Amazing error ridden graphic in The Australian – our national newspaper

I have already posted on this article – Records topple, city stumbles as gauge hits 46C – in The Australian Saturday 19 Jan 2013 – I focussed then on Sydney and the near less urban stations. However The Australian gives a clear impression in their opening text that heat records were broken across NSW on the 18th Jan 2013.
[SYDNEY’S city centre was hotter than Bourke in the northwest of the state yesterday as decades-old heat records tumbled across NSW, stung by a stubborn mass of heated air moving from the centre of the country. The city recorded its hottest day since records were kept as the temperature hit 46C.]
What deceptive nonsense – the impression created by the words “…decades-old heat records tumbled across NSW…”, is that 18 Jan 2013 was also a record hot day at country centres. This is not borne out by the facts.
Lets us take this graphic from The Australian 18 Jan 2013. I have left the copy on the left untouched and on the right have added in black under “18 Jan corr” the correct maximum for the 18th Jan 2013. Then in red I have added the max on 11 Jan 1939 if available – stations below Ivanhoe were discussed in my previous article.

Starting with Bourke which was hotter on the 12 & 13th Jan (48.3 & 48) – obviously no record there on the 18th – and 11 Jan 1939 was 117F or 47.2 – it was 48.3 on 10 Jan 1939.
Griffith was hotter on the 5th & 6th Jan (44.7 & 44.3) obviously no record there on the 18th – and 11 Jan 1939 was 116F or 46.6.
Wagga Wagga was 44.1 on the 18th Jan but felt 117F or 47.2 on 11 Jan 1939.
Ivanhoe recorded 44.9 on the 18th but had hotter days on 5th, 6th & 7th Jan (46.7, 46.4, 45.3) obviously no record there on the 18th – and 11 Jan 1939 was 120F or 48.9.
How does The Australian come to publish the clanger errors for 18 Jan 2013 ? Knowing that January 1939 was hot in Sydney – why not do the stand-out obvious thing and run some checks on NSW sites for Jan 1939 ?
Note to see the full article through The Australian paywall – search the exact headline in Google.

4 thoughts on “Amazing error ridden graphic in The Australian – our national newspaper”

  1. It’s odd that we’re not meant to make the most obvious observation of all: it was hot around January 74 years ago, it’s hot now. Are we also supposed to overlook that Sydney’s driest year and hottest month, according to these same records, were back in the 1800s? Yep, January 1896 was our hottest – and you couldn’t buy a drop of rain in Sydney back in 1888.

    Mind you, in my region, every month but August set its record high between 1910 and 1919. August was hottest in 1946. As for rainfall since the late 1800s, it’s been a lot better since the 1950s.

    We’re supposed to overlook the giant fact that, in spite of floods and the usual Aussie reversals, we were in rain deficit for half a century after the Federation drought. Of course, to the New Man at Year Zero these mere historical reminiscences are the product of bourgeois and kulak recalcitrance. Adjustments shall be made!

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