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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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Services to Private Industry (continued)

In April, following representations from the Graziers' Association, the broadcast of bush-fire warnings was terminated, being replaced by a system of telegraphic warnings to district fire control officers—incidentally, a plan that proved so successful that it has been placed on a permanent basis. There was, however, a review of bushfire warning services in January 1944 when seasonal conditions appeared conducive to outbreaks but, despite tightening up of precautions, disastrous fires occurred in Victoria during the following month. As a result, the use of producer gas units on automobiles was banned during periods when the Directorate of Meteorological Services warned against probable bushfire periods, and the subsequent Royal Commission into Bush Fire Occurrences, held in March of the same year, reported that the warning service was "all that could be desired".

In passing, it may be recorded that a similar system was provided by D.Met.S. for use by timber cutters and charcoal burners in forest country.

Special arrangements were made to meet the needs of the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission, which suffered difficulties through discontinuance of vital weather information during times of high and low river levels, while concurrence by the censor also permitted broadcasting of certain flood warnings and advices as released by the Directorate for 'outback areas'.

In June 1943 advice was given to the Commission on the supply of superphosphates to farmers. This concerned general seasonal conditions and requirements of farmers in particular districts, whilst in July a special service to Canberra providing detailed meteorological information for parliamentary purposes was initiated.

Early in 1944 amended censorship regulations permitted the Directorate to resume publication of daily rainfall figures, and in September of that year, General Headquarters, South-West Pacific Area, authorised partial relaxation of weather censorship for the area including the eastern States of the Commonwealth, South Australia and those portions of the Northern Territory lying south of latitude 20S. In consequence of this decision censorship instructions were revised to remove all restrictions on the publication or exhibition of weather information in the relaxed areas, but maintaining the ban on the broadcast of forecasts and analyses of meteorological situations. The new system commenced operation in October 1944. In November resumption of daily rainfall and temperature broadcasts from national stations completed the relaxation of weather security except in the small section of Western Australia lying north of latitude 20S from meridian 110E to 125E.

These conditions continued until the capitulation of Japan when all restrictions on the publication and broadcasting of weather information were removed.

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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