Category Archives: BoM Australia

Weather Bureau for Australia

Was the automating of Australian lighthouses in the 1990’s a policy stupidity ?

Just thinking back to the de-personning of our lighthouses – what net money was saved? – Wondering how useful it would be to have human surveillance at those site now with all the emphasis on border protection, not to mention preventing smuggling and the odd search and rescue event etc.
There has been a negative effect on temperature data – just look at the Cape Otway 90015 record and see the gaps and data degradation after the introduction of AWS in 1994.
And this a world heritage science observing site from the late 1800’s.

Australian BoM claim that Perth has had the warmest June ever is not true everywhere around Perth

Keen eyed readers warned me of this news – Warmest June temperatures for Perth
Working down this station list for the Perth region – In a few days the June 2015 archive will be visible. I have the page saved offline if anybody wants it emailed. Badgingarra had 20.6 last month but in 1985 saw 20.9.
Garden Island had 19.9 equal with 2006. Gingin Aero has 20.9 but saw 22.9 in 1996 and 21 in 2000. Karnet had 17.8 but saw 18.1 in 2006. Rottnest Island at 19.7 was equal to 1997.
Looking around at other stations some closed – Guildford Post Office saw 21.3 in 1944. Upper Swan Research saw 21.6 in 1983. Rottnest Lighthouse read 20.2 in 1949.
I ask if you could take out a century of urban heat island UHI growth – would the BoM claim stand up? I think on balance no doubt last month was very warm in Perth but the claim of “warmest ever” is not the most robust of claims to trumpet from the centre of a huge urban area.

Australian BoM names Raquel as their first ever recorded July cyclone – but BoM memories are faulty

The BoM has said that a tropical low north east of the Solomons might develop into a tropical cyclone. First news on 30 June.
There are references to July cyclones if you search the National Library of Australia online newspaper database TROVE – as reader silligy has done and kindly emailed.
I would guess that most usages of the term cyclone refer to inconvenient wet weather that was not due to what we would term a “tropical cyclone” these days.
However a SE Qld event from 11th to 14th July 1954 reported in the Ipswich based Queensland Country Life has the hallmarks of being due to a borderline Category 1 tropical cyclone. Readers can judge for themselves and who knows better examples might lurk within TROVE.
Scroll down this link for rain over Brisbane region July 1954. Not a bad rain event in many places.
Here is a rain anomaly map for July 1954.
Checking Daily max wind gusts – yes on 12th July 1954 Brisbane RO and Airport both topped 100kmh max gust which I think puts it in Cat 1 class. Bearing in mind winds might have been higher at sea and at the lighthouses if data existed – and even higher if modern BoM wind speed models could be applied.
So – on balance it looks to me as if the BoM have short memories.
Stop Press – Just found these headlines at Trove – you can find the 14th.

Trove has no Courier Mail for the 13th
But the 14th –

The BoM is a disgrace – too often misinforming Australia about our weather history – the BoM must be reformed.

Why does the BoM adjusted ACORN temperature series incorporate urban heated Australian capital city data?

Now the the BoM adjusted warmer temperature series ACORN is in news again – thanks to Dr Jennifer Marohasy and Graham Lloyd Environment Writer at The Australian newspaper – it seems a fair question to ask. Surely if you were starting from scratch with BoM raw weather records to build an honest temperature history of Australia – the first step would be to exclude all data known to be urban heat island UHI affected. No? There are hundreds of historic weather records available from sites with less UHI contamination – but the BoM include all Australian big cities. I’m puzzled.

The Australian newspaper publishes another article on BoM scandalous temperature adjustments to Rutherglen data

In the week after the hand picked Govt “review panel” gave the Good Housekeeping “Tick of Approval” to the BoM ACORN temperature data – hoping to sweep the issue away. Great timing by Jennifer Marohasy – links to a fully copy of the article at her site. The article is paywalled at The Australian but if anybody can give me the exact title – it might be found with Google whose links sometimes get through paywalls.
Jo Nova is on to the pathetic BOM Technical Advisory Forum report too – If it can’t be replicated, it isn’t science: BOM admits temperature adjustments are secret
Just Google this – Questions remain on BoM records
gets thru the paywall by magic – thanks to Geoff Brown
This links to a Jennifer Marohasy page with many links to the sensational series of 2014 articles in The Australian critical of the BoM. A first ever for the Australian media.
There is a second article by Graham Lloyd – the title is – Bureau of Meteorology told to improve data handling, analysis – but Google did not get me thru the paywall. Anthony Watts has an article – Progress on the problems with Australia’s ACORN-SAT surface air temperature records – with full text of both pieces from The Australian.

Six short videos highlight deficiencies in Australian Bureau of Meteorology maps

Lance Pidgeon has produced these “screenshot” Youtube videos where he takes apart BoM maps – enjoy. Daft junk maps from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. This first video shows just how basic simple, obvious and indefensible some of the mistakes are. If you ever wondered about the climate data you see from the Aussie Government websites adding up? Primary school math is all you need to see it sometimes does not! Part 1 takes you back to the November 1925 maximum anomaly map which has a prominent peak bullseye anomaly in western South Australia – but the daily max anomaly maps show no sign of this as you click through from the 1st to the 30th. Obviously the BoM data behind these maps is not worth a cupful of warm spit. Enjoy Lance’s video. Part 1 — Part 2 begins to show how the errors seen in part one are not a one off but that the old temperature data maps are riddled with silly errors.Part2 — Part 3 — Part 3 Looks at claims about the QA process and how it has failed. Part 3 also shows the problems are not confined to just one part of the country.Part4 — Part 4 Road tests two claims from the BoM. One about estimation in data sparse areas and one about copying off some one who looks like they know what they are doing (using worlds best practice).Part 5 — Part 5 After the problems caused by data sparseness in the previous video looks at an example of missing data. It becomes obvious that missing old records have a perversion effect that the BoM is aware of but does not seem to have spent enough effort fixing.Part 6. Part 6 looks at a mystery annual square wave pattern of monthy steps in cycles that create fake colour data on the maps instead of a grey or no data indication . The square waves seem to have infected nearly all of the ACORN numerology.

Is the Australian Bureau of Meteorology admitting to an urban heat island in Canberra ?

Ponder these quotes from the BoM to the ABC
[Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Sean Carson said temperature lows seen this week, along with last August’s extreme run of lows only occurred once a decade.
“August last year saw a pretty impressive run of overnight lows, where we saw eight consecutives nights below -5C, with the lowest night in that sequence getting all the way down to -8C,” he said.
“But prior to that it is probably something we only see every 10 to 15 years where we get such cold minimums.”
Mr Carson said this “impressive” run of temperatures was more common in the 1970s.
“It used to be fairly regular before the 1970s, before we saw a lot of development across Canberra, which did give Canberra a little bit of heat coming from industry,” he said.]
So is the non-urban classification for the Canberra Airport BoM station up for review?

From page 76 of “Techniques involved in developing the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) dataset” CAWCR Technical Report No. 049 – BoM March 2012