David Bidstrup: “What’s it like there Chips?”, “Hot mate, hot”.

Some people will remember Chips Rafferty, (John William Pilbean Goffage, born Broken Hill 1909, died Sydney 1971), the iconic “Australian” long before Paul Hogan assumed the mantle.

In the late 1950’s he made a commercial for “Pope” refrigerators set in Marble Bar, WA. In the commercial a man asks “What’s it like there Chips?” and he answers “Hot mate, hot”.

Marble Bar recently featured in a climate scare article in the  Australian where the Bureau of Meteorology declared 2018 “the 3rd hottest year on record”. Apparently the highest temperature for 2018 was recorded there and it was 49.3C. The article does not mention the recording of 50.7C at Oodnadatta in 1960.

I gathered 118 years of maximum temperatures for Marble Bar from Jan 1901 to Dec 2018 and did some analysis.

It is correct that 49.3C is the highest temperature recorded for Marble Bar but in 1905 they recorded 49.2C, a whole 0.1C “cooler” and 113 years earlier. 1922 also had a T max of 49.2C.

When we look at the number of days per year above 40C it becomes more interesting. On “average” Marble Bar has 30% of days each year above 40C but it varies significantly. In 1905 there were 121 and in 2018 “just” 108. There were 157, (43%), in 1936 but “just” 32, (9%) in 2000.

The chart below shows days above 40C and maximum temperature for each year from January 1 1901 to December 31 2018.

The blue bars show the number of days over 40C and the red bars show the T max for the particular year.

The numbers along the X axis are years from 1901 (1) to 2018 (118).

It’s a bit cramped but it gets the message over. The T max wobbles up and down a bit but is reasonably constant over time, i.e. it is not “warming” although it is a very hot place.

The chart below compares 1905 to 2018. Which is “the hottest” year?

The “long term” T max for the 118 years of record is 49.3C, the mean is 36.1C, (21.4C above the “global average temperature”), and the minimum T max is 12.7C. When the BoM makes statements that a temperature is “xC” above “the average/mean/whatever” it is worth considering that the reading of 49.3C is 13.2C “above” the average and the low of 12.7C is 23.4C “below” the average. The article also includes a message from the sponsor:

According to a Bureau of Meteorology preliminary report on the countries climate in 2018, maximum temperatures recorded last year mean that nine of the 10 hottest years on record will have occurred since 2005, which the BoM said “is in line with long term trends resulting from anthropogenic climate change”.

The table below shows the “top ten” for Marble bar. Note that 2015 fails to qualify because 1905 and 1922 were “hotter”. The same applies for 2008 as 1973 was “hotter” and 2011 as 1916 and 1944 were also “hotter”. So much for the claims made by the BoM.

Rank Year T max
1 2018 49.3
2 1905 49.2
3 1922 49.2
4 2015 49
5 1973 48.8
6 2008 48.6
7 1916 48.4
8 1944 48.4
9 2011 48.4
10 1922 48.3


This is just another exercise in misinformation and propaganda directed at scaring everyone into believing the nonsense idea that “reducing carbon emissions” is important enough to die in a ditch for. It is of course pure bullshit. Summer in Australia is hot and anyway, what is “the countries climate”? Chips would just have another beer and get on with it and so should we.

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21 Responses to David Bidstrup: “What’s it like there Chips?”, “Hot mate, hot”.

  1. Rafe Champion

    Christopher Booker on international record fiddling.

    Although it has been emerging for seven years or more, one of the most extraordinary scandals of our time has never hit the headlines. Yet another little example of it lately caught my eye when, in the wake of those excited claims that 2014 was “the hottest year on record”, I saw the headline on a climate blog: “Massive tampering with temperatures in South America”. The evidence on Notalotofpeopleknowthat, uncovered by Paul Homewood, was indeed striking.

  2. Maximum temps show as little about weather conditions as average temps.
    The other day we had a top of 42 and by 8pm it was 20.
    An typical day that stayed at just above 30 till early evening would have been on average warmer than the “record breaking for this day in January” event.
    Too few people take the time to apply simple logic to weather claims.

  3. RobK

    I doubt that the thermometer readers in 1905 expected their readings to be converted to deg C (from deg F) and used to a decimal of one degree to make news. Crazy business.
    Good post David, thanks for the work done.

  4. egg_

    Too few people take the time to apply simple logic to weather claims.

    Yup, the area under the graph tells more.

  5. Snoopy

    I wonder what the mercury thermometer used in 1905 would have recorded as the maximum temperature in 2018?

    Thanks for the excellent analysis, David.

  6. Texas Jack

    Read the SMH and it’s going to be a heatwave catastrophe this week. Check my Norwegian weather APP and I can’t see a day with more than 29c forecast for Sydney CBD. The scale of the con is gobsmacking.

