatures Alice Springs July 2018

Next, downwelling IR. The weather changes show up in IR as well.
Fig.2: Downwelling IR Alice Springs July 2018

Now for IR in the hours of darkness:
Fig.3: Downwelling IR Alice Springs July 2018 at night (6pm to 6am)

Clearly, DWIR is real and measurable at night, in all conditions. It usually (but not always) decreases in a smooth curve. Putting it together, we see a clear daily cycle: DWIR usually increases rapidly in daytime, and decreases at night.
Fig.4: Downwelling IR Alice Springs July 2018 by day and night

Now we look at typical IR behaviour in cool, dry conditions on 12 and 13 July 2018. The x-axis is in 3 hourly divisions and I have marked in midnight of 12-13.
Fig.5: Downwelling IR Alice Springs 12-13 July 2018

Note the curve is not completely smooth: there are little variations due to pockets of different temperatures in the air. The lowest DWIR values (227.36 Watts/sq.metre averaged over one minute) are reached around 8.00 a.m. shortly after sunrise, then values rise rapidly before tapering off to peak in the late afternoon. During the night they decrease until the sun heats the ground again in the morning.
Now for the period 5 to 8 July:
Fig.6: Downwelling IR Alice Springs 5-8 July 2018

On the 6th and 8th strange things happen after midnight, almost certainly clouds.
Strange things also happen from 23 to 25 July. On the 24th a heavy bank of cloud comes over and clears with a sudden dry change after sundown, with more separated clouds arriving later at night before finally clearing about 9 a.m. next morning.
Fig.7: Downwelling IR Alice Springs 23 – 25 July 2018

How do I know those spikes were caused by clouds? Here’s direct radiation and IR for 23-25 July.
Fig.8: Downwelling IR and Direct Irradiance Alice Springs 23 – 25 July 2018

Direct irradiance is the radiation from the sun’s direct beam. It is zero at night but rises rapidly to peak at local solar noon, then rapidly falls to zero at dusk. Not all solar radiation reaches the surface. Some is reflected, some is scattered by dust, smoke, or rain drops, but on a clear day the pattern is like 23 July. On 24 July clouds block the sun’s direct rays for most of the day, and downwelling IR increases markedly. This is from warm moist air in the cloud which has come from somewhere else.
My conclusion:
Downwelling infra-red radiation (so called “back radiation”) is real and measurable including at night.
It is greatly increased by cloud and humidity, and there is always some moisture in the air even in the desert.
It results from the ground heating up in the daytime, which then loses heat by conduction, convection, and radiation, into the atmosphere where the IR is repeatedly absorbed and re-emitted in all directions by greenhouse gases (including water vapour).
A warmer atmosphere from whatever cause, natural or enhanced, will result in greater downwelling IR.


Future posts will look at the relationship between solar radiation, downwelling IR, and temperature.

Australia’s Wacky Weather Stations: Final Summary

January 16, 2020

(Updated 17/01/2020)

Australia, being a wealthy, modern, western nation with a very well-resourced Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), might be expected to have weather stations that set a high standard of siting and reliability.

Unfortunately, that is far from the case.  This pie chart shows the percentage of weather stations that comply with siting specifications, don’t meet those specifications, or are “marginal”- not fully compliant but not as bad as some.

Nearly half do not comply with siting guidelines as outlined in Observation Specification No. 2013.1 (drafted in January 1997).

Less than a third comply and may be relied on (assuming that the screen and the immediate area around it is kept well maintained with a few centimetres of natural grass, and the surrounding environment does not change).

The marginal stations may or may not be reliable.

In Australia it is apparently quite OK to have thermometers beside houses, in bitumen carparks, in a vegetable garden surrounded by a corrugated iron fence, beside incinerators, behind 6 metre prison walls, beside piles of human excrement, in the middle of a dirt road, on the roof of a wharf shed, beside a multi-lane highway, shaded by trees, or in screens that are covered in spider webs, invaded by mud wasps, or used by cattle as a back-scratcher.  The area around the screens can be dusty bare dirt, overgrown with grass and weeds, or sprayed out to bare ground.

This map, thanks to Lance Pidgeon, shows the locations of weather stations audited.

As you can see, removing non-compliant and marginal sites leaves very large gaps.

Australia’s climate analysis is based on 112 stations in the ACORN-SAT network.  I surveyed 111 Acorn stations.  (Wittenoom stopped reporting in July 2019 and is now apparently closed).  Here is a pie chart of Acorn station compliance:

Again, thanks to Lance, this is a map of Australian Acorn stations….

…and this map shows the layout of the Acorn network with non-compliant stations removed, leaving marginal and compliant sites.

Only New South Wales has a decent density of compliant sites.  There are huge gaps in Queensland, Western Australia, and South Australia.  No wonder the Bureau is desperately defending their realm!

Here are the non-compliant Acorn sites.

