A painting by J Hitchen depicting heavy snowfall on the Adelaide Hills from North Terrace, Adelaide, 1841. Source: B-7070 State Library of South Australia.

Unearthing Australia’s climate history

Few people realise that snow was once a common occurrence for southern Australia’s climate. Historical records help document impacts of past weather extremes such as heatwaves, floods, droughts and even snow. Now scientists are using these fascinating resources to uncover more about Australia’s climate history and also shed light on modern severe weather events...

Depiction of the year 1827 at Swan River, Western Australia. Source: National Gallery of Australia.

What was Perth’s climate like from 1830 to 1875?

Very little is known about the past climate of Perth, Western Australia, during the 19th century. Our team recently pieced together the oldest daily weather observations from south-western Australia spanning 1830–1875. There’s a strong case for increasing 19th century climate data rescue efforts in the south-western region of Australia, due to the vulnerability of this … Continue reading What was Perth’s climate like from 1830 to 1875?

A snow event in the Lofty Ranges, 1905. Source: State Library of South Australia

We dug up Australian weather records back to 1838 and found snow is falling less often

We pieced together weather records back to 1838 to create Australia’s longest analysis of daily temperature extremes and their impacts on society. We found snow was once a regular feature of the southern Australian climate. But as Australia continues to warm under climate change, cold extremes are becoming less frequent and heatwaves more common. ...