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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)

The lower two floors of the Divisional Office building were occupied by the meteorological staff. An external staircase connected the lower floors to the roof which housed some meteorological instruments including anemometer masts. On the lower floor were a number of recording devices with rotating drums driven by clockwork. I have a vague memory of one recording drum being rotated by a weight suspended on a chain. These instruments recorded wind direction and speed and atmospheric pressure. More precise readings of pressure, temperature, rain and wind were made and recorded during the day but values at other hours were abstracted from the charts of the recording devices in the office and the instrument enclosure.

A novel device was the teleprinter on which coded messages were sent to and received from other Bureau offices and the central telegraph office of the Postmaster-General's (PMG) Department. The lower floor also contained tables used for plotting surface observations on synoptic maps, preparing rain maps and tabulations of rainfall and temperature observations throughout NSW and other States. Members of the press and others seeking information made their requests at a counter near the front door.

In the grounds of the Divisional Office was an instrument enclosure containing a Stevenson screen, ground, underground and solar thermometers and rain gauges, including a recording pluviograph. The Stevenson screen contained dry and wet-bulb and maximum and minimum thermometers and clockwork-driven thermographs and hygrographs.

Observations were received from Bureau stations in five-figure code groups or from cooperative observers in word code. Many of the cooperative observers were post office staff or private individuals including farmers. The word code consisted of words of various length.

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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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