"It's not just about whether to take an umbrella"
Sometime this week was World Meteorology Day. I say 'sometime' because the ABC News website's diary had it for today's calendar, while the World Meteorological Organizations' website has it listed for the 23rd. They celebrated it on the 25th. Go figure.
Either way, it got me thinking about the intricacies of forecasting the weather and appreciating the difficulties our homegrown weather bureau faces in forecasting Melbourne's weather, let alone Australia's. So spare a thought for those poor boffins who have to disembowel and read the entrails of some small dog, or other animal of choice, and observe the directions the Collins Street pigeons fly at sparrow's fart. And then get yelled at by us Melbournites when they don't warn us to take the umbrella out with us before the skies open up. This is for them:
[With apologies to Goscinny and Uderzo. The image is from their 1972 Asterix and the Soothsayer, and it immediately came to mind as I thought of the boffins.]
The Bureau of Meteorology celebrates its 100th birthday this year. They are using the opportunity to highlight the importance of weather forecasting to Australian community. The Bureau's Victorian director, Mark Williams, says "It's not just about whether to take an umbrella, but this is about livelihoods and about lives."
As we face the escalating and increasingly dangerous changes of global warming, the capacity to study and forecast the weather is becoming increasingly important.
Especially when we get caught in the rain without an umbrella.