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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950
Warren the Man
Warren Joins the Bureau
Wartime Perceptions and Attitudes
Return to Civvy Street
People in the Bureau
Re-establishing and Reorganising the Bureau
Reorganisation of Central Office
The Position of Chief Scientific Officer
Post-War Reorganisation
The Haldane Story
Public Weather Services
The New South Wales Divisional Office
The Victorian Divisional Office
The Queensland Divisional Office
The South Australian Divisional Office
The Western Australian Divisional Office
The Tasmanian Divisional Office
Pre-war Services for Civil Aviation
Post-War Meteorological Service for Aviation
Indian Ocean Survey Flight
The Aviation Field Staff
Synoptic Analysis, Prognosis and Forecasting
Antarctic and Southern Ocean Meteorology
A Wider Scientific Horizon
Research, Development and Special Investigations
Analysts' Conference, April 1950
Instruments and Observations
Radar Winds and Radar Weather Watch
Climate and Statistics
The Universities
Achievements of the Warren Years

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



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Public Weather Services (continued)

In Victoria the issue of forecasts was originally the direct responsibility of the Commonwealth Meteorologist, H. A. Hunt. This function later became the responsibility of a forecast board composed of senior members of the Central Office staff and chaired by the Commonwealth Meteorologist. During the war the responsibility for preparation of State forecasts in Victoria was given to a separate section of the Central Office, with forecasts for other States being the responsibility of individual Divisional Meteorologists. The publication of general forecasts was stopped during the war on the grounds that such information would be of benefit to the enemy. However the Divisional Offices had the responsibility of providing forecasts and other information to various sectors of the armed services. All of the Divisional Meteorologists held the rank of squadron leader or wing commander.

The lifting of the ban on public forecasts and warnings with the return of peace meant that Divisional Offices became important sources of information for the general public and for others with special requirements although, as will be described later, the provision of meteorological services for aviation was supervised by the Central Office in Melbourne.

There was special interest in the issue of warnings of tropical cyclones, floods, fire weather and other weather conditions likely to threaten life and property.

For the first time in Australia weather forecasts and warnings for the general public were produced by professionals with academic qualifications and specialised meteorological training, most of whom had been engaged in preparation of forecasts for the RAAF over a period of five years or more.

It should not be assumed that these forecasts were markedly better than those produced by largely self-educated staff without the same level of academic qualifications. Even the more highly qualified forecasters were hampered by the lack of upper air observations although they were aware of the usefulness of the limited amount of upper air data available. The Warren years were to see the beginning of remarkable growth in observations in the upper air and over the Southern Ocean. More information on this expansion appears later.

Another advantage which forecasters enjoyed was the remarkable growth in the knowledge of the atmospheric processes which determine air temperature, wind, rain, frost, fog, cloud and other meteorological elements likely to affect the general public. This is discussed later.

People in Bright Sparcs - Hunt, Henry Ambrose ; Warren, Herbert Norman

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Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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