This dataset contains digitised versions of 39 sources of historical temperature, rainfall and pressure information for the southeastern Australian (SEA) region. It also contains monthly and seasonal anomalies of southern and eastern SEA climate variability for 1788 to 1859.

The dataset was developed as part of the South Eastern Australian Recent Climate History (SEARCH) project.
Project details: Ashcroft L, Gergis J, Karoly D, 2014. A historical climate dataset for southeastern Australia, 1788–1859, Geosciences Data Journal, 1, 158–178.

Metadata

Metadata includes:

  • Detailed information about the location of the original documents containing each data source, the observation method and instrumentation used, and any biases identified in the observations.
  • The list of sources (Table 1) , from Ashcroft et al. (2014).

Data

Units and values

  • All temperature data are in degrees Fahrenheit unless otherwise stated.
  • All pressure data are station level pressure and are given in inches of mercury unless otherwise stated.
  • All rainfall data are in inches unless otherwise stated.
  • Missing values are given by −99 or −99.99.

Southeastern Australia (SEA) data

SEA data includes:

  • The original digitised data for 39 historical southeastern Australian climate data sources described in Ashcroft et al. (2014).
    • Data are provided in .csv format.
    • The number of each source corresponds to the number given in Table 1(the list of sources).
    • Some sources are divided into sections, to show that weather instruments have moved or that the observing technique has changed

Monthly and seasonal anomalies

Monthly and seasonal anomalies of maximum temperature (Tmax) and minimum temperature (Tmin) (estimated from fixed-hourly observations as described in the project publication), rainfall, MSLP and rainday for eastern and southern SEA, 1788–1859. Anomalies have been calculated relative to 1910–1950 gridded and observational data, and then standardised to zero before being combined.

Southern southeastern Australia

Eastern southeastern Australia

Map of eastern and southern southeastern Australia
Regions defined as south and eastern southeastern Australia

List of data sources with linked data

Abbreviations and details

Sources marked with an asterisk were obtained in digital form only. In the ‘Frequency’ column, ‘Daily’ indicates that at least one observation was taken each day. ‘Monthly’ means that only monthly summaries or totals are available. P represents atmospheric pressure, T represents temperature, R represents numerical rainfall values and RD represents rainday counts. Y means the variable is available from a source, N means it is not. The ‘Metadata availability’ column indicates the level of information known about the observer, instrument location or instrument type is known.

1788–1799

No Source name Occupation State City Start month Start year End month End year Frequency P T R RD Metadata availability
1

Bradley, William (HMS Sirius)

 

Naval officer NSW Sydney 1 1788 9 1788 Daily Y Y N N High
2 Dawes, William Astronomer NSW Sydney 9 1788 12 1791 Daily Y Y N Y High

1800–1820

No Source name Occupation State City Start month Start year End month End year Frequency T P R RD Metadata availability
3 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 1 , 2 , rain days Unknown NSW Sydney 3 1803 5 1805 Daily Y Y N Y Low