Adelaide (Kent Town)Mackay
Albany AirportMarble Bar
BarcaldineMarree Airport
BridgetownMelbourne (Olympic Park)
CamoowealMerredin
Cape BordaMildura
Cape BrunyMiles
Cape LeeuwinMorawa Airport
Cape MoretonMoruya Heads
Cape OtwayNuriootpa
Charters TowersPoint Perpendicular
Coffs Harbour AirportRichmond (Qld)
Cunderdin AirportRobe
DalwallinuRockhampton
DeniliquinRutherglen
Geraldton AirportScone Airport
GilesSnowtown
Halls CreekSydney – Observatory Hill
HobartTownsville
KalumburuWandering
KerangWilcannia Airport
KyancuttaWilsons Promontory
Larapuna (Eddystone Point)Woomera
LongreachYamba

Summary

Of 666 weather stations I was able to identify and survey, nearly half (328) did not comply with siting specifications.

Less than a third (209) fully comply (assuming that the screens and surroundings are well maintained).

Another 129 are marginal- not fully compliant but not as bad as the non-compliant sites.

48 of the 111 remaining Acorn stations are not compliant, and a further 22 are marginal.

The Bureau of Meteorology starts its climate analysis using Acorn from 1910.  Reasons given are that the network, especially in remote areas, and also Western Australia and Tasmania,  was extremely sparse before this, and except in Queensland and South Australia (where Clement Wragge had instituted Stevenson screens and standardised practises by the mid-1890s) temperature observations and instrument siting were non-standard.  Temperature records before 1910 are not recognised by the Bureau.  For example, the hottest temperature recorded, 53.1C at Cloncurry on 16 January 1889 is discounted as it was not recorded in a Stevenson screen; and the temperature of 51.6C in Bourke on 3 January 1909 is discounted, even though it was in a Stevenson screen.  How can we be any more confident in current temperatures recorded at non-compliant sites?

With only 209 stations of the 666 surveyed fully complying with specifications, doubt must be raised not only about the modern network coverage but also the reliability and comparability of modern and historical temperature records.

The next step:

Over some time, I will be comparing data from several pairs of compliant and non-compliant stations to see if siting has any detectable effect on temperatures recorded.

Appendix:- Background and details of survey: 

In July 2019 I commenced a 6 month long survey of 666 weather stations that currently report temperatures to the Latest Weather Observations pages for each state (also to Climate Data Online and to international weather and climate agencies).  Many are used to make adjustments to Acorn stations. Of the 753 stations listed (and these change from time to time) I was able to identify and examine 666. 

I did not include offshore island territories or islands far distant from the mainland (e.g. Willis island) but islands close to the coast were included.  Other stations not included were those in the National Tidal Centre network, which are located on wharves and breakwaters and have beehive screens instead of Stevenson screens; Lucas Heights nuclear facility; a number of recent defence stations that were impossible to locate; stations in areas where satellite imagery has poor resolution, and a number of sites that have not yet been included in the BOM metadata and thus have no site plans and can’t be located- a good example is Wellcamp Airport in southern Queensland. (See below for the full list.)

The process I used is outlined  in my post “How to check for yourself”.  I also made use of information and photographs supplied by colleagues with local knowledge.

There are 328 examples of stations that are not compliant with specifications, listed by state here.

This is an example of a compliant station:  Amberley AMO  40004 which is an Acorn station.

Google satellite image: 

This is an example of a marginal station:  Nullo Mountain 62100

Google satellite image: 

It has patches of rougher/ longer vegetation nearby and a large tree about 20 metres away.

(And the more I look at marginal sites the more I find that I should really have classified more as not compliant.)

These are the marginal stations (Acorn marked *):

Adelaide AirportMiddle Point
ArmidaleMilingimbi
BatchelorMoomba Airport
Batemans BayMortlake
Bathurst *Moss Vale
Boulia *Mount Boyce
Bourke *Mount Bundey North (Defence)
Bowen Airport AWSMount Crawford
Bradshaw-Angallari Valley (Defence)Mount Ginini
BrisbaneMount Ive
Brisbane Airport *Mount Magnet Airport
BulmanMount Moornapa
Burketown Airport *Mudgee
Cape GrimNambour
Cape SorellNeptune Island
Central Arnhem PlateauNew May Downs
CerberusNgayawili (Elcho Island)
CharltonNgukurr AWS
CombienbarNhill Aerodrome *
CooktownNoarlunga
CoonawarraNoonamah
CootamundraNullo Mountain
Cowley Beach (Defence)Oakey
Cultana (Defence)Oodnadatta *
Darwin Airport *Orbost *
DerbyPalmerville *
Devonport AirportParramatta
Dum In MirriePearce
DwellingupPort Augusta
Eildon Fire TowerPort Fairy
ElliottPortland Airport
Esperance AirportRedland (Alexandra Hills)
Essendon AirportRhyll
Eucla *Sheffield
FingalSheoaks
Forrest *Shepparton
Fowlers GapSt George *
Gabo Island *Stawell
GelantipyStenhouse Bay
Grafton AirportSwan Hill
Grove *Sweers Island
Hamilton IslandSydney Olympic Park
Horn Island *Tabulam
Hume ReservoirTarcoola *
Hunters HillTaree Airport
Jervis Bay AirfieldTemora
JervoisTennant Creek *
kunanyi / Mount WellingtonTerrey Hills
Kununurra AirportThargomindah *
Lake JuliusThe Monument
Lake Macquarie – CooranbongTibooburra Airport *
Lake St ClairTocal
Lancelin (Defence)Townsville Air Weapons Range (Defence)
Launceston Airport *Trepell
Laverton (WA)Tunnack
Legendre IslandTurretfield
Leigh CreekVictor Harbor
Leonora AirportWadeye (Port Keats)
LombadinaWarruwi
LostockWhite Cliffs AWS
Low Head *Windorah
Luncheon HillWoolbrook
Mackay AirportYanakie
McArthur River MineYoung
Melbourne Airport

