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

2 December 2002

World Weather Experts Meet in Cairns

Freakish floods in Europe, droughts in South East Asia, melting polar ice; weather today is of international concern.

Meteorological experts from more than 60 countries will arrive in Cairns this week for a series of meetings under the banner of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialised agency of the United Nations.

This will be the largest WMO meeting held in Australia for 20 years and will be preceded by a technical conference on data processing and forecasting systems. These meetings will be held at the Cairns Convention Centre from 2-12 December.

“The need to better predict weather events unite nations as storms or gradual change show no respect for country borders, rich or poor nations”, said Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage. Dr Stone has responsibility for the Bureau of Meteorology, which is hosting the meetings.

Dr Zillman, Director of Meteorology is president of the WMO.

“The Cairns meeting also recognises Australia’s significant role in international meteorology and demonstrates Australia’s active role in advancing meteorological science”, said Dr Stone.

150 delegates from countries such as Bangladesh, Finland, Botswana, and Venezuela, will be assisted by a team of interpreters providing simultaneous interpretation in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

“With the convergence of broad ranges of experience and depth of knowledge, the Cairns meeting is likely to provide significant outcomes for the global and Australian meteorological community”, Dr Stone said.

“Issues will include forecasting methods, communications systems, tropical cyclones, all to be examined over 11 days”, she said.

The meeting in Cairns will include the biennial session of the Commission for Basic Systems (CBS), one of the eight technical commissions of the WMO. This group is responsible for the basic systems that underpin the World Weather Watch which collects, processes and distributes meteorological information around the world in real-time.

As well, the Fifth World Meteorological Organization International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones (IWTC) will be held at the Cairns Colonial Club from 3 to 12 December 2002. The IWTC is held every four years to promote closer interaction between forecasters and researchers, to present the latest research findings and identify opportunities for future research into tropical cyclones. This is the first time the workshop has been held in the Southern Hemisphere.

Further information:
Rachel Noble, Office of Dr Stone, 02 6277 2016
Dr Bob Brook, Acting Deputy Director (Observations and Systems), 0409 365 595
Mr Jim Davidson, Regional Director, Queensland Regional Office,
tel: 07 3239 8739, mobile: 0409 641 216, e-mail:

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