AMetA

Welcome to the Australian Meteorological Association Inc.

Current meeting location continues to be at St Saviour’s Anglican Church, Glen Osmond.

For several years prior to COVID, the AMetA bi-monthly meetings were held in a conference room at the Bureau of Meteorology offices in Adelaide. All meetings were suspended during the first year of COVID, and since February 2021 the meetings have resumed in various alternative locations, while the Committee continues to investigate longer-term options. However, a return to the BOM conference room is, optimistically, still thought to be possible.

As an experiment, the October 2021 meeting was held at a hotel in North Adelaide in the form of a Dinner Meeting. Since then, meetings have all been held at St Saviour’s Anglican Church, cnr of Portrush Rd and Pridmore Rd, Glen Osmond – while the deliberations for a more permanent venue continue!


Meeting 21st June ’22

The most recent AMETA meeting was held at 7pm on 21st June 2022 at St Saviour’s Church, Glen Osmond.

The evening’s talk was titled ‘Weather information for South Australian Agriculture’ by Warwick Grace.

A relatively small audience was most attentive as Warwick outlined the current status of the Mid-north and Riverland /Mallee Mesonet projects. Plans for further expansion south of Adelaide were also discussed. A lively Q&A session followed.

Summary: A recently established network of Automatic Weather Stations in South Australia’s Mid-north and the Riverland  and Mallee provides information relevant to agriculture and regional requirements. The stations are of high quality and adhere to Bureau of Meteorology protocols. Currently the network comprises over 70 stations and will extend to the Limestone Coast region with another 40 to 50 stations later this year. Depending on the topographic and landscape complexity, the stations are typically 15 to 25 km apart.

The primary purpose is to provide guidance to eliminate off-target spray drift of herbicides and pesticides. No other networks in Australia provide the relevant information. As might be expected, there are many additional benefits – such as fire danger ratings, rainfall for localised flooding, insurance evidence, and evapotranspiration.

Participants were shown how to access the data using their smart phone. Full access is by subscription, however, common parameters like wind and temperature are freely available.

Bio: Warwick Grace was a meteorologist for 30 years in the Bureau of Meteorology, Flinders University and RAAF. He has worked in general forecasting, and research into prediction of fogs, seabreezes, air pollution, thunderstorms and seasonal temperature. Currently he is a part of COtL (Conditions Over the Landscape) which operates the COtL Mesonet (https://cotl.com.au/ ).   He has a doctorate in meteorology specializing in wind flow over topographic obstacles.


Previous Meeting 19/4/22

Impacts of Boundary Layer Turbulence on Heliostats in Solar Thermal Plants

Dr Matthew Emes, Adelaide University

Abstract

Heliostat mirrors used to concentrate solar radiation in solar thermal plants are small-scale, thin-walled structures which can be significantly impacted by turbulence generated in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL).  The characteristics of such flimsy structures are not considered in conventional building design codes. 

This talk provided an insight into the generation and analysis of turbulence characteristics within the ABL using the large-scale University of Adelaide wind tunnel. The work is important in providing accurate prediction of  design wind loads on heliostats, not only to avoid structural failure, but also reduce the cost of steel pedestals, foundations, mirror support structure and drives. Verification of the wind tunnel correlations with atmospheric surface layer turbulence parameters  will be investigated at the atmospheric boundary layer research facility at the University of Adelaide Roseworthy campus.

Bio:
Dr Matthew Emes is a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Adelaide.  He has a background in experimental fluid mechanics and atmospheric boundary layer turbulence with a focus on how turbulence can impact the aerodynamics and wind loads of heliostats used in solar thermal technology. Dr Emes’ research is funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) through the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute (ASTRI) heliostat project, and the US Department of Energy (DOE) Heliostat Consortium (HelioCon).


PWS Activities have Commenced

Visit the PWS Area pages for details of PWS activity.


Monana Publications

Since its creation some 53 years ago, AMetA has produced a regular series of newsletters called Monana. The purpose of these has been to keep members informed on matters of general meteorological interest and to record an outline of talks presented to our meetings. As an example, the October 2021 issue of Monana can be viewed HERE.

To maintain virtual contact with our members during our COVID hibernation, we began producing monthly newsletters, alternating between the traditional Monana series and a new series which is mainly directed at people with an interest in personal weather station (PWS) and kindred issues. Both series of newsletters have been made visible in the Members Area of this website (Visitors Welcome!). The March 2021 issue of the PWS newsletter can be viewed HERE


Historical weather update

Mac Benoy, AMetA Citizen Science Team Leader

An item of great interest to AMetA members was presented on page 3 of The Advertiser on Thursday 9th July 2020. It was written by Miles Kemp – read a sample below.

The discovery of an extensive 150-year-old diary has filled a key gap in Adelaide’s colonial weather history and will (complete) one of the longest continual records in the Southern Hemisphere. The diary contains crucial weather details from 1843 to 1856, including rainfall, temperatures, cloud types and even barometric pressure, meticulously recorded in longhand.

AMetA project manager Mac Benoy said the discovery was part of a 15-year search by local volunteers to find colonial Adelaide’s missing weather records.”

A comprehensive explanation of how this information is being exploited is available on pages 2-7 of the October 2020 AMetA Newsletter (Monana), which may be viewed HERE.

* * * UPDATE * * * At the April 2021 AMetA Meeting, Mac Benoy gave a presentation entitled “Preserving our Historical Record” to a small but enthralled audience. Mac concentrated on SA Regional Office National Weather Folios from 1879-1957, relating his story to the technological advances taking place during the early days of SA white settlement.

Slides used in this talk may be viewed HERE. Mac intended to add some text to flesh out the slides, although the pictures are probably quite self explanatory. In the meantime it might be helpful to have first read the “comprehensive explanation” referred to in the paragraph above. PLEASE NOTE: The slides file is a fairly large (about 35MB) so it might be a bit challenging for older devices! Also note that the slides reside on the Dropbox cloud so you probably need to have Dropbox installed on your device.