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#1360284 - 25/01/2016 10:07 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
Graham M Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 21/01/2002
Posts: 430
Loc: Boambee East near Coffs Harbou...
Ah, the good old days! smile

You've made me feel very guilty. My Stevenson screen is lucky if it gets cleaned a couple of times a year!

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#1363437 - 02/02/2016 15:06 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
MOUNTAIN h2o Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 23/03/2012
Posts: 782
Loc: Hobart Lenah Valley Tas 198 as...
I just question why here in Hobart that the BOM always under predict what we all can see coming as a hot day. Typical examples yesterday 22 degrees predicted max and we ended up with 24.8 degrees. Again today 28 degrees predicted max , currently 31.2 degrees. It happens all the time , why ?

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#1364267 - 05/02/2016 14:25 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: retired weather man]
Trim Tab Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 22/11/2001
Posts: 527
Loc: Mount Osmond, Adelaide, South ...
Originally Posted By: retired weather man
I think the feeling now is that with a massive array of AWS's a few malfunctioning will be ' covered ' by a close by properly working one.

I was flying out to regional centres back in the late 80's just as their Flight Service Units and adjacent Met offices were closing. Automation was to take over allowing everything to continue seamlessly, using electronics they couldn't afford or was yet to be invented. Of course it didn't happen, with just the temp and wind direction the usual response to an actual destination weather report - both typically not a threat to a successful flight. I used to joke that a time lapse webcam pointed at a thermometer, barometer and with a windsock in the background would have covered what we wanted to know nicely - including rain, cloud, viz.

We certainly missed being able to simply call up the local FSU or Met office for an appreciation of the cloud base, fog or 'Was still clear to the east?', especially before we set set off to waste $1000's in fuel just to have a look.

Often all we got from the 'beep-back' radios was a beep - no temp, pressure or wind - for days on end until someone ventured out to see what was wrong with the AWS. CASA/Airservices' NAIPS system was a great idea, but took about 20 years to even become half capable of replacing a bloke on the ground.

The bean-counters responsible for the plan should have had their calculators and PCs taken away, and told to use a pencil and paper from then on :|

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#1364281 - 05/02/2016 15:24 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
Dipole Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 10/01/2013
Posts: 361
Loc: Hervey Bay 48m,Tuross Head
" I used to joke that a time lapse webcam pointed at a thermometer, barometer and with a windsock in the background would have covered what we wanted to know nicely - including rain, cloud, viz"

....actually, that is not a bad idea at all.....

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#1364291 - 05/02/2016 16:27 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
Graham M Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 21/01/2002
Posts: 430
Loc: Boambee East near Coffs Harbou...

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#1364293 - 05/02/2016 16:49 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
Dipole Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 10/01/2013
Posts: 361
Loc: Hervey Bay 48m,Tuross Head
Originally Posted By: Graham M


"We also have the ability to automatically release weather balloons."

Now, that will interesting, hope that webcam is operating smile

Looks like a downgrading of the autosondes (their terminology).This is not looking good at all.

I note in press releases like this, it is common to end on an upbeat note, this is no exception.

"The information that's going to be available to the public is not only not going to change, it's also going to improve in its breadth, and the forecasting services that we provide are certainly going to expand as well," Mr Bergin said.

How ?


Edited by Dipole (05/02/2016 16:55)

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#1364297 - 05/02/2016 17:17 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
GoldCoast Steve Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 19/08/2015
Posts: 21
Loc: Mermaid Beach Qld
With all the forecasts being computer generated these days, it wouldn't surprise me if the BoM closed down the all Capital City offices as well in future. All daily forecasts would generate and come out of the Docklands Melbourne head office.

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#1364312 - 05/02/2016 18:37 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
retired weather man Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 01/07/2007
Posts: 5142
Loc: Wynnum
GoldCoast Steve, As I am an ex insider, you've got it in one....

Also with no one to regularly CLEAN the equipment, there could be some fairly high temps on some occasions.

