All Time Temperature Records In South Australia
By Paul Homewood
Yesterday I looked at the Australian BOM’s claims of new record high temperatures set in New South Wales during January 2013. They claim that 49 new records have been set for January, but further examination shows that only four of these sites have records back to 1939, when summer temperatures were much higher. And of these four, three were either in Sydney or at an airport, leaving just one unaffected by UHI.
We are, of course, well used to seeing the same sort of misleading claims emanating from NOAA about US record temperatures.
Today, I am extending the net to South Australia. BOM claim, in their “Monthly Weather Review” for January 2013:-
The hottest January in South Australia was 2001, but 1932, 1939 and 1960 were also much hotter, as this graph shows.
So, as the longest running of these five stations, Mount Gambier, only goes back to 1942, it does not take a genius to work out that these “records” might not mean all they seem, particularly since Mount Gambier is an airport site.
The BOM also have this useful site, which lists extremes:-
The highest January temperatures recorded in South Australia were all set in 1960, except for the record set in Moomba this year. However, since Moomba only started measuring in 1995, this record is meaningless.
Furthermore, Oodnadatta and Marree only commenced operations in 1940, suggesting that even higher temperatures may have been recorded if they had been operating in the 1930’s. And Whyalla only ran from 1957-2001.
(All station data can be downloaded here.)
The only long running South Australian station, with records before 1940, appears to be Port Lincoln. Although this shut in 2002, it is significant that the all time record there was 45.6C, set on 10th January 1939.
It is amply apparent that the top temperatures set this summer are not as high as those set in 1960. It also seems highly likely that even higher ones were set in 1939, as was the case in NSW. It is a pity the Bureau did not point this out.