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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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Achievements of the Dwyer Years (continued)

Other services included those for civil and military aviation, for the WRE rocket range and for the UK's testing of atomic weapons in Australia. The Bureau significantly increased forecast, warning and consultative services for farmers and pastoralists, for building and other industries and for commercial and business companies. Special forecasts and other information were provided to the organisers of royal tours and the Olympic Games held in Melbourne in 1956.

The Bureau's network of observations was considerably expanded and included 21 radar wind-finding stations, 16 of which also observed occurrence and movement of precipitation, a facility which was extremely valuable in tropical cyclone forecasting and warning. Two additional radar stations were installed near Cairns and at Cape Byron specifically for weather watching. Plans were well advanced for the installation of a radar for weather watching and research on top of the physics building of the University of Melbourne.

Forster, Lillywhite, Handcock, Clifford and Rainbird

Figure 40 Allan Rainbird, another Cadet Meteorologist, was the first forecaster to present a weather program on ABC TV. He later played a major role in developing the Bureau's Hydrometeorological Section. This photograph pictures the Cadet Meteorologists who graduated from the Bureau's forecasters training course in 1953. Left to right, back row Rob Forster, John Lillywhite (OIC Training), Don Handcock, front row Julian Clifford, Allan Rainbird.

The circular mentioned that fourteen new stations were added to the radiosonde network. The frequency of flights and altitudes reached were considerably increased. A new desert station with surface, radiosonde and radar wind equipment was installed at Giles.

With the cooperation of the US, Australia was involved in the interpretation of data from meteorological satellites. Some time later these observations were to provide a wealth of observations from data sparse areas, particularly the oceans of the southern hemisphere.

The circular indicated that two sferics (lightning discharge) networks had been installed and operated and that some AWS had been procured, installed and operated.

The telecommunications system, crucial for the preparation and dissemination of Bureau forecasts and warnings was greatly improved with a higher-speed teletype system and facsimile.

Neil Body

Figure 41 Neil Body, a Hydrologist/ Engineer recruited in the Dwyer years, helped develop the Bureau's Hydrometeorological Section, including the specialised flood forecasting system for the Macleay River of NSW. Neil is pictured here with his young son Christopher in May 1960.

The use of the Bureau's punch-card system was upgraded with a data bank of some nine million cards increasing by 750 000 a year. A close watch was kept on overseas developments in ADP, particularly the use of electronic computers for NWP.

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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