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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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Antarctic and Southern Ocean Meteorology (continued)

Our Southern Ocean analyses distributed daily to all Bureau offices and broadcast to ships at sea created a great deal of interest and debate. In the Hobart Divisional Office Vic Bahr and Jack Langford showed particular interest in Southern Ocean analysis and Jack did much original research. Vic issued daily extended outlooks (three and four day forecasts) based on Southern Ocean analyses prepared in CAO and his office. These were broadcast over one of the Hobart radio stations and excited considerable public interest.

I collaborated with Alan and Aub in the production of the three-volume report published by the Antarctic Division, Department of External Affairs (Gibbs, Gotley and Martin, 1952). The first of the three volumes contained the 1948–49 surface and upper air observations. The second contained synoptic charts for that period and the third contained a general description of the topography of the islands, discussion of synoptic features of the Southern Ocean and an indication of the climate as revealed by the observations.

1947 saw rekindled interest in the Antarctic, with a focus on territorial ambitions. Pre-war sovereignty claims had been made by Britain, Australia, France and South American countries. Australia's claim was one of the largest.

From the early 1800s sealers from the US had been active in the Southern Ocean and in 1839 Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, a scientist and mathematician, sailed along the ice pack between 90 deg E and 180 degrees making meteorological, hydrographic and magnetic observations. Matthew Fontaine Maury, US Navy, a major contributor to research in meteorology and oceanography whose interest in international scientific collaboration contributed to the birth of the IMO, co-operated with the German Georg von Neumayer in organising the International Polar Year 1882–1883, which, as we shall see in later chapters, was the forerunner of the International Geophysical Year in the 1950s.

Heard Island was discovered by the American Captain John J. Heard on 25 November 1853 on a voyage from Boston to Melbourne. Heard had sailed a more southerly route on the advice of Captain Maury to take advantage of the great circle route. The British Admiralty disputed the US claim, pointing out that the island had been sighted by Captain John Biscoe in 1831 and by Captain Peter Kemp in 1833.

Aeroplanes were first used in the Antarctic when Captain Richard E. Byrd flew to Little America on the Ross Ice Shelf on 15 January 1929, to be followed by Flight Lieutenant Stuart Campbell, RAAF, who flew his float plane over the Antarctic pack ice. This historic flight was made from the ship Discovery of the British-Australian-New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition headed by Sir Douglas Mawson. Stuart Campbell is mentioned in the wartime recollections of Allan Cornish (1996) and was the first leader of the ANARE in 1946.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Central Analysis Office (CAO)

People in Bright Sparcs - Bahr, Victor John; Cornish, Allan William; Maury, Matthew Fontaine; Mawson, Douglas; Neumayer, Georg Balthazar; 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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