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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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International Symposium on Antarctic Meteorology (continued)

The paper by Tom Gray of the US Weather Bureau describing the operation during the IGY of the International Weather Central at the US base at Little America near the eastern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf was of particular interest to Australia, which had volunteered to maintain a similar station at Melbourne after the IGY. Tom's paper referred to the paper by Alt, Astapenko and Ropar of the IGY General Report Series of the IGY World Data Centre at Washington DC which I have not had time to consult. I quoted a paper by Rastorguev and Alvarez in my Antarctic symposium paper but have not had time to locate it almost 40 years later. However the paper by Astapenko of the Leningrad Hydrometeorological Institute of the USSR which appears in the 1960 report of the Melbourne Antarctic conference proceedings supplements the Gray paper in providing insights into the difficulties of weather forecasting in Antarctica.

Tom Gray's paper refers to the practical difficulties in operating a Weather Central at Little America. He states that "the major problem was collection of raw data early enough to be useful in scheduled analyses". This problem of maintaining a telecommunications system for the timely collection of data from high latitude stations in the southern hemisphere was to be a significant problem long after the conclusion of the IGY. I was to chair a WMO Antarctic Working Group in those years and telecommunications problems were the major difficulty in establishing an efficient method of data collection.

Although the Weather Central at Little America base had difficulty in maintaining its primary objective of assisting forecasters on the Antarctic continent, its staff were able to make significant contributions to the knowledge of atmospheric processes over and adjacent to the Antarctic continent. They were able to apply frontal models in their synoptic analyses as we in Australia had from the time of the establishment of ANARE bases at Heard and Macquarie Islands in 1948. Tom Gray's paper also contributed to the important question of the development of polar anticyclones in high southern latitudes.

Astapenko's paper emphasises the inadequacy of the enhanced surface observing network during the IGY and the difficulty experienced because of local effects which rendered surface observations unrepresentative of the broad circulation pattern of the atmosphere. Astapenko also reported that fronts were identifiable over the whole of the Antarctic continent, including the South Pole. One can appreciate the difficulties of Gray, Astapenko and their colleagues in using a network of observations which would be considered inadequate over the Australian continent, when the Antarctic continent is significantly larger.

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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