The RCS stations surveyed in this installment include:
- 008039 - Dalwallinu (WA)
- 009510 - Bridgetown Post Office (WA)
- 010035 - Cunderdin (WA)
- 026026 - Robe (SA)
- 037051 - Winton Post Office (Qld)
- 073054 - Wyalong Post Office (NSW)
How many CRN1 criteria does this site meet?
- Flat horizontal ground surrounded by a clear surface ?
- Grass/low vegetation ground cover <10 centimeters high ?
- 100m from buildings ?
Bridgetown Post Office (1887)
You've got to love this one - sitting in a back yard surrounded by tall brick buildings. CRN1 status: Fail.
This has to be one of the favourites so far - the station is just dumped in a lot along with corrugated iron fences and builders' rubble. CRN1 status: Fail.
It looks like the original building is gone, and the station is now surrounded by what looks like a steel fence on all sides. A check of Google Earth also shows that there are sealed roads on three sides, all at less than 50m distance. If the photographer had stood at the other end to take the picture, you would also see that the ocean is roughly 60m in the background. CRN1 status: Fail.
Winton Post Office (1884)
Anyone see any problems here? Other than being next to a building with a tin roof, a concrete parking bay, an asphalted road, and behind a shade bush? Not sure what the water sprinkler contributes to the overall accuracy, either. CRN1 status: Fail.
Wyalong Post Office (1895)
Is there anything right about this picture? On an ungrassed surface, next to what looks like a steel fence, behind a building with an air conditioner unit on the roof and paved walkways? A "high quality" climate data gathering station? (A quick check of the BoM site shows that this station appears to be missing data between 1957-1965). CRN1 status: Fail.
We have now looked at 18 separate stations (out of a total of 103), in three separate categories. So far, not one of these stations meets the criteria of being "away from large urban centres" and the CRN quality standards of NOAA/NCDC in terms of siting.
Unless there is a dramatic improvement in the remaining 85 stations, we would be well justified in asking the questions: "Just how reliable is the RCS network data and how valid are any conclusions that are drawn from them"?