Archive for October, 2019

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: Time for another break

October 31, 2019

After a busy month I need to have a spell for a few days.

Normal transmission will be resumed shortly.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 191- Pemberton (WA)

October 31, 2019

Thursday 31/10/2019

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: Pemberton 9592

Opened: 1941

Daily Temperature data from: 1957

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Albany, Bridgetown, Cape Leeuwin.

Location:   Co-ordinates   -34.4478 116.0433

280km south of Perth.

BOM site plan 2015:

Google satellite image 2019:

I first thought this station was just marginal, hardly worth worrying about. However, it is a good example of how sites change over the years, and how building development creeps up on what could otherwise be fairly well sited stations. This can be shown by looking at old site plans.

BOM site plan 1997:

There was an old screen close to the Telecom mast and shed, and a screen too close to some trees. The only other building mentioned was the Parks and Wildlife Office.

BOM site plan 1999:

By 1999 a tank had been installed, the site was still fairly open except the screen was too close to tall trees 25 metres away. Over the years site plans reveal the removal of trees and the construction of new buildings (with dates shown in the Google satellite image below:

The screen is 10 metres from the shed first identified in 2009; 12 metres from the ‘2001’ building; and less than 15 metres from the ‘2008’ building, and still very tall trees are 25 to 30 metres away.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at Acorn sites (although all adjustments were before 1997).

FAIL

Percentage of all Australian sites not compliant: 26.38%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 190- Manjumup (WA)

October 30, 2019

Wednesday 30/10/2019

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: Manjumup 9573

Opened: 1915

Daily Temperature data from: 1957

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Albany, Bridgetown, Cape Leeuwin, Katanning, Perth Airport.

Location:   Co-ordinates   -34.2508 116.1450

250km south of Perth.

BOM site plan 2017:

Google satellite image 2019:

Street view 2008: (and nothing much has changed!)

The site plan is a little incomplete regarding the surface under the screen, which is a wide area of bare blue metal or gravel. Hardly any natural surface anywhere, surrounded by sheds, and yet this station is used to make adjustments at five Acorn stations. In 2000 it was moved here from another poor site (also on bitumen) at the Shire council depot. This station is up there with the worst.

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: 26.24%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 189- Collie East (WA)

October 30, 2019

Wednesday 30/10/2019

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: Collie East 9994

Opened: 2002

Daily Temperature data from: 2002

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Wandering.

Location:   Co-ordinates  -33.3608 116.1717

160km south of Perth.

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image 2019:

Wider view:

Street view 2015:

While not as poor as some sites, this station has faults. It is 8 metres from a brick building, 20 metres from a 10 metre bitumen road, 56 metres from 55 metre wide bitumen netball courts, and there is evidence the grass close to and beneath the screen is artificially watered.

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: 26.1%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 188- Cape Naturaliste (WA)

October 30, 2019

Wednesday 30/10/2019

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: Cape Naturaliste 9519

Opened: 1903

Daily Temperature data from: 1957

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Cape Leeuwin.

Location:   Co-ordinates  -33.5372 115.0189

193km south-west of Perth.

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image 2019:

Here is a street view photo taken by Patrick Cheah in March 2018:

“Street” view 2018:

The screen is only a couple of metres away from scrub to 2 metres, and closer to scrub to 0.8 metres. It is not sufficiently exposed.

Update 05/11/2019:

Here is a photo taken yesterday (04/11/2019) by reader Brian, showing how close the screen is to vegetation:

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: 25.97%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 187- Cape Leeuwin (WA)

October 29, 2019

Tuesday 29/10/2019

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: Cape Leeuwin 9518

Opened: 1897

Daily Temperature data from: 1907

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Albany.

Location:   Co-ordinates  -34.3728 115.1358

275km south of Perth, in the extreme south-west corner of the continent.

BOM site plan 2018:

This looks to be not a bad site, although there is a bitumen road 15 metres away. Note for later the “Native Grasses” around the screen. This was noted exactly the same on site plans in 2008 and 2013.

The station was moved from the old site beside a bitumen road in 1999:

Google satellite image 2019:

Here we can see the bitumen road, and the bare rock to the west, admittedly a few metres below the screen. Note however the dark green patches close to the screen. Here is a street view photo taken by Henry Chik in April 2017:

The dark green patches on the satellite image can be seen to be coastal scrub to about a metre high or perhaps more. Some may say the satellite image is really from before March 2018 and the scrub has been cleared since then. If so, the site has been changed. It is still 15 metres from a bitumen road and 25 metres from a much wider area of bitumen: the recommended distance is 5 times the width.

As noted above, the screen was moved from right beside a bitumen road. BOM adjusted data in April 1999 for this move. The annual effect of moving away from the bitumen road to the new more exposed site was –0.31 degrees Celsius annually. That indicates that in many other sites where the screen is too close to bitumen or dirt, non-compliance can have a very large effect on temperatures.

Update 05/11/2019: Thanks to reader Brian who has supplied current photos. The first shows vegetation around the screen more than merely “native grasses” and NOT “trimmed to a few centimetres”:

And this one shows how bad the station was up to April 1999:

This Acorn station is/ has been 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: 25.83%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 186- Busselton (WA)

October 29, 2019

Tuesday 29/10/2019

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: Busselton Aero 9603

Opened: 1997

Daily Temperature data from: 1998

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —-

Location:   Co-ordinates  -33.6818 115.4026

200km south of Perth.

BOM site plan 2018:

The station has recently moved from the old site because of the encroachment of the airport, as shown in the 2016 site plan:

Google satellite image 2019:

Old site satellite image:

Wider view:

To its credit, the Bureau has moved the station from its old position much too close to the aircraft apron to further up the runway. However there is a new taxiway under construction, probably finished by now, with large areas of bare dirt around the screen and along the construction site. At the old site, the station was non-compliant; during construction the new site is non-compliant; things will probably settle down, grass will regrow and the station will probably be compliant. But this site is a good example of how stations change. And through all the change the Bureau has kept recording and reporting temperatures as if nothing has happened.

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

FAIL

Percentage of all Australian sites not compliant: 25.69%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 185- Bridgetown (WA)

October 29, 2019

Tuesday 29/10/2019

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: Bridgetown 9617

Opened: 1997

Daily Temperature data from: 1998

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: —-

Location:   Co-ordinates  -33.9486 116.1311

225km south of Perth.

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image 2019:

This station, part of the Acorn network, appears to be in an ideal site- rural, far from any UHI, surrounded by open paddocks, and well exposed. The only disturbance outside the enclosure is from where hay has been fed to livestock. All in all, a perfect site. But…..

Photograph September 2015:

Like many other stations which are visited only once a year, it is subject to neglect. The enclosure in 2015 was overgrown with weeds and grass to about 0.5 to 0.6 metres (and in some parts much taller)- definitely not kept trimmed to a few centimetres. Is this a regular occurrence?

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

FAIL

Percentage of all Australian sites not compliant: 25.55%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 184- Lancelin (WA)

October 28, 2019

Monday 28/10/2019

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: Lancelin 9114

Opened: 1965

Daily Temperature data from: 1965

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Geraldton.

Location:   Co-ordinates  -31.0160 115.3322

118km north of Perth CBD.

BOM site plan 2015:

Google satellite image 2019:

Another dreadful site. The screen is very close to buildings, very close to a whole backyard of concrete and pavers, on a watered grass area, and with a 1.8 metre solid Colourbond fence on three sides. It was moved here from an even worse site between March 2014 and September 2015.

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: 25.41%.

The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 183- Swanbourne (WA)

October 28, 2019

Monday 28/10/2019

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: Swanbourne 9215

Opened: 1985

Daily Temperature data from: 1993

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Perth Airport, Geraldton,

Location:   Co-ordinates -31.9558 115.7619

9.2km west of Perth CBD.

BOM site plan 2016:

BOM site plan 2014:

Google satellite image 2019:

The 2016 site plan is either inaccurate or the vegetation has regrown remarkably quickly since then. The screen is very close to and almost surrounded by 2.5 metre bushes, with bare dirt tracks and carparks and buildings far too close even if the site was cleared.

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: 25.28%.