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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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For the Perth weather bureau, commencement of hostilities between Germany and the Allied powers resulted in an immediate and severe reduction in available meteorological information, since the almost complete radio silence imposed on ships in the Indian Ocean and adjoining sea areas meant the loss of their valuable reports to the bureau.

This loss had a serious effect on forecasting facilities since the reports were almost the only indications of weather approaching Australia from the west, save those from the cable station at Cocos Island, which is situated much too far north of an ideal latitude to give proper indication of weather in this vast sea area. This situation was, to some extent, late in the war, relieved by the receipt of a small number of radio-telegraphed ship reports received through the Navy, and by those from aircraft on the trans-Indian Ocean crossing.

Release of meteorological information to the public generally, was as in other States, restricted severely by the censorship regulations. As a result, isobaric charts, weather bulletins, rainfall maps and a certain number of forecasts were delivered by personal messenger to Federal and State departments, as well as other instrumentalities vitally concerned with this data. Needs of the rural industries were met by despatch of essential weather information to country postmasters, who were entrusted with the responsibility of releasing it to approved people, while special fire hazard telegrams went to the Forestry Department during the summer months.

Throughout the war, the ordinary work of recording and collating State climatological observations, preparation and restricted issue of stock and harvest reports, wheat crop progress statements and monthly and yearly rain maps was maintained, while the services were catered for by detailed ocean and coastal weather forecasts (for the Navy), area forecasts for Army artillery units, and special aviation statements for the RAAF.

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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