1821–1840

No Source name Occupation State City Start month Start year End month End year Frequency T P R RD Metadata availability
4 Goulburn, Frederick Colonial secretary NSW Sydney 5 1821 4 1822 Daily Y Y N Y Low
5 Port Macquarie Unknown NSW Port Macquarie 1 1822 12 1822 Daily Y Y N Y None
6 Hobart town Unknown TAS Hobart 2 1822 12 1822 Daily Y Y N Y None
7 Sydney Hospital Military officers NSW Sydney 4 1822 3 1823 Daily Y Y N Y Low
8 Macquarie Harbour 1 , 2 Unknown TAS Macquarie Harbour 4 1822 1 1823 Daily Y Y N Y None
9 Parramatta NSW Governor, amateur astronomer NSW Parramatta 5 1822 3 1823 Daily Y Y Y Y Low
10 Brisbane, Thomas NSW Governor, amateur astronomer NSW Parramatta 5 1822 3 1823 Monthly Y N Y N Low
11 Sydney Gazette Unknown NSW Parramatta 4 1823 3 1824 Monthly N N Y N None
12 Sydney Monitor 1 , 2 , 3 Unknown NSW Sydney 7 1826 12 1841 Daily N Y N Y None
13 Sydney Herald Unknown NSW Sydney 4 1831 7 1838 Daily N Y N Y None
14 Dunlop, James * Astronomer NSW Parramatta 1 1832 12 1844 Monthly N N Y N Low
15 Milligan, Joseph Doctor TAS Hampshire Hills 1 1835 12 1839 Monthly N N Y N Low
16 Fawkner, John Pascoe Explorer VIC Melbourne 11 1835 7 1836 Daily N Y N Y Medium
17 Robinson, George Augustus Chief Protector of Aboriginals TAS Flinders Island 1 1836 12 1839 Daily N Y N N Low
18 Lempriere, Thomas 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 Public official TAS Port Arthur 5 1837 12 1842 Daily Y Y Y Y Medium
19 Wyatt, William 1, 2, 3 Doctor SA Adelaide 1 1838 12 1847 Monthly Y Y N Y Low
20 Kingston, George Strickland Surveyor, politician SA Adelaide 1 1839 12 1879 Daily N N Y Y Medium
21 Chronicle Unknown NSW Sydney 12 1839 5 1848 Daily N Y N Y None

1841–1860

No Source name Observer Occupation State City Start month Start year End month End year Frequency T P R RD Metadata availability
22 Wickham, John Naval officer QLD Brisbane 1 1840 12 1850 Monthly N N Y N High
23 Edward Peacock, Port Jackson Government Gazette* 1 , 2 Trained Convict NSW Sydney 4 1840 12 1855 Monthly Y Y Y Y High
24 Port Phillip Government Gazette 1 , 2 Trained Convict VIC Melbourne 7 1840 6 1851 Monthly Y Y Y Y Low
25 Port Macquarie Government Gazette 1 , 2 Trained Convict NSW Port Macquarie 8 1840 11 1851 Monthly Y Y Y Y Low
26 Hobarton Observatory Astronomers TAS Hobart 1 1841 12 1848 Hourly Y N N N Medium
27 Abbott, Francis Watchmaker, amateur meteorologist TAS Hobart 1 1841 12 1870 Monthly Y Y Y N High
28 Stevens, Charles Schoolmaster NSW Dooral 11 1841 12 1846 Daily N Y Y Y Low
29 Purser, Edward Soldier NSW Castle Hill 2 1842 9 1844 Daily N Y Y Y Low
30 King, Phillip Parker Naval officer, hydrographer NSW Port Stephens 1 1843 12 1847 Monthly Y Y Y N Low
31 Adelaide Survey Office * Unknown SA Adelaide 4 1843 12 1851 Monthly Y Y N N None
32 Waugh, James Farmer NSW Jamberoo 6 1843 6 1847 Daily N Y N Y Low
33 Watson, David Schoolmaster and clerk NSW Campbelltown 11 1845 11 1847 Daily N Y Y Y Low
34 Pugh, William Russ Doctor TAS Launceston 8 1846 12 1849 Daily Y Y Y Y Low
35 Portland Guardian Unknown VIC Portland 3 1849 8 1851 Daily N Y N Y None
36 Cape Otway Government Gazette Unknown VIC Cape Otway 1 1851 12 1851 Monthly Y Y Y N None
37 Slade, Edgar 1 , 2 , 3 Policeman, horticulturalist VIC Alberton 7 1853 1 1857 Daily Y Y Y Y Low
38 Sydney Morning Herald Trained convict NSW Sydney 1 1855 11 1856 Daily Y Y Y Y High
39 Jevons, William Stanley 1 , 2 Gold assayer, amateur meteorologist NSW Sydney 8 1856 4 1858 Daily Y Y Y Y Medium