Page 1554
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
Table of Contents

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




Contact us
Meteorological Work in Australia: A Review (continued)

Stations of the first order are equipped with the following instruments:—Standard barometer, barograph, Stevenson's double-louvred thermometer screen, hygrometers, maximum and minimum self-registering thermometers, thermograph, solar and terrestrial radiation thermometers, earth thermometers, wind compass, and raingauge. The hours of observation of stations of this order are 3 a.m., 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. (local time), and also in some instances at the time (depending on longitude) corresponding to mean noon at Greenwich, when synchronous observations are taken at the principal stations throughout the world. The barographs and thermographs are of Richards' construction.

The equipment of stations of the second order is generally the same as above, with the usual exceptions of barograph and thermograph. The observing hours at these stations are 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. (local time).

Third order of climatological stations are supplied with thermometer screen, hygrometer, maximum and minimum registering thermometers, wind compass, and rain gauge. In "A" division the hygrometer is excepted, and in "B" division a rain gauge only is employed. The time of observation at all stations of the third order is 9 a.m., local time.

Following the example of Mr. Ellery, Mr. Russell, and myself, Mr. Wragge commenced the system of publishing daily reports of weather and rainfall, and a synoptic map similar to the map we had for some time been issuing in Adelaide. He also co-operated with us in publishing forecasts of the probable weather during each ensuing twenty-four hours, with this addition, that he issued forecasts not only for Queensland. but also for the other Australian Colonies; and, as these latter were made without regard to those published at an earlier hour by the several local authorities, it has occasionally happened that the two forecasts for the same colony differed from each other. I will not venture an opinion as to the desirableness of this independent action, beyond remarking that supposing the judgment and qualifications of the other meteoro1ogists to be equally good, their local experience, and the possession of more detailed information in regard especially to prognostics, clouds, &c., gives them an advantage, and their forecasts should be of equal value, and be more frequently justified. Of Mr. Wragge's zeal and high qualifications for his special work there can be no two opinions. I regret. that his collected observations have not yet been published—from causes, it may be presumed, beyond his control—in such detail as he himself would wish, and which, in the interests of science, we all desire. This is to be regretted, as his stations are so distributed as to represent the climate of all parts of that large colony. There are now in Queensland sixteen stations of the first order. thirty-six of the second order, forty-five of the third order "A," and 398 rain gauge stations, third order " B." Included in the second order are two private stations and five in the third order "A."

Besides the stations in Queensland, Mr. Wragge tells me he has supplied instruments for two stations of the first order in New Guinea, for one New Caledonia, one in Fiji, and one in Norfolk Island, and two others of the second order in New Guinea.

In New Zealand, I learn from Sir James Hector, that from 1853 meteorological reports were included in the yearly volume of statistics issued by the Registrar-General, but the observations were of irregular character, and possessed little value until 1859, when the work was taken up in a more systematic manner. Observers were appointed at Wanganui, Auckland, Napier, Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, and Dunedin, each being supplied with a set of standard instruments. The service appears to have been placed, in the first instance, under the supervision of Dr. Knight, the Auditor-General, but in 1867 it was transferred to Dr. (now Sir James) Hector, under whose skillful management great improvements were introduces. The principal stations are supplied with mercurial Fortin barometers, dry and wet bulb and self-registering maximum and minimum thermometers, solar and terrestrial radiation thermometers, Robinson's anemometers, and rain gauges. The height of every barometer above sea level has been ascertained, and every reading, as in the other colonies, is reduced to sea level and 32° Fahr.

People in Bright Sparcs - Ellery, Robert Lewis John; Russell, Henry Chamberlain; Todd, Charles; Wragge, Clement Lindley

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

Todd, C. 1893 'Meteorological Work in Australia: A Review' Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science vol. v, 1893, pp. 246-270.

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher