BoM forecast for Perth 31st May 2013 – “frost possible” -yet Perth central weather stations have not recorded a 0° minimum in May in over a century

An interesting call because Perth Regional Office weather station 9034 never recorded a minimum of 0°C for any month in all the years 1897-1992, see my table below. Chris Gillham has an account of the history of the various locations for Perth weather instruments.
BoM forecast late afternoon 30 May 2013 –

From 1993 and current Perth weather is recorded at “Perth Metro” which is at Mount Lawley near Edith Cowan University. As my table shows Perth Metro like Perth Regional Office has never recorded a frost in May and probably will not this morning. It looks obvious to me from my table that the ever growing Perth urban heat island has suppressed frost over a century while stations more peripheral to Perth commonly record frosts in the cooler months.

Continue reading BoM forecast for Perth 31st May 2013 – “frost possible” -yet Perth central weather stations have not recorded a 0° minimum in May in over a century

Vote NO to referendum to amend the Australian Constitution to recognize local councils

The Gillard GreenLabor Govt is putting up this referendum question re recognising local councils in the constitution – at the same time as the Federal election. Ostensibly because some High Court decision might, note might make it difficult for the Federal Govt to give money to councils. Wow – I am sleepless at night over that.
I notice over at Catallaxy – Another poison pill for Australian federalism, and how to avoid it – marvellous take from Dr Julie Novak
I will be voting NO.
My simple reasons are –
[1] The current system has worked for 110 years – I see no need for change – just not an issue.
[2] The Gillard GreenLabor Govt is arguably the worst Federal Govt in our history – so why trust anything they propose.
[3] They would not be proposing this if it was not beneficial to Labor constituencies in some way – we are suffering five to six years of that – safer to just vote NO.
[4] I am wary of unintended consequences – the instant this becomes law there will be silver-tongued lawyers all over it, not to mention the High Court and nobody knows what new nonsense will start affecting our lives.
[5] Personally I would prefer it if councils cut back on their ever expanding empire building and wasting of our money and were confined more to just fixing roads, collecting rubbish, working hard to reduce rates.
[6] I am not impressed that the coalition are supporting a yes vote, there is a lot wrong with their policies too.
[7] The only important issue at the next Federal election is voting GreenLabor OUT of power.

Looking forward to readers having their say.

Ongoing decline in efficiency of Perth Dam catchments – reply from WA Minister

The comment by CP on my 2007 article –There never was a rain shortage to justify seawater desalination for Perth’s water supply – has prompted me to post the May 2012 reply from WA Minister The Hon Bill Marmion.
First – here are some relevant links – 2002 article in The West Australian Water bosses snubbed plan
This page has a graphic showing the effect of thinning – third graphic down.
“Effects of catchment thinning at Higgins near Dwellingup from WC online report”
Reply from the WA Govt Water Corporation to an article in the Rockingham local paper June 2005 The Sound Telegraph – thats Cockburn Sound.

On 14 March 2012 I emailed the WA Minister –
Dear The Honourable Bill Marmion,
You should know that Perth dam catchments are blessed with rainfall averaging over 900mm per year – and that is just in the May to October runnoff season.
Yet by decades of not managing catchment vegetation efficiently your water supply authorities are progressively decommissioning your network of dams – great facilities mostly put in place by the sweat, foresight and prudence of earlier generations.
This graphic demonstrates the relentless loss in catchment efficiency.

I have more online with my article “2011 update 37 year Perth dams catchment rainfall trend – nearly a Thousand GL of water wasted over 15 years by not managing catchments”
Please make sure you checkout my 3 page word doc linked at my online article;
“There never was a rain shortage to justify seawater desalination for Perth’s water supply”
December 4th, 2007
To improve the resilience of the Perth water supply using the most environmentally friendly and low cost methods – here is what you could do Minister.
[1] Order that dam catchment vegetation be managed so as to aim for a catchment efficiency figure of near 6%.
[2] Order that the Gnangara pines be cut forthwith in favour of native bush – the pines value as saw logs is probably less than the value of the Gnangara Mound water that they are wasting, taking water values as per the average of your desalination plants.
I would suggest that after those measures take full effect – dam levels should recover to where you might be able to close down some of your very expensive seawater desalination capacity. That would save many millions of taxpayer dollars.
You should also be able to postpone the expensive venture to tap deeper groundwater. More savings.
Please let me know if you have any questions Minister.
Yours sincerely,

Here is the reply from Minister Marmion.
Dear Mr Hughes
Thank you for your email dated 14 March 2012 regarding the management of
catchment vegetation.

I recognise that vegetation has been contributing to a reduction of inflow into surface water reservoirs of Perth’s forested surface water catchments.
A trend in reducing rainfall since the 1970s is also a considerable factor in this reduced catchment recharge . The assertion that rainfall to our dam catchments is over 900mm per year is generally true . However, this rainfall is declining markedly through the south west and is below 900mm in the significant Mundaring Weir catchment.
It should also be noted that rainfall reduction and streamflow to dams is not a linear relationship.
Once groundwater disconnects from the streams there is a significantly greater reduction in streamflow.

A recent study by the CSIRO (currently in review , pending publication) has found that the denser vegetation in Perth ‘s forested catchments is responsible for approximately one-third of the run off decline to our reservoirs. The remainder is mainly attributable to rainfall decline.

The Department of Water (DoW) has been researching this issue for some time and has also been working with other agencies and researchers on options to address
vegetation management issues . A prime example is the DoW and Water Corporation’s Wungong Catchment Thinning Trial, which is investigating the impacts of increased forest thinning on improving surface water catchment recharge in Perth’s forested water catchments.

The DoW has also contributed to the development of the Department of Environment
and Conservation ‘s (DEC) next Forest Management Plan regarding the issue of forest vegetation management and its impact on forested surface water catchments. I understand the draft plan is expected to be available for public comment by late 2012.

The DoW is also coordinating a scientific review of the rehabilitation option for mine bauxite rehabilitation in the northern jarrah forest to inform future practice.
You may also be interested in the following CSIRO report which provides information on current and future water yields of both aquifers and surface’water catchments,
I appreciate your interest and demonstrated concern for the future of Perth’s water supply.
Yours sincerely
11 May 2012

RI sunspot numbers just out for April – NASA/NOAA SWO number confirms the “rabbit ears”

There have been reports on increased sunspot activity in April and the Cycle 24 peak has been widely predicted to be in the next few months.
The RI number just out from Solar Influences Data analysis Center – RWC Belgium – Royal Observatory of Belgium is a tad below what I was expecting.

The chart has both April updates now. – The SWO SS# is 112.8 for April.
There is an issue that with modern technology we are counting smaller and smaller sunspots than was possible hundreds of years ago. So the sunspot time series are probably not homogenous. A reader has sent in this YouTube clip which explains some of the issues for those not up to speed with solar science.