These are the stations listed in Latest Weather Observations that I did not use (plus offshore island territories). You are welcome to try- let me know if you have any success.

Adele IslandMelville Water
Arlington ReefMiddle Percy Island
Banana BankMount Buller
Barrow IslandMount Bundey South (Defence)
Bedout IslandMount Hope
Bradshaw-Koolendong ValleyMount Hotham Airport
BrewonMount Keith
Broome PortMount Read
Browse IslandMulurulu
Bulga DownsNoona
Burnie PortNorth Head
Busselton JettyNorth Island
Canungra (Defence)Oberon
Cape FergusonOcean Reef
Cape WesselOuter Harbor (Black Pole)
Christmas CreekPaynes Find
Colpoys PointPoint Avoid
CoondewannaPort Kembla Harbour
Croker Island AirportPortland Harbour
Darwin HarbourPuckapunyal-Lyon Hill (Defence)
Degrussa AerodromeRosslyn Bay Harbour
DoonganRowley Shoals
Edi UpperSellicks Hill
Esperance HarbourSmithville
Evans HeadSolomon Airport
Fawkner BeaconSouth Channel Island
Fort DenisonSpitfire Channel
Fortescue Dave ForrestSpring Bay
FrankstonSt Kilda Harbour RMYS
GluepotSwan Island
Gooseberry HillSydney Harbour
Hay PointThevenard Island
Heron IslandThursday Island
Hillarys Point Boat HarbourTownsville – Fanning River (Defence)
Hindmarsh IslandTroughton Island
Inner BeaconUrandangi
Kingfish BVaranus Island
KurnellWarburto Point
Little BayWarburton
LochingtonWattamolla
Low Rocky PointWellcamp Airport
Lucas Heights (ANSTO)West Roebuck
Maatsuyker IslandYampi Sound (Defence)
Maitland Airport

The Wacky World of Weather Stations by State

January 12, 2020

Here are 328 Australian weather stations that are not compliant with Bureau of Meteorology specifications for siting.

Site compliance is important because temperature data from these stations is liberally reported in the media especially if hot or cold records are set. They also contribute to AWAP (the Australian Water Availability Project) and ADAM which produce maps of present and past temperatures. As well, data from these stations is used to homogenise data at stations in Australia’s ACORN-SAT network, which are used for showing trends since 1910. Finally, this data is exported to be used by international databases (GISSCruTem4) for regional and global climate analysis. If the data is affected by site specific factors, e.g being too close to a road, this may affect the quality of the analysis.

I am agnostic as to the overall effect of these poorly sited stations. Maxima at some sites may be artificially low, or minima may be artificially high, and this may vary with seasons and rainfall. Analysis and comparison of temperatures will come later. My focus here is to show the large number of modern stations whose data may be unreliable.

The quality of these non-compliant stations varies. While some are truly horrendous, others are not nearly as bad, but all fail on one or more specifications.

Find your favourite station, click on it, and the link will take you to my assessment of its siting quality. Use the back arrow to return here.

