Already Hottest January on Record for St Helens, Tasmania

LAST week, Andrew Johnson, CEO of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, wrote that the Bureau’s “stewardship of Australia’s temperature record” had been found to be scientifically sound [1]. He also claimed it was in accordance with World Meteorological Organisation guidelines.

In fact, it’s not.

If it was scientifically sound, or in accordance with WMO guidelines, then it might at least be accredited – but it’s not.

“The Bureau has quality system certification in place (ISO 9001) for its aviation forecasting activities, to conform with the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization. This certification covers the management tools and processes ensuring that all the 80 or so meteorological products the Bureau produces meet client needs. The certification does not extend to measurement quality, including AWS data and messages, nor to the associated derived quantities and data streams.

“To address measurement quality, the WMO recommends that national meteorological agencies have ISO 17025 accreditation of key measurement processes. Accreditation covers the technical procedures and processes that ensure the traceability and integrity of measurements, as well as the technical competence of the staff making the measurements. While the Bureau does not currently hold ISO 17025 accreditation, it has internal processes, technical procedures, and measurement traceability and integrity that are largely in accordance with ISO 17025 requirements.”

The above two paragraphs are a direct quote from page 11 of a document entitled ‘Review of the Bureau of Meteorology’s Automatic Weather Stations’ published by the Bureau in September 2017.

To be clear, we have an organisation, costing the Australian tax payer about 1 million dollars per day, that operates largely in accordance with its own standards – that are ever changing.

This January, for the very first time ever, we even have weather stations that have already computed the monthly average maximum temperature for January.

Screen shot of the ‘Monthly mean maximum temperature’ page for St Helens Aerodrome at the Bureau’s website

I am writing and posting this note at my blog on Monday 22nd January – a full 9 days before the end of the month, before all the daily values are in for January 2018.

Of course, the already published value for January 2018 indicates that this January 2018 was the hottest ever at St Helens – measuring 25.9 degrees Celsius, when the monthly mean maximum temperature is 22.9. That makes this January a full 3 degrees warmer at St Helens – consistent with man-made global warming theory.

Considering the daily maximum temperature values so far for St Helens… the running average is 24 degrees Celsius.

The daily maximum temperatures so far actually recorded at St Helens this January 2018

This premonition that January’s mean monthly maximum temperature at St Helen is 25.9 degrees Celsius may all be an administrative error or a technical glitch. It may be easily explained and corrected. Then again, climate scientists across the world have form on this sort of thing. Remember the Climategate email sent from Geoff Jenkins to Phil Jones on 22 November 1996 suggesting they just make-up a value for Australia for December 1996 [2].



Letter from Andrew Johnson, CEO, Bureau of Meteorology to The Australian newspaper published 18th January 2018


Subject: 1996 global temperatures
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 11:23 +0000 (GMT)


Remember all the fun we had last year over 1995 global temperatures,
with early release of information (via Oz), “inventing” the December
monthly value, letters to Nature etc etc?

I think we should have a cunning plan about what to do this year,
simply to avoid a lot of wasted time.

I have been discussing with David P and suggest the following:

1. By 20 Dec we will have land and sea data up to Nov

2. David (?) computes the December land anomaly based on 500hPa
heights up to 20 Dec.

3. We assume that Dec SST anomaly is the same as Nov

4. We can therefore give a good estimate of 1996 global temps by 20

5. We feed this selectively to Nick Nuttall (who has had this in the
past and seems now to expect special treatment) so that he can write
an article for the silly season. We could also give this to Neville

6. We explain that data is provisional and how the data has been
created so early (ie the estimate for Dec) and also

7. We explain why the globe is 0.23k (or whatever the final figure is)
cooler than 95 (NAO reversal, slight La Nina). Also that global annual
avg is only accuirate to a few hundredths of a degree (we said this
last year – can we be more exact, eg PS/MS 0.05K or is this to big??)


9. We relesae the final estimate on 20 Jan, with a joint UEA/MetO
press release. It may not evoke any interest by then.

10. For questions after the release to Nuttall, (I late Dec, early
Jan) we give the same answer as we gave him.

Are you happy with this, or can you suggest something better (ie
simpler)? I know it sound a bit cloak-and-dagger but its just meant to
save time in the long run.

Im copying this to DEP and CKF also for comments.



UPDATE: Within hours of this blog post the value for January 2018 was removed by the Bureau for St Helens, and other sites.

8 Responses to Already Hottest January on Record for St Helens, Tasmania

  1. cohenite January 22, 2018 at 6:22 pm #

    Almost as good as the 954 temperatures where the minimum is greater than the maximum.

  2. spangled drongo January 22, 2018 at 8:33 pm #

    If their forecasts are close they may well be right, but it is a very unscientific way to produce data.

    They probably reckon that the east coast current which is holding such high SSTs isn’t going to allow much change before the end of the month but it will be interesting to see how smart they are.

  3. Dave Vought January 23, 2018 at 12:31 am #

    How many times do they have to be caught out dodging the books before the government acts.
    We need a Royal commission into this lot.
    Obviously still getting up to their old tricks.
    Keep them on their toes Jennifer.

  4. Tom in St. Johns January 23, 2018 at 5:48 am #

    Looks like they just took the first day of the month and used that figure. Poor practice at the least.

  5. Joshua January 23, 2018 at 6:38 am #

    Looks like they have removed the 2018 row from that data now.

  6. Jack January 24, 2018 at 9:00 am #

    Good news vreat beach weather before the sleet sts in and the roads are covered in black ice.

  7. Ian George January 31, 2018 at 6:37 am #

    Any explanation for the ‘stuff up’ yet. I wonder if it has happened elsewhere?

    As of yesterday (30th Jan), St Helens av max mean is 24.8C and with a cool 19C forecast for today should be down to 24.6 for Jan.
    Hottest Jan for the AP (since 2001) but not in the top 10% for the SH Post Office(1957 – 2001).

  8. hunter February 4, 2018 at 4:04 am #

    Why are climate related organizations exempt from normal rules of behavior?
    Instead of taking the well documented failures and discrepancies as a starting point for an outside review, the BOM basically tells the Australian tax payer to eff-off and self audits, fibbing even more.
    What happened to Australia that allows this to happen?
    “Steward of data”….did the author smirk as he wrote that little line of irony?

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