When we manned the stations, not only did we open the screens multiple times daily to read the equipment, we also kicked out the various wild life that would take up residence inside, sometimes on top of the equipment or nestled around it in the case of snakes.

We washed the screens inside and out to keep them white to reflect the heat. If not washed, over time red dust or black soot in cities, and near airports would build up on the outsides and help to absorb more heat, which of course would raise temps a certain amount, not too good in these days of uncertain global temperature times.

Also with the weather balloons which now are automatically filled and released by the press of a button a few hundred kms away, there could be more failures in bad weather.

With the automated system set amounts of gas are put into the balloons. In rain, the balloons and targets get heavier and ice up soon after the freezing level which varies from about 17000ft in the tropics to below 10000ft in the south. The ice builds up and eventually stops the balloon ascent. So when we would manually inflate the balloons in bad weather, we would 'bomb' the balloons, meaning adding more gas to help get them through the icing up stage.

But of course all these minor problems of accuracy and reliability mean little when the almighty dollar reigns supreme ( not BoM's fault by the way - they have to follow Govt monetary policy ).


Edited by retired weather man (05/02/2016 18:39)
_________________________
Wyn Nth 2019-Jan11.4(150),Feb47.0(152),Mar285.6(136),Apr97.0(92),May37.4(89),Jun30.0(77)YTD508.4(696)

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#1364488 - 06/02/2016 09:24 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
Graham M Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 21/01/2002
Posts: 430
Loc: Boambee East near Coffs Harbou...
Retired Weather Man: I know it is desirable to keep Stevenson screens clean, but as I said in a previous post, I don't clean them nearly as often as you say is necessary. If I lived close to a smokestack at a factory I'd probably do so more often, but the air is pretty clean here, so unless I develop a Lady Macbeth complex, I don't see any reason to clean it "at least weekly". By how much would this affect temperatures? I'd be surprised if it were more than a tenth of a degree. I can live with that. Apart from laziness, the other reason I don't clean the screen more often is that whenever I do, it leaves a gap of an hour or two in the data while the cleaning takes place and it all dries out again. I try to do it on a day when conditions are pretty stable, then I usually guess the missing data and add it manually, but this probably introduces greater inaccuracy than just leaving it alone, and cleaning it every few months.

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#1364503 - 06/02/2016 10:52 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
RC Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 29/09/2007
Posts: 2583
Loc: near Rockhampton, Qld
You can blame societies insatiable demand for improved health services and welfare handouts for the BOM cost cutting decisions. They get less money as more money has to go into the black money hole that is health and welfare.

The ponzi scheme is slowly nearing it's peak.

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#1364510 - 06/02/2016 11:23 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
retired weather man Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 01/07/2007
Posts: 5142
Loc: Wynnum
Graham M, The reason I have detailed these requirements was the Bureau's then insatiable need for accuracy.

BTW, another thing I forgot to mention are the automatic rain gauges. They rely on the tipping bucket principle. Usually a piece of gauze was inserted in the hole of the collection funnel to stop debris etc entering the gauge. This works well but it too needed cleaning as wasps loved building their mud nests there and debris builds up slowing the flow of rain into the gauge and thereby altering intensity readings.

Also the buckets themselves, accurate to 0.2mm - Whether or not gauze is added, dust, dirt, soot builds up in the buckets and if not cleaned out the bucket volume is decreased making the buckets tip more often, having the effect of over reading the rain. Also if no rain has fallen for a long time one bucket gets a build up, the other one doesn't thereby altering the delicate balance of the two buckets, once again causing incorrect rain.

As I live near a rail line with uncovered coal trains 24/7, plus an industrial area stretching upwind 10 km in NW to N winds ( good for my asthma !!!), I have to clean these buckets every few weeks to clean out the black sludge.

