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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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Physical Meteorology

Henry Houghton lectured on physical meteorology and his article in the Compendium of Meteorology contains some of the subject matter in his lectures. He was Chairman of the Department of Meteorology at MIT and had the task of running the Department as well as lecturing to students.

Like the other lecturers he had a relaxed, friendly manner and was a good teacher. His lectures related to the subjects of solar and terrestrial radiation, heat balance of the northern hemisphere, cloud physics, the precipitation process, and the upper atmosphere.

The 49 pages of the notes I made on Houghton's lectures remind me of the detail covered in his lectures which I found both interesting, informative and stimulating. Later studies I made of rainfall, rain-making and drought were the result of an interest kindled by Houghton's lectures.

His lectures on radiation included a discussion of the efforts of the Smithsonian Institute to measure the intensity of the solar beam (the so-called 'solar constant') and the scattering and absorption of solar and long-wave radiation. I had gathered a reasonable knowledge of these subjects from Humphrey's Physics of the Air but the discipline of note taking, completing assignments and tests, and a final examination in the competitive atmosphere of the classroom ensured that my knowledge of the subject was expanded.

The lectures of cloud physics were of special interest and this was obviously Houghton's special area of research. He provided much information on the processes of condensation and evaporation, sizes of cloud and rain drops, collision processes and condensation nuclei. His lectures also referred to the reflection of radar beams by water drops, which was at the time when the Bureau's 277 radars were being installed.

In referring to rain-making Houghton indicated that cloud seeding with dry-ice and silver iodide was likely to change the condensation process in clouds. He pointed out, however, that the water content of the droplets in an average cumulus would only amount to a few millimetres if precipitated so that sustained and vigorous condensation was required for significant rainfall. Presumably such sustained condensation would require significant upward motion in the cloud.

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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
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher