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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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Research, Development and Special Investigations

Meteorological research in Australia dates back to colonial days and has been discussed in papers by Gardner (1997), Gibbs (1975, 1982, 1996), Priestley (1982) and others. In later paragraphs interaction with CSIRO and the universities will be discussed but at this point I will concentrate on the situation within the Bureau in the Warren years 1946 to 1950.

The emphasis within the Bureau had always rested on investigation aimed at providing a meteorological service to meet current and anticipated needs of the various sectors of the Australian public. To say that the resources available to the Bureau to meet these needs were totally inadequate does not mean that the Commonwealth Government was insensitive to the importance of meteorological services. The vast stretches of our continent, the brief period of European settlement and our tiny population placed heavy demands on the limited resources used to build a basic infrastructure for our newly-created nation.

It was not surprising that Warren, like the Director (Commonwealth Meteorologist)s who preceded him, saw that the Bureau needed a solid base of data-gathering and data-processing facilities on which to build the post-war Bureau. He also realised that he would need staff with the scientific, technical and management skills to devise and supervise the systems for using those facilities to provide the services needed.

Among the skills required in his staff were those for undertaking research, development and special investigations. J. C. Foley had had experience in the Tasmanian Divisional Office and in the Climate Section of the Bureau's Central Office.

The committee formed to scrutinise applicants for the position of Chief Scientific Officer was not impressed by the suitability of J. C. Foley or J. Hogan (1896–1970) and concluded that H. M. Treloar, although academically qualified, did not have capability to provide leadership to a group of more than a few people. Although the committee preferred W. J. Gibbs for appointment to the position of CSO, Warren persuaded them that J. C. Foley should be appointed with the proviso that Gibbs be promoted to the position of Supervising Meteorologist (Research).

People in Bright Sparcs - Foley, James Charles; Hogan, John; Priestley, Charles Henry Brian (Bill); Treloar, Harry Mayne; 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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