Page 937
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

CSIRO (continued)

Gardner (1997) has produced a valuable review of research in the Bureau. The title of his review, 'Stormy weather: a history of research in the Bureau of Meteorology' reflects what I believe is an over-emphasis of the sometimes intense differences of attitude between the Bureau and CSIR, particularly in Warren's post-war years from 1946 to 1950. I also have some different recollections of the Warren years from some of those described in Gardner's review but his account provides much useful information.

As Gardner reports (p 15), in April 1945 Dr E. G. (Taffy) Bowen wrote to Rivett proposing that CSIR should establish a Meteorological Research Section in Bowen's Radiophysics Laboratory in Sydney. Bowen indicated that there was little if any research being undertaken on seasonal forecasting, on the use of radar, on cloud physics and of super-refraction of radio waves.

Warren responded by organising a seasonal forecasting research unit to be located in the Meteorological Department of the University of Melbourne with Harry Treloar in charge. This was approved in August 1946.

This had two advantages for Warren. It emphasised his desire for the Bureau to be a scientific organisation and, at the same time, isolated Harry Treloar, whom Warren had found to be less than cooperative.

The upshot of Taffy Bowen's initiative was a consultation between Warren and CSIR's Assistant Executive Officer, Dr F. W. G. (Fred) White which resulted in an agreement that the Bureau should have responsibility for research directed towards improvement of the Bureau's scope of activities whilst CSIR should have responsibility for fundamental research in atmospheric physics.

The success of this agreement would depend upon the interpretation of where the dividing line between fundamental and applied research should lie.

Taffy Bowen continued to show an interest in matters meteorological and established a reputable cloud physics section in CSIR's Division of Radiophysics which gained an enviable scientific reputation. Taffy's personal involvement in meteorology did not match the contribution he had made to the development of radar in England during World War II.

His contributions to artificial stimulation of precipitation and to seasonal forecasting were much less significant. Two scientists in his Division, Pat Squires (a former member of the Bureau) and Eric Kraus carried out a remarkable experiment in cloud seeding over the Blue Mountains of New South Wales and produced a spectacular result. As we shall see in later chapters, Taffy made over-optimistic claims of the results of later cloud-seeding operations which caused some animated discussion between the Bureau and his Division.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bowen, Edward George (Taffy); Squires, Patrick; Treloar, Harry Mayne; Warren, Herbert Norman; White, Frederick William George

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