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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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During the semesters regular seminars were held at which staff and students presented papers. I had elected to enrol for the degree of M.Sc. which included the requirement for submission of a thesis. I was able to use the northern and southern hemisphere charts which Willet, Austin and Starr had used for their calculation of indices in studying the general circulation and the subject of my thesis was the distribution of high and low pressure centres at mean sea level in the two hemispheres, and a comparison of upper air zonal circulations roughly along longitude 150 deg E.

My thesis concluded that the general circulation in the two hemispheres was similar but that the different distribution of land masses produced significant differences in the location of cyclones and anticyclones at mean sea level.

My thesis and general performance in my course work were considered to justify the award of the M.Sc. An article based on the thesis was accepted for publication in the prestigious Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society.

I was asked to present a talk on my thesis to a Departmental seminar. One innovation I introduced into my seminar talk was a map of North America on which I superimposed a map of Australia using the same conical projection with identical parallels of latitude and with meridians of longitude both running from west to east. Longitude 120E over Australia corresponded with 110W over the US and longitude 150E over Australia corresponded with 80W over the US.

The objective of this representation was to emphasise that Australia is located so much closer to the equator than the US and that there could be significant differences in the mechanisms of the atmosphere experienced in the two continents. To make the comparison valid I considered it necessary to have both west coasts on the left hand side of the illustration which meant that the chart of Australia was 'upside down' and a mirror image. Although I had no difficulty in seeing the logic of this arrangement Professor Houghton told Audrey, who attended the seminar, that he had considerable difficulty in getting my message.

On later occasions, to emphasise this geographical difference between Australia and North America, I arranged a similar map to be included in the report of our international tropical cyclone symposium in Brisbane in 1956. This was intended to emphasise the geographical factors which might contribute to some differences in intensity and behaviour of hurricanes in North America and tropical cyclones in Australia.

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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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