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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

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962
Leonard Joseph Dwyer—A Complex Character
Reorganising the Bureau
Public Weather Services
Forecasts for the General Public
Importance of Radio Stations
The Advent of Television
Automatic Telephone Forecast Service
Wording and Verification of Forecasts
Services for Aviation
Atomic Weapons Tests
Atomic Weapons Tests—Mosaic G1 and G2
Atomic Weapons Tests—Buffalo 1, 2, 3 and 4
Atomic Weapons Tests—Operations Antler, 2 and 3
Atomic Weapons Tests—Minor Trials
Instruments and Observations
Radar/Radio Winds and Radar Weather Watch
Automatic Weather Stations
Meteorological Satellites
Tropical Cyclones
Bureau Conference on Tropical Cyclones
International Symposium on Tropical Cyclones, Brisbane
Design of Water Storages, Etc
Flood Forecasting
Cloud Seeding
Reduction of Evaporation
Rain Seminar
Cloud Physics
Fire Weather
Research and Special Investigations
International Activities
The International Geophysical Year
The Antarctic and Southern Ocean
International Symposium on Antarctic Meteorology
International Antarctic Analysis Centre
ADP, EDP and Computers
Management Conference
Services Conference
CSIRO and the Universities
Achievements of the Dwyer Years

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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Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962

Faced with a Government policy aimed at reducing financial expenditure and restricting increases in staff numbers in the Commonwealth Public Service, E. W. Timcke had difficulty maintaining the momentum which Warren had generated in the period 1946 to 1950, a period during which considerable progress was made in rebuilding and extending the Bureau. Timcke also had problems in marshalling the resources to