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Table of Contents

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 US Weather Bureau

Luckily I was not required at all the sessions and with Warren's agreement was able to visit the headquarters of the US Weather Bureau on the corner of 24th and M Streets.

The right-angled grid of Washington's streets was numbered numerically one way and alphabetically the other with the avenues, such as Pennsylvania Ave, running diagonally across the grid.

The US Weather Bureau headquarters was in an old-fashioned two-storey building vaguely reminiscent of our own headquarters at 2 Drummond Street Melbourne.

Harry Wexler, head of research, worked in a large room containing a huge table containing neatly stacked piles of books and papers. This was Harry's filing system which he used with great efficiency. I was to develop a close friendship with Harry Wexler in later years. He made a magnificent contribution to international meteorology and I feel honoured to have enjoyed his friendship.

Nearby was the room containing the US Weather Bureau's analysis centre where I was privileged to sit in on their map discussions. This was well before the days when computers and computer models had advanced to the stage where they were operationally useful. All kinds of upper air chart prediction methods were being investigated with much attention being focussed on Rossby's long wave constant absolute vorticity trajectories.

The people in the team were youthful and stimulating. It was inspiring to see such enthusiasm. I was invited to attend some of their off duty parties where I found that, like our own Weather Bureau, their association often extended to out-of-hours social occasions. I also found that the fashion was for cocktails, gin and tonic, Southern Comfort and the like. And I noticed that, as was the case in Australia, conversations inevitably concerned meteorology.

I found the Americans delightful company. Their sense of humour, friendliness, hospitality and lack of pretentiousness coupled with a dedication to their work made them good companions.

My accommodation in Washington was in the Roger Smith Hotel where some of the others attending the conference were lodged. With them I would chat in the cocktail lounge where a talented musician played popular music-hall songs and jazz on a grand piano. His music and the company of my colleagues was most enjoyable.

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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