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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

Appendix 1: List of Reports Provided by D.Met.S. for Advances Operational Planning and Other Purposes
Solomon Islands
New Britain and New Guinea Regions
Netherlands East Indies, excluding Dutch New Guinea
Philippine Islands
Japan, with Japanese and Mandated Territories
Miscellaneous Reports
Investigations, Intelligence and Services

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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Investigations, Intelligence and Services

  • This, naturally, covered a wide field, but the most important of the Research and Training Section activities of this nature were:

  • Report to DWB RAAF on the frequency of occurrence and incidence of fog and low cloud at Meningie and Tintinara, SA (June 1940);

  • Analysis of fog occurrence and incidence at Port Pirie and Port Augusta, for the RAAF (September 1940);

  • Summary of meteorological conditions over the air-route from Los Angeles to Honolulu, for the Department of Civil Aviation (October 1940);

  • Supply of "Meteor" ballistic reports to the Army twice daily as a routine duty (October 1940);

  • Examination and critical review of a paper by a Forestry officer on the analysis of Inglewood (Queensland) rainfall (March 1941);

  • Preliminary discussion with aviation section D.Met.S. of the value of "density altitude" for aviation and of the advisability for introducing it into routine aviation advices. In April a conference was held with the RAAF, Department of Civil Aviation and airlines' representatives and as a result, progress was to be made along lines suggested by the conference. Instructions for use were completed in July; a supplement arising from a suggestion by the Department of Civil Aviation was added, and the whole was completed in August and issued as AMS Circular 24;

  • Report on fog incidence in Victoria, for PMG's Department (April 1941);

  • Report on frequency of low cloud and fog at Port Albert and Wilsons Promontory, for the RAAF (April 1941);

  • Report to the RAAF on temperature and humidity conditions at Darwin, Townsville and Port Moresby in connection with plans for the air-conditioning of buildings (September 1941);

  • Report on fogginess at Coonamble and Coonabarabran for the Department of Civil Aviation and DWB RAAF, in connection with the establishment of airway beacon lights (November 1941);

  • Analysis of wind and temperature in relation to problems of smoke screens over Australian cities (January 1942);

  • "Meteors" for the Army increased to three times daily (January 1942);

  • Calculation of upper air pressures over Melbourne for supply for calibration purposes to Army Proof Experimental Section. This was carried out at irregular intervals for some years;

  • Evaluation of 3-hourly pressure changes at Lord Howe Island (February 1942);

  • Vulcanology of Rabaul, to RAAF Intelligence (February 1942);

  • Examination of wind conditions at capital cities in order to classify calms and gusts of greater velocity then 35 miles per hour, in connection with proposed kite barrages (March 1942);

  • Two lectures on Meteorology were given in a series by The University of Melbourne Extension Board (April 1942);

  • Comments on rainfall at Hinders Island for DWB RAAF (April 1942);

  • Estimate of conditions of fog, low cloud, wind and rainfall at Kilmore (Vic), in connection with a proposal by the RAAF to establish an aerodrome (July 1942);

  • Collection of papers and notes on tropical meteorology and weather forecasting for distribution among Meteorological Officers, and for Forecasting Officers' training courses (August 1942);

  • Wind conditions and duststorms at Carnarvon, WA, for the Department of Civil Aviation (February 1943);

  • Lecture at the University of Melbourne, Trends of Modern Weather Forecasting (February 1943);

  • Air densities (monthly normal and probable extreme minima) at places along the air-route from Alice Springs to Wyndham, to the Department of Civil Aviation (May 1943);

  • To DGMS RAAF, meteorological data dealing with physical conditions in the free air (inside aircraft) in Australian and New Guinea areas (June 1943);

  • To CSIR, information relating to sea and air temperatures at places along the north coast of Australia, and at coastal places in New Guinea and NEI (July 1943);

  • Information relating to temperature, humidity and rainfall at Milne Bay and its effect on materials there, for Scientific Liaison Bureau (September 1943);

  • A paper on the Australian Cold Fronts over the Coral Sea and its Environments, prepared by J. Hogan (1896–1970) and J V Maher (September 1943);

  • Forecasting weather in Australian Equatorial Regions Parts I and II (Introduction and Climatology) (September 1943);

  • A study of tropical meteorology with particular application to Australian regions, by J. V. Maher (September 1943);

  • Air density (monthly average and probable minima) at Marble Bar, for the Department of Civil Aviation (October 1943);

  • Air densities at places along the Perth-Port Hedland air-route, for the Department of Civil Aviation (December 1943);

  • Maps showing normal atmospheric pressure over the area between 95 degrees East and 170 degrees West for latitudes 20 degrees North to 45 degrees South;

  • Average temperature in the upper air over Melbourne during summer for MS Laboratories (January 1944);

  • Notes on visibility at the following places, to Intelligence, DWB RAAF, for passing to US Navy HQ Washington—Canberra, Richmond, Mackay, Mareeba, Townsville, Cambridge, Western Junction, Pat's River (Flinders Island), Currie (King Island), Albany, Esperance, Pearce;

  • Report to Mt. Stromlo, Canberra, giving the number of "Frontal Days" during the years 1942 and 1943 (February 1944);

  • Part III, Synoptic Meteorology, sections 1, 2 and 3 (March 1944);

