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Table of Contents

Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: Growing Up

Chapter 2: Port Moresby Before Pearl Harbour

Chapter 3: Port Moresby After Pearl Harbour

Chapter 4: Allied Air Force HQ and RAAF Command, Brisbane

Chapter 5: Japan Surrenders and We Are Demobilised
Visit to Japan
The RAAF Meteorological Service Returns to 'Civvy' Street
Some Thoughts on Tropical Meteorology



Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Milestones

Appendix 3: Papers Published in Tropical Weather Research Bulletins

Appendix 4: Radiosonde Observations 1941–46


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Some Thoughts on Tropical Meteorology (continued)

It examined the relationship between pressure and wind fields in low latitudes, the cause of pressure changes, the diurnal and semi-diurnal oscillations in pressure and the deficiencies in the air-mass and frontal model. It suggested how these deficiencies could be overcome. It pointed out that the model of the geostrophic wind was irrelevant in low latitudes and suggested that frictional forces needed to be considered. I was brash enough to propose a simple model and used measurements of wind and pressure gradient to indicate the application of that model.

The thesis proposed that the solution to the deficiencies of the air-mass and frontal model was to give attention to the detection of convergence zones by the analysis of the wind-field. Much later I was to discover a method of streamline analysis (in a paper written by Bjerknes and Sandstrom some decades earlier) which I wish had been available to me at that time. The thesis also examined the variation of convergence/divergence with height and proposed a mechanism for the development of 'heat lows' over northern Australia.

Four appendixes to that thesis gave analyses of actual situations to illustrate subjects discussed in the text. The appendixes discussed convergence zones (including the inter-tropic convergence zone) and orographic effects. It was pointed out that convergence zones sometimes moved against the direction from which wind blew, presumably as the result of influences in the upper air. The appendixes included aerological diagrams and upper charts of pressure and wind. The upper charts for October 1944 and January 1945 were for 5000 and 10,000ft while the charts for August 1945 showed the topography of the 1000, 850 and 700mb surfaces.

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Gibbs, W. J. 1995 'A Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service', Metarch Papers, No. 7 March 1995, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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