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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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Another section of this history records the work of the mobile meteorological flights that served with the Australian Army; it suffices here to deal only with forecasting services given by the headquarters of the Directorate for special use by the land forces of the Commonwealth.

Services commenced in December 1941 when detailed area weather forecasts for the whole of the Australian region were supplied twice daily to the war room in Melbourne, but in the following January this arrangement was altered and broadened to provide for daily issue of the weather chart for 2300 hours GMT, weather forecasts for each State, bulletins giving daily weather over Australia, a statement on the general meteorological situation and anticipated developments over the continent, together with detailed area forecasts.

In the following month arrangements were made to supply meteor (ballistic) reports three times daily to anti-aircraft batteries, while at the same time the forecast service to headquarters, Home Forces, was extended to cover all inland areas of eastern and central Australia, at twice daily intervals.

In March of the same year general discussions between representatives of the meteorological service and intelligence officers on particular weather requirements of Home Forces and Army Command, resulted in establishment of special networks of reporting stations to provide rainfall, road conditions, river heights and coastal information for military purposes. Suitable codes for transmitting these reports were drawn up by D.Met.S., which also devised the standard forms that were brought into effect for weather information to the various regional military commands in January 1943. Even pigeons employed for military purposes commenced flying to special weather forecasts. This development started when arrangements were made for special daily forecasts and statements of flight conditions to be supplied to the Army carrier pigeon unit.

In April 1943 issue of terrain (road) reports for Army purposes commenced from country centres, with the forecasting sections of D.Met.S. collecting this information and communicating it on standard forms to Military Intelligence, while in August the Directorate began supplying pictorial forecast charts to Victorian Lines of Communication. These charts were designed to show at a glance areas where storms, floods, bushfires or other conditions adverse to troop movements or military operations could be expected.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Directorate of Meteorological Services (D.Met.S)

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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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