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

13 August 2004

Local weather data in real time now a reality for Cowra


Access to high quality local weather data in real time is now possible for Cowra. Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary with Ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said a new Automatic Weather Station (AWS) had been installed at Cowra airport.

"Having a good knowledge of local weather conditions is important and the new AWS at Cowra Airport will be particularly helpful in tracking winter westerly changes and summertime easterly troughs as they progress across southeastern Australia ," Dr Stone said.

"This new weather station will provide accurate readings of temperature, humidity and wind as well as rainfall every hour, 365 days a year in all weather, day and night."

The first official weather recordings were taken at the Cowra Agricultural Research Station in 1905. In 1966, the Cowra Airport weather station was opened. Since 1996, Carol and Mark Eisenhaur have manually read the station instruments at Cowra Airport and their services will be maintained for a year as a comparison site. Once the manual station is closed, Mr and Mrs Eisenhaur will continue to provide the visual component of the observations to complement the automated record.

Senator the Hon. Bill Heffernan thanked the Eisenhauers for their contribution to this vital local service and said the new AWS would be a significant benefit to the local Cowra community.

" The new AWS will primarily support the provision of weather and climate services to the agriculture sector but also to emergency services groups and the general public. The site is strategically placed at the airport and the local data will also be valuable for local aviators ," Senator Heffernan said.

"Having hourly access to weather data will be especially important during the bushfire season when weather changes can impact on how effectively a fire is controlled."

Dr Stone praised Senator Heffernan for his commitment to ensuring that the Cowra community benefited from improvements to the Bureau of Meteorology's extensive observational network.

"Cowra is part of the Bureau of Meteorology's network of more than 500 Automatic Weather Stations nationwide. Senator Heffernan understands the importance of being a part of this network and he has worked hard to have Cowra included," Dr Stone said.

A ll observations of weather from the Cowra Airport AWS can now be seen on the Bureau's web site at: http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDN65092/IDN65092.95721.shtml

Commonwealth of Australia