  7. kurt

    From the wiki for Marble Bar:
    “The town set a world record of most consecutive days of 100 °F (37.8 °C) or above, during a period of 160 days from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924.”

    Almost 100 years ago.

  8. OldOzzie

    Let me repeat a previous post

    #1890156, posted on December 17, 2015 at 10:59 am
    Re Heatwaves
    – Repeat of a Post from 18 Feb 2015

    The climateers have been cooling the past so much that we now think 35 C is incandescent.

    Yep – Memories of Melbourne Feb 1968

    according to BOM, the run from the 13th Feb to the 25th Feb 1968 recording – 32.1C, 26.2C, 37.1C, 38.2C, 38.9C, 38.1C, 36.3C, 31.6C, 32.2C, 23.8C, 36.3C, 41.4C, 40.9C

  9. Ben

    Even the BoM site shows:
    – out of 14 high temperature records, only 5 have been since 1990
    – out of 11 low temperature records, 7 have been since 1990

  10. Another point is that the 1905 temperature had to be observed and not automatically recorded as now.
    Was the peak temp for the day just before or just after the reading?
    You really cannot say for certain what was the absolute top or low temps in the years before minute by minute technology.

  11. struth

    and Cloncurry had the actual highest temp record if I can remember from my touring days.

  12. OldOzzie

    From Today’s Daily Telegraph

    Heatwave to scorch Sydney made worse in the west by winds

    Sydney will be split into two cities again this week thanks to the weather event which divides the sprawling metropolis into the “haves” and “have nots” every summer.

    The “sea breeze” is as Sydney as barbecues and zinc noses during the summer months. It, along with the geography of Greater Sydney, is the reason why Bondi can be 29C and Blacktown 40C on the same hot summer’s day.

    Simply, the “have” suburbs along and near the coast get the cooling effects of winds — generally from the north-east and east — which flow in off the Pacific Ocean, hence the label sea breeze.

    But these winds fade away and heat up as they flow across Sydney and the “have not” suburbs west of a line of higher ground running between Camden and Castle Hill swelter in hot and stale air.

    This week, Sydney is about to swelter through five days of above 40C temperatures as a ‘severe’ heatwave strikes every state and territory in the country.

    While a sea breeze will shield the city to some extent, Western Sydney has been warned to expect ‘extreme’ conditions over the next few days.

    Residents in Penrith and Richmond will swelter through a week of above 40C temperatures with an expected peak of 43 degrees on Friday.

    It’s what is also going to happen again this week as a high pressure system builds ­between Tasmania and New Zealand.

    It will block cold air and cloud cover from crossing NSW and allow the type of weather which sees sea breezes, and those great disparities between temperatures in western and eastern Sydney. The same thing happened in late December and the first week of January.

    This week should feature temperatures rising to 42C in western suburbs, but with coast up to eight degrees cooler.

    A study by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Macquarie University found any real relief by sea breezes peters out about nine kilometres from the coast.

    The study found a cool wind off the sea takes two hours to reach Blacktown and by then it’s diminished greatly and also been heated by the land.

    Parramatta typically records 13 days hotter than 35C each year, while Sydney’s CBD only averages four.

    The difference in summer temperatures between Penrith and the coast average about seven degrees but among the biggest differences recently­ ­recorded was in November 2014, when Sydney reached 30.1C while Penrith recorded 44.9C — a disparity of 14.8C.

    On a local level, sea breezes happen as air over the land heats up and rises, and cooler air from the ocean rushes in to replace it. The cycle repeats as the cool air itself heats up and flows back over the ocean.

    But on a much bigger scale, NSW’s heatwaves can be caused by a belt of high pressure called the “subtropical ridge” that sits over southern Australia during summer, bringing high pressure systems responsible for long spells of blue skies and searing heat. The high pressure systems spin counterclockwise and push north-east winds across NSW.

    Sydney’s geography also doesn’t help western Sydney escape sweating in summer.

    A ridge that divides the Sydney basin, running from Camden to the Hills district, traps hot westerly winds and also blocks out or deflects sea breezes.

    “When you drive along the M4 from the city, you’re driving slightly uphill until the ­intersection of the M4 and M7 (at Eastern Creek) then it’s downhill until near the foot of the Blue Mountains,” Senior Research Fellow at Western Sydney Univer­sity Dr Sebastian Pfautsch said. “It’s not many metres but there’s a lip that’s efficient enough to hold in the heat and there’s less air movement because of the depression.

    “The deepest point in the depression is Penrith, where you get the hottest temperatures because the hot air sits in there nicely.”

