As the Bureau of Meteorology declared that Sunday morning was the coldest on record with Tamworth temperatures recorded at -8.6 degrees, one local weather watcher has claimed the Bureau’s station is giving false readings, and has been for over a month.
While David Farrenden does not dispute that Sunday and Monday mornings were down there with the best, he is far from convinced that the record has been broken, pointing at ongoing discrepancies and anomalies between readings on the BoM website.
The BoM reported that the station at the Tamworth Airport recorded temperatures of -8.6 on Sunday morning, and -6.6 on Monday, however a different set of readings on the same website recorded different lows.
The maximum and minimum temperatures are taken from the Daily Observations page of their web, which is the “go to” for both media outlets and the public, which Mr Farrenden states takes the temperature every ten minutes.
However, on the Latest Observations page, which records the temperature every half hour, the minimums on Sunday and Monday morning were -4.2 and -4 respectively.
Mr Farrenden, who has over 20,000 followers on his Tamworth and Region Weather Facebook page and a long history of studying weather patterns said that it is impossible for the readings to change by that margin within any half hour period.
He also claims the incorrect readings have been happening for over a month, even recording a variance of over eight degrees on the same day, and what’s more the BoM are aware.
“I have contacted them a few times, and so have other people – if they don’t get the information right the historic records will all be out,” he said.
“I am not sure if they are taking the apparent temperature, or the wind chill factor or what, but it is not right.
“While I haven’t heard back from them I know they are aware. On June 15 it recorded a similar coldest morning on record and it just wasn’t right, so that is when I contacted them on Facebook.
“They didn’t respond but if you have a look on the website the date from that day was completely removed the day after I contacted them.”
Over the weekend Mr Farrenden and his team of administrators across the region did however record some arctic conditions on their own anemometers, including a -4 at Riverside on Saturday morning.
In the New England a knee-knocking -13.5 was recorded at Woolun near Kentucky, -11 at Bendemeer and a -9.5 in Walcha, all taken around 7am, “just before the sun comes up”.
The BoM has been contacted for comment.
The region and state have shivered through the coldest weekends on record with apparent temperatures dipping below -8 degrees in Tamworth according to Weatherzone, who source their data from the Bureau of Meteorology.
The highland areas around Tamworth even recorded double digit negative figures, with residents reporting -11 in Bendemeer, as images emerged of the mighty Macdonald River frozen over.
Armidale dipped to -10.1 on Sunday morning, with the New England Police called out to at least one accident involving black ice, while residents in Nundle were also forced to rug up as the cold southerly and open skies made for reports of -9 overnight.
In Tamworth that -8.6 was an incredible 2 degrees cooler than the previous record, and 10.9 degrees below the average July minimum.
There were even several Peel Street shops that had been forced to turn their automatic doors to manual so as to minimise the amount of cold air blowing inside.
According to the Bureau the cold snap is the result of two highs to the north and south of the state, combining with crystal clear skies that allow the temperature to plummet.
Fortunately the outlook for the rest of the week is not so stark with daytime maximums expected to be around the 20 degree mark, and minimums of around two degrees until Thursday.
Unfortunately there remains no forecast of any decent rainfall on the horizon, except for the outside chance of 1-5mm on Friday.