A reader sent in this news item – Mackay sets January heat record – quoting the Bureau of Meteorology saying “Mackay has set a new record for its hottest January maximum temperature. The weather bureau’s Jeff Sabburg says the mercury hit 39.6 degrees on January 28.”
To understand how dodgy this claim is – there are two BoM recording stations current at Mackay.
Mackay M.O. station 033119 (MO = Met. Office) with data from 1960 and the other is Mackay Aero station 033045 at the airport with a decade of data in the 1950’s then a 30 odd years gap to 1996.
The hottest Jan day claim for the 28th was fom Mackay Aero – there was no hot Jan day record at Mackay M.O. the BoM purpose built official meteorological station for Mackay which had longer continous data than Mackay Aero.
To read more
Let’s take a quick look at the Aero site map – click on the link at – A basic site summary is available in a pdf document.
We see that in 2000 the site was openly exposed
Then in 2001 there is a new bitumen road a few metres to the south and a 1m high gravel topped levee bank to the north.
In 2004 the map indicates that the levee bank has a road along it.
But when we check the 2007 map –
we find the instruments are now squeezed between two raised bitumen roads. All these changes to the instrument environment add up to steadily increasing micro-site changes that will add an artificial warming effect into the Mackay Aero temperature data. Of course both Mackay M.O. and Mackay Aero will be impacted by the urban heat island (UHI) effect due to the growth of Mackay. The extra warming in Mackay Aero is likely due to more warming micro-site changes there compared to Mackay M.O.
The warming of Mackay Aero over Mackay M.O. is proved by the trends exhibited in following graphics.
Mackay Aero warming compared to Mackay Met Office January mean maximum temperature 1996-2013
Mackay Aero warming compared to Mackay Met Office annual mean maximum temperature 1996-2012
Mackay Aero warming compared to Mackay Met Office annual mean minimum temperature
In January I posted – BoM quotes Leonora temperature record at a junkyard – JunkScience indeed – anything to beat up heat. The BoM is at least consistent in relying on poor science.
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