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Observers and Volunteers
Centenary of Observation—Sebastopol
Observer is 85—And Still on the Job
Observations—1907 Style
Century of Obs
Long Service to Bureau
Honouring the Rainfall Volunteers
File Finds
First Australian Female Observers
Pioneer Weatherman Reaches 100
Anecdotal Evidence




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Observations—1907 Style

No. 126 January 1967, Item 1213

Tucked away in a drawer in CO is a red covered booklet of instructions to country observers, prepared under the direction of Mr. H. A. Hunt, Commonwealth Meteorologist,. and dated 1907. The booklet is based on instructions issued to observers in the UK and the US and is framed "to conform to international regulations."

The booklet sets out the various methods of reading the instruments with which the stations are equipped—the second order, third order, climatological and rain stations. It sets out the hours at which the readings are to be taken, the way in which the register is to be kept, and what other phenomena should be noted. Observers of that day were encouraged to take phenological observations: "a careful watch should be kept for noting the first flowering of uncultivated plants, the arrival and song of birds, the appearance of butterflies and other insects, etc."

And each element had its own code word for telegraphic reports. The barometer ranged from "fatalism" for 29.00 inches, "fiance" 29.52, "frenzy" 30.44 to "fulsome" 30.71; the thermometer from "thaw" (O°) to "tyson" (125°) including a "toddy" (38°) and "triplet" (81°); rainfall from "ab" (O-pts) to ''brute" (2000-pts) including a "belch" (800-pts); the state of weather from "gad" for fine and clear to "golden" for fine but cloudy, and including "gall" (hot wind), "gasp" (heavy showers), "gay" (squally with hail), "gin" (hoar frost last night) and "girl" (heavy fog).

Included in the glossary of met. terms are: "Baracyclonometer" an instrument for ascertaining the position distance and direction of advance of a cyclone or revolving storm; "brontometer" instrument to show the sequence of the various phenomena occurring during a thunderstorm; "glory" (also known as anthelion), colored rings seen round the shadow of an observer projected on to a cloud or fog lying below him; "ombrometer", a rain gauge; and, "statoscope" an instrument consisting of a series of very sensitive metal boxes (something like the vacuum boxes of an aneroid) contained in a hermetically-sealed reservoir which is placed in a box thickly surrounded by wool to prevent the disturbing influence of change of temperature, a very sensitive form of barometer.

People in Bright Sparcs - Hunt, Henry Ambrose

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