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Greater research needed into long range weather forecasting



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PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR THE INTERIOR, MR. PETER NIXON,MP

GREP TER RESEI^RCIH NEEDED

IT:M TO LONG RANGE EATHER FORECASTING

There was a growing and pressing need for greater research

into long-r e weather forecasting, the Minister for the Interior, Mr. Peter. Nixon, said today (November 25).

Governments looked to the World Meteorological Organisation for a greater understanding of weather patterns as it filled in the gaps in the present network with modern satellites.

Mr. Nixon was officially opening an international seminar

in Melbourne of the interpretation and use of data from meteorological satellites.-Eight world experts in this field are acting as consultants

to 21 representatives from 19 countries and six from Australia,

The seminar is sponsored by the World Meteorological Organisation, a specialised agency of the United Nations.

Mr. Nixon said it was obvious that more research was necessary in long-range weather forecasting.

A great portion of Austra.lia's manufacturing industry was geared to meet the variables of weather. This was done at great cost to the economy and to industry.

Mr. Nixon said, "imagine the savings to the mini-skirt industry if manufacturers knew that weather over the course of the next summer was to be continually bleak to such a degree that they need to turn their attention to the production of slacks instead.

We spend millions on research in many fields, such as agriculture, where the ultimate results are governed by weather conditions," he said. "With meteorology the need is there for expanded research".

"Whatever scientific interpretations might place on communications from weather satellites the essential thing was that people be told in plain terms what they could expect from the weather."

_2_

"It_:is all very well", PIr. Nixon said, "to tell them

that there is an anti-cyclone with a cold front approaching,

force six winds and one thousand isobars, but what they want

to know is whether to wear slacks or shorts or to take an

overcoat.

In other words, it is no good spending millions of

dollars on research on what the weather is going to be if that

message is not conveyed in plain language by television, press

and radio ... it is essential that meteorologists get away from

the scientific jargon".

Mr. Nixon said Australia, with its spaciousness and wide

variety of weather, required accurate up-to-the-minute knowledge

of what conditions could be expected - perhaps more so than any

other country.

Australia, perhaps more than most countries, was indebted

to the satellite because of her geographic location in a sparse-data area. The satellite had enabled meteorologists to fill in

the gaps in the conventional weather observational network.

The Minister added that he believed the Government would

continue to support the programs of W.N.O. and other U.N. agencies

and would be happy to act as host country for other international

gatherings in the future.

25 November 1968.