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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

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962
Leonard Joseph Dwyer—A Complex Character
Reorganising the Bureau
Public Weather Services
Forecasts for the General Public
Importance of Radio Stations
The Advent of Television
Automatic Telephone Forecast Service
Wording and Verification of Forecasts
Services for Aviation
Atomic Weapons Tests
Atomic Weapons Tests—Mosaic G1 and G2
Atomic Weapons Tests—Buffalo 1, 2, 3 and 4
Atomic Weapons Tests—Operations Antler, 2 and 3
Atomic Weapons Tests—Minor Trials
Instruments and Observations
Radar/Radio Winds and Radar Weather Watch
Automatic Weather Stations
Meteorological Satellites
Tropical Cyclones
Bureau Conference on Tropical Cyclones
International Symposium on Tropical Cyclones, Brisbane
Design of Water Storages, Etc
Flood Forecasting
Cloud Seeding
Reduction of Evaporation
Rain Seminar
Cloud Physics
Fire Weather
Research and Special Investigations
International Activities
The International Geophysical Year
The Antarctic and Southern Ocean
International Symposium on Antarctic Meteorology
International Antarctic Analysis Centre
ADP, EDP and Computers
Management Conference
Services Conference
CSIRO and the Universities
Achievements of the Dwyer Years

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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The Advent of Television (continued)

Born in Yarra Junction, Victoria, in 1930, educated at Melbourne High School and having gained a B.Sc. at the University of Melbourne, Bob joined the Bureau as a meteorological assistant in 1950 before undertaking a forecasters' training course in 1951–52.

Bob's career saw him employed on various jobs including three years' service in the Central Analysis Section. In 1958 he transferred to the Victorian Divisional Office as a forecaster. I always believed that Bob's talents in meteorology were matched by a remarkable public relations ability, and saw him as a potentially highly-successful Regional Director. His talents won him promotion to that position and further advancement to the upper echelons of the Bureau, but that is another story.

Bob's reminiscences of his experiences as a weather presenter on the ABC and HSV 7 are reported in Weather News No 242 of March 1978 where he is reported as saying "those were the early days of television when everyone, including the producers, were feeling their way. Members of the general public would write to me at the channel commenting on the presentation, incorporating jokes about the weather, and outlining their own methods of weather forecasting from local weather lore. However, of the hundreds of letters I received each week, very few contained harsh criticism of the Bureau's forecasts and most could not praise them too highly".

Bob's style of presentation combined a serious description of the weather situation and forecast and a humorous, whimsical selection of jokes, quotations and verse. He had, and still has, a personality which reminds me of the talents of American actor Woody Allen.

Not only did Bob receive a remarkable volume of fan mail, at Christmas the postman delivered gifts from viewers which included socks and gloves knitted by admiring female viewers.

Items 449 to 456 of Weather News No 64 of November 1961 give a ten-page summary of the history of TV weather presentations from 1956 to 1961 which will provide those interested with a more detailed picture of what was a landmark in community understanding of the Bureau and its activity.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph

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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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