Have parts of Victoria cooled since the 19C ?

Ian Bryce an Industrial Chemist with long experience in the tomato industry has sent me in this 5 page pdf paper commenting on raw temperature data from the Echuca – Benalla region in Victoria.
131 year temperature record Echuca Victoria Australia
I note that Ken Stewart has many graphic comparisons of station data from 1910 at his website. This photo from State Library online photo search shows the stevenson screen in the Echuca Post Office yard in 1944. No ideal exposure there.

5 comments to Have parts of Victoria cooled since the 19C ?

  • val majkus

    My ears are ringing with the bells of alarmism which somehow convey the message that in the past the weather had no surprises, the sun was balmy, the temperatures moderate – not too hot in summer and not too cold in winter, the winds were kind and gentle and the clouds, well they acted as a nice backdrop for painters like Turner and Streeton but they didn’t drop too much rain at any one time

    and I’m not the only person to notice, Howard Ambler has noticed this phenomena as well but unlike me he has a way with words and has written a book about it


    Get it out of your head: weather didn’t used to be friendly. It didn’t used to rain just enough, snow just enough, with the wind blowing just enough, and the Sun shining just enough. Things didn’t recently go to Hell in a hand basket. That is just a story. And it’s not a particularly hard story to prove false.

    there’s a great photo of passengers standing on the roof of the carriages of a train stranded in a 1903 Missouri River flood

    check it out at wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/16/dont-sell-your-coat/#more-53179

  • Graeme Inkster

    There was a comment recently that in the north american(?) records one third of stations showed cooling over last 30 odd years. Sorry, I didn’t write it down. It wasn’t highlighted or discussed at all – I wonder why?.

    Here in SA the 1870-1890 period must have been cool as rainfall above Goyder’s line was very good and many wheat farms started further and further north. The railway line to Blinman was for wheat and minerals, while that to Marree was for wheat and wool. During this time SA produced 50+% of the Australian wheat crop.
    Darren Ray of the Bureau of Meteorology said (2008) the rainfall declines in recent winter and spring growing seasons are EXACTLY AS PROJECTED BY CSIRO CLIMATE-CHANGE MODELS (see that, Warwick). “You’ve got this mid-latitude belt of high pressure called the sub-tropical ridge, and the position and strength of it has a big effect on whether the cold frontal systems… can move up and drop rainfall on SA.” Thus cooling means more rain in the south and good rain further north than usual.
    Goyder’s line is little known (outside SA) but was surveyed in 1866 in response to bad drought in 1863-65. By 1874 settlement (via land grants) was allowed north of it because of better rains (v. good in 73). Wheat farming pushed further and further north (to beyond Blinman and Maree). 1881 less good, 83& 84 were poor years, 87,88 & 89 were very good (wet) years. The rains became erratic and poor from 1890 (although 1905/6 was a record harvest) to 1914, and the whole area continued drying out through the 1920′s and 1930′s. I was told recently that no grain was grown around Willochra after 1921 and by 1934 only 3 pastoral farms struggled on. In 1889 Willochra reputedly had 20,000 inhabitants. When I saw it in v. early 60′s population and buildings left both = 0.
    The pattern seems to be roughly represented in the above graph, even (despite the CSIRO projections) more rain beyond Goyder’s line in the last 5 years. So while the World was supposedly warming from 1850-85 and cooling from 1885 to 1905, it appears that the opposite was happening in SA. Climate doesn’t seem to behave in simple world wide fashion at all.

  • cementafriend

    There is a need to closely look at the BOM figures. It would seem that there has been some station movement and/or some splicing. The station could not have been at the Aerodrome in 1881 or even before 1925. Most likely it was at the Post Office in 1881 and has been moved to the airport. This has happened at Gayndah in Qld. At the latter there was a UHI effect showing as the town modernised with sealed roads, airconditioners etc. The airport temps. in a six year overlap period were lower than the PO and more comparable to conditions in the earlier years of the town but still have some UHI. Maybe someone at BOM has been adjusting the figures correctly (ie subtracting UHI correction) Warwick will know about the Torok correction for population size.

  • cementafriend

    Just checked the BOM station 80015. Daily temperatures have been recorded since 1957. That is likely when the station was moved to the Echuca Aerodrome site (4.9km from the town) with new instruments. Just viewing the graph it would seem that there has been no temperature change from that time. It is possible the earlier data from the previous location (probably the PO) was added in and the station renamed. The text states that if a site is within 1 or 2km the name is kept. Daily rainfall has been recorded since mid 1881. Seems there is not much rain there -many months with no rain at all. In 1901 there was little rain 271mm, clear skies during the federation drought would result in high maximum temps. It seems you had a little rain yesterday. I hope it helps your tomato growing.

  • Ian George

    Casino (NSW) has also cooled over the past 100 years according to BOM records.
    www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_display_type=dataGraph&p_stn_num=058063&p_nccObsCode=36&p_month=13

    I know the station was moved from the PO to the airport but have no idea when.

    The Casino airport has two stations, a manual and an AWS (started 1995) within 300m of each other. The manual is near a tarred road and buildings; the AWS is in the middle of an oval. The manual is on average 0.5C higher annually than the AWS. Worth looking at re UH effects.

    Also noticed weatherzone has just changed its temperature averaging from 100 years to a 45 year averaging to calculate anomalies for Casino. This has the effect of dropping the annual averages. Anyone noticed the change for any other stations?

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