    Dr Pfautsch said the building boom in western Sydney is also creating more “heat islands” contributing to higher night temperatures as heat­ ­absorbed by concrete and brick during the day is ­ released. Road traffic and airconditioning exhausts add to the problem.

    “You’d think heat islands would be worse in the eastern suburbs, where there’s a higher density of infrastructure, but the eastern suburbs are cooled by the sea breeze,” he said.

    But all’s not rosy for those lucky enough to be at the beach and enjoying nature’s “air conditioner” — the sea breeze.

    Persistent north-easterly winds also bring the risk of frigid water, and bluebottles.

    The water at Sydney’s beaches earlier this month was six degrees cooler than average because weeks of north-easterly winds blew the warm water away and cold water from the deep ocean rushed up to replace it.

  13. OldOzzie

    NOTHING NEW HERE, Watkin Tench figured that out in his book A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson.

    ‘“December 27th, 1790. Wind NNW; it felt like the blast of a heated oven, and in proportion as it increased, the heat was found to be more intense, the sky hazy, the sun gleaming through at intervals’

    ‘An immense flight of bats, driven before the wind, covered all the trees around the settlement, whence they every moment dropped dead, or in a dying state, unable longer to endure the burning state of the atmosphere.’ Nor did the perroquettes, though tropical birds, bear it better; the ground was strewed with them in the same condition as the bats.

    Were I asked the cause of this intolerable heat, I should not hesitate to pronounce, that it was occasioned by the wind blowing over immense deserts, which, I doubt not, exist in a north-west direction from Port Jackson, and not from fires kindled by the natives’

    Watkin Tench wrote. chapter XVII

    “December 27th, 1790. Wind NNW. At 9 AM 85° At noon 104 Half past twelve 107 1/2 From one P.M. until 20 minutes past two 108 1/2 At 20 minutes past two 109 At Sunset 89 At 11 P.M. 78 1/2

    ‘[By a large Thermometer made by Ramsden, and graduated on Fahrenheit’s scale.] December 28th. But even this heat was judged to be far exceeded in the latter end of the following February, when the north-west wind again set in, and blew with great violence for three days. At Sydney, it fell short by one degree of what I have just recorded: but at Rose Hill, it was allowed, by every person, to surpass all that they had before felt, either there, or in any other part of the world. Unluckily they had no thermometer to ascertain its precise height.

    At 8 A.M. 86 10 A.M. 93 11 A.M. 101 At noon 103 1/2 Half an hour past noon 104 1/2 At one P.M. 102 At a quarter past i, it stood at only 89, having, from a sudden shift of wind, fallen 13° in 15 minutes. . At 5 P.M. 73 At sunset 69 1/2’

    ‘The thermometer, whence my observations were constantly made, was hung in the open air, in a southern aspect, never reached by the rays of the sun, at the distance of several feet above the ground.’

    109F = 42.7 C

    PDF Reference

    A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson

    Including An Accurate Description of the Situation of the
    Colony; of the Natives; and Of Its Natural Productions
    Tench, Watkin (1759-1833)

    University of Sydney Library

  14. Ian6333

    What indeed is “the countries climate”? Should be “the country’s climate”.

  15. a happy little debunker

    As long as the BOM fail to meet WMO guidelines, by maintaining ‘1 second’ highs – everything they have to say is propaganda.


  16. old bloke

    #2906805, posted on January 14, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Ozzie, the warmists disputed the accuracy of Watkin Tench’s temperature recordings as they assumed that the old mercury thermometers wouldn’t be accurate, therefore the “real” temperature must have been more mild . They were loaned to Watkin Tench by the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and were returned there some years later.

    A search was made at Greenwich to locate the thermometers a few years ago, they were located and found to be completely accurate compared to modern thermometers.

    Watkin Tench took the readings from his camp site above the Rocks at Circular Quay, very close to where the Sydney Observatory now stands.

  17. yarpos

    “From the wiki for Marble Bar:
    “The town set a world record of most consecutive days of 100 °F (37.8 °C) or above, during a period of 160 days from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924.”

    Almost 100 years ago.”

    Most heat records are quite old rather than in recent decades. Conversely many cold records have happened in recent decades. Just a weird factoid. WMO site at the Uni of Arizona if the source.

  18. Rayvic

    The analysis adds to the indications that BOM lacks understanding of atmospheric physics; that it is inept in mathematical analysis; that its history knowledge is poor; and performs unprofessionally, engaging in deceptive promotion of anthropogenic global warming.

  19. John Stankevicius

    Whats the reasoning for 4 of the hottest tempratures being recorded in the last 10 years?

  20. Rayvic

    A happy little debunker: “As long as the BOM fail to meet WMO guidelines, by maintaining ‘1 second’ highs – everything they have to say is propaganda.


    BOM’s unprofessionalism and deception on display.

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