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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Melbourne to Cambridge, Massachusetts
Long-range Forecasting
Synoptic Meteorology
Dynamic Meteorology I, II, III
Dynamic Meteorology IV
Physical Meteorology
Audrey Joins Me in Boston
Was it Worthwhile?

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



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Dynamic Meteorology I, II, III (continued)

Although we did not have direct application of these equations in our daily routine, we gained a better understanding of the atmospheric mechanisms by reading these papers.

My summaries of Lorenz's lectures in dynamic meteorology occupy 35 pages of my student's notebook II and cover a similar field to Starr's lectures on Dynamic Meteorology I, but with different emphasis and lines of approach.

Compared with the university professor's image created by Starr's lectures, those by Ed Lorenz were somewhat pedestrian. Ed's somewhat unspectacular lectures were possibly a sign of his boredom in delivering them. If was many years later, when I heard him deliver the IMO lecture at a WMO Congress in the late 1960s or early 1970s that I came to appreciate the depth and breadth of his vision.

Lorenz described the use of polar and rectangular coordinates and discussed the effect on the Earth of it being an oblate spheroid rather than regular sphere. He pointed out the alternatives in considering absolute and relative motion on an Earth orbiting round, and receiving radiant energy from, the sun while losing energy through longer-wave radiation. He discussed the balance, or lack thereof of the pressure, Coriolis, and friction forces in determining motion in the atmosphere and the ideas of molecular and turbulent friction, the Ekman spiral. His lectures also covered the transport of mass, momentum and energy.

Starr's lectures on Dynamic Meteorology III began with a list of references to be consulted which included those of G. Hadley, V. Bjerknes, H. Jeffreys, C. G. Rossby, J. Namias, and others. He pointed out that the methods of research on the general circulation of the atmosphere could be classified as observational research, dynamical research and research using models (the latter which he regarded as the most fruitful field).

He considered that mean values would not give the best picture of the general circulation and commented that "in analysing the vast bulk of observational data methods used should be based on theoretical principles—the simpler the better". He stated that "the basic discoveries of the mechanisms of the general circulation have yet to be made. Present theories are restricted by an over-simplification and as a result fall short of the truth". Starr went on to state "requirements for such a study are Newtonian laws of motion—conservation of momentum; principles of conservation of energy; and the principle of the conservation of mass".

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Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

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