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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)

In Mr. Tebbutt, Mr. Russell has found a most valuable coadjutor. That gentleman has not only carried out an extensive series of astronomical observations entirely at his own cost, but also furnished his observatory with a complete meteorological outfit.

In Victoria there were only broken records of railfall, temperature. and weather, made chiefly by New South Wales officials in Melbourne, from 1840 to about 1849, and of rainfall up to 1851. In 1854 observations of barometer and temperature for astronomical purposes only, and of rainfall, were made at the Williamstown Observatory, then in charge of Mr. R. L. J. Ellery. Meteorological observations were also made at Melbourne by Mr. Brough Smyth, of the Crown Lands Department, from 1856 to the end of February, 1858, when Professor Neumayer, now director of the Nautical Observatory at Hamburg, commenced systematic observations at the new Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory, at Flagstaff Hill, Melbourne. Dr. Neumayer also established several observing stations at the lighthouses on the coast, and at a few places inland.

On the retirement of Dr. Neumayer in 1863, the Magnetic and Meteorological Department was transferred to the present Astronomical Observatory, then just erected, and placed under the direction of the astronomer, Mr. Ellery. in whose hand., the institution soon became what it is to-day—not only a credit to the colony which founded it, but second to none in the Southern Hemisphere. He threw all his energy and skill as a physicist into his work, and early introduced photographic and other systems, by which we obtain continuous records of all variations of terrestrial magnetism, barometric pressure, and changes of temperature, electrical states of the atmosphere, and the direction and force or velocity of the wind, besides thermometers sunk at various depths (3ft., 6ft., and 8ft.) to determine the temperature of the ground; while, as regards astronomy, we have only to visit the observatory to see that it possesses some of the finest instruments in the world.

Besides the Melbourne Observatory, he has established meteorological stations of the second order at Portland, Cape Otway, Wilson's Promontory, Gabo Island, Ballarat (Mount Pleasant), Bendigo, Echuca, Sale (at the School of Mines), and twenty-three stations of the third order, besides 515 rainfall stations judiciously distributed throughout the colony.

In South Australia. thanks to the late Sir George Kingston, farther of the present Premier, we have a continuous record of the rainfall in Adelaide from 1839, which that gentleman maintained until 1878.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dunlop, James; Ellery, Robert Lewis John; Neumayer, Georg Balthazar; Russell, Henry Chamberlain; Smyth, Robert Brough; 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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