About Weather Station Directory

Introduction

The Weather Station Directory provides a summary of the types of climate data available from the Bureau of Meteorology. The tables do not include a list for every element that is available, nor do they include an entry if there is less than one year of data available. Where an element is not included, assumptions can generally be made about its availability. The table below will help you identify the element you need to look for in the Weather Station Directory.

Solar Radiation listings are provided with their own format description.

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Related elements

Unlisted element Listed element to use
Minimum air temperature Maximum air temperature
Wet bulb temperature Dew point
Soil temperature at 20, 50 & 100 cm depth 10 cm soil temperature
Relative humidity Dew point
Minimum water temperature in evaporimeter Evaporimeter - max water temp
Visual observations e.g. weather, visibility Total cloud amount
Sea related observations Sea state

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Format of the site lists

Column heading Explanation
Site Bureau of Meteorology station number.
Name Station name.
Lat Latitude to three decimal places.
Lon Longitude to three decimal places.
Start First month/year when observations of this type are available.
End Last month/year when observations of this type are available.
Years Equivalent years with observations (= total months with data/12). This takes into account gaps, therefore the start year could be 1940 and the end year 1960, but there may be only 10 years worth of data. Also, there may be differences in the number of months from year to year.
% Percentage complete. This figure is the estimated completeness of observations averaged over all months of record, taking gaps into account. As this does not indicate where gaps occur it is a crude guide to record quality.
A AWS (Automatic Weather Station) indicator. Y = Yes, this station currently has an AWS. N = No AWS at the site. The presence of  an AWS does not imply that there is no observer at the site. The date of installation of the first AWS at each relevant site is available as a downloadable spreadsheet file.

Some lists have an extra field, labelled "Obs". This gives an average of the number of observations per day of this type. This applies to elements like wind speed which are usually measured more than once a day. A station may have had different observation schedules throughout its history of operation.

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Detailed site information

This information (provided in pdf format), which is updated periodically, provides basic climate metadata (information about data) for individual sites. Notes about the metadata are included in the pdf file. Extended information, including equipment listings, is also available by contacting the Bureau. The station description, on page one of the document, is not yet available.

The Data Holdings - starting on page two - is useful for quickly determining the periods for which data are available at a site, including finding years where some or all observations are missing. It summarises the observations available in the Australian Data Archive for Meteorology (ADAM) at the time the information was compiled, and provides additional information to the site lists of the Weather Station Directory, but on a site by site basis.

Example of data holdings diagram
  1. The climate element being summarised (see Related elements).
  2. The month and year of the first observation. This might not be the same for all elements.
  3. The month and year of the last observation. For open stations still observing this element, the value will be the date the information was compiled.
  4. An estimate of how complete the record is, between the first and last dates.
  5. The number of days, excluding complete months, of missing data.
  6. The number of complete months without data (for that element).
  7. The colour code which represents data completeness on a yearly basis.
  8. The year-by-year availability of data, with dividers representing the start of the decade.

The Data Holdings for synoptic observations (observations within a day used for weather forecasting) has an additional field, which provides the average frequency of observations per day, calculated over the complete period of record. Data Holdings for half-hourly and one minute data have not been sub-divided into their individual elements, but represent the observation report in total. An individual element may be missing, for example, if there was an equipment malfunction.

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Related Links

  • This page URL:  http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/cdo/about/about-directory.shtml
  • Weather station directory:   http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data-services/#tabs=1
  • Start date of AWS:  ftp://ftp.bom.gov.au/anon2/home/ncc/metadata/sitelists/aws_firstdate.xls
  • Climate averages home page:  http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/index.shtml
  • Bureau of Meteorology website:  http://www.bom.gov.au

Page updated: 02 November 2006