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New weather bureau office opened in Perth

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For release not before 5 p.m. 5th July, 1967 ^'OR PRES S


Australia's "front-line" weather city -- Perth -- has a new Weather

Bureau building -- the most modern in the nation.

Officially opening the $300,000 W.A. regional office today, the Minister for the Interior, Mr. Anthony, said Perth occupied a strategic place in the network of the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology.

It was the first office to receive reports of weather moving towards Australia from the vast ocean areas to the west and south-west of the continent.

Mr. Anthony announced that a new read-out station would soon be established in Perth to receive cloud photographs from orbiting weather

satellites (see attached release).

The Perth office houses the Western Analysis Centre, which prepares

forecasts and warnings for shipping, aviation, agriculture, commerce and industry, and the Cyclone Warning Centre, which is responsible for

plotting a cyclone's movement, assessing its threat potential and

issuing warnings to the threatened areas.

Mr. Anthony said rapid development of the North-West of Western Australia and the increasing use of light aircraft by exploration and mining companies made it necessary for additional general and

specialised weather information to be made available.

To cope with this demand, as well as to meet the demand for forecasts

and weather data for all sections of the community, the Nureau was

expanding its network of observation stations throughout Australia.

Its network of radar upper-wind tracking stations -- the most

sophisticated in the Southern Hemisphere -- was also being increased

or modernised to provide the information required by today's high-flying aircraft on both domestic and international routes.

Mr. Anthony said that with the establishment of a World Weather

Watch centre in Melbourne, which would provide analyses of Southern

Hemisphere weather for countries in the Northern Hemisphere, Perth would assume an even greater importance in the Australian observing


Information gathered from the west and south-west ocean areas

would be of immense value to meteorologists in piecing together a picture of the weather over the hemisphere for exchange with the two

other WWW centres, Moscow and Washington.

Mr. Anthony said weather observations had been carried out in Perth'

since shortly after the first settlement in 1829.

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To-day, there were 86 locations throughout Western Australia at which regular readings of weather were made by Bureau personnel or part-time observers, 1,300 stations at

which rainfall only was measured, and 11 stations at which upper-atmosphere winds were measured several times daily.

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July 59 1967