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Table of Contents

RAAF Meteorological Service



Chapter 1: The Weather Factor in Warfare

Chapter 2: Establishing and Developing the RAAF Directorate of Met. Services (D.Met.S)

Chapter 3: Recruiting and Training of Personnel

Chapter 4: Meteorology in Aviation

Chapter 5: The Met. Retreating

Chapter 6: The Met. Advancing

Chapter 7: The Met With the Army and the Navy
With the Army
With The Navy

Chapter 8: Divisional Offices of the Bureau of Meteorology During the War

Chapter 9: Research and Instrumental Development

Chapter 10: The End, Aftermath, and Beyond

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4



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With The Navy

Of the three branches of the armed forces, perhaps the Navy had the least requirements of D.Met.S. Land and air-based personnel and equipment are more vulnerable to weather conditions than naval surface and submarine vessels and the men protected by them. An aircraft would be in dire peril in the violent sector of a typhoon or tropical cyclone; army tanks and vehicles would bog down in tropical mud or be lost in flash floods. Though conditions might be uncomfortable, the majority of naval vessels would survive in most onslaughts of the weather. This is not to suggest that the weather was unimportant in naval operations both offensive and defensive—far from it. The use of meteorological conditions for manoeuvring warships during operations has already been described.

At the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Australian Naval Operations requested the supply of daily weather information and forecasts for coastal areas and seaward between Capes Capricorn and Catastrophe. This coastal section was divided into seven areas for each of which general weather data were provided at six-hourly intervals. This service commenced on 8 September 1939 five days after the declaration of war on Germany and continued throughout the conflict. On 23 July 1941 the Naval Board requested that special weather reports and analyses of winds be supplied to the District Naval Officer, Victoria, for mine-sweeping operations in Bass Strait.

In June 1942 the Australian Naval Station was divided into four meteorological divisions, and a comprehensive scheme providing for fleet synoptic messages from Darwin, Townsville, Sydney and Perth was devised. Broadcast messages containing synoptic reports and map analyses were to be transmitted daily from each of these centres, the RAAF being responsible for the preparation of the messages and the Naval Board for their transmission. This scheme came into operation on 7 December 1942. In June 1943 a revised storm warning service to ships came into operation.

A handbook was compiled by Squadron-Leader J. Hogan (1896–1970) on the local weather over the areas included in the Australian Naval Station, to cover not only the Tasman Sea and East Indian Ocean, but also the waters around the eastern parts of the Netherlands East Indies and the Bismarck Archipelago. It was a fortunate, though perhaps fortuitous circumstance that the first section of this comprehensive handbook to be completed dealt with the Pacific Ocean from Papua-New Guinea through the Solomon Islands to New Caledonia—the venue of so many impending vital military engagements with the Japanese, who were about to attack Pearl Harbour.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Directorate of Meteorological Services (D.Met.S)

People in Bright Sparcs - Hogan, John

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Joyce, J. 1993 'The Story of the RAAF Meteorological Service', Metarch Papers, No. 5 October 1993, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher