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Table of Contents

War History of the Australian Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: D.Met.S.—Australia's Wartime Weather Service

Chapter 2: The Weather Factor in Warfare

Chapter 3: Met in the Retreat

Chapter 4: Met in the Advance

Chapter 5: Meteorology in Aviation

Chapter 6: Central Forecasting Services
General Reorganisation for War
Security and Censorship
Code and Cipher Development
National Synoptic Broadcasts
Services to Armed Forces
Services to Private Industry

Chapter 7: Met With the Army

Chapter 8: Research and Personnel Training

Chapter 9: Instrumental Development and Maintenance

Chapter 10: Scientific Developments in the RAAF Meteorological Service

Chapter 11: Divisional Bureaux and Their Work

Appendix 1: List of Reports Provided by D.Met.S. for Advances Operational Planning and Other Purposes

Appendix 2: List of Service Personnel RAAF Meteorological Service

Appendix 3: List of Civilian Personnel Who Worked Together with Service Personnel of the RAAF Meteorological Service

Appendix 4: List of Locations at which RAAF Meteorological Service Personnel Served


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Chapter 6: Central Forecasting Services

General Reorganisation for War

When the Australian synoptic weather and forecasting services were completely reorganised in the year before outbreak of war, a three-hourly reporting network was initiated and international code forms replaced the earlier Australian word code. International codes also were introduced into the national broadcast services. The observing and reporting station network had been increased and strengthened by additional upper air observations, and the forecasting centres at Melbourne and Sydney had been staffed for continuous service to civil and marine interests. Thus, when war came, the central forecasting section of the Directorate of Meteorological Services in Melbourne was in a position to meet the immediate essential demand of the headquarters of the Services. Under war conditions these included: forecasting and advisory weather services to the headquarters of Army, Navy and RAAF; provision of synoptic weather and fleet broadcast messages for the fleet and their coordination with overseas services; supervision of reporting networks; liaison with the Postmaster-General's Department on matters concerning channels for collection and distribution of weather reports; preparation and distribution of ciphers and recoding tables; distribution of advisory air-mass and frontal analysis statements to divisional weather bureaux and field stations and attention to the many aspects of meteorological censorship associated with security.

Before hostilities began the staff of the forecasting section at headquarters comprised the supervising meteorologist, Mr H. E. Camm, four duty forecasters, the same number of meteorological assistants, two general assistants and a messenger, but, in order to meet the heavy demands of service formations and essential industries, the establishment was increased during the war by the addition of one senior forecasting officer, a meteorological assistant and three other persons. In 1940, also, a small subsection was formed to attend to preparation and distribution of weather ciphers and recoding tables. It was placed under the control of a former Commonwealth Meteorologist in Mr W. A. Watt, who volunteered to return from retirement for the purpose.

People in Bright Sparcs - Watt, William Shand

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Haldane, T. 1997 'War History of the Australian Meteorological Service in the Royal Australian Air Force April 1941 to July 1946', Metarch Papers, No. 10 October 1997, Bureau of Meteorology

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