||Federation and Meteorology
Table of Contents
George Grant Bond
Register of Marks
Chapter 6 (continued)
There was a lot of interest in this new method of gaining information of the upper atmosphere, so Mr Hunt published an article in the Daily Mail, describing the process. 'The sounding balloons are filled with hydrogen gas, and have a lifting power much greater than the weight they carry. They rise quickly until they expand to the limit of their capacity. They then burst and fall to the ground. Under ordinary conditions they should reach the ground two or three hours after liberation. The apparatus with which they are furnished consists of an aneroid barometer, a thermograph for recording temperature, and sometimes (for use in the moist lower strata of air) a hair hygrograph for recording the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere passed through. It is customary to send up balloons late in the afternoon, so as to avoid as far as possible the effects of solar radiation upon the instruments. For the tracing of currents, they may be watched by an observer with a theodolite, or by two observers, one at each end of a measure line'. However, with all the early enthusiasm, it was to be 1942 before recording balloons were used as a regular aid to weather forecasting in Queensland.
In August 1913, the Kiosk of the Commonwealth meteorological instruments went on display at the Royal Show in Brisbane for the first time. It was a Weather Bureau in miniature, displaying through a glass window the instruments recording pressure, temperature and humidity, wind direction and velocity, and rainfall. On the roof outside were instruments which activated the graphs inside. The Kiosk from then on made yearly visits to the 'Ekka' as the Royal Show was generally known, and became a popular exhibit.
The people of north Queensland firmly believed they were a disadvantaged community, and about this time, sent a barrage of requests to the Commonwealth Meteorological Bureau for the establishment of a meteorological station in the north to facilitate early cyclone warnings. The Cairns Chamber of Commerce, in September 1913, requested that a qualified man be put in charge of the proposed station, and they sent a deputation to wait upon Mr Hunt. He was not sympathetic to their demands. The wireless station at Cooktown was capable of sending messages 500 miles over sea and 250 miles over land, and Mr Hunt did not consider a northern meteorological station would improve the existing warning system. In November 1913, the Townsville Chamber of Commerce took the opportunity of approaching Mr Hunt when he was in that city during a tour of the north, and contended it was an absolute necessity to have a resident meteorologist in the north. The people of north Queensland felt strongly about the loss of the Yongala in 1911, and the near disaster of the ships Innaminka and Palmer earlier in 1913, and were convinced that more timely warnings would have altered events.
People in Bright Sparcs - Bond, George Grant; Hunt, Henry Ambrose
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