  • Double theodolite ascent at Williamstown to assist in experimental work on radar aid to searchlights, in cooperation with PMG's Department (March 1944);

  • Estimate of the strength of the strongest winds at Currie (King Island), to the Department of Civil Aviation (March 1944);

  • Arrangements made for No 5 EFTS (Narromine), No 8 EFTS (Narrandera) and No 10 EFTS (Temora) to receive copies of the daily weather chart in order to assist education officers who had recently received a short course of meteorological training (April 1944);

  • Air densities at Marble Bar and Port Hedland, to the Department of Civil Aviation (April 1944);

  • Meteorological papers on weather and radar, to the Chief of Division, RPL, Sydney (May 1944);

  • Air densities at Nhill, to the Department of Civil Aviation (July 1944);

  • Compilation of a Meteorological Glossary for the proposed revised edition of the Australian Meteorological Observer's Handbook completed in March 1945 (November 1944);

  • Tabulated lists of pressure tendencies for normal diurnal pressure oscillation for six months, October to March (for both summer and winter times) and for six months, April to September (winter time only) (December 1944);

  • Investigation of rainfall incidence and probable date of break of season at Penshurst, Dimboola and Tyrrel Downs (January 1945);

  • Investigation of katabatic winds and their effects in connection with an aircraft accident in the North Queensland ranges (January 1945);

  • Much meteorological data concerning the SWPA, to Chief Meteorologist, British Pacific Fleet;

  • Meteorological information concerning Lae, to the Army (March 1945);

  • To the Department of Civil Aviation, analysis of low cloud, visibility, wind direction and speed at Adelaide and Parafield at various hours of observation, required for consideration of a new aerodrome site near Adelaide as an alternative to Parafield (March 1945);

  • Estimate of flyable days over the trans-Indian Ocean Air-route, to AFHQ (April 1945);

  • To DRM RAAF, Meteorological information concerning frequency of conditions suitable for work on woodwork of airscrew blades, involving glueing, at Oakey, Sydney and Laverton (April 1945);

  • Report on meteorological conditions around New Guinea, to RAAF Medical Section (May 1945);

  • Meteorological advice to the Department of Civil Aviation in connection with its problem of choosing alternate aerodromes to Mascot and Essendon. For the former, Bathurst was selected for examination, for the latter, Geelong, Seymour, Mangalore or a place on the Mornington or Bellarine Peninsula (June 1945);

  • Report to the Technical Adviser to CAS giving an estimate of flying days during the period February 1944 to April 1945 in the areas controlled by 1st TAF, N Com and NW area (June 1945);

  • Discussion on problems of Antarctic meteorology and suggestions for a programme of observation and investigation by a meteorologist aboard a research ship, in response to a request from the Australian National Research Council (June 1945);

  • Report to DT RAAF giving a critical review of a paper on tropical meteorology submitted by the Directorate (June 1945);

  • Tabulated summary of performances and results at various stations of wind observations by GL method (July 1945);

  • Report to the Department of Civil Aviation on visibility conditions in the Seymour district and on the Bellarine and Momington Peninsulas when Melbourne was closed in by fog (July 1945);

  • Meeting with the Director of the Discovery Committee of the Australian National Research Council at the University of Sydney. Discussion on Antarctic meteorology (July 1945);

  • Meeting with the Director of the Oceanography Committee of the Australian National Research Council at the University of Sydney (July 1945);

  • To PMG's Department, estimate of maximum wind velocity in gusts in Cairns, Maryborough, Broken Hill (July 1945);

  • Discussion of problems involved in an experimental project of making meteorological observations in high latitudes to the south of Australia (July 1945);

  • Meteorological information, to the Ministry of Munitions (August 1945);

  • To the Chief of Division of Aeronautics, CSIR, upper air data, Laverton and Darwin (August 1945);

  • Request from the Department of Civil Aviation for air density data (already supplied by stations) to be presented in map form, dealing only with probable minimum densities in the hottest month. Work commenced; map of isobars completed in November (August 1945);

  • Assistance to Munition Laboratories in the interpretation of meteorological observations made for their purposes at Lae and Alice Springs (September 1945);

  • Report to the Department of Civil Aviation on synchronous bad visibility at Mascot and Canberra, Bathurst and Williamtown (September 1945);

  • Report on London Meteorological Office desire for a uniform world series of air-route pamphlets—meteorological conditions over air-routes—and reply forwarded to London (September 1945);

  • Information to Commonwealth Secretary, Combined Meteorological Committee, Washington, USA, as follows: Present Australian network of radiosonde stations; proposed extension of existing network; present network of aircraft sounding stations (nil); ideal network of radiosonde stations in Australian regions (September 1945);

  • Meteorological information for the New Zealand Meteorological Office, rainfall and pilot balloon results over a period of about a month (October 1945);

  • Further consideration of work involved in the revision and extension of the series of air-route meteorological pamphlets, to conform to a plan submitted by the Director, Meteorological Office, London (October 1945);

  • Upper air data for Darwin and Alice Springs, at the request of DM, Sydney, for the Rolls Royce Company, England, in connection with the conversion of Lancaster aircraft (October 1945);

  • Besides wind analyses made for incorporation in the many reports issued, a large number was required in response to specific enquiry, mainly in connection with construction of runways on aerodromes.

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

People in Bright Sparcs - Hogan, John; Maher, John Vincent (Jack)

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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

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