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Table of Contents

RAAF Meteorological Service



Chapter 1: The Weather Factor in Warfare
The Weather and Chemical Warfare
Weather Control

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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Chapter 1: The Weather Factor in Warfare (continued)

Generally speaking, weather intelligence required during the war fell into two main categories:
  1. Climatological studies for long-range strategic planning;

  2. Short-range forecasts for military operations.

A Climatological Intelligence Section was established in the RAAF D.Met.S. under the control of Squadron-Leader J. Hogan (1896–1970). A survey was conducted of weather conditions—rainfall, temperature, humidity—for the New Guinea region. Statistics were first published in 1940. In 1942, D.Met.S. was asked by Allied Headquarters for information on Guadalcanal, preparatory to the drive there by the US forces against the Japanese. Similar information was supplied for subsequent planning operations in the recapture of New Guinea, New Britain and the Netherlands East Indies.

However, the most important task for D.Met.S. was the provision of short-range forecasts, particularly those for Allied aircraft operations. These forecasts required a high degree of accuracy regarding winds for navigation, visibility and cloud cover for air strikes and landings, and for dropping paratroopers and supplies.

The following events (described in more detail in Chapter Five) clearly illustrate what has been written above about the weather factor in warfare:

  1. The Coral Sea Battle—4 May 1942;

  2. The Battle of Milne Bay—24 August to 8 September 1942;

  3. The Bismarck Sea Battle—1 March 1943

Wherever there's war there's weather too. Squadron-Leader J. N. McRae recalled an instance in 1943 when he was in the North-Western Area (HQ Darwin) with the Japanese advancing south from Ambon under cover of bad weather. Two RAAF Hudsons from Darwin were lost in the operations involved.[8]

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Directorate of Meteorological Services (D.Met.S)

People in Bright Sparcs - Hogan, John; McRae, John Neil

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

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher