Interesting or Unusual Weather Events
at Armidale NSW
© Compiled by Peter Burr. No part of the following may be reproduced for commercial purposes without prior permission from the author.
25 July 2015
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS CUT
From 1st August 2015 the Bureau of Meteorology will cut the 3pm observation from a large number of weather stations staffed by co-operative observers across Australia. As the Bureau continues to move away from human involvement and more towards technology and automation, 36 manual weather stations in New South Wales, including Armidale, will have their observation roster halved with only the 9am readings remaining.
This means no information in the mid-afternoon will be available for meteorologists or the general public in rural towns where there are no automatic weather stations nearby. This includes the maximum temperature for the day which will not be available until 9am the following day.
Evening television weather reports will be able to give minimum temperatures only, maximums will be estimated.
In Armidale the TV networks will switch to using information from the automatic weather station at the airport, although these temperatures will be a little different from those at the city weather station where minimums in particular are often several degrees colder than at the airport.
The following weather stations in New South Wales are included in the cuts:
56037 ARMIDALE (EAST ARMIDALE) NSW
49002 BALRANALD (RSL) NSW
54003 BARRABA POST OFFICE NSW
69134 BATEMANS BAY (CATALINA COUNTRY CLUB) NSW
48015 BREWARRINA HOSPITAL NSW
47007 BROKEN HILL (PATTON STREET) NSW
48031 COLLARENEBRI (ALBERT ST) NSW
64008 COONABARABRAN (NAMOI STREET) NSW
73142 COOTAMUNDRA AIRPORT NSW
74034 COROWA AIRPORT NSW
59140 DORRIGO (OLD CORAMBA RD) NSW
64009 DUNEDOO POST OFFICE NSW
70263 GOULBURN TAFE NSW
73014 GRENFELL (MANGANESE RD) NSW
73141 GUNDAGAI (WILLIAM ST) NSW
56229 GUYRA HOSPITAL NSW
75032 HILLSTON AIRPORT NSW
63039 KATOOMBA (MURRI ST) NSW
75039 LAKE CARGELLIGO AIRPORT NSW
63226 LITHGOW (COOERWULL) NSW
52020 MUNGINDI POST OFFICE NSW
61051 MURRURUNDI POST OFFICE NSW
61390 NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY NSW
51039 NYNGAN AIRPORT NSW
63063 OBERON (SPRINGBANK) NSW
66124 PARRAMATTA NORTH (MASONS DRIVE) NSW
50031 PEAK HILL POST OFFICE NSW
47029 POONCARIE MAIL AGENCY NSW
59030 SMOKY CAPE LIGHTHOUSE NSW
63077 SPRINGWOOD (VALLEY HEIGHTS) NSW
56032 TENTERFIELD (FEDERATION PARK) NSW
74106 TOCUMWAL AIRPORT NSW
72043 TUMBARUMBA POST OFFICE NSW
48079 WANAARING POST OFFICE NSW
65034 WELLINGTON (AGROWPLOW) NSW
55136 WOOLBROOK NSW
7 Jun 2012
ARMIDALE CITY NIGHTS COLDER THAN AIRPORT
Overnight temperatures on calm clear nights in the Armidale valley are colder than nearby higher areas including the airport.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) automatic weather station at Armidale airport is 5 kilometres from the CBD and is 93 metres higher than the BOM weather station in the city resulting in some often rather large differences in temperatures between the two stations.
The airport is located on an open wind-swept plateau, whereas the city is in a sheltered valley. At the airport the wind often blows all night, but in the protected valley it remains calm. On clear nights with no cloud to act as a “blanket” to reflect outgoing radiation, the ground cools rapidly which chills the layer of air in contact with it. A temperature inversion then occurs as this dense cold air drains down the slopes to accumulate in the lower part of the valley which can be up to four degrees colder than at the top of North and South Hills. This process does not occur at the airport, and minimums there on clear nights have been as much as eight degrees higher than those in the city. The average difference is around two to three degrees.
During the day the situation is reversed. Because the airport is more exposed, the winds are stronger than in the valley where some heating of the air takes place because of its lighter winds. The resulting daytime maximum temperatures are usually about one degree warmer than at the airport.
11 Jul 2010
ARMIDALE’S COLDEST TEMPERATURES
Armidale is located in a valley which is prone to very low temperatures on calm clear winter nights when cold air drainage and temperature inversions are common.
The lowest temperature recorded in Armidale was -11.2C
on June 30th 2010, however we can be certain that it has been colder than this on
a number of occasions in the last century.
Temperatures are currently recorded at a site in East Armidale, but prior to 1981 the readings were taken in the CBD. During a period of 16 years from 1981 to 1997 when both stations were operating, it was determined that temperatures on cold frosty nights at the East Armidale site were averaging around 3 degrees lower than those in the CBD. We can therefore assume that temperatures of -8.0C recorded in the CBD would be approximately equal to -11.0C at East Armidale.
An examination of weather records since 1908 reveals that temperatures have dropped to this equivalent of -11.0C or lower on 17 occasions which are listed below. This means that temperatures of -11.0C or lower occur on average of once every 6.1 years. However it should be noted that 11 of the 17 dates occurred from 1964 to 1971. This was during a period of general climate cooling. Overall there were eight occasions which were colder than June 30th 2010.
Chronological list of temperatures of -8.0C or lower recorded in the CBD from 1908 to 1996. The approximate equivalent at East Armidale is shown in brackets. There was no CBD reading available on the last date in 2010.
-10.0C (-13.0C) on 17/7/1918, -8.3C (-11.3C) on 23/6/1932, -9.1C (-12.1C) on 27/7/1943, -8.1C (-11.1C) on 1/7/1948, -8.1C (-11.1C) on 13/8/1964, -8.2C (-11.2C) on 12/7/1965, -8.2C (-11.2C) on 13/7/1965, -8.2C (-11.2C) on 17/7/1966, -8.1C (-11.1C) on 1/7/1968, -8.7C (-11.7C) on 14/7/1970, -9.3C (-12.3C) on 15/7/1970, -8.7C (-11.7C) on 16/7/1970, -8.7C (-11.7C) on 17/7/1970, -8.3C (-11.3C) on 18/7/1970, -8.2C (-11.2C) on 4/7/1971, -7.7C (-11.0C actual reading at East Arm) on 25/6/1986, -11.2C at East Arm on 30/6/2010.
From this list we can see that the lowest was on July 17th 1918 with a temperature of -13.0C equivalent to today’s location.
Note that five of the dates are in July 1970 which was an exceptionally severe month and the coldest over the 103 year period with an average minimum of -4.0C, equivalent to around -6.5C at East Armidale. July 1970 was also the driest July on record with only 0.5mm recorded for the whole month.
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