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Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology


Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1929–1946 by Allan Cornish
Chapter 1: My Early Days in the Bureau
Chapter 2: Some New Vistas
Chapter 3: The RAAF Measures Upper Air Temperatures
Chapter 4: The Bureau Begins to Grow
Chapter 5: My Voyage in Discovery II
Chapter 6: The Birth of the Instrument Section
Chapter 7: Darwin Days
Chapter 8: I Leave the Bureau

History of Major Meteorological Installation in Australia from 1945 to 1981 by Reg Stout

Four Years in the RAAF Meteorological Service by Keith Swan

The Bureau of Meteorology in Papua New Guinea in the 1950s by Col Glendinning


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Chapter 4: The Bureau Begins to Grow (continued)

The Australian public awareness of weather at that time was very primitive. I can still remember an occasion when the cruise ship Mariposa was anchored in Melbourne with tourists on board. We were accustomed to Australian phone queries such as 'what's the weather?'. We had to ask the caller for more details to establish whether they were going for a picnic, going skiing or whether they were a farmer hoping for rain.

I was surprised on this particular night, to hear a voice with an American accent saying 'I am a passenger on the Mariposa, my name is so and so. I have booked with Australian National Airways to go to Sydney tomorrow. I am depending on that trip. Could you please tell me at what height they will fly, whether it will be cloudy and what I might see'. At that time no Australian would ask for such details.

Aviation forecasts were prepared in capital city offices from the early 1930s. At that time there were very few observations. I believe that in those days there were only two observations a day, 9am and 3pm.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William

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Cornish, A., Stout, R., Swan, K and Glendinning, C. 1996 'Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 8 February 1996, Bureau of Meteorology

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