Page 886
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
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



Contact us

Pre-war Services for Civil Aviation

The primary stimulus for the development of the Bureau from 1935 to 1955 was the need to upgrade meteorological services for civil and military aviation. To understand the importance of meteorology for the safe and efficient operation of civil and military aircraft, and the manner in which the development of the Bureau was so closely associated with the development of aviation, it is necessary to examine the history of meteorology in Australia. A summary of the major milestones in this history is included in Appendix 3 and in the paragraphs which follow.

Kidson in the 1920s and Barkley in the 1930s had seen that the safety of aviation required advice from professional meteorologists. Other facilities required for the safe operation of aircraft were a firm runway without obstructions for take-off and landing, engineering facilities to ensure aircraft were airworthy, aids to navigation, and radio communication between aircraft and ground stations.

Australians have been fascinated with aviation since the Wright brothers' made the first sustained flight in a heavier-than-air aircraft on 17 December 1903. The story of the early days of aviation is one in which Australians can be very proud and the many references such as those of Adams (1980), Allen (1995), Gall (1986), Job (1991), Parnell and Boughton (1988) are soul-stirring. I have listed some of the aviation milestones in Appendix 3 because they have particular relevance to the development of meteorology in Australia.

Immediately after World War I Prime Minister Billy Hughes announced a prize of 10 000 pounds (equivalent to at least $200 000 today) for the first aeroplane flight made from England to Australia in less than 30 days. Ross and Keith Smith made the flight in a lumbering but reliable Vickers Vimy in November/December 1919 and collected the prize.

Harry Broadsmith, former employee of AV Roe, the famous English aircraft manufacturer, had formed a company to assemble Avro aircraft at Mascot and his partner, Nigel Love leased a nearby bullock paddock to use as an aerodrome to test the assembled machines. But it was many years before the aviation industry became economically viable. Most of the early revenue came from short joy flights offered to an eager public.

It was some time before Qantas in Queensland and Western Australian Airways (WAA) in Western Australia were able to make ends meet with the aid of Government subsidies for the carriage of airmail, freight and the occasional passenger. It was significant that the two States having the biggest areas were first to recognise the practical requirement for air transport.

People in Bright Sparcs - Warren, Herbert Norman

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

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
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher