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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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Instruments and Observations

The reminiscences of Cornish (1996) and Stout (1996) give a sound and balanced account of the remarkable development of the growth in the Bureau's observational and instrumental capability during the war years and the immediate post-war period. Before his death Bill Brann had prepared notes on the post-war development of the Instrument Section which Don Handcock has preserved. Don has kindly given me access to these notes.

During the war Allan Cornish, with the help of Alan Martin, Pat Squires, Max Cassidy, Bill Boswell, Lieutenant Commander Dimitrevic and others, created an elaborate instrument laboratory and workshop and revolutionised the Bureau's observational network.

Previously the Bureau had no facility for the repair of instruments, which when faulty were stored in a small room until replacements could be purchased. Allan Cornish's initiatives had remarkable by-products. They helped develop a local industry for special balloon manufacture; they set up a laboratory which reconditioned faulty barometers and maintained a pressure standard; they developed hydrogen generating equipment and, most remarkably, established the beginnings of a network of radiosonde stations; they resulted in the manufacture of radiosonde units by a local company following the construction and testing of a crude radiosonde housed in a shoe box and carried aloft by a balloon train. Max Cassidy was a great help to Allan in developing aerological diagrams and instructional manuals for operating radiosonde ground equipment and for plotting upper air diagrams of pressure, temperature and humidity. Previous plans for the Bureau to publish Max's reminiscences were not realised.

Allan Cornish, with the help of RAAF contacts, was able to recruit extra RAAF workshop staff to work in the laboratories and workshop on the condition he would also test special aircraft instruments in his laboratory for the RAAF.

Shortly after the end of the war, Warren, while attending a conference in London, was able to arrange the purchase of 15 surplus Royal Navy gun-laying radars at a bargain price. The work of converting these radars for land-based wind-finding and arranging sites and buildings to house them was to prove extremely difficult and Warren did not survive long enough to see the establishment of the radar wind-finding network. But Warren deserves recognition for their acquisition and the preparation for their installation. The network of wind-finding radars was to supplement observations from radiosondes in providing much-needed upper air observations for aviation forecasts but, even more importantly, was to give the three-dimensional view of the atmosphere essential for a proper understanding of atmospheric processes.

People in Bright Sparcs - Brann, Harold Walter Allen Neale (Bill); Cornish, Allan William; Handcock, Don; Squires, Patrick; Stout, Reginald William (Reg); 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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