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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 Tasmania the Imperial Government established a magnetic and meteorological observatory at Hobart. as part of an international scheme, in charge of Captain Kay, and systematic meteorological observations were conducted from 1841 to 1854, hourly readings being taken until the end of 1848. The results were published, together with the magnetic observations, in four large quarto volumes with a short but interesting and instructive article by the late Professor Dove, then director of the meteorological stations in Prussia. Similar observatories were established at Greenwich, St. Helena, Cape of Good Hope, and Toronto, besides places in Europe, and by Russia in Asia.

From the beginning of 1855, the Imperial Observatory being closed, meteorological observations at Hobart were carried on by the late Mr. Francis Abbott until about the year 1880, when the Government took up the work, which was entrusted to the late Captain Shortt, R. N., who died last year. Captain Shortt proved a valuable coadjutor, and established eight other observing stations besides a number of rain gauges in various parts of the island, of which there are now about fifty-nine.

In Western Australia a meteorological observatory was established by the Government in connection with the Surveyor-General's office, the work being entrusted to Mr. M. A. C. Fraser, in 1876, since which continuous records have been published. Prior to the date mentioned we have rain and temperature records at Perth from 1860 to 1869, taken by Mr. H. Knight. At present Mr. Fraser has fifteen meteorological stations, exclusive of Perth, and ninety-one rain gauges. At Perth there is a self-recording barometer, selected by me when in England in 1886. The observations in this colony are very valuable, extending, as they do, from the south coast well into the tropics at Wyndham, Cambridge Gulf.

In Queensland, as has already been stated, meteorological stations were started at Brisbane and Rockhampton by Mr. Scott, the first Government Astronomer of New South Wales. I do not know the exact date, but Mr. Scott arrived in the colony in 1858, and retired in 1862. The instruments were transferred to Queensland on its separation from the parent colony, and for some years the duties of meteorologist devolved on Mr. Edmund MacDonnell, who established several observing stations and a number of rain gauges.

In 1887 Mr. Wragge was appointed, who—with the great ability and energy which characterises him, and which had brought him so much renown in starting, I believe at his own expense, the high level observatory at Ben Nevis, where he conducted the work under difficulties which would have deterred most men—soon effected a complete revolution. Beginning his work on January 1st, 1887, he speedily equipped stations of the several orders all over the colony, along the coast round to the Gulf of Carpentaria, and inland to the very western boundary of the colony. He classified his stations under five orders, according to the completeness of their equipment, as follows:— First order, second order, third order, third order A, third order B.

People in Bright Sparcs - Abbott, Francis; Scott, William; Todd, Charles; Wragge, Clement Lindley

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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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