South AustraliaVictoria
Adelaide (SA)Aireys Inlet (Vic)
Andamooka (SA)Ararat (Vic)
Arkaroola (SA)Avalon (Vic)
Cape Borda (SA)Bairnsdale (Vic)
Cape Willoughby (SA)Ben Nevis (Vic)
Cleve (SA)Cape Nelson (Vic)
Cleve Airport (SA)Cape Otway (Vic)
Cummins Airport (SA)Castlemaine (Vic)
Edinburgh (SA)Coldstream (Vic)
Edithburgh (SA)Dartmouth (Vic)
Elliston (SA)Echuca Airport (Vic)
Eudunda (SA)Falls Creek (Vic)
Kadina (SA)Ferny Creek (Vic)
Karoonda (SA)Horsham (Vic)
Keith (SA)Kerang (Vic)
Kimba (SA)Lake Eildon (Vic)
Kingscote (SA)Lakes Entrance (Vic)
Kuitpo (SA)Latrobe Valley  (Vic)
Kyancutta (SA)Longerenong (Vic)
Lameroo (SA)Maryborough (Vic)
Loxton (SA)Melbourne (Vic)
Maitland (SA)Mildura (Vic)
Marree (SA)Moorabbin (Vic)
Meningie (SA)Mount Nowa Nowa (Vic)
Minlaton Aero (SA)Mount William (Vic)
Minnipa (SA)Omeo (Vic)
Mount Barker (SA)Point Hicks (Vic)
Mount Lofty (SA)Redesdale (Vic)
Murray Bridge (SA)Rutherglen (Vic)
Naracoorte (SA)Scoresby (Vic)
Nullarbor (SA)Tatura (Vic)
Nuriootpa (SA)Viewbank (Vic)
Padthaway (SA)Walpeup (Vic)
Pallamana (SA)
Price (SA)Wangaratta (Vic)
Robe (SA)Warracknabeal (Vic)
Roseworthy (SA)Warragul (Vic)
Snowtown (SA)Warrnambool (Vic)
Streaky Bay (SA)Westmere (Vic)
Warooka (SA)Wilsons Promontory (Vic)
Whyalla (SA)Wonthaggi (Vic)
Woomera (SA)
Yongala (SA)Tasmania
Bushy Park (Tas)
Northern TerritoryCape Bruny (Tas)
Black Point (NT)Cape Bruny AWS (Tas)
Centre Island  (NT)Cressy (Tas)
Charles Point (NT)Dover (Tas)
Curtin Springs (NT)Flinders Island Airport (Tas)
Jabiru (NT)Friendly Beaches (Tas)
Kangaroo Flats (NT)Hartz Mountain (Tas)
Kintore (NT)Hobart (Tas)
Kulgera (NT)Lake Leake (Tas)
Lajamanu Airport (NT)Larapuna (Eddystone Pt) (Tas)
Murganella Airstrip (NT)Launceston (Tas)
Pirlangimpi (NT)Marrawah (Tas)
Point Fawcett (NT)Maydena (Tas)
Point Stuart (NT)Orford (Tas)
Territory Grape Farm (NT)Ouse (Tas)
Yulara Airport (NT)Scotts Peak (Tas)
Strahan (Tas)
Warra (Tas)
Wynyard (Tas)
West AustraliaNew South Wales
Albany (WA)Albury (NSW)
Albany Airport (WA)Balranald (NSW)
Argyle (WA)Bankstown (NSW)
Badgingarra (WA)Barraba (NSW)
Barimunya (WA)Bathurst Airport (NSW)
Beverley (WA)Bombala (NSW)
Bickley (WA)Bombala AWS (NSW)
Bidyadanga (WA)Brewarrina (NSW)
Bridgetown (WA)Burrinjuck Dam (NSW)
Busselton (WA)Cape Byron (NSW)
Cape Leeuwin (WA)Cobar Airport (NSW)
Cape Naturaliste (WA)Coffs Harbour (NSW)
Carnamah (WA)Collarenebri (NSW)
Carnegie (WA)Coonabarabran (NSW)
Collie East (WA)Coonabarabran Airport (NSW)
Corrigin (WA)Cowra (NSW)
Cunderdin (WA)Deniliquin (NSW)
Cygnet Bay (WA)Dunedoo (NSW)
Dalwallinu (WA)Forster (NSW)
Denham (WA)Grafton Airport (NSW)
Donnybrook (WA)Green Cape (NSW)
Eyre (WA)Grafton AgRS (NSW)
Geraldton Airport (WA)Griffith (NSW)
Giles (WA)Gulgong (NSW)
Goomalling (WA)Gundagai (NSW)
Gosnells City (WA)Guyra (NSW)
Halls Ck (WA)Hillston (NSW)
Hopetoun North (WA)Holsworthy (Defence) (NSW)
Hyden (WA)Katoomba (NSW)
Jacup (WA)Lake Cargelligo (NSW)
Jarrahwood (WA)Lake Victoria (NSW)
Jurien Bay (WA)Lightning Ridge (NSW)
Kalbarri (WA)Lismore Airport (NSW)
Kalumburu (WA)Mangrove Mountain (NSW)
Karijini North (WA)Menindee (NSW)
Karratha (WA)Merimbula (NSW)
Kellerberrin (WA)Montague Island (NSW)
Lake Grace (WA)Moruya Heads (NSW)
Lancelin (WA)Mount Seaview (NSW)
Leinster (WA)Mungindi  (NSW)
Mandora (WA)Murrurundi (NSW)
Mandurah (WA)Murwillumbah (NSW)
Manjimup (WA)Narooma (NSW)
Marble Bar (WA)Nelson Bay (NSW)
Merredin (WA)Newcastle (NSW)
Millendon (WA)Newcastle Univ. (NSW)
Morawa (WA)Norah Head (NSW)
Mount Elizabeth (WA)Nyngan (NSW)
Mount Barker (WA)Parkes (NSW)
Mullewa (WA)Peak Hill (NSW)
Munglinup West (WA)Penrith (NSW)
Murchison (WA)Perisher Valley (NSW)
Narembeen (WA)Pindari Dam (NSW)
Narrogin (WA)Pooncarrie (NSW)
Newman Aero (WA)Point Perpendicular (NSW)
Northam (WA)Quirindi (NSW)
Ongerup (WA)Scone (NSW)
Pemberton (WA)Singleton (NSW)
Perth Metro (WA)Smoky Cape (NSW)
Pingelly (WA)Springwood (NSW)
Ravensthorpe (WA)Sydney  (NSW)
Red Rocks Point (WA)Sydney Airport (NSW)
Salmon Gums RS (WA)Taralga  (NSW)
Shark Bay Airport (WA)Tenterfield (NSW)
Southern Cross (WA)Thredbo Village (NSW)
Swanbourne (WA)Tocumwal (NSW)
Telfer (WA)Tumbarumba (NSW)
Wagin (WA)Ulladulla (NSW)
Warmun (WA)Wanaaring (NSW)
Wiluna (WA)Wellington (NSW)
Witchcliffe (WA)Wilcannia Airport (NSW)
Wongan Hills (WA)Yamba (NSW)
York (WA)Yanco (NSW)
Wandering (WA)
Queensland
Alva Beach (Qld)Low Isles (Qld)
Applethorpe (Qld)Lucinda (Qld)
Ayr DPI (Qld)Mackay MO (Qld)
Barcaldine (Qld)Mareeba (Qld)
Beaudesert (Qld)Miles (Qld)
Bedourie (Qld)Mitchell (Qld)
Bollon (Qld)Mornington Is Airport (Qld)
Cape Flattery (Qld)Mount Isa  (Qld)
Cape Moreton (Qld)Mount Stuart Defence (Qld)
Camooweal (Qld)Point Lookout (Qld)
Cardwell (Qld)Rainbow Beach (Qld)
Century Mine (Qld)Redcliffe(Qld)
Charters Towers (Qld)Richmond (Qld)
Coconut Island (Qld)Rockhampton (Qld)
Collinsville (Qld)Rolleston (Qld)
Cunnamulla (Qld)Rundle Island (Qld)
Double Island Point (Qld)Sandy Cape (Qld)
Emerald (Qld)Seventeen Seventy (Qld)
Gladstone Airport (Qld)Springsure (Qld)
Gladstone Radar (Qld)Stanthorpe (Qld)
Gold Coast Seaway (Qld)South Johnstone (Qld)
Greenbank (Qld)Sunshine Coast Airport (Qld)
Gympie (Qld)Surat (Qld)
Hervey Bay (Qld)Tambo (Qld)
Ingham (Qld)Taroom (Qld)
Injune (Qld)Tewantin RSL Park (Qld)
Innisfail (Qld)Texas (Qld)
Innisfail Aero (Qld)Tin Can Bay (Qld)
Kowanyama Airport (QLD)Townsville (Qld)
Lady Elliott Island (Qld)Woolshed (Qld)
Logan City (Qld)Yeppoon (Qld)
Longreach (Qld)

