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Table of Contents

Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: Growing Up

Chapter 2: Port Moresby Before Pearl Harbour
Sydney to Port Moresby by DH-86
First Impressions of Port Moresby
Meteorological Office Routine
Flight to Kokoda
Tropical Meteorology
John (Doc) Hogan
Setting up House
We Join the RAAF
A Contrast in Attitudes
Some RAAF History
RAAF No 10 Squadron
RAAF No 11 Squadron
The Catalina Story
Construction of the Seven-mile Airstrip and Reclamation Area
Meteorological Service for the RAAF
Unexpected Vistitors
Our State of Readiness
Our Domestic Situation
A Japanese Surprise Packet
What Had We Meteorologists Achieved?

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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Meteorological Office Routine

Doc Hogan soon introduced me to the routine of the meteorological office. The morning shift began with a 6am call at the office of AWA where we collected a sheaf of radiograms containing meteorological reports from various out-stations in Papua and New Guinea. Proceeding by car to our office on Kila Kila aerodrome we made observations of the surface weather and upper winds which we incorporated in a message which was despatched to Australia by the RAAF aeradio office, which adjoined our office in a small fibro-cement cottage with a verandah on three sides.

The RAAF aeradio staff provided us with a bundle of weather reports from Australia which we plotted on a mean sea-level weather chart together with the reports from Papua and New Guinea collected from the AWA office. The observations were plotted with a twin-nibbed pen enabling use of blue ink for some figures and symbols and red for others. We then analysed the chart, delineating the isobaric pattern and noting significant areas of cloud and rain. We attempted to locate cold fronts which we delineated by blue lines although the plotted observations did not seem to fit the frontal model about which we had learnt on our training course.

We plotted no upper air charts at that time because there were few observations of upper winds and none of temperature and humidity in the upper air. Upper winds were observed by pilot balloon theodolite only at Port Moresby and Salamaua in Papua-New Guinea and at a network of stations in Australia including Townsville and Cooktown. A problem with pilot balloon observations was that the balloon was sometimes obscured in or behind cloud or haze. This usually meant lack of wind data at higher levels.

People in Bright Sparcs - Hogan, John (Doc)

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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
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher