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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
The RAAF Meteorological Flight
Hazards Galore

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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Hazards Galore

It did not take a new pilot long to learn about and to respect the weather phenomenon of icing. He used every trick he knew to gain altitude and to avoid areas where icing could lurk. Sometimes, he would persist in a climb with ice building up all over the aircraft, until the weight of gravity took over, and the aircraft headed down accompanied by the weird sounds of the wind over the ice build-up—a noise that had to be heard to be believed. The ice would shed at lower altitudes, and the pilot could then try again. One pilot I knew sustained a deep gash in his forehead one morning when descending. He looked out of the cockpit and a sharp sliver of ice, dislodged from the crosswires ahead, did the damage.

Most of Brian Eaton's flying experience was in the Middle East and Europe. He thought that snow was the main weather hazard in southern Italy, making forecasting for more than a few hours ahead difficult. 'I sometimes thought that the forecasters were using historical data of weather cycles back to the days of the Roman Empire!' he commented—but added, 'to be fair however, unlike the Germans, we always operated over enemy territory, and the Hun did not broadcast hourly forecasts!'.[35]

Haze was a factor which affected the range at which an illuminated aircraft could be seen from a searchlight site. Equipment with a range of 20,000 feet on a clear night can have its effectiveness halved on a hazy night. Absorption and scattering by the atmosphere of aerosols (water droplets, ice and smoke particles suspended in it) cut down the intensity of the light on its way to and from the target aircraft.

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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
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