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Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
Table of Contents

Weather News


Fifty Years of Weather History
Weather Officers—25 Years Ago
The Perth RO Since 1929
Remember the Pioneers
Akeroyd the Great
Out with the Old—In with the New [Bill Gibbs / John Zillman]
Dr Bill Gibbs
Dr John Zillman
Meteorological History in the Territory
Edwin Thomas Quayle—Bureau Research Pioneer
Ninety Years Ago: Birth of the Bureau

Personal Notes



Observers and Volunteers




Contact us
No. 18 January 1958, Item 110 (continued)

In other States, Divisional Offices of the Bureau were set up with small staffs headed by Divisional Officers, who had had meteorological experience under the guidance of those professional men who moved to the Central Office in Melbourne.

For years the Divisional Offices continued to function from a few rooms in the respective Observatories where they had their birth as State Instrumentalities, but one by one, three of them moved to new sites nearby as buildings were prepared for them. Perth and Hobart Offices still remain on the original Observatory sites.

Total staff in the inception of the Bureau in January, 1908 was 49, of which Central Office, Melbourne, had 26, Sydney 7, Brisbane 4, Adelaide 5, Perth 4 and Hobart 3. The salaries vote was £6,317 and expenses£9,679, these were for half a year only and the Bureau was a branch of the Home Affairs Department, one of the seven Departments then existing.

Functions of the Bureau in its early years were mainly the provision of one weather forecast daily for the States, Metropolitan Area and Ocean, and the processing of rain and climatological returns from country observers. The main forecast was compiled at noon on the 9 a.m. chart and modified, when appropriate, by the abridged 3 p.m. chart. Forecasts for the individual States were forwarded to the Divisional Offices for adaptation there in the light of local knowledge. Forecasts were given to the Press and distributed by telegraph to various country Post Offices for public display. In metropolitan areas, a system of flags was used in various vantage points on high buildings to indicate expected weather.

Little changes occurred in the years leading to the first world war, 1914–18. In 1914 the staff had risen to 78, most of them being additional Clerks Class V, in Central Office the total there being 49, in order to maintain the rain and climatological records.

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