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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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Pre-war Services for Civil Aviation (continued)

On the completion of their training courses most of the graduates were posted to aerodromes adjacent to capital cities or other strategic locations such as Darwin, Garbutt and Port Moresby. John Lillywhite (1992) reports that by mid 1937 meteorological offices had been established at Mascot aerodrome near Sydney by Arthur White, at Essendon near Melbourne by Jack Nance, at Archerfield near Brisbane by Wally Land, at Mayfield near Perth by Ray Wyatt, at Parafield near Adelaide by Reg Shinkfield and at Garbutt by Hutchinson.

By this time a new specialised five-figure code allowed the more precise reporting of weather affecting aviation, such as visibility, wind direction and speed, amount and height of low cloud, etc. The weather officers had been trained to make pilot balloon observations of upper winds. They plotted and analysed surface synoptic charts, and represented upper winds using the 'snake' graphic described by Gibbs (1995).

When the second forecasters' training course of 1937 was completed most of its graduates were posted to the same aerodromes.

It was at this time, after the loss of aircraft including ANA'S Avro 10 Southern Cloud in 1931 and Airlines of Australia's Stinson in February 1937, that the Commonwealth Government asked H. E. Wimperis, an aviation expert, to advise on improved services for civil aviation. The crash of ANA'S DC2 Kyeema in October 1938 underlined the problem. The Wimperis report added emphasis to the need for more meteorological support.

The DH86s on the Qantas/Imperial Airways service were replaced in August 1938 by Short Empire C class flying-boats. These large, powerful four-engined and high-winged monoplanes of all-metal construction carried only 15 passengers, a flight crew of two and a cabin crew of three. They were in fact luxury liners, extremely spacious, but with a cruising speed of only 140 knots and a range of only 700 nautical miles. Because of their limited speed and range and because the luxury passengers were accommodated overnight at intermediate ports these aircraft took between nine and 10 days to fly Sydney-England.

In Metarch Papers No 6 Keith Hannay (1994) describes his experiences as an aviation forecaster at Mascot aerodrome and Rose Bay (Sydney harbour) flying-boat base. The primitive nature of Mascot aerodrome is illustrated in the accompanying photographs.

People in Bright Sparcs - Hannay, Alexander Keith (Keith); Lillywhite, John Wilson; Warren, Herbert Norman; White, Arthur Charles; Wimperis, H. E.

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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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