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Weather observations return to West Terrace Park Lands

Ellis Park / Tampawardli (Park 24)

photo-icon Sir Charles Todd
photo-icon Adelaide Observatory with an inset portrait of Charles Todd, State Library of South Australia, B 69996/1, circa 1900
photo-icon West Terrace, State library of South Australia, B 9173, circa 1877
photo-icon George Strickland Kingston

In 1838, Sir George Kingston, Deputy Surveyor to Colonel William Light, began rainfall observations from his Grote Street property, around 400m from this site.

Sir Charles Todd, who is considered to be one of the Australia’s pioneering meteorologists, began recording observations from West Terrace in 1855. The Observatory site continued as the official Adelaide Weather Station until 1976, when the city’s observations were moved to Kent Town.

The construction of this automatic weather station in 2017 officially marks Adelaide’s weather observations returning to their historical home, enabling the Bureau of Meteorology to recommence climate records from 1860. Globally, records of this length and quality are extremely rare and are significant in underpinning our understanding of Australia’s climate, its variability and trends. This knowledge assists in planning for the community’s long-term needs.

The Bureau has a volunteer history group that contributes to the recording and retelling of Todd’s work. An interactive app, ‘Todd’s Adelaide’, has been developed providing a map that participants can follow, outlining locations of Sir Charles Todd’s achievements.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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