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How did the BOM get it so WRONG?

The Australian WINTER of 2018 is likely to be warmer and drier than average the Bureau of Meteorology confidently stated on May 31st. 

“South Australia will have a dry, mild winter with warmer than average days and nights,” climatologist Jonathan Pollock added.

The Reality…

Official forecasts said Friday, June 1 in Mackay wouldn’t dip below 11 degrees — temperatures of 5.5 degrees were recorded with a windchill of 3.1 degrees.

Record cold temperatures have also swept through many regions — and we’re only halfway through winter — including a 24 year old cold record falling in Ballarat, and Bendigo seeing its coldest July day in 22 years.

aussie cold
Source: Rick Box

So how did the BOM get it so WRONG?

Well here’s their explanation, from the BOMs forecaster Dave Crock:

“What the issue is, is the system we use to forecast does not do a great job when we get a change of season.”


The BOM already has a shaky past when it comes to cold temperatures. Time and time again minimum temperature recordings are mysteriously missing from official reports, thus pushing average temperatures up.

Even this statement of record cold temperatures in June — buried right at the end of the monthly summary — feels like a pained admission:

“During the third week of June a small number of stations in the eastern half of Australia observed a record cold night for June, but nearly all were sites with less than 30 years of record.”

I can’t wait for their subduing of official statements re: July, which is shaping up to be an incredibly frigid month.

Ignoring the Sun

The BOMs models don’t use the sun’s activity as a barometer.

Only those forecast formulas that incorporate changes in sunspot activity should be relied upon going forward.

A drop in solar activity, like the one we’re seeing now, will obviously have an impact on our weather.

Even amateur forecasters that use the sun, like David Taylor who runs the East Coast Weather Facebook page, predicted this Australian winter would be the coldest on record with temperatures and snowfall reaching shocking levels compared to previous years.

As we enter deeper into the Grand Solar Minimum winters will progressively worsen, as they did during the Dalton and Maunder Minimums for which we have extensive historical documentation.

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