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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

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Melbourne to Cambridge, Massachusetts
Long-range Forecasting
Synoptic Meteorology
Dynamic Meteorology I, II, III
Dynamic Meteorology IV
Physical Meteorology
Audrey Joins Me in Boston
Was it Worthwhile?

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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Melbourne to Cambridge, Massachusetts (continued)

I studied six subjects. Long-range forecasting with Hurd Willet, synoptic meteorology with J. Austin; dynamic meteorology I and III with Victor Starr, dynamic meteorology II with Ed Lorenz; dynamic meteorology IV with Heinz Lettau, and physical meteorology with Henry Houghton. Recently I came across my notebook, about 3 cm thick, in which each evening I wrote a summary of the notes scribbled during the lectures of that day. I attended lectures during three semesters during the period September 1951 to May 1952. There were assignments which had to be completed and handed in, seminars to attend and little time for recreation although I did manage to use the well-appointed MIT swimming pool and joined the MIT sailing club where I sailed single-handed centreboard dinghies on the Charles River which separates Boston from the suburb of Cambridge. I had not sailed a boat since 1940 when, in Port Moresby, I had learnt to sail a RAAF clinker-built dinghy on the harbour after some brief instruction from a friendly member of the RAAF marine section.

Returning to classroom education after an absence of about 13 years was an eerie experience. The lecture rooms were airconditioned to a somewhat enervatingly high temperature when the winter came to Cambridge. On my walks from MIT to Boston or to Harvard I soon discovered why Admiral Byrd had said that the coldest place in the world was the bridge over the Charles River.

I was surprised by the frequency with which the lectures were interrupted by questions from students, most of whom were considerably younger than me. It seemed that many of the questions were brash and impulsive but the students showed no hesitation and the lecturer no annoyance at the interruption. This was in sharp contrast to the lectures I had attended at the University of Sydney where lectures were never interrupted by student questions. If a student had a question it was usually asked of the lecturer after the conclusion of the lecture.

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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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