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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

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
Organisation of State Bureaux on War Basis/ Additional Functions Undertaken
Communication and Censorship Problems
Operations at Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart

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 11: Divisional Bureaux and Their Work

Organisation of State Bureaux on War Basis/ Additional Functions Undertaken

In common with the central headquarters of D.Met.S. in Melbourne, the divisional weather bureaux in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart maintained normal services to the public during the war years, with the exception of those curtailed or forbidden by security regulations. To this work was added, after the general transfer of the meteorological organisation to the RAAF, the additional task of preparing special advices for the three armed services—such as ballistic computations for gun-laying at garrison batteries and training units in the environs of each capital, intelligence reports on fordability of rivers and state of roads and various types of special information for the Navy. As in Melbourne, the great majority of civilian employees at each State bureau was commissioned or enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force, with the Divisional Meteorologist in each case as commanding officer, and in consequence frequent staff alterations became the order, due to rotation of personnel throughout the meteorological organisation.

Communication and Censorship Problems

Limitation or curtailment of the various means of communicating weather information, both within the network of meteorological stations and outwards to the public, presented many problems. For instance, censorship restrictions on the press and radio stations made it necessary to establish direct lines of information for the provision of flood, fire and storm warnings, while the needs of rural industries resulted in country postmasters being charged with the release to approved persons of regional and other special forecasts sent to them from capital city bureaux. Similarly, special arrangements were made for provision of weather services to manufacturing and commercial interests, such as predictions of temperatures supplied to gas companies to enable them to estimate likely demands on their product from time to time, and to fruit growers as a guide in picking crops to reach market in prime condition.

So far as the transmission of observations and other weather information between the bureaux and all reporting stations in the respective states was concerned, full use was made of the RAAF radio communication channels, while Postmaster-General's Department services were employed as far as possible for such normal services as distribution of periodical bulletins of rainfall and other weather conditions.

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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