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Australia has a generally mild climate with cool winters in the south and warm winters in the north. Summers are warm along the coasts and generally hot in the interior. Freezing temperatures are infrequent. Australia’s climatic zones are relatively uncomplicated due to the lack of high mountain ranges.

The northern third of Australia is located within the tropical zone. The region has a rainy season that runs from January to April. Annual precipitation is greatest (nearly 100 inches) in the extreme north and tapers off to the south and in-land toward the semiarid interior. The interior, along the Tropic of Capricorn, is very hot and dry in the summer with average maximum temperatures at or above 90°F. In the winter, average maximum temperatures in some areas drop to 68°F.

The southern two-thirds of Australia is under the influence of the high-pressure belts of the Southern Hemisphere as well as of the migratory lows found farther southward. The southwest and southern portions of this region have rainy winters and near-drought conditions in the summer similar to the Mediterranean climate. Temperatures average 80°F in January and 55°F in July. The climate of the south-east corner is very similar to the southwest region except it experiences a shorter winter and less annual precipitation.

New Zealand is located southeast of Australia. It is a very narrow country with a southwest to northeast orientation and is exposed to the prevailing westerlies. Therefore, the climate is moderate and predominantly maritime with moderate precipitation occurring throughout the year. The northern part of New Zealand has a subtropical climate; however, winter frost and occasional snow can occur at locations farther south in highland areas. Fog is often widespread and very persistent over much of the country in advance of approaching frontal systems. Precipitation averages 49 inches in the northern half of the country and up to 170 inches in the southern half. Temperatures range from an annual average of 59°F in the north and 55°F in the central region to 50°F in the south.


This exercise provides you with practical experience in preparing data and using climato-logical References. The exercise is designed so you can work on your own with limited supervision. This is not a difficult exercise; however, it is time consuming and may take several days to complete. Inform your supervisor and/or leading chief of what you are doing and why so that they can assist you when needed. The tasks to be per-formed are as follows:

1. Using last month’s observations, compute the following for the month:

a. Extreme maximum and minimum tem-perature

b. Mean temperature

c. Range of temperature

d. Average wind direction and speed

e. Total precipitation (liquid)

2. Compare your results with the climato-logical data for that month in previous years.

3. Using climatological records, determine the absolute maximum and minimum temperatures, absolute maximum precipitation (liquid), absolute maximum snowfall (if any), and absolute maximum gust for your station. Include the year and month of their occurrence.

4. Prepare a climatological packet for a ship deploying overseas. Choose one of the two ships; ship A—Pacific deployment, or ship B— Atlantic deployment, depending upon your in-terest, duty station, or future assignment. SHIP A. Ship A will depart Alameda, California, on 3 September, arrive at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on 13 September, and reach its final destination, Yokosuka, Japan, on 26 September. The route will be direct. SHIP B. Ship B will depart Norfolk, Virginia, on 10 May, operate for 4 days off the coast of southern Iceland, and arrive at Athens, Greece, on 30 May. The route will be direct. Prepare a climatological packet using charts and a tabular listing. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. Include the following information:

a. Surface winds

b. Air temperature

c. Sea-surface temperature

d. Precipitation frequency

e. Visibility

f. Cloud cover

g. Sea level direction

h. Wave height and direction

i. Storm tracks

5. When you have completed the climato-logical packet, show it to your supervisor or leading chief. Request a critique and useful or constructive comments on your work.


Aerographer’s Mate 1 and C, NAVEDTRA 10362-B, Naval Education and Training Program Development Center, Pensacola, FL., 1974.

Day, John A. and Sternes, Gilbert L., Climate and Weather, Company, Inc., Reading, Mass., 1970.

Encyclopedia Americana, International Edition, Americana Corporation, New York, N. Y., 1974.

Encyclopedia Britannica, University of Chicago, Willaim Benton, Publisher, Chicago, 111., 1974.

Glossary of Meteorology, American Meteoro-logical Society, Boston, Mass., 1959.

Haurwitz, Bernhard and Austin, James, M., Climatology, NAVAIR 50-1B-529, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, N. Y., 1944.

Riley, Denis and Spolton, Lewis, World Weather and Climate, London, England, 1974.

Trewartha, Glenn T. and Horn, Lyle H., An Introduction to Climate, Book Company, Inc., New York, N. Y., 1980.

U.S. Navy Marine Climatic Atlas of the World, NAVAIR 50-1C-528, Vol. 1, North Atlantic Ocean; U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1974.

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