Proposal for Wind and Weather Chart
The Sydney Morning Herald
17 December 1875
The concluding paragraph of your notice upon this subject in this morning's Herald is not quite correct The weather map published daily in The Times and other English papers is not simply a map of the direction of wind and state of the weather at each station, but rather a pictorial view of the temperature, barometer, pressure, and state of weather all over the United Kingdom, as indicated by a great number of daily telegrams received at the Meteorological Office.
These telegrams, as soon as they are received, and the proper corrections applied, are written on a large chart, and a general view of the meteorological condition of the United Kingdom obtained.
This is compared with similar charts of preceding days, and the scientific result obtained is embodied in a small chart, which is sent to The times and there converted into a printing block.
I recently spent some time in the Meteorological Office London, and made myself acquainted with their scientific methods of producing the chart, and also of the mechanical details.
At Washington I also spent some time in making myself acquainted with the American weather chart system which is more complete and very much more expensive than that in use in England.
The idea of weather charts was first started by M. Le Verrier, the great French astronomer, in 1858.
Its advantage was at once seen, but the difficulties were so great that it was not copied in England until 1872. In America also, with a complete meteorological system over that great continent, in which weather conditions are very simple, many years were spent in making their system what it now is.
Indeed, the preparation of a weather chart cannot be undertaken without a long study of the local weather conditions.
Since 1859, knowing what was being done in England and other places with this object in view, I have been preparing data for the publication of weather charts here, and in 1863 I proposed to the secretary of the Chamber of Commerce a partial daily weather chart for the information of persons interested in the mercantile Marine, but at that time sufficient interest was not taken in the subject, and my offer was not accepted.
By combining the information I obtained in Europe and America and modifying it to suit our circumstances, I have devised a system by which a weather chart, bearing favourable comparison with those published in England and America, will be printed daily in the Herald and Echo newspapers.
H C. Russell, Government Astronomer.
Observatory, 16th December 1875