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Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology


Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1929–1946 by Allan Cornish

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
Brief History and Geography
Station Operations
Air Transport
The Port Moresby Office
Housing for Bureau Staff, Port Moresby
Staff Members and Their Families
Local Transport
Entertaining, Sport and Lifestyle
Shopping Facilities
Native Servants
Communication with Native Servants
Forecasting Problems in Port Moresby
Other Comments


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Station Operations (continued)

A well organised synoptic observational program was performed by non-Bureau observers such as missionaries, patrol officers, plantation managers, oil search companies and white and native Administration employees. Observations were also received from Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) offices and OTC stations.

Many of the initial issue of aviation and public weather forecasts for the day were prepared using an 0300 hours synoptic chart containing less than six observations from the Papua and New Guinea area.

International and domestic aviation forecasts were provided by the Port Moresby office, and route forecast exchanges for relevant areas of responsibility were conducted with other main meteorological offices in Australia and the Pacific. Receipt of these route forecasts and the appropriate aerodrome forecasts was not good at times, this being attributed to the detrimental effect of 'atmospherics' on radio teletype reception.

An incident concerning a USAAF C130 illustrated that the equipment being used by the Bureau and DCA was not the most efficient at that time. The C130 had landed at Jackson's strip, Port Moresby, and was to proceed to Guam. Due to poor radio reception, the meteorological information requested from Guam was not received. A flight forecast for the route Port Moresby to Guam was prepared, and accepted by the captain of the aircraft who was unconcerned that the aerodrome forecast for Guam was endorsed provisional, having been originated in the Port Moresby office. The captain despatched the radio operator to the C130, and the required aerodrome forecast was obtained by calling Guam from the aircraft on the tarmac. It was stated by the C130 crew that Washington headquarters could have been contacted in the same manner. The Port Moresby office did not have the occasion to witness this statement being proved correct.

People in Bright Sparcs - Glendinning, Colin (Col)

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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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