Weather history preserved

DOWN the Mall on February 4 is correct in saying weather observations were taken at the High School in the 1940s.

The High School was the location of the official Bureau of Meteorology weather station from 1914.

Later it was transferred to the gaol, before being shifted to its present location at the airport in 1991.

Weather observations were actually begun in 1857 by the Department of Lands and Survey.

The original observatory was located in the vicinity of the Survey Office (now Dudley House).

Other official locations include the School of Mines (now the Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE college), and the old Police Barracks.

Unfortunately, the only early Bendigo records the Bureau of Meteorology have in their computer database are the rainfall records which date from 1862, and barometric pressure records from 1909.

The database only contains temperature records from 1957.

Earlier temperature records do exist, but these are on paper and stored in archives.

There was also the claim that Bendigo's all time temperature record of 47.4 degrees Celcius recorded some time between 1862 and 1908.

This temperature was supposedly recorded on January 14, 1862. However, this figure is in doubt.

On the same day, temperatures of 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit (44.0 deg Celcius) were recorded in both Melbourne and Heathcote.

A temperature of 47.4 degrees Celcius equates to 117.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is possible the observer misread the thermometer by 5 degrees; this would make the actual reading 112.4 deg Fahrenheit (44.7 degrees Celcius).

This would be a much more probable maximum temperature for this day.


Panton Street,

Golden Square