I realize the above seems finicky, but I am pointing out the high standards we had to follow on manned stations, these standards seeming to now slip particularly these days when a 0.1C temperature increase causes front page headlines.
_________________________
Wyn Nth 2019-Jan11.4(150),Feb47.0(152),Mar285.6(136),Apr97.0(92),May37.4(89),Jun30.0(77)YTD508.4(696)

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#1364516 - 06/02/2016 11:44 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
Graham M Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 21/01/2002
Posts: 430
Loc: Boambee East near Coffs Harbou...
RWM, I'm happy to report that I clean my tipping bucket gauge much more often than the Stevenson screen. (I also calibrate it every now and then.) I have a lemon-scented gum quite near the gauge (tsk, tsk) which drops all sorts of debris. On several occasions when I've spent several weeks overseas I've returned home to find a big pool in the top of the gauge after the central tube has become clogged. There's a plastic mesh, but it doesn't stop this happening. I missed some record-breaking falls in 2009 (anecdotally 450 mm in 24 hours) thanks to a clogged rain gauge. (On these occasions the BoM's gauge was underwater!) When I go away I have a charming neighbour who collects my mail and discards all the junk catalogues etc, but I haven't had the courage yet to ask her to periodically clean my rain gauge. Maybe one day I will frown


Edited by Graham M (06/02/2016 11:46)

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#1364523 - 06/02/2016 12:25 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: retired weather man]
Thunderstruck Offline
Lightning man

Registered: 10/05/2001
Posts: 15017
Loc: Seaford Meadows, SA
Originally Posted By: retired weather man
GoldCoast Steve, As I am an ex insider, you've got it in one....

Also with no one to regularly CLEAN the equipment, there could be some fairly high temps on some occasions.

When we manned the stations, not only did we open the screens multiple times daily to read the equipment, we also kicked out the various wild life that would take up residence inside, sometimes on top of the equipment or nestled around it in the case of snakes.

We washed the screens inside and out to keep them white to reflect the heat. If not washed, over time red dust or black soot in cities, and near airports would build up on the outsides and help to absorb more heat, which of course would raise temps a certain amount, not too good in these days of uncertain global temperature times.

Also with the weather balloons which now are automatically filled and released by the press of a button a few hundred kms away, there could be more failures in bad weather.

With the automated system set amounts of gas are put into the balloons. In rain, the balloons and targets get heavier and ice up soon after the freezing level which varies from about 17000ft in the tropics to below 10000ft in the south. The ice builds up and eventually stops the balloon ascent. So when we would manually inflate the balloons in bad weather, we would 'bomb' the balloons, meaning adding more gas to help get them through the icing up stage.

But of course all these minor problems of accuracy and reliability mean little when the almighty dollar reigns supreme ( not BoM's fault by the way - they have to follow Govt monetary policy ).


Had to do that many times in Darwin to penetrate thick Nimbostratus or Altostratus, sometimes it worked, but often it did not if the deck was thick enough, I found the bigger sfc area of the balloon just allowed a greater weight of ice to form effectively cancelling the extra gas efforts out. Worked well for thinner layers though.

Don't have such a problem in Adelaide as it doesn't rain enough.

TS cool

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#1364561 - 06/02/2016 16:30 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
retired weather man Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 01/07/2007
Posts: 5142
Loc: Wynnum
Originally Posted By: Graham M
RWM, I'm happy to report that I clean my tipping bucket gauge much more often than the Stevenson screen. (I also calibrate it every now and then.) I have a lemon-scented gum quite near the gauge (tsk, tsk) which drops all sorts of debris. On several occasions when I've spent several weeks overseas I've returned home to find a big pool in the top of the gauge after the central tube has become clogged. There's a plastic mesh, but it doesn't stop this happening. I missed some record-breaking falls in 2009 (anecdotally 450 mm in 24 hours) thanks to a clogged rain gauge. (On these occasions the BoM's gauge was underwater!) When I go away I have a charming neighbour who collects my mail and discards all the junk catalogues etc, but I haven't had the courage yet to ask her to periodically clean my rain gauge. Maybe one day I will frown


Now you can see why I made my comments about the new regime of unmanned stations. I wasn't being sensationalist.
_________________________
Wyn Nth 2019-Jan11.4(150),Feb47.0(152),Mar285.6(136),Apr97.0(92),May37.4(89),Jun30.0(77)YTD508.4(696)

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#1365624 - 13/02/2016 18:15 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
MOUNTAIN h2o Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 23/03/2012
Posts: 782
Loc: Hobart Lenah Valley Tas 198 as...
One would have thought that when Hobart peaked last evening at 27 degrees that the BOM would have adjusted todays forecast up from 27 degrees. But no , and guess what 30.3 degrees .

