Image 31: Extract from Darwin's earliest meteorological register, 1869.
The South Australian Government established a meteorological observatory in Darwin in 1869 and a second meteorological station in Alice Springs in 1887. Early observations included rainfall, wind speeds and the number of sunshine days each month. Field books completed for both Darwin and Alice Springs contain entries for one calendar month with two pages per day. Readings were taken every three hours from midnight each day. Details recorded were barometer and thermometer readings, wind, lower clouds and extent of cloud. Also recorded were maximum and minimum temperatures.
In 1967 the Darwin Office of the Bureau of Meteorology was established as a Regional Meteorological Centre, which was redesignated as a Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre in July 1988. The Darwin Centre is part of a world-wide network and focuses on tropical analysis, prognosis and diagnostics. The Centre also specialises in climate information, tropical cyclone advisory services for north Australian and volcanic ash advisory services for the region.1
|Selected records relating to meteorological readings in the Northern Territory|
|National Archives, Sydney|
|Rainfall and river height observations, 1869–ongoing||E1680|
|National Archives, Darwin|
|Rainfall record book – Northern Territory and South Australia, 1857–1920||NTAC1976/110|
|Meteorological register for Fort Point, Palmerston (Adams Bay), and Powells Creek, 1869–1907||NTAC1976/106|
|Rainfall records – Northern Territory recording stations, 1869–1976||NTAC1980/351|
|Field books – Port Darwin, 1884–1907||NTAC1976/108|
|Field books – Alice Springs, 1887–1907||E1682|
|Meteorological observations – Darwin Department of Health, 1914–18||E1367|
|Meteorological observations – Government House, 1915–18||E1366|
|Meteorological journal – Darwin, 1935–42||NTAC1976/107|
|Wind record books – Darwin, 1935–42||NTAC1976/111|
|Book of daily meteorological observations – Darwin, 1938–42||E767|
|Correspondence files, 1959–69||E188|
|Correspondence files, 1959–75||E189|
|International surface synoptic weather charts, 1964–ongoing||E245|
|Sea surface temperature analysis charts, 1973–ongoing||E1341|
|Rainfall and river height observations, 1982–ongoing||E1350|
|International isobaric analysis charts, circa 1989–ongoing||E1340|
1 Bureau of Meteorology website: www.bom.gov.au/nt/rsmc (accessed 8 January 2011).