The Wacky World of Weather Stations: Taking Stock

We are now more than half way through checking how well Australia’s weather observation stations comply with the Bureau of Meteorology’s own specifications.  I have finished New South Wales.

Of the 394 stations checked so far (less a few I couldn’t find or check) 83 are definitely not compliant with BOM specifications: that’s 21%.  There are a further 33 doubtful ones that I will check again later.  New South Wales is the worst.  Of 172 stations, 48 are non-compliant:  27.9%.

Here’s an update to the post on Barraba.  Reader Glen took some photos of the old and new sites at Barraba.  The old site first:

Barraba old

The screen has gone but the incinerator is still there!

The new:

Barraba new picture

This is an example of as good a site as you’ll get in a town area.  It’s 15 – 20 metres from a little used dirt track, flat, with short grass, and no nearby obstructions.  However, when the drought breaks and the grass grows, will it be maintained and the grass kept trimmed to a few centimetres; will it be free from horses rubbing on it; will it be free from wasp nests?  We hope so.

Next up, Queensland, my home state.  I will probably start with the Darling Downs and Granite Belt and the Southeast Coast which are the most densely populated regions (and where the worst bushfires are) then head up the coast looking at catchments feeding into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.  After that I will continue up the Cape and out west.


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5 Responses to “The Wacky World of Weather Stations: Taking Stock”

  1. Bill in Oz Says:

    Ken thanks for this Update & Progress Report.
    My own mind was blurring a bit about the big picture as the total number of non compliant BOM weather stations mounted up.

    And I’m glad you are keeping a count of the percentage of site non-compliant, compared with the number you have checked out. Twenty one percent is a huge figure. And completely undermines the BOM’s claims to be providing accurate long term temperature information.
    And it is that information which underpins it’s claims about global warming.
    That claim is built on a house of sand !

  2. auspeterb Says:

    Ken, (Bill),
    But if the BOM does not comply with WMO standards for automatic stations then no Australian station is compliant? Or are there still some manual stations in Oz?

  3. Bill in Oz Says:

    I am not sure that your comment has any significance Peter B.

    BOM is not ‘accountable’ to the World Meteorological Organisation. It is a statutary body set up by the Commonwealth Parliament by Commonwealth legislation. It is funded only by the Australian people via our taxes.

    Thus BOM is ONLY accountable to us Australians. The guidelines it uses ( or is supposed to use ) for it’s weather stations are it’s own.

    The fact that so many BOM weather stations are NOT compliant with those standards is a huge ball’s up for us the Australian people.

    The WMO is a purely cooperative international organisation. It does not issue pass or fail tickets for the BOM.

    • auspeterb Says:

      From what I understand, Australia has been a member of the WMO since 1949 and as a Member has agreed to WMO standards ie we have volunteered to comply with those standards. The aim being that measurement of World weather is standard across all member nations.
      Of course the BOM is responsible to Australian taxpayers as we all know but it is hypocritical that the BOM refuses to allow external audits of their standards and records while professing to be a “world standard” organisation. The differentiation from/on WMO standards is one infraction/deviation that we know of.

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