Brisbane tipped to hit 41° on 4 Jan 2014 but reality was 38.7°

Typical headline beating up what is normal hot weather.

Reality not so glam. for the warmists.

For over a week now I have been puzzled by TV weather ladies talking about 50° here and there at places back of the black stump. Has anybody seen a 50° clock in anywhere yet. I suppose it must happen sometime – after all the BoM adjusted their map scales to go over 50.

28 thoughts on “Brisbane tipped to hit 41° on 4 Jan 2014 but reality was 38.7°”

  1. Warwick,

    Happy New Year to you. Glad to see you flagged this over exaggeration that has been going on for several weeks now in Brisbane. After their first couple of weeks of failure where none of the forecast maximums were reached in Brisbane they focused on the inland with the 50C projections, which I have not been able to find in the BOM records. Of course once there was a chance that the hot air from inland was going to approach Brisbane the local networks cranked it up again. It has been a hot day here in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane and so stayed inside with the air-con on for the FIRST TIME this SUMMER. Now that is a record for the past 15 years we have been here. Of course all the coastal districts of Brisbane were quite comfortable, no records there. It’s why so many people move to Queensland, with only a couple of hot days each summer and perfect for most of the year.

    cheers, Basil

  2. Warwick,
    I should probably be doing this myself but would it be possible to capture 24 hour forecasts and maximums achieved and graph them over recent times . Im pretty sure that if that was done in my neck of the woods then the disconnect would be palpable.

  3. Warwick

    Would you like to correct this blog with the actual observed maximum temperature? You and I both know it wasn’t 38c! For completeness – and balance – you might also like to note some of the maxima in nearby suburbs ..


  4. “Has anybody seen a 50° clock in anywhere yet. I suppose it must happen sometime – after all the BoM adjusted their map scales to go over 50.”

    I see from that after the BoM dropped Cloncurry’s old record down the memory chute, on the ground that the screen was made from beer cans, the record on a standard screen is 50.7°C at Oodnadatta in 1960. Qwickipedia still has that figure. So the BoM may not be using the top of their map scales too often, unless they go back to beer can screens. Or stick the screens in car parks (see second photo at

  5. I see that Darwin has set records for January maximum temperature. Want to make a small bet, Warwick, that we see (or don’t see) a 50C maximum temperature in the Pilbara up to the 14th of this month? Happy to donate $20 to a (registered) charity of your choice if it doesn’t happen.

    Would be more than delighted if your co-conspirators join in the wager! Sadly I can’t match dollar for dollar however 🙂

  6. I’ll even double down and name the place and the day .. Emu Creek Station on Thursday the 9th .. (but in doing so I’ll claim 49.6 rounds to 50)

  7. Does anybody know how thermometers used 50 years ago vary from the platinum-tipped electronic recording thermometers of today? Today’s therms seem to pick up movements in temperature within seconds. I have seen a temp change of over a degree in a minute. I’m sure the older therms would not have been so accurate.

  8. OK George, look 50 has happened in the past and will happen again – but to make some interest I will donate one $20 note to the Salvation Army if 50.0°C is recorded one or more times in the Pilbara up to 14th Jan. Not 49.9 mind you. Got to be 50.0 or higher on these pages –
    Not sure what you are talking about 49.6 for. Thats my offer. The Pilbara being the BoM WA forecast district 2.

    Ian – re the response time of various recording devices – I recall a discussion here in last couple of years ? I thought the conclusion was that modern thermocouples were probably quicker responders than traditional thermometers.

  9. Wazsah
    I suppose my point is that temps taken electronically will record sudden spikes where as older thermometers would not have done so. I recall Sydney’s top temp of 45.8C (recorded at 2:53pm in Jan this year) showed that a few minutes prior to that it was 44.9C and a few minutes after it was 44.8C. This probably could not have happened in Jan 1939 when it reached 45.3C.

    Comparing record temps using different methods of recording brings into question the veracity of the data.

  10. Robbed – I was robbed! Emu Creek hasn’t reported for days! Was too hot for them to get to the temperature gauge me thinks .. anyway $20 off to the McGrath Foundation .. I concede that the Pilbara is done for .. now that earlier seabreezes have set in on the NW coast..

