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...

A low pressure system across Adelaide in July 1847.

Previously unknown weather extremes discovered in new Adelaide record

Our analysis of recently transcribed historical data has picked up extreme events such as a week-long heatwave, bushfires, a dust storm, and severe storms that caused hail and flooding in 19th century Adelaide. Citizen scientists transcribed newly discovered historical daily weather observations from 1843 to 1856 for the Adelaide region.  The data show that 1847 … Continue reading Previously unknown weather extremes discovered in new Adelaide record

One month in: some preliminary results

Since our launch on 8 September 2020, more than 760 Zooniverse volunteers have digitised over 15,000 weather observations to help create Australia’s longest daily weather record. The project is now at the halfway point, with 50% transcribed and 50% still to go. ...

Weather-analysis-for web

How do we analyse historical climate data?

Learn how our team of researchers will analyse a new set of early weather data from the Adelaide Survey Department, South Australia, in the 1800s. ...

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. ...