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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 5: My Voyage in Discovery II (continued)

One idea which had occurred to me was that there would be merit in knowing the position of the ocean convergence in the Southern Ocean. It fascinated me on Discovery II. I discussed it with the hydrographer on board. I remember climbing to the crow's nest to look at the convergence as we approached it. The most obvious sign of the convergence was its effect on the sea state. The convergence was about three miles in width and was marked by a highly confused sea state. The pattern of the sea state was distinctly different on either side of the convergence.

From information on Discovery II I found that its position varied significantly with time of year. It seemed to me that this ocean convergence might be significant for seasonal forecasting and other atmospheric processes.

However, when I returned to Melbourne I became involved with other things. When observations later became available from Heard Island with the establishment of a Bureau observing station there in 1948 it was obvious that the significant feature in ocean-atmosphere interaction was not so much the amount of heat in the ocean but the strong gradient of ocean temperature provided a source of energy which could be significant in the development of atmospheric systems in the area.

When later I became involved in the Instrument Section thoughts of the ocean convergence remained in the back of my mind. Other matters became of more immediate concern. There were many things related to floods, run-off and rainfall that needed to be considered.

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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