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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)
Summary of Activities and Developments in D.Met.S. to mid-1943
Coordination of RAAF and United States Army Air Force and Navy Weather Services
Operational Difficulties

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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Coordination of RAAF and United States Army Air Force and Navy Weather Services (continued)

The US Navy Weather Service chief in the Pacific was Captain W. M. Lockhart, known as Red because of the colour of his hair. Lockhart and a fellow officer, Commander F. W. Reichelderfer (USN), had produced a joint thesis on the Norwegian frontal analysis system. Post-war, Reichelderfer was to become chief of the United States Weather Bureau, and some years later, President of the World Meteorological Organization.

To assist the USAAF and Navy, an outline of the Australian Met. organisation was printed and distributed to US forces. All D.Met.S. services and resources were made available to the Allies, and most American weather personnel were given ten days instruction and training in Australian meteorological practice. Forty forecasters and 140 observers were involved in this training.

Operational Difficulties

One of the most aggravating operational difficulties was the proliferation and complexity of the codes and cyphers used to communicate weather information and forecasts. For instance:
  1. Two cyphers were in use in the Areas for collective weather broadcast messages, the most generally used being Andusyn;

  2. Five codes were used for encoding weather reports and forecasts to and from aircraft, AirWeathco probably having the maximum usage;

  3. Four cyphers were used for encyphering forecasts and reports to and from aircraft, Andusmet probably having the maximum usage.

The resultant operational difficulties were the risk of providing incorrect information due to mistakes in using various cyphers and different types of cypher-key indicators, and mistakes due to non-synchronous changeover to new cypher packs or series. Because of the complexity of distribution, stations frequently did not receive messages because of the use of one particular cypher (WAC-1) in the south Pacific. The resultant hourly-line instead of random-line selection meant that weather information sometimes lacked adequate security.

These difficulties made it regrettable that the Andus codes and cyphers designed at the Batavia conference of 1941, were either not known to, or not distributed as intended, amongst the headquarters staff of the US forces likely to engage in active operations in the Australasian region.

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

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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