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Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology


Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1929–1946 by Allan Cornish
Chapter 1: My Early Days in the Bureau
Chapter 2: Some New Vistas
Chapter 3: The RAAF Measures Upper Air Temperatures
Chapter 4: The Bureau Begins to Grow
Chapter 5: My Voyage in Discovery II
Chapter 6: The Birth of the Instrument Section
Chapter 7: Darwin Days
Chapter 8: I Leave the Bureau

History of Major Meteorological Installation in Australia from 1945 to 1981 by Reg Stout

Four Years in the RAAF Meteorological Service by Keith Swan

The Bureau of Meteorology in Papua New Guinea in the 1950s by Col Glendinning


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Chapter 2: Some New Vistas (continued)

Variability of rainfall was one of Barkley's main interests. He was particularly interested in the correlation between rainfall and wheat yield. He had two pet theories. He identified rainfall in August and September as the most significant element in wheat yield in Victoria. He was very well read in the scientific texts on the atmosphere. One of his special interests was the use of statistics in meteorological research. His contribution to the scientific aspects of meteorological knowledge have been largely unrecognised. Working in the same room, Hogan (1896–1970) and I learnt a great deal from watching Barkley at work.

Quayle had retired before I joined the Bureau. He had acted as Commonwealth Meteorologist on a few occasions when Hunt was absent.

Hunt had a press conference every afternoon about 4pm. Newspaper reporters would visit Hunt's office by appointment. They would question him on a wide variety of weather topics.

Jack Hogan (1896–1970) told me of an amusing incident which occurred on one occasion when Quayle was acting as Commonwealth Meteorologist. Quayle owned a rural property near Quambatook and was very interested in the weather expected in Quambatook, especially rain.

Jack Hogan's story related to the forecast made by Quayle when he was acting as Commonwealth Meteorologist on Melbourne Cup day during one of Hunt's absences. Cup Day was always a big occasion in Melbourne and the press were always in force to see the Commonwealth Meteorologist at 4pm on the previous day to ask about the forecast for Cup Day. On that occasion Quayle was especially interested in the prospect of rain in Quambatook to ease the drought which prevailed there at the time. With indications of general rain Quayle was so excited that when the reporters asked him 'what will the weather be like tomorrow?' he replied 'it's going to be beautiful'. He was thinking about rain for his farm in Quambatook and it wasn't until later that evening when The Herald came out that he realised that he had dropped a clanger. He realised that what The Herald wanted was a fine day for the Cup.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William; Hogan, John; Hunt, Henry Ambrose ; Quayle, Edwin Thomas

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Cornish, A., Stout, R., Swan, K and Glendinning, C. 1996 'Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 8 February 1996, Bureau of Meteorology

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