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