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Meteorological Work in Australia

Meteorological Work in Australia: A Review

Map No. 1—February 18th, 1890

Map No.2—January 14th, 1891

Map No.3—March 12th, 1891

Map No. 4, February 5th. 1890, and Map No .5, May 27th, 1893

Map No. 6, June 22nd, 1893

Map No. 7, July 14th, 1893

Seasonal Forecasts




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Meteorological Work in Australia: A Review (continued)

After discussion the following resolutions were arrived at:—

  1. That, in view of the great importance which a better knowledge of the movement and origin of strong gales and storms on our coastlines and neighboring seas is to the shipping and commercial interest generally, it is desirable to secure, as far as possible, co-operation in all the Australasian Colonies for the investigation of storms, as well as for agricultural and general climatoloical purposes.

  2. That, with the view of giving effect to the foregoing resolution, similar observations and the same form of publication should, as far as possible, be adopted throughout the colonies.

  3. That, in order effectively to carry out the objects of the Conference, as affirmed in the foregoing resolutions, it is desirable to establish first-class meteorological stations in certain well-selected locations in the several Australasian Colonies, including New Zealand, in addition to those existing.

  4. That the definition of the work of a first-class station, given in the preface to the New Zealand Meteorological Report for 1873, be adopted. Viz.:—"The observations taken are limited to those for determining atmospheric pressure, maximum and minimum daily temperature of atmosphere, and of insulation and radiation, the average daily amount of moisture, the rainfall and number of rainy days, the force and direction of wind, and amount and character of cloud."

  5. That the instruments at each first class station consist of a mercurial barometer, of either the standard or Board of Trade form; thermometers of new or approved patterns, compared with standards as frequently as possible; rain-gauges of 8in. collecting diameter, and wind-gauges of any approved form. The local hours of observation to be 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Beaufort's scale of wind to be adopted. The observations to be recorded in equivalents and pressure.

  6. That it is very desirable to obtain the co-operation of the Government of Tasmania, and to persuade them to establish a station at the public expense at Hobart Town.

  7. That it is desirable to secure the co-operation of the Governments of Western Australia. New Zealand, and Tasmania in the system of weather telegrams, which now embraces the colonies of South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.

  8. That, in the opinion of this Conference, it is desirable that weather telegrams and forecasts shall, in all cases, depend upon the observations used for general meteorological and climatological statistics, and be under the direction of the head of the meteorological department in each colony.

  9. That this Conference, having been informed that the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company will charge half rates for the transmission of weather reports through the cable connecting. Australia and Tasmania, and probably also the cable to New Zealand, recommend that the cost of such reports be defrayed by the participating colonies in equal portions; and that, in the opinion of this Conference, such cost need not exceed in the aggregate £350 per annum.

  10. That, in the opinion of the Conference, this expenditure is justified by the extreme importance to the shipping interest of early information of the approach of dangerous easterly and westerly gales.

  11. That the several Governments be requested to cause precedence to be given to the regular weather telegrams and special storm reports.

  12. That, in the opinion of this Conference, there should be established in each of the colonies, upon a high mountain peak, a meteorological observatory for the special study of winds and other meteorological phenomena; and that the most desirable positions for them would be the following:—
    South AustraliaMount LoftyAbout 2,500ft. Above sea level
    New South WalesKiandraAbout 4,600ft. Above sea level
    New ZealandTauhara TaupoAbout 4,600ft. Above sea level
    DittoMount HerbertAbout 4,000ft. Above sea level
    TasmaniaMt. WellingtonAbout 4,000ft. Above sea level
    VictoriaMount MacedonAbout 3,500ft. Above sea level

  13. That the revision of the present telegraph weather code be referred to Messrs. Russell and Ellery, with a view to its simplification and extension.

  14. That the interchange of weather statistics, in carrying out the suggestions of this Conference, between the different Australasian stations, should be in the form of a diagram; and that this should not interfere with the printing of statistics by the different colonies in any way they like.

    1. That the monthly graphic records for interchange shall consist of curves, showing barometer, velocity and direction of wind, temperature, humidity, rainfall, with remarks upon weather, especially with reference specific forms be prepared and distributed to the co-operating colonies.
    2. That the mean humidity curve be derived from the means of maximum and minimum of wet and dry bulb thermometers.
    3. The barometer curve to be constructed from barographic records, so as to depict the turning points.
    4. The temperature curve to represent maximum and minimum and mean for each day.
    5. The velocity and direction of the wind to be deduced from the anemometer.
  15. That, in the transmission of telegrams, the reports be generalised from the local weather reports. For New Zealand the following sub-division into districts is recommended for convenience of reporting:—
    AN.E. aspectNorth Cape to East Cape
    BN.W. aspectCape Maria to West Cape (exclusive of Cook Straits)
    CS. aspectWest Cape to Moeraki
    DS.E. aspectMoeraki to East Cape (exclusive of Cook Straits.)
    ECook StraitsComprising Wanganui, Wellington, Cape Campbell, and Cape Farewell, Nelson
    A code to be framed to express the weather in each of above aspects in general terms, according to the judgment of the reporter, thus:—
    Aspect.Wind and Weather.Rain.Sea.
    No remark to indicate absence of phenomena.

  16. That the telegrams furnished to Melbourne by Tasmania should conform with those between the Australian Colonies.

    1. That weather telegrams from the Australian Colonies shall comprise:-
      1. Barometer reduced to 32° F. and sea-level
      2. Dry bulb
      3. Humidity
      4. Maximum and minimum
      5. Direction and velocity of wind
      6. State of weather
      7. Rainfall
      8. Sea disturbances,
      with a synoptical report of the weather generally.
    2. And that within New Zealand the same system should be adopted.

  17. That the extreme importance of the weather system proposed be strongly urged upon the Queensland Government, with a view to obtain their more active co-operation.

  18. That Australia be divided into six meteorological areas for transmission of reports to New Zealand, viz., Western Australia. South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland; South Australia being divided into two districts, tropical and extra-tropical.

  19. That weather telegrams be written on paper of a special color, so as to be readily distinguishable in the offices.

  20. That the solar radiation thermometers should be blackened bulb thermometers in vacuo, and should be exposed on an open space at an elevation of 4ft. 6in. from the surface of the ground, supported by a post carrying two light arms.

  21. That radiation thermometers be placed over grass.

  22. That the following subjects for experiment be referred to each member of the Conference, for future consideration and report:—
    1. Shade temperature.
    2. Swinging Thermometer and thermometer sheds in use.
    3. Standards to be swung with 2ft. 6in. string during sunshine and after sunset.
    4. Observations to determine the difference in humidity, by self-registering maximum and minimum thermometers, and by other methods.
    5. The best method of measuring the velocity and pressure of wind.
    6. Whether any better method than black bulb thermometers can be devised for measuring the direct effect of the sun.
    7. As to the best method of determining spontaneous evaporation.

  23. That, as investigation of the Newcastle tide-gauges has shown that such instruments give valuable indications of distant earthquakes, gales, and sea disturbances, it is desirable, in the opinion of the Conference. that self-registering tide-gauges be established in as many convenient places as possible on the coast, in connection with the meteorological departments of the different colonies.

  24. That the foregoing minutes be adopted as the report of this Conference on the various matters referred to it, and that the chairman requested to report to the Government of New South Wales.

People in Bright Sparcs - Ellery, Robert Lewis John; Russell, Henry Chamberlain; Todd, Charles

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Todd, C. 1893 'Meteorological Work in Australia: A Review' Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science vol. v, 1893, pp. 246-270.

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