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Table of Contents

Catalogue of Items in Weather News


Explanatory Note

Catalogue of Items



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Explanatory Note (continued)

On his appointment to the newly created position of External Relations Officer, F. T. Hannan became the second editor of Weather News, his first issue being No. 31 for February 1959. He maintained the high standard established by Mr Hall although, as was the case with all the editors, the preparation of Weather News was one of a host of responsibilities. The period from February 1959 to October 1964 when Mr Hannan was editor was marked by spectacular development in the Bureau, with reorganisation of the staff structure, a rapid development in the volume and means of acquisition of observations (including meteorological satellites), improved telecommunications, diversification and specialisation in the provision of meteorological services, improvement in the understanding of atmospheric mechanisms, and an upsurge in the participation of Bureau staff in international activities.

At this time responsibilities of the External Relations Officer included increasing attention to production of material for information of the general community, mounting of exhibits, responding to queries from the news media and the public, and preparing responses to questions addressed to the Minister responsible for the Bureau, in addition to the preparation of background briefing for Bureau staff involved in international conferences and other activities. This led to secondment to the Bureau of a journalist from the News and Information Bureau who, in addition to assuming responsibility for public relations, became editor of Weather News. Thus from issue No. 100, November 1964, E. E. Saunders had this task. Weather News was basically unaltered in format since its inception although from issue No. 71 in June 1962 its first page often contained a photograph. This became a regular feature from early 1964. During 1964, when for a period of six months Mr Hannan was on furlough, Mr John Hogan (formerly Assistant Director, Administration) had returned from retirement to carry out the duties of External Relations Officer and also of editor of Weather News.

Mr Saunders served as editor from November 1964 to October 1969 apart from a period of some months in late 1968 when he was seconded to the Northern Territory and his place was taken by another officer of the News and Information Bureau, Stan Marks. This was a period of growth for the Bureau with a significant increase in personnel and financial resources which enabled the further development of observational and telecommunications facilities, including radar, satellites and automatic weather stations, further expansion in services provided by the Bureau and maintenance of a high level of involvement in international activity including the World Weather Watch and the Global Atmospheric Research Programme. A highlight of this period was the acquisition by the Bureau of one of the largest computer complexes in Australia at that time which enabled the development of operational procedures for the production of numerical weather prediction of broadscale features of the atmosphere.

People in Bright Sparcs - Gibbs, William James (Bill); Hall, Thomas Taylor (Tom); Hogan, John

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'Catalogue of Items in Weather News, Issues No. 1-262, August 1956 - December 1982', Metarch Papers, No. 1 February 1986, Bureau of Meteorology

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