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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage

26 September 2000

Olympic Weather Services on track for gold!

"In an on-going tradition for Olympic cities, the Bureau of Meteorology has hosted 2 Greek meteorologists over the past few weeks, who are gaining valuable experience and insights into forecasting in a high pressure environment", Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, said today.

Dr Stone, who has responsibility for the Bureau and it's Director, Dr John Zillman, met with the Greek Special Secretary for the Olympic Games Mr Constantinos Cartalis at the Sydney Regional Office. Mr Cartalis is in Australia to study the Sydney Games in preparation for the return of the Games to Athens in 2004.

Together they visited the Bureau's forecasting facilities to take a first hand look at the work being undertaken by meteorologists from around Australia and across the globe - all contributing to Australia's Olympic effort.

"Australian meteorologists took part in weather forecasting at Atlanta four years ago. The Greek meteorologists will be the key to the weather services in Athens in 2004".

The Bureau is also hosting the World Weather Research Program Forecast Demonstration Project during the Sydney Olympics, trialing the latest weather systems from the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia to more accurately forecast severe weather, lightning, wind and rain.

"This project is in addition to the Bureau's $2.7m contribution to the Sydney Games".

Dr Stone said that a couple of days of wet weather was not unusual for this time of year, with the average Sydney September weather pattern included 10 days of rain and an average of 7.2 hours of sunshine each day.

While weather for the second week of the Sydney Olympics has not have been as spectacular as the blue skies and still days that accompanied the first week of competition, the Bureau of Meteorology have continued their excellent forecasting record that has enabled athletes, spectators and officials to accurately plan well ahead for their events each day.

"The weather pattern for early spring can be quite variable, with maximum temperatures recorded into the high thirties at one extreme and single figures at the other!"

"It is fortunate that we have the latest meteorological information at our disposal and that it is being interpreted by highly skilled forecasters around the various Sydney Games venues, assisted by a number of new automated radars and the 'state of the art' Doppler radar at Kurnell."

Media Inquiries - Simon Frost
(02) 6277 2016 or 0419 495 468
Tuesday September 26th

Commonwealth of Australia