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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)

Meteorological observations, more or less complete, were made at the Survey Office for a number of years, or until I took up the work in November, 1856, when the observatory records commenced under my direction as Government Astronomer.

Since May, 1860, all the observations have been made at the West-terrace observatory. For several Years I had no assistant, and having a growing Telegraph Department to look after and control, the area of my work was necessarily restricted, and I labored under many disadvantages; but I early established meteorological stations at Clare, Kapunda, Strathalbvn, Goolwa, Robe, and Mount Gambier, and placed rain gauges at the different telegraph offices. I also introduced the system of publishing daily reports of the weather and rainfall from all stations at the head telegraph office in Adelaide.

We have now meteorological stations, having standard or Board of Trade barometers, dry and wet bulb thermometers, maximum and minimum thermometers,. and rain gauges, at Port Darwin, Daly Waters, Alice Springs, Charlotte Waters, Strangways Springs, Farina, Port Augusta, Yongala, Clare, Kapunda, the Agricultural College at Roseworthy, Mount Barker, Strathalbvn, Eucla, Fowler's Bay, Streaky Bay, Port Lincoln, Cape Borda, Robe, Mount Gambier, and Cape Northumberland, and 370 rain gauges; at the lighthouses at Cape Borrda and Cape Northumberland, and at the telegraph offices at Port Darwin and Alice Springs, the observations are taken every three hours, night and day: at other stations at 9h. a.m., 3h., p.m., 9h. p.m.; whilst ,it Alice Springs there is a large evaporation tank similar to the one at the observatory, which it may be convenient here to describe.

It consists, first, of a brick tank, lined with cement; internal measurement, 4ft. 6in. square and 3ft. 2in. deep. Inside this tank is another, made of slate, 3ft. square and 3ft. deep, leaving an intervening space between it and the larger tank of 7in. Both tanks are filled to the same level, or to within 3in. or 4in. of the top, fresh water being added as required. The evaporation is measured by a graduated vertical rod, which is carried by a float placed in a vertical cylinder of copper 4in. in diameter (perforated at the bottom) standing in the inner tank. The rod is graduated to 1/10 of an inch, and is read off by means of a fixed vernier to 1/100 of an inch. A rails gauge is placed by the side of the tank, and both the evaporation and the rainfall are read at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

As the question of evaporation is an important one in connection with water conservation, I give below the mean evaporation at Adelaide, deduced from twenty-three years' observations, and at Alice Springs, in the centre of the continent, during the years 1890, 1891, and 1892.

Evaporation at AdelaideEvaporation at Alice Springs
Mean of Twenty-three Years.1890.1891.1892.

* Twenty-seven days.

Greatest in one year at Adelaide .......... 60.953 inches in 1876.
Least in one year at Adelaide .......... 47.392 inches in 1892.
Average rainfall at Adelaide for fifty-four years .......... 21.077 inches.
Average rainfall it Alice Springs for nineteen years .......... 11.254 inches.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dunlop, James; 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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