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Weather News



Personal Notes
Mr. B. W. Newman, Deputy Director, Sydney
Mr. G. W. Mackey—Deputy Director, Perth
Mr. J. Johnston—Deputy Director, Hobart
Mr. A. J. Shields—Deputy Director, Brisbane
Mr. B. J. Retallack—Supervising Meteorologist, Training
Mr. J. Hogan—Deputy Director, Adelaide
Mr. F. Bell—Officer-in-Charge, Darwin
Mr. P. Ryan—Officer-in-Charge, Darwin
Bureau Profile #1
Dr. Kevin Spillane: The Quality of Tenacity
Taking the World View [John Zillman]
Fred Bell, the Pilot's Friend
Mildura's Harry Storer
Computers—New ADC [Ross Maine]
H. G. Bond
The Sky is the Limit [Bettye Macnicol / Jenny Hopwood]
Hobart Weather Birds [Judy Morris / Felicity James]
Professional Officers' Association Award to Henry [Phillpot]
New Assistant Director Facilities is Keith Henderson
Tasmania's New Regional Director [Ted Phillips]
New Head for ANMRC [Doug Gauntlett]
Tony Powell New Regional Director Victoria
Lynn Mitchell Takes Over the Reins in SA RO Fillerup!
Pat Sullivan New Regional Director, NSW
Bettye Dixon Heads Canberra Liaison Section
Dr Michael Manton Chief of BMRC
Graeme Furler, Regional Director South Australia
Ian Mason, Regional Director ACT
Regional Director Queensland [Rex Falls]
Don Linforth, STPM
Bob Brook, Asst Director (Observations)
Jim Arthur, Regional Director, Northern Territory
Neil Streten Appointed Deputy Director (Services)
Bill Downey, Assistant Director (Executive)
Antarctic Medal Winners
Agrometeorology's Leading Lady [Gloria Bedson]
Ken Wilson—Focus on the 'Big Picture'
Sue Barrell's 'Balancing Act'
Dr Geoff Love Appointed Deputy Director (Services)
Serendipity at 33,000ft: A Win for Metrology—Bruce Forgan's WMO Vaisala Award
Pressure's On for New NCC Head [Mary Voice]
Bob Leighton Wins AMOS Honor for Climate Studies



Observers and Volunteers




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The Sky is the Limit [Bettye Macnicol / Jenny Hopwood]

No. 202 June 1973, Item 2455

The following are extracts from an article in The West Australian, Tuesday 22 May, about WA's women mets:-

The sky provided a laboratory for two women scientists working in the secluded officers of the bureau of Meteorology in Perth. They are two of three women meteorologists employed by the W.A, Bureau.

For Bettye Macnicol and Dr. Jenny Hopwood it is a laboratory that requires endless patience, where the unexpected must be accounted for—sometimes, says Dr. Hopwood, like a "rather wacky paper chase."

Bettye Macnicol, originally from Melbourne, decided on a career in meteorology after completing a university science degree. "I was attracted because the weather is something that is happening all the time, part of the world around us," she says.

Now head of the W.A. Bureau's special services section, she is in charge of a six-man research team. Describing the adjustments needed for work at the Bureau, she says: "You've got to be easy-going and not too finicky about doing shift work. With a 24-hour roster, social life often goes by the board." And on the job: "You must learn quickly how to put theory into practice. You need an organised mind to sift out the most relevant weather data in the least amount of time, and to make decisions quickly."

Organisation and decision are vital in her present project - a study of industrial land at Coogee to assess the effect of weather conditions on pollution originating at Kwinana. Bettye's experiments direct the Bureau's role in the project. She and her workers visit the site about once a week and inspect sensitive equipment to see if it has been damaged by salt air, and survey the area for future experiments.

Jenny Hopwood says of her job: "I just like to see how things are." She works to find ways of improving weather forecasting. "I find my work fascinating, but I don't know whether anyone else would," she says with a smile. "The weather is like a big puzzle. I've always loved crossword puzzles, brain-twisters, that kind of thing. With the weather, you don't know the answer and you can't turn to page 56 and turn the page upside down to find it."

Jenny Hopwood provides the forecaster with statistical guides which show average patterns in the atmosphere. Her present project is to plot the daily winds at Guildford over the past four years to find any links between winds and fogs.

I will plot the direction and speed of the wind at 6 p.m. on foggy days to see if it is different from days without fog. If it isn't, that's bad luck and I'll have to think of something else. If it is, it will aid the forecaster.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dixon, Bettye

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