BORDER MP Sussan Ley yesterday called for improved Bureau of Meteorology maintenance over Albury’s dodgy rain gauge.
A gauge full of dust left Albury with an incomplete February tally.
That translated to Albury recording just 0.2 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, despite some unofficial readings recording 20 millimetres.
“The bureau knows we take our weather quite seriously here, so I expect they will address what seems to be a rather basic maintenance issue,” said Ms Ley, the member for Farrer.
The bureau confirmed it had technicians to monitor gauges and was unsure how Albury’s had got blocked to the point where a reading could not be taken.
Wodonga Council’s waste transfer station has an official Bureau of Meteorology rain gauge and recorded 26 millimetres in the same period.
But a bureau spokesman said the reading could not be substituted for Albury as rainfall varied, even over a small distance.
“Bagging the bureau’s automatic station readings at Albury is a bit of a pastime for our serious weather watchers, so this does give them ammunition I must say,” Ms Ley said.
“That said, if only one official gauge is permitted then it’s fair and reasonable to expect the owner is going to make sure it works.”
Meanwhile, Australia’s just-finished sweltering summer melted the record books.
The bureau has confirmed it was the hottest season since records have been kept.
Records were broken for the average temperature and average daytime temperature between December and February.
A new record was also set for the number of consecutive days where the average maximum was more than 39C — the seven days from January 2 to 8 almost doubling the previous record of four.
Record maximum temperatures were set in Sydney and Hobart.
The bureau said the summer followed a pattern of extremely hot summers around the world in recent years.
It said that while last year was a year of significant weather contrasts with floods, bushfires, record-breaking heatwaves and cyclones, overall the figures weren’t that out of the ordinary.
Australia recorded just near-average rainfall and only slightly above-average mean temperatures.