Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water
New meteorology office for Albany
30 March 2012
Albany's new purpose-built Bureau of Meteorology weather observation office has been officially opened today.
Opening the office, Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, said the $3.95 million Albany office was part of an Australian Government investment of $34 million to upgrade 12 of the Bureau's oldest meteorological offices.
“Several West Australian Bureau offices were earmarked for upgrade through the program, with Broome, Esperance, Port Hedland, Geraldton and now Albany completed,” he said.
“The Bureau’s field offices support weather forecasting services for the community and closer links with local emergency services. This information is also vital for people employed in the marine, agricultural, aviation and resources industries,” he said.
The Albany weather radar has been reinstalled on a new tower, which allows it to provide better surveillance over a greater range. Three hydrogen-filled weather balloons are released each day and tracked by the 22-metre high radar. The Albany office is staffed by three people and operates seven days a week.
In addition to upper air monitoring activities, the observers' duties include preparing half-hourly aviation weather reports and carrying out full synoptic observations every three hours.
The Bureau of Meteorology's official weather records for Albany commenced in 1877, using instruments at the post office. The Bureau opened an office at Albany airport in 1965.
The new office, which replaces the one built in the 1960s, is designed to be environmentally sustainable and to withstand extreme weather conditions.
To view the Albany radar loop go to www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR313.loop.shtml