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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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Wording and Verification of Forecasts (continued)

Much later, when the Bureau (along with the racing industry) was enlisted to introduce the metric system as a spearhead for a wider adoption throughout Australia, our public relations officer, Godfrey Wiseman, coined a series of jingles to educate the public, using the terms 'frosty fives', 'tingling tens', 'temperate twenties', 'thirsty thirties' and 'flaming forties' to describe human sensation to temperatures in degrees Celsius. This was highly successful as the public soon became aware of the significance of this description. This was at a time when I had stoutly resisted the suggestion of the metrication authority that we should use a duplicate Fahrenheit/Celsius temperature system. I insisted that if any change was to be made it should be one which replaced the Fahrenheit scale by Celsius.

One by-product of having quantitative temperature forecasts expressed in degrees Fahrenheit (later in degrees Celsius) was that this innovation made forecast verification much easier. From time to time attempts had been made to assess forecast accuracy by comparing forecasts with the weather actually experienced during the forecast period. The usefulness of such verifications was doubtful because the wording of forecasts was often vague eg fine except for a shower or two, and the assessment of accuracy depended on the judgement of the assessor.

The precise prediction of maximum and minimum temperatures which made it possible to assess accuracy of forecasts objectively was not viewed with enthusiasm by all Deputy Directors. Comparisons of the performance of Divisional Offices caused some discussion because accuracy of predictions depended not only on forecasting skill but the difficulty of the task, which differed with location.

Verification of accuracy of prediction of other weather elements was difficult, especially in the case of rainfall because of the spatial and temporal variability of that element.

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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