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Table of Contents

RAAF Meteorological Service



Chapter 1: The Weather Factor in Warfare

Chapter 2: Establishing and Developing the RAAF Directorate of Met. Services (D.Met.S)

Chapter 3: Recruiting and Training of Personnel

Chapter 4: Meteorology in Aviation

Chapter 5: The Met. Retreating

Chapter 6: The Met. Advancing

Chapter 7: The Met With the Army and the Navy

Chapter 8: Divisional Offices of the Bureau of Meteorology During the War

Chapter 9: Research and Instrumental Development

Chapter 10: The End, Aftermath, and Beyond

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4



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Introduction (continued)

Until 1937 most meteorological services for aviation were provided from the Divisional Offices of the Bureau of Meteorology located in the capital cities of the States. The rapid development in commercial, domestic, and international aviation services in Australia, which commenced with the opening of the Imperial Airways Service towards the end of 1934, necessitated considerable expansion in this particular section of the Met. Service. Accidents such as the losses of the passenger aircraft Southern Cloud and Kyeema, in bad weather, enhanced the need to improve meteorological services to aviation.

The first meteorological office established for purely aviation purposes was opened at Darwin in 1934 to service the Empire Flying Boat Route. By 1937, aviation offices were established at eight other important aerodromes in Australia. By 1939, the total number had increased to 23. All of these were equipped for upper wind observations; ten were of forecasting status, and thirteen of observing status.

A noteworthy event which had occurred in 1935 was the inception of daily synoptic weather and pilot balloon reports from stations under the control of the Netherlands East Indies Met. Service. Previously, this Service had confined its attention to climatology, but with the extension of commercial air routes throughout the Indies, and between Singapore and Darwin, a network of daily weather reports was required. This was arranged at a meteorological conference held at Batavia, attended by Australian representatives.

Another meteorological conference, held in Auckland in 1937 under the auspices of the International Meteorological Commission, was attended by representatives of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, New Zealand, Netherlands East Indies and Australia. This conference, in conjunction with a further operational conference held in Melbourne in 1938, led to the establishment of the Trans-Tasman Air Service between Sydney and Auckland.

By the beginning of 1939, the Australian Met. Service was reorganised to provide a more efficient basis for the extension of facilities to aviation.

John Joyce

December 1982

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Joyce, J. 1993 'The Story of the RAAF Meteorological Service', Metarch Papers, No. 5 October 1993, Bureau of Meteorology

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