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 328- Ferny Creek (Vic)

January 10, 2020

Friday 10/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Ferny Creek 86266

Opened: 2011

Daily Temperature data from: 2011

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Co-ordinates: -37.8748 145.3496

35km east of Melbourne CBD.

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image:

Google ‘street’ view 2019 (photo Glenn Batchelor):

Drone photo:

The screen is on sloping land and is a few metres from shrubs; a 50m tall tree is about 40 metres away.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations  but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 49.25%.

That’s it: I think I’ve finished. Next I’ll update the index.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 327- Lake Grace (WA)

January 10, 2020

Friday 10/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Lake Grace 10911

Opened: 1997

Daily Temperature data from: 1997

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Esperance

Co-ordinates: -33.1006 118.4647

275km south-east of Perth

BOM site plan 2015:

Google satellite image:

Google street view 2008:

The screen is 15 metres from a bitumen road, 36 metres from a bitumen carpark, and 18 metres from the railway track. It is also close to bare dirt. Further, in 2008, either the area was watered or else the natural grass was worn away or removed to bare dirt to within a few metres.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations  and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 49.1%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 326- Albany Airport (WA)

January 10, 2020

Friday 10/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Albany Airport 9999

Opened: 2012

Daily Temperature data from: 2012

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Co-ordinates: -34.9411 117.8158

380km south-east of Perth

BOM site plan 2011:

Google satellite image:

This Acorn station was established here in 2012, but there have been no site plans since 2011. For a period of time until the grass grew, the enclosure was “sand”- similar to the bare areas beside the concrete path. Like many airports, it is on a raised mound of sand 60cm above the surroundings, so the screen in effect is 1.8 metres above natural ground level.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations  but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 48.95%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 325- Witchcliffe (WA)

January 9, 2020

Thursday 09/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Witchcliffe 9746

Opened: 1999

Daily Temperature data from: 1999

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Co-ordinates: -34.0281 115.1042

230km south of Perth

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image:

This station is in the middle of a vineyard, surrounded by irrigated grape vines which are periodically pruned then grow luxuriantly to a couple of metres high. The screen will thus be shielded by the vines. See Nuriootpa.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations  but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 48.8%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 324- Badgingarra (WA)

January 9, 2020

Thursday 09/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Badgingarra Research Station 9037

Opened: 1962

Daily Temperature data from: 1965

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Morawa

Co-ordinates: -30.3381 115.5394

180km north of Perth

BOM site plan 2013:

Google satellite image:

An ideal rural location? Not so. The screen is close to a tall crop in large clumps, and there is another growing crop across the road. The surrounding vegetation changes as crops grow and are harvested. As well the enclosure appears not to be well maintained grass to a few centimetres.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations  and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 48.65%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 323- Red Rocks Point (WA)

January 9, 2020

Thursday 09/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Red Rocks Point 11053

Opened: 1999

Daily Temperature data from: 1999

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Co-ordinates: -32.2028 127.5297

1,100km east of Perth, 1,070 west of Adelaide.

BOM site plan 2019:

Google satellite image:

The screen is on sand within a couple of metres of coastal shrubs to 2 metres.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 48.5%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 322- Shark Bay Airport (WA)

January 9, 2020

Thursday 09/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Shark Bay Airport 6105

Opened: 2000

Daily Temperature data from: 2000

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Co-ordinates: –25.8925 113.5772

710km north-west of Perth.

BOM site plan 2017:

Google satellite image:

The screen is on bare red dirt and less than 5 metres from 3 metre bushes.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 48.35%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 321- Telfer (WA)

January 9, 2020

Thursday 09/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Telfer Aero 13030

Opened: 1974

Daily Temperature data from: 1974

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Marble Bar, Port Hedland, Wittenoom

Co-ordinates: -21.7125 122.2281

1,300km north-east of Perth.

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image:

The screen is close to bare red dirt, dry and dusty for most of the year. Vehicles drive close to the screen.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 48.2%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 320- Karratha (WA)

January 9, 2020

Thursday 09/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Karratha Aero 4083

Opened: 1971

Daily Temperature data from: 1993

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Marble Bar, Port Hedland, Wittenoom

Co-ordinates: -20.7097 116.7742

1,250km north of Perth.

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image:

Google wider view:

Wider still:

The screen is on bare red dirt, dry and dusty for most of the year. The wider views show the extensive areas of paved aprons and car parks, and then the salt evaporation pans beyond. Not a good site.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 48.05%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 319- Argyle (WA)

January 9, 2020

Thursday 09/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Argyle Aerodrome 2064

Opened: 1986

Daily Temperature data from: 1994

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Halls Creek, Victoria River Downs

Co-ordinates: -16.6380 128.4516

580km south-west of Darwin, 680km north-east of Broome.

BOM site plan 2019:

Google satellite image:

The site plan is incorrect, the apron is at least 80 metres from the screen. However, the screen is on an area of bare dirt.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 47.9%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 318- Centre Island (NT)

January 8, 2020

Wednesday 08/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Centre Island 14703

Opened: 1968

Daily Temperature data from: 1974

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —-

Co-ordinates: -15.7426 136.8192

740km south-east of Darwin

BOM site plan 2017:

Google satellite image:

The screen is far too close to trees.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 47.75%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 317- Murganella Airstrip (NT)

January 8, 2020

Wednesday 08/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Murganella Airstrip 14309

Opened: 2012

Daily Temperature data from: 2012

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —-

Co-ordinates: -11.5485 132.9266

250km north-east of Darwin

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image:

The screen is 4 metres from the bare dirt “cleared area” which surrounds the enclosure (which appears to have rough grass longer than a few centimetres.)

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 47.6%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 316- Black Point (NT)

January 8, 2020

Wednesday 08/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Black Point 14153

Opened: 1965

Daily Temperature data from: 1990

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Darwin

Co-ordinates: -11.1538 132.1430

200km north-east of Darwin

BOM site plan 2017:

Google satellite image:

The screen is right beside a dirt track, and 8 to 15 metres from 8m to 10m tall trees.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 47.45%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 315- Redcliffe (Qld)

January 8, 2020

Wednesday 08/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Redcliffe 40958

Opened: 2003

Daily Temperature data from: 2004

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Co-ordinates: -27.2169 153.0922

29km north of Brisbane

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image:

The screen is 15 metres from a building and a bitumen path. The grass in the enclosure casts a shadow so must be much more than a few centimetres tall. Like so many others, this site is neglected and overgrown.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 47.3%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 314- Mount Isa (Qld)

January 8, 2020

Wednesday 08/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Mount Isa Aero 29127

Opened: 1966

Daily Temperature data from: 1966

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Boulia, Camooweal, Richmond (Qld), Tennant Creek

Co-ordinates: -20.6778 139.4875

1,565km north-west of Brisbane

BOM site plan 2016:

Google satellite image:

The screen is on bare dusty soil.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 47.15%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 313- Longreach (Qld)

January 8, 2020

Wednesday 08/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Longreach Aero 36031

Opened: 1949

Daily Temperature data from: 1966

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Barcaldine, Boulia, Richmond (Qld)

Co-ordinates: -23.4397 144.2828

980km north-west of Brisbane

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image:

The screen is beside a timber board path and close to large areas of bare black soil, in contrast to the surrounding Mitchell grass.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 47%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 312- Rundle Island (Qld)

January 8, 2020

Wednesday 08/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Rundle Island 39322

Opened: 1994

Daily Temperature data from: 1995

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Co-ordinates: -23.5322 151.2771

470km north of Brisbane, 80km south-east of Rockhampton, 33km north of Gladstone.

BOM site plan 2010:

Google satellite image:

The screen is perched on the crest of a steep rocky hill, close to bare rock and coastal shrubs, and not far from a helipad.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 46.85%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 311- Wilcannia Airport (NSW)

January 8, 2020

Wednesday 08/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Wilcannia Aerodrome AWS 46012

Opened: 2000

Daily Temperature data from: 2000

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Wilcannia, Cobar

Co-ordinates: -31.5194 143.3850

775km north-west of Sydney, 585km north-east of Adelaide.

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image:

Like so many outback airports, the screen is on a large area of dusty bare dirt. It is also only 60 metres from the apron and turning area.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 46.7%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 310- Cobar Airport (NSW)

January 8, 2020

Wednesday 08/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Cobar Airport AWS 48237

Opened: 1993

Daily Temperature data from: 1993

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Cobar, Bourke

Co-ordinates: -31.5388 145.7964

575km north-west of Sydney

BOM site plan 2015:

Google satellite image:

The screen is 9 metres from what appears to be a bitumen (or at least blue metal) road and parking area, and 30 metres from a large bitumen area around the wind sock and “Cobar” sign.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 46.55%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 309- Lake Cargelligo (NSW)

January 7, 2020

Tuesday 07/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Lake Cargelligo Airport 75039

Opened: 1881

Daily Temperature data from: 1965

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Cobar, West Wyalong

Co-ordinates: -33.2832 146.3706

450km west of Sydney

BOM site plan 2017:

Google satellite image:

The screen is 26 metres from the asphalt aircraft apron, and close to areas of bare dirt.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 46.4%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 308- Cowra (NSW)

January 7, 2020

Tuesday 07/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Cowra Airport AWS 65111

Opened: 2004

Daily Temperature data from: 2004

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Canberra

Co-ordinates: -33.8382 148.6540

235km west of Sydney

BOM site plan 2016:

Google satellite image:

The screen is 5 metres from a lucerne (?) hay paddock, and is surrounded on all sides. Lucerne (alfalfa in USA) grows luxuriantly green to about 60cm and is mowed to about 10cm probably every 6 to 10 weeks. This crop could be irrigated as well. This site is an improvement. Until 2014 it was within 10 metres of the aircraft taxiway and apron.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 46.25%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 307- Coonabarabran Airport (NSW)

January 7, 2020

Tuesday 07/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Coonabarabran Airport AWS 64017

Opened: 2001

Daily Temperature data from: 2001

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Co-ordinates: -31.3330 149.2699

335km north-west of Sydney

BOM site plan 2016:

Google satellite image:

The screen is 40 metres from the tarmac apron and turning area, but only 20 metres from the aircraft parking area, where aircraft are started and turned. Aircraft can and probably do taxi and turn within 10 to 15 metres. The minimum distance is 80 metres.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 46.1%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 306- Perisher Valley (NSW)

January 6, 2020

Monday 07/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Perisher Valley AWS 71075

Opened: 2010

Daily Temperature data from: 2010

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Co-ordinates: -36.4069 148.4055

380km south-west of Sydney, 345km north-east of Melbourne.

BOM site plan 2019:

Google satellite image:

2016 Photo by Perisher Ski Resort:

The screen is 13 metres from a gravel track, on the edge of a steep downslope, and surrounded by large rocks, shrubs, and grass to 50cm.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 45.95%

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 305- Taralga (NSW)

January 6, 2020

Monday 07/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Taralga Post Office 70080

Opened: 1882

Daily Temperature data from: 1957

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Bathurst, Canberra

Co-ordinates: -34.4048 149.8197

140km south-west of Sydney.

BOM site plan 2013:

Google satellite image:

The screen is 7 metres from a solid steel fence and 5 to 10 metres from small trees, and 17 metres from a shed.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 45.8%

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 304- Bathurst Airport (NSW)

January 6, 2020

Monday 07/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Bathurst Airport 63291

Opened: 1988

Daily Temperature data from: 1990

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Bathurst

Co-ordinates: -33.4119 149.6540

150km west of Sydney.

BOM site plan 2014:

Google satellite image:

The screen is 20 metres from large areas of bare dirt created by frequent vehicle traffic, and 42 metres from an aircraft turning area. The regulation distance is 80 metres.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 45.65%

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 303- Narooma (NSW)

January 6, 2020

Monday 07/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Narooma (Marine Rescue) 69022

Opened: 1910

Daily Temperature data from: 1965

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Co-ordinates: -36.2144 150.1358

270km south of Sydney CBD.

BOM site plan 2017:

Google satellite image:

The screen is 7 metres from a bitumen road and with nearby ground sloping steeply downhill. As well it is only 40 metres from a helipad.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites-

FAIL

Percentage of all sites non-compliant: 45.5%

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 302- Penrith (NSW)

January 6, 2020

Monday 07/01/2020

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Penrith Lakes AWS 67113

Opened: 1995

Daily Temperature data from: 1995

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Location:   Co-ordinates  -33.7195 150.6783

52km west of Sydney CBD.

BOM site plan 2016:

Google satellite image:

The screen is on dirt and 30 metres from large areas of bare dirt, and with nearby excavations.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites-

FAIL

The percentage of stations that are non-compliant: 45.35%

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 301- Holsworthy (Defence) (NSW)

January 6, 2020

Monday 07/01/2020

After a Christmas break we are now back into it. This is the first of another 28 posts on non-compliant stations, after which I will update the Index.

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Holsworthy (Defence) 68263

Opened: 2017

Daily Temperature data from: 2017

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Location:   Co-ordinates  -34.0811 150.9009

36km south-west of Sydney CBD.

BOM site plan 2016:

Google satellite image:

The screen is on the edge of a large area of bare dirt and close to trees.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites-

FAIL

With a total of 666 stations I am able to check, this station brings the percentage of non-compliant stations to 45.2%.

The Search for Australia’s Worst Weather Station

December 18, 2019

With 300 of Australia’s official weather stations (out of a total of about 700) identified so far as not meeting Bureau of Meteorology specifications, we come to the daunting task of selecting the worst station from a long Roll of Dishonour. 

Naturally they come in a range of locations and environment types, so to help I have listed 25 stations that I think should be on the shortlist.  It was a difficult task to whittle the list down to 25- I left out many candidates.  You may disagree and you are welcome to recommend your own- but they must be currently reporting daily temperatures.

Browse through the list and click on each to take you to its report, then use the browser back arrow to return here, and nominate what you think is the worst.

First, a couple of stations NOT on the list (because they have recently moved to a better site and are not currently reporting from their old positions):

Streaky Bay (SA) and its 2019 Google satellite image:

Katoomba (NSW) and its Google street view from 2015:

If still in their old locations, these would have to be on the shortlist.

THE SHORTLIST

Ararat (Vic)

Cape Byron (NSW)

Castlemaine (Vic)

Cleve (SA)

Donnybrook (WA)

Emerald (Qld)

Gladstone Airport (Qld)

Goomalling (WA)

Gosnells City (WA)

Lancelin (WA)

Launceston (Tas)

Lucinda (Qld)

Maitland (SA)

Mandurah (WA)

Manjimup (WA)

Mount Barker (SA)

Murray Bridge (SA)

Narembeen (WA)

Newman Aero (WA) 

Price (SA) 

Rutherglen (Vic) 

Springwood (NSW) 

Sydney  (NSW) 

Sydney Airport (NSW)

Wilsons Promontory (Vic)

Which is the worst?

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 300- Albany (WA)

December 11, 2019

Wednesday 11/12/2019

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Albany 9500

Opened: 1877

Daily Temperature data from: 1907

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Location:   Co-ordinates -35.0289 117.8808

390km south-east of Perth.

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image 2019:

Google street view 2018:

The screen is 8 metres from a concrete slab, 13 metres from a building, 20 to 30 metres from trees, 30 metres from a lagoon, and 43 metres from a four lane road. As seen in the street view, the screen is at the top of a bank- the site is not level.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations but not used to adjust data at Acorn sites- not even the nearby official Albany Acorn site.

FAIL

Percentage of all Australian sites not compliant: 41.44%.

I am pausing my analysis here at 300. Over the next few weeks I will add more stations as I find them. The next post will be an Index of all 300 non-compliant stations found so far. I will also then show final figures for all stations, compliant and non-compliant.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 299- Coonabarabran (NSW)

December 10, 2019

Tuesday 10/12/2019

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Coonabarabran (Showgrounds) 64008

Opened: 1879

Daily Temperature data from: 1957

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Dubbo, Inverell (1967).

Location:   Co-ordinates  -31.2786 149.2786

340km north-west of Sydney.

BOM site plan 2016:

Google satellite image 2019:

The screen is 8 metres from one building, 15 to 20 metres from other buildings, and 8 to 15 metres from trees.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all Australian sites not compliant: 41.3%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 298- Point Perpendicular (NSW)

December 10, 2019

Tuesday 10/12/2019

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Jervis Bay (Point Perpendicular AWS) 68151

Opened: 2001

Daily Temperature data from: 2001

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Nowra.

Location:   Co-ordinates   -35.0936 150.8049

140km south of Sydney.

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image 2019:

The screen is 30 metres from buildings, 25 metres from a solid stone wall, and close to areas of bare rock.

This Acorn station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at other Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all Australian sites not compliant: 41.16%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 297- Pindari Dam (NSW)

December 10, 2019

Tuesday 10/12/2019

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications and to No. 92- Logan City for 2018 specifications.  If you wish to check on this (or any) site for yourself, go to my post on how to check for yourself.

Station: Pindari Dam 54104

Opened: 1971

Daily Temperature data from: 1971

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Inverell.

Location:   Co-ordinates   -29.3899 151.2448

500km north of Sydney, 275km south-west of Brisbane..

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image 2019:

The screen, 120 metres below a massive dam wall, is too close to a bitumen road and bitumen carpark.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites.

FAIL

Percentage of all Australian sites not compliant: 41.02%.