airport heat islands … artificial maximum temperatures

Airport heat islands, such as we have in Broome.

Broome 13/10:30am 33.6 34.6



One sharp peak when the wind conditions are right, shows up remarkably well. One flight arrived at

Broome 13/01:00pm 33.9 34.7


 NW NW 35

Then the maximum at 12.05 was another  sudden spike.


Today, Monday 14th, a flight scheduled to leave at 8.55, a sudden spike of 1C at 9.03 compared to 9.00am when it was 32.9C

Broome 14/10:00am 33.2 33.9



If that’s not airport heating island, what is? the wind was completely in line from the runway to BoM facilities.

I have also noticed maximum temperature as shown on Sky News Weather are different to BoM, and don’t reflect the sudden increase.tides 036The airport to the left, helicopter hangars to the centre, with BoM and radar tower just behind hangars. High King tides added en extra dimension. This time of year, Westerlys are the most common, during winter, it’s the Easterlies, possibly affecting temperatures at high tide.

Looking west:

Looking East, below, with 3 helicopter hangars, (now 4) and BoM on top left of the runway in the image. (The terminal, on the right side opposite BoM.)

I started checking after seeing this post: Once upon a time in the late 1990’s GISS made tapered adjustments for the urban heat island UHI

Update, another spike this afternoon, 34.2C at 12.53pm, then back to 32.9 at 1.00pm. It was 32.9C at 12.30pm. The difference here though, the next flight arrivals by scheduled airlines was just after this time. It could have been caused by one of the many helicopters or charter flights, but no further info is available. It’s too big a sudden spike to be natural.

Update, the next day, a 1C spike 5 minutes after 12.30 was the maximum for the day. No jet arrivals or departures at that particular time, so another reason for a spike. All other recorded temperatures each half hour show an even range around 33.5C. No change in wind direction from WNW most of the day.

I noticed an airliner yesterday, turning onto the parking apron has the jet exhausts pointed directly at the BoM complex.

Update, after a couple of short lived temperature spikes near midday over the last couple of days, making the Broome maximum more than 1C at times higher over just a couple of minutes, i had a look. Yes, 5 large helicopters leaving their nest right next to BoM’s radar tower and instruments:

5 helicopters at 12.18pm

5 helicopters at 12.18pm

Soon after, at 12.40pm, just 1 left to go. BoM radar tower seen behind hangars.phone1 035

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley)
This entry was posted in Broome/Kimberley, Climate, Environment, science, weather and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to airport heat islands … artificial maximum temperatures

  1. Ian G says:

    This happened when Sydney recorded its highest temp a couple of years ago. The temp was 44.9C at 2:49pm, went up to 45.8C at 2:53pm and then dropped to 44.8C at 2:59pm. This was recorded at Sydney Observatory. It broke the 1939 record of 45.3C.
    I wonder what the temp would have been if a highly sensitive thermometer had been around then?

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