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#1367088 - 23/02/2016 15:22 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
J Pabo Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 12/10/2012
Posts: 431
Loc: Clydesdale NSW
I am just putting this forward:

If the BOM is not cleaning and maintaining their equipment as thoroughly as they had in the past (as per RWM posts), would you be expecting that the rest of the world's Meteorological Services being doing the same, due to the winding down of their funding?

Would this also be a cause of global warming, due to not cleaning and calibrating their equipment to a high standard thus giving our false readings?

If that is the case then, any Meteorological department that is not taking the proper procedures and maintenance of their equipment would be failing as scientists, due to the data being contaminated and falsely analysed. This would also give fuel to the those who are saying that the "greenhouse" and "global warming" is just false, because the data that these "scientists" is inaccurate!

Can the BOM and government somehow rectify this situation with little cost? I think they can, especially now that unemployment is rising due to a slowing economy, and that those who are receiving unemployment benefits can be used maintaining these equipment with the adequate training as work for the dole scheme. But wouldn't that be essentially be re-employing staff from the BOM that have been made redundant previously, only to do their job on a lower pay?? Talk about Work-Choices!!! crazy

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#1378619 - 07/06/2016 09:56 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
kizz Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 11/02/2002
Posts: 2200
Loc: Beacon Hill, Sydney 152m asl
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national...606-gpcc32.html

I wonder if this is part of the stuff that Blair does where there is always older data that has yet to be digitised.

I have done this stuff in the past. Actuary tables and insurance data sets etc.
Scan and OCR. Any errors can be manually checked.

Couldn't you get some meteorology or climatology students to do this? Great opportunity for them to get some paid work and a bit of exposure to the BoM's work.
_________________________
PWS
AWEKAS
WOW

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#1383806 - 02/08/2016 12:56 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
Stace84 Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/04/2011
Posts: 111
Loc: Toowoomba
Sorry to resurrect this thread, haven't been here in quite a while.

I knew the govt was cutting funding to the BoM, but I had no idea it was getting THIS bad.

I am an active member of the ALP in North Toowoomba, I am willing to put forward a motion to be carried at a national level to have funding increased if anyone would like to get in touch with me with details on what is currently being done at the BoM now as far as services go and any suggestions on what should be done to improve. I won't be able to do it at this month's meeting as I already have 3 major motions to put forward to go to the regional conference next week, but I can get one ready before the National conference (no idea when that one is yet, will have to ask someone).

Just shoot me a private message if you want to chat about it.
_________________________
The best way to conquer our fears is to face them head on, and go Leroy Jenkins on it.

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#1483047 - 29/12/2018 13:44 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
Graham M Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 21/01/2002
Posts: 430
Loc: Boambee East near Coffs Harbou...
Three years on, and nothing much has changed. This time the forecasts are way out in the other direction. Our forecast maxima have consistently been four to six degrees too low for a while now. Yesterday we reached 29, and as far as I could see, with a strengthening northerly influence, it would be much the same today. But the BoM predicted 24. It was 29 again.

Computer-generated forecasts often are accurate. But there are occasions when the algorithms are plain wrong for extended periods. A real live forecaster with his feet on the ground would never make the same mistakes.

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#1483062 - 29/12/2018 17:52 Re: Losing faith in the BoM [Re: Graham M]
Petros Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 30/12/2002
Posts: 8025
Loc: Maffra, Central Gippsland, Vi...
The BOM do an excellent job in predicting temps and rainfall in my location Nth Gipplsand Victoria.

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