    The electronicity of the recording device is mostly irrelevant BTW – the key elements are the mass of the object (thermometer) and its specific heat capacity. Given than the glass used in most mercury thermometers, and bimetallic thermometers, have not dissimilar specific heat capacities, the point is mostly moot.

    It is, really and truly, getting hotter. Not fibbing and not making it up. Not making any money out of it either.

  11. George says
    ‘I see that Darwin has set records for January maximum temperature.’
    Not sure what you mean. Darwin’s highest temp for Jan was in 1896 with 37.7C.
    In 1892, there were 8 consecutive days of 36.0C+ with 3 days of 37.0C+.
    Highest temp ever was 40.4C in Oct 1892.
    It’s all there in the BOM records.
    Beats 36.1C this month.

  12. Hi Ian. Was on News radio. There was a site move. John Daly talked about this in some of his blogs .. here is an excerpt ..

    “.. the main temperature station moved to the radar station at the newly built Darwin airport in January 1941. The temperature station had previously been at the Darwin Post Office in the middle of the CBD, on the cliff above the port. Thus, there is a likely factor of removal of a slight urban heat island effect from 1941 onwards. However, the main factor appears to be a change in screening. The new station located at Darwin airport from January 1941 used a standard Stevenson screen. However, the previous station at Darwin PO did not have a Stevenson screen. Instead, the instrument was mounted on a horizontal enclosure without a back or sides. The postmaster had to move it during the day so that the direct tropical sun didn’t strike it! Obviously, if he forgot or was too busy, the temperature readings were a hell of a lot hotter than it really was! I am sure that this factor accounts for almost the whole of the observed sudden cooling in 1939-41.”

  13. According to this 1890 photograph from State Library of the N.T. Darwin PO had a Stevenson Screen then.

    1995 paper by Warwick S. Hughes, Comment on D.E. Parker, “Effects of Changing Exposure of Thermometers at Land Stations.” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 15, pp. 231-234. Four scanned pages ~100Kb each
    1890 photo of Stevenson Screen at Darwin PO 1890 – State Library of the N.T.

  14. Thanks wazsah
    I remember that photo of the SS in Darwin but forgot where I had seen it. Many of the main cities had SS prior to 1890 and most places in Australia had them by 1910/11.
    And George, if the thermometers had sun directly on them, the temps would have been much hotter than those recorded.

  15. Are you lads seriously arguing that the characteristics of the observing site did not change significantly with the move to the airport? should put a nail in that argument. You’re going to need to do a lot better than that!

    However, there has been another exaggeration .. Perth was forecast to reach 44c yesterday but only got to 43.3c! Although, to be fair, some suburbs did exceed 44c.

    Even worse, the minimum last night was forecast to be 28c but only fell to 29.7c – an all time record! A reverse exaggeration, if you like.

  16. No, we’re saying that the Darwin PO site had a SS as per the photo, not a thermometer stuck on a wall as you suggested.
    And yes, I agree, that changing locations will affect temperature.
    For example, Casino had two w/s within 300m of each other (same elevation). The manual w/s (now closed) sometimes recorded up to 1C higher than the AWS due to the tarred road and buildings nearby. Part of the UH effect, I suspect.

  17. Just checking Perth’s minimum temp. On 8th Feb, 1933 the min temp was 29.3C (now beaten by the recent record).
    However, the ACORN temp has been adjusted down to 27.6C, a drop of 1.6C. Wow.
    On 3rd Feb, 1962 the temp was also 29.3C. The ACORN temp is recorded as 28.8C.
    No wonder it has become warmer.

  18. Ian – I didn’t suggests anything – the late John Daly – and associates – did. There appears to be a Stevenson screen there in 1890 – albeit with shocking exposure. That doesn’t say anything about the next 51 years.

  19. Fair enough, George. However, the records I’m referring to were in 1892 so I suppose it would have been there then.

  20. Warwick

    I notice that some of the very high temperatures through the SE in recent days have been under forecast. As an example Adelaide’s Tuesday forecast (AFAIK) was for 42, but 45.1 was recorded. I should be surprised that you choose only to highlight over forecasts – but of course I’m not. Is there is a reason you only report one side of the story?

    My recommendation would be for bloggers who want to be taken seriously to make a serious attempt to report science in an even handed and balanced manner.


  21. Thanks for mentioning George – I see that it is not only Adelaide, a quick check shows similar for Melbourne and Canberra where forecast max were exceeded.

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