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Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950

Chapter 2: International Meteorology
Meetings of the IMO Technical Commissions in Toronto
The IMO Conference of Directors, Washington DC
The US Weather Bureau
Meeting of IMO Regional Association for the South-west Pacific
Meetings of the IMO International Meteorological Committee

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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The IMO Conference of Directors, Washington DC

The meeting of the IMO Conference of Directors which met in the office of the State Department in Washington DC from 22 September to 11 October 1947 was a historic gathering. In addition to consideration of the reports of the Presidents of the IMO Technical Commissions and Regional Associations which had recently met in Toronto, the Washington conference gave provisional approval to a new organisation which was to bear the name of the World Meteorological Organization.

IMO Conference of Directors

Figure 18 IMO Conference of Directors, Washington DC 1947. Note flags of participating nations. Warren barely visible (with Gibbs seated behind) at lower left of photo.

From its inception following the International Meteorological Congress in 1873 the IMO had been a scientific body whose purpose was to advance the knowledge of the atmosphere, to encourage the development of instruments to measure atmospheric elements, to determine the standards for measurements in meteorology, to encourage the keeping and publication of meteorological records or observations and to promote the exchange of meteorological observations by telegraph.

The IMO was a non-governmental body, agreements on standardisation and cooperation being made by Conferences of Directors of meteorological services who met at intervals to approve the proposals of Technical Commissions, Regional Associations and an IMC consisting of a few of the directors of meteorological services. Thus the work of IMO proceeded with the encouragement of governments maintaining meteorological services. The authority for the decisions of IMO was vested in the directors of the meteorological services.

By 1939 IMO had accomplished a great deal in devising an organisation which promoted cooperation between nations. The IMO system facilitated the exchange of knowledge and the standardisation of practices.

The draft Convention discussed at the Washington Conference of Directors aimed at the conversion of IMO into an international governmental organisation.

The delegates were the directors of meteorological services but when they signed the Convention they were committing their governments to a formal international agreement.

People in Bright Sparcs - 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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