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Table of Contents

Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: Growing Up

Chapter 2: Port Moresby Before Pearl Harbour

Chapter 3: Port Moresby After Pearl Harbour

Chapter 4: Allied Air Force HQ and RAAF Command, Brisbane
General Douglas MacArthur
We Join Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane
Ralph Holmes
Forecasting Procedure
WAAAFs and Other Staff
Briefing MacArthur & Co
Domestic Affairs
The Yanks Are Coming
Japanese Advance Across Owen Stanley Range
General George C. Kenney
Additional Staff
Staff Arrangements
Long Range Forecast
Investigations into Tropical Meteorology
Analysis Statements
MacArthur's Remarkable Strategy
A New Direction
Tropical Weather Research Bulletin
RAAF Command, Pat Squires and Henry Phillpot

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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Tropical Weather Research Bulletin

It was now possible to give more attention to research and investigation in parallel with our synoptic analysis routine. This research was focussed on the examination of the processes in the atmosphere which produced the weather and climate of the South-west Pacific Area, which was fundamental for improvement of forecasting in the tropics.

I suggested to Group Captain Warren that we had the capacity to produce a Tropical Weather Research Bulletin (TWRB) which would foster the exchange of ideas between meteorologists working in the South-west Pacific Area.

TWRB No 1 was issued in May 1944 containing papers by Geoff Martin and myself. Geoff's paper discussed the summer thunderstorms which developed over the ranges to the south-west of Brisbane and penetrated the strong south-westerly upper winds, which brought them and their spectacular lightning displays over the city in the early evening. My paper dealt with upper wind patterns, changes in mean sea-level pressure and what we called 'the tropical front'. As editor I also included in TWRB No 1 a brief editorial note explaining the purpose of the bulletin and asking for contributions. The editorial note also suggested that the forecaster in the South-west Pacific needed to undertake some research to make useful forecasts. The note also quoted Lord Kelvin thus: 'When you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre, unsatisfactory kind'.

There was considerable interest in the TWRB among members of the RAAF Meteorological Service, and among other meteorologists in the US, UK and New Zealand armed services. The TWRBs were mostly produced at monthly or two-monthly intervals. TWRB No 1 was issued in May 1944 and TWRB No 15 in April 1946. These fifteen issues contained 36 papers contributed by members of the RAAF Meteorological Service and meteorologists of other armed services. In addition, there were ten research notes on weather and climate and the processes involved in the South-west Pacific Area, which Herbie Whittingham and I produced. Most of the papers appearing in the TWRB described techniques of synoptic analysis and forecasting or particular types of weather experienced in the area. Appendix 3 contains a list of authors and titles of papers which appeared in the Bulletins.

People in Bright Sparcs - Warren, Herbert Norman; Whittingham, Herbert E. (Herb)

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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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