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Table of Contents

Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: Growing Up
Early Australian Meteorologists
Early Days in the Bureau
Forecasters' Training Course
My Classmates
Reorganisation of the Bureau
Love and Marriage

Chapter 2: Port Moresby Before Pearl Harbour

Chapter 3: Port Moresby After Pearl Harbour

Chapter 4: Allied Air Force HQ and RAAF Command, Brisbane

Chapter 5: Japan Surrenders and We Are Demobilised



Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Milestones

Appendix 3: Papers Published in Tropical Weather Research Bulletins

Appendix 4: Radiosonde Observations 1941–46


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Early Days in the Bureau (continued)

In the decade following the formation of the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology in 1908, Hunt (the first Commonwealth Meteorologist), Griffith Taylor (who later became Professor of Geography in Sydney and Toronto) and Quayle, included this type of chart in their book on the meteorology of Australia.

I have a clear memory of Davy Mares proudly explaining to me the significance of the 'kidney-shaped high', represented by a framed chart of a mean sea level pressure distribution which hung on the wall of his office. It depicted one anticyclone centred over the Great Australian Bight and the other over the Tasman Sea. He assured me this was the precursor of severe floods over south-eastern Australia. More than 50 years later this still remains a useful forecasting clue.

Although Davy and many other meteorologists in the 1930s relied heavily on the analogue method of forecasting, some, such as Hunt, Taylor, Quayle, Barkley and Kidson, were wanting to know more about mechanisms in the atmosphere. In particular they were convinced that processes in higher levels of the atmosphere were likely to be significant.

I remember B. W. (Barney) Newman and Messrs Ainsworth and Steele in the Sydney office when I joined the staff. Barney was a short, friendly, likeable man of slim build who gave me what instruction in meteorology his other duties permitted. Barney's father had been captain of one of the steamboats operating on the Murray River. George Ainsworth had been a private secretary to William Morris (Billy) Hughes when the latter had been Prime Minister. George had also served as Officer-in-Charge at Macquarie Island when the Bureau operated a meteorological station in those remote sub-Antarctic latitudes in 1916. As Chief Clerk, Mr Steele was a dignified if somewhat sombre and remote man.

People in Bright Sparcs - Hunt, Henry Ambrose ; Kidson, Edward; Mares, David John; Newman, Bernard William (Bernie); Quayle, Edwin Thomas; Taylor, Thomas Griffith

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Gibbs, W. J. 1995 'A Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service', Metarch Papers, No. 7 March 1995, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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