The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 123- Innisfail (Qld)

Tuesday 08/10/2019

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: Innisfail 32025

Opened: 1881

Daily Temperature data from: 1957

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at:  Cairns, Townsville, Weipa.

Location:   Co-ordinates -17.5249 146.0345

innisfail map

70km south of Cairns.

BOM site plan 2014:

innisfail plan2014

2019 Google satellite image:

innisfail aerial

The station is very close to a wide concrete path, 10 metres from a crusher dust carpark, and 10 metres from a wide bitumen road.  Trees to the north are too close and  likely to shade 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 Australian sites not compliant: 16.99%.

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3 Responses to “The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 123- Innisfail (Qld)”

  1. Bill In Oz Says:

    Ken Google Earth shows a lot of mud/dirt on that concrete path. It’s is being tracked there by vehicles parking in the area behind the bowling club..Probably bowling club players parking their cars. So there are vehicles passing by the BOM screen within 5 meters.

    I notice also that the bowling club has lights to allow games at night, I wonder how much heat is generated in the process ?

  2. Bill In Oz Says:

    Ken, Jo Nova’s blog has posted a guest post from Bill Johnson ( former weather observer & research scientist at NSW Dpt. of Natural resources, on the BOM’s weather station at Broome.

    It includes some informative general remarks about the BOM’s weather station network..I am reposting those ‘general’ remarks here, just for the record – So folks reading this blog can have a wider understanding of the issues & problems with BOM’s weather station system over the past 50-60 years.

    “Introduction
    Across the world and particularly in Australia no weather station sites have stayed the same. Therefore its important that effects caused by site and instrument changes are not attributed to the climate.

    Discussion
    Historic temperature data collected to monitor the weather were from thermometers of unknown quality exposed in the shade, hung on the wall of south-facing verandas, in Glaisher stands which were manually turned away from the sun, in ‘thermometer houses’ of varying design, inside iron-roofed Stevenson screens and in some cases inside buildings.

    For most historic datasets like Sydney Observatory, Cape Leeuwin, Cape Otway; and post offices like Port Hedland, Bourke, Darwin, Barcaldine and Mildura, details of site changes and the conditions under which observations were made are scant or unavailable. For many it’s not known when Stevenson screens were installed or the state of the instruments or if the vicinity was watered. Homogenisation aims to adjust for non-climate effects, however as explained in this note, methods used by the Bureau are unscientific, biased and should be abandoned.

    There is no evidence in their reports that independent peer-reviewers[1] investigated datasets or looked for problems in homogenisation methods, or in the way data are observed or the usefulness of historic data for tracking trends or changes in the climate.

    The three obvious sources of bias ignored by peer reviewers are:

    Non-existent or faulty metadata (data about data) is used as primary evidence of site changes and as noted by Della-Marta et al. (2004)[2] (p. 85) “The decision of whether or not to correct for a potential inhomogeneity is often .. subjective”. Subjective assignment of changepoints allows the process to be guided by pre-determined outcomes.
    Comparative methods whereby target site data are adjusted relative to data for up to 10 correlated comparators (whose data may not be homogeneous) lacks rigour and is also biased. As correlated comparators likely embed similar faults the adjustment process coerces site-related step-changes into a trend.
    Residual trends that result from arbitrarily identified changepoints and dodgy adjustments are passed-off as being due to the climate by default.
    Of particular concern is that by ignoring network-wide changes that happened in the 1950s, 1970s and more recently, homogenised datasets embed trends and changes that have nothing to do with the climate.

    The problem of correlated comparators
    Use of correlated comparators to make adjustments is the most obvious source of bias especially when their data are likely to be tainted by parallel site change effects.

    Network wide changes in the 1950s include the post-WWII reorganisation of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Meteorological Section in June 1946 when Aeradio staff moved to the Department of Civil Aviation, and meteorological (met) staff to the Weather Bureau within the Department of the Interior. This required construction of Flight Services offices and control towers and refurbishment of former Aeradio facilities as met and radio-aids offices.

    Driven by the need for improved upper-air forecasts for aviation, the second change included deployment of radiosonde balloons to monitor temperature and wind profiles, METOX radar to track the balloons and wind-finding (WF) radar to provide reliable coverage along major air routes. New met-offices usually distant from the previous Aeradio office supported such developments and met-enclosures were up-graded and moved as other facilities such as airport terminals were upgraded and runways strengthened and lengthened to handle jet aircraft.

    Also, at about the same time, automatic telephone exchanges were built in post office yards and by the late 1970s, towers for microwave communications. On 1 September 1972 metrication resulted in thermometers across the network being replaced and units of rainfall changed from points to millimetres from the 1 January 1974. Next was the widespread introduction of automatic weather stations (AWS) and they becoming primary instruments from 1 September 1996.

    As most network-wide changes are time-coordinated, correlated comparators likely reinforce rather than correct faults in homogenised data.

    Changing to 60-litre screens
    Replacing 230-litre Stevenson screens with 60-litre ones accelerated from about 1995 and is the single most important cause of network-wide warming and recent record temperatures.

    Small screens are not buffered to the same extent by the enclosed air-volume as standard screens and transient eddies from pavements, passing vehicles and aircraft movements cause spikes on warm days, which the Bureau routinely reports as being due to the climate.

    Practices that reduce natural cooling via the water cycle such as ploughing, spraying-out the grass and gravel mulching in the vicinity of sites also cause increased warming. Small screens beside dusty tracks at airports, roadsides and in paddocks, which accumulate dust and grime between infrequent service visits are also biased-high while changes such as new buildings, roads and other developments results in frequent over-ranging. In addition, satellite images confirm wind-profiler arrays installed close to screens at Canberra, Adelaide, Coffs Harbour, Tennant Creek and other airports cause up-steps in data that don’t reflect the climate.

    As governments depend on the Bureau’s fake-news as much as the Bureau depends on the government’s largess, there is little wonder that those in charge of Australia’s climate are not interested in holding the Bureau to account.

    Conclusions
    Site change impacts (most recently the introduction of AWS and 60-litre Stevenson screens) dominate trends and changes in Australian temperature records and no datasets show warming that unequivocally due to the climate.

    Action on climate change and the Paris agreement with all its buzzwords – limiting warming that hasn’t happened to 1.5oC by some time in the future is the greatest scam ever perpetrated in the name of science.”

  3. kenskingdom Says:

    Bill is a colleague, and a very smart man. He has done a lot of unsung work in this area.

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