The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 71- Katoomba (NSW)

Another station in the process of moving.

Please refer back to my first post for site specifications.

Station: Katoomba 63039

Opened: 1885

Daily Temperature data from: 1957

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —


The BOM site information page says the station is at Farnell’s Rd, with co-ordinates -33.7139 150.2953.  The 2019 satellite image has no screen visible at this location, but it may be there by now.  The old site is here:

Co-ordinates  -33.712157 150.308663

First, the map:

Katoomba map

About 60km west of Sydney.

BOM site plan 2017:

Katoomba plan2017

2019 Google satellite image:

Katoomba aerial

Street view 2015:

Katoomba street2015

Earlier in 2019 the screen was as shown in the above images.  The new site is about a kilometre to the west, probably on the spare block indicated.  If so, that’s a much better site- but for how long?  Only until the owner builds a house there, then the trouble starts all over again.

Katoomba move

The old site has to be a contender for the worst siting in Australia- on a slope, near buildings, very close to concrete paths and driveway, a few metres from a bitumen street, with vegetation much more than a few centimetres.  How long until the new site is also non-compliant?

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


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4 Responses to “The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 71- Katoomba (NSW)”

  1. Bill in Oz Says:

    Ken BOM should be giving a different station number to the new site. They are in different locations and have very different local temperature effects happening at each. The first in in the midst of Katoomba with massive heat Island effect happening and freeway close by. The second is close to bushland.

    If BOM has not given different numbers, then the new site is also a fail, because it will lead to confusion by others when using the data.

  2. climanrecon Says:

    Are you sure about which stations are used in adjusting ACORN-SAT ones? I think we can be confident about version 1 of ACORN-SAT, which is (relatively) well documented, but the documentation for version 2 is somewhat lacking, for example it is known that some “statistical” inhomogeneities have changed, but there is no update (yet?) for the adjustment document, AFAIK.

    • climanrecon Says:

      Oops, I found the online station catalogue via your link, it looks like it has been updated to version 2, at least for Rutherglen, which loses the obviously wrong Tmin adjustment in 1928, but now has the embarrassing “statistical” (i.e. we don’t have a clue, but it looks genuine to me) adjustment in 2007, somewhat extraordinary for one of the flagship rural climate monitoring stations.

  3. JCalvertN(UK) Says:

    One day you should propose a “Top-ten”. This would have to be one of them.

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