Monday, 17 August 2015

Australian Bureau of Meteorology Station Data Review –continued.

In a previous post I address the question "Are the weather station descriptive data for the CDO and ACORN-SAT datasets consistent?"

In this post I address the question "How do the operational timespans of ACORN-SAT and CDO weather stations compare?"

You'll remember that ACORN-SAT is the "Australian Climate Observation Reference Network - Surface Air Temperature" dataset.  It is derived from the BOM’s Climate Data Online dataset.
Click here to visit the CDO site at the BOM

Here’s a quick summary of my findings:

1. The 112 ACORN-SAT weather stations are actually combinations of 202 CDO stations. It’s unclear why site identifications numbers were combined.

Here’s an example for Mackay, Queensland.

In CDO, Mackay had four different site identification numbers (033297, 033046, 033047 and 033119). In ACORN-SAT, these have all been combined under a single site number 033119. The identity of the other three sites is lost.

Mackay    033119    033297    MACKAY COMPARISON
Mackay    033119    033046    MACKAY POST OFFICE
Mackay    033119    033047    TE KOWAI EXP STN
Mackay    033119    033119    MACKAY M.O

2. There are 1703 CDO sites that could have been used for ACORN-SAT.  Just 202 were chosen for this purpose. It’s unclear exactly how these choices were made.

3. The BOM did not use any temperature data prior to 1910 for ACORN-SAT, despite data for one station being available back as far as 1855. The BOM explains that it didn’t include pre-1910 data as it was unreliable. Other claim the that1890s was a particularly hot period in Australia. In a future post I’ll look at the pre 1910 data in more detail.

Click here to download the full PDF document

The full PDF contains lots of detail about the stations, their starting dates of operation and the total time that various stations operated.

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