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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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Operational Difficulties (continued)

The situation was further aggravated by the following facts:
  1. The Royal Australian Air Force Met. service was to a very large measure dependent upon honorary and voluntary weather observers, such as postmasters, for the maintenance of its synoptic weather reporting network;

  2. All weather reports from individual stations were transmitted to several Wireless/Telegraphy broadcasting stations over the same public landline channels used for the transmission of ordinary private and commercial land telegraphic traffic. Delays were common;

  3. The great majority of the RAAF forecasting and interpreting sections were dependent almost completely upon the interception of Wireless/Telegraphy synoptic weather broadcasts for their synoptic charting networks.

The RAAF Director of Met. Services decided that the following proposals be implemented to eliminate confusion and simplify procedures:

  1. That one master code series be adopted throughout the South-West and South Pacific areas for synoptic weather reports, in-flight and post-flight aircraft weather reports, route and terminal forecasts, and terminal conditions;

  2. That uniform types of cypher, organised on a zoned basis if necessary, be adopted for continental synoptic weather messages, requests and replies, advices to aircraft, hourly broadcasts ground-to-air, and hourly reports from air-to-ground; and

  3. That the cyphers adopted under (ii) be such as to ensure adequate security of the relevant weather information for the requirements of all, rather than individual units, of the armed forces.'[18]

The implementation of these measures resulted in significant improvement.

By 1943, D.Met.S., RAAF, was well established and functioning smoothly and efficiently. The tide of events had turned in favour of the Allies. After the decisive battles of the Coral Sea and Milne Bay in May and August-September 1942 respectively, the Allied advance gathered momentum as the enemy was pushed back. The development of the Met. over a period of four or five years was phenomenal, as indeed it had been in many other defence areas. It is unfortunate, and of no credit to mankind, that it seems to take some major crisis such as war, or severe economic depression to bring out the best, as well as the worst, in humanity. War is indeed an ill-wind that blows some good. Technology advances dramatically, but more importantly, nations become at least temporarily better united, and people seem more considerate of one another when they face a common peril.

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