The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 60- Bombala AWS (NSW)

Time for some comic relief.  Only in Australia!

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications.

Station:  Bombala AWS 70328

Opened: 1988

Daily Temperature data from: 1990

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —

Location: Co-ordinates  -37.0016 149.2336

BombalaAWS map

About 370km south of Sydney, and about 6km from Bombala.

2019 Google satellite image:

BombalaAWS aerial

Looks perfect?  Looks can be deceiving.

BOM site plan 2014:

BombalaAWS plan

Far from having vegetation trimmed to a few centimetres, the screen is surrounded by grass up to half a metre high.  The tipping bucket rain gauge and screen are often both mounted on a metal arm.  Cattle rubbing on the arm and/or screen will cause vibration at the least, not to mention heat from bovine body temperature and possible fresh manure and urine.

So we have a problem.  There are many stations not in an enclosure, and in many of them livestock graze nearby.  This is the first I have seen where the annual inspection reveals cattle rubbing on the apparatus.  That was in 2014.  I wonder if anything has been done about it?  As they have evidently recognised the Buffalo Fly problem, and a fence is out of the question, perhaps the Bureau has added an insecticidal back rubber to the bar?  Or recommended introduction of Brahman bloodlines?

Shh!  The Bureau would not want word getting out, people might laugh at them.

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


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7 Responses to “The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 60- Bombala AWS (NSW)”

  1. Bill in Oz Says:

    When I saw Bombala again, I thought you had done a repeat. But this BOM station is different to the station in the middle of Bombala town to the North.
    Really it should have a separate name as it is a fair way out of town. I suggest “Saucy Creek” would be appropriate. And indicative !

    In this case the BOM weather station is simply in unfenced off corner of a cattle paddock, which allows the cattle to use it as a scratching point. But maybe also a ‘camping’ spot at night time. And that would also impact the temperatures recorded.

    I wonder if BOM spoke to the farmer of this land and requested it to be fenced off. There are lots of alternative sites and probably farmers more cooperative.

  2. climatetrends2546 Says:

    It all gets wackier and wackier! I think that the BOM inspection that identified grass up to 0.5m high must have been a few years ago when conditions were better – the last time I was in Bombala the country was quite bare.

    Surely there are one or two acceptable stations in the country. Each morning I keep living in hope that it will be today!

  3. Bill in Oz Says:

    I suspect that there are precious few BOM stations which are accurate !

  4. Bill in Oz Says:

    Ken have you looked at Warra in Tasmania. Tony Heller has done a post on it’s very odd temp recordings :

    • kenskingdom Says:

      Well worth another look- I think I couldn’t get a good image, will try again. Site is crowded out with regrowth trees- not good. Might do this weekend if I can get a good image.

  5. Bill in Oz Says:

    I checked with the BOM actual temp recording. The 124 F has been deleted. Only an empty blank for that date.

  6. Australia's Wacky Weather Stations: Final Summary | kenskingdom Says:

    […] 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 […]

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