The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 149- Kulgera (NT)

Thursday 17/10/2019

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: Kulgera 15603

Opened: 1968

Daily Temperature data from: 1980

Data used to adjust Acorn sites at: Alice Springs, Birdsville, Giles, Oodnadatta.

Location:   Co-ordinates  -25.8428 133.3027

240km south of Alice Springs.

BOM site plan 2018:

Google satellite image 2019:

It is difficult to establish and maintain a compliant site in the desert country of the NT, western Queensland, northern South Australia and much of Western Australia. There is precious little natural vegetation and it usually doesn’t take kindly to being trimmed to a few centimetres. Any areas regularly used for movement quickly become dusty bare soil.

In this case there is a bare soil track 15 metres to the east, and vegetation reduced and a dirt track forming right beside the screen. But 20 metres to the west is a large area of bare dirt (certainly not natural vegetation) about 100 metres across.

This station is non-compliant, with temperatures reported at Latest Weather Observations and used to adjust data at distant Acorn sites.


Percentage of all Australian sites not compliant: 20.58%.

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7 Responses to “The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 149- Kulgera (NT)”

  1. Bill In Oz Says:

    Yes this BOM weather station is a road side stop on the main highway North to Alice Springs..Just over the border from South Australia.

    And it is smack bang in the middle of desert country. And No it is not compliant with the BOM’s own guidelines for ensuring accurate temperature readings.

    And there is not the water available to ensure that the ground around the screen is grassed over as required under the BOM’s guidelines.

    Still there is no reason why the BOM should not ensure that all vehicles are kept well away from the weather station so that there are NO bare tracks close by.

  2. Bill In Oz Says:

    Ken once again there is the question of dust around the screen and settling on the electronic temperature probe. What impact does . dust have on these instruments ?

  3. kenskingdom Says:

    Possibly none, but I would have thought some insulation was possible but can’t find any reference. For screens themselves, there is this from
    “Screen maintenance
    The instrument shelter (or thermometer screen)
    was specified for monthly cleaning (Bureau of
    Meteorology 1975). Instructions from 1973 onwards
    specified the requirement to clean screens after dust
    storms, and in 1984 the instruction was modified to
    indicate that that shelters in industrial areas may need
    weekly cleaning. Cleaning had to be finished at least
    30 minutes before the next scheduled observation,
    and that requirement remains today.”
    Stations have inspection and maintenance visits once a year now, and very few sites have staff to do it.

    • Bill In Oz Says:

      In other words the BOM is saying that they have to be cleaned. But not explaining why and not ensuring that this guideline is adhered to.

      How wonderfull… Sort like Alice in Wonderland BOM makes the rules but they decided if and when they will be enforced..

      And actually that is what has been going on with all of these BOm weather stations.

  4. haylochonsea Says:

    I have seen dust, leaves and bird droppings block automatic rain gauges.

  5. The Wacky World of Weather Stations by State | kenskingdom Says:

    […] Kulgera (NT) […]

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