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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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National Synoptic Broadcasts

A synoptic weather broadcast, as its name implies, it a group of individual weather reports from widely scattered stations transmitted by wireless from a central office for simultaneous interception by meteorological stations at home and abroad. When Australia entered the war, such synoptic broadcasts, prepared by the central forecasting section for use by overseas organisations and shipping, were transmitted from station VJR (Laverton) daily at each synoptic hour. They were coordinated with similar broadcasts in neighbouring countries in order that all organisations could obtain thereby a synchronised cover of the meteorological situation over the entire area, while additional short regional messages also were transmitted from Darwin (NT) and Rose Bay (NSW). Coastal shipping was catered for by brief plain language forecasts and statements broadcast at fixed times from coastal radio stations,.

War, however, brought rapid changes in requirements, not only from naval and overseas organisations, but also from within the Australian region itself. Operational bases were established in many islands of the Pacific and at remote localities in the Commonwealth not served by landline communications. For these it was necessary to rely entirely on wireless for the transmission of information. The position was further complicated by the movement of large naval units into neighbouring oceans and the demand from overseas for fuller and more frequent information.

In January 1942, to meet requirements of the Indian meteorological services and of fleet units in the Indian Ocean, synoptic broadcasts containing information from Western Australia and the adjacent sea areas were established and continued until the end of the year, when they were replaced by special fleet synoptic messages. April 1943 saw extension of the national broadcasts from VNHQ (Laverton, Victoria) to include coded map analyses covering the Australasian region and additional reports from New Guinea, utilising, in the first place, the British confidential vocabulary code CD 0115(2), but subsequently the international code form IAFAC.

Alteration followed in October 1943 to include weather reports from aircraft and also upper air data secured from the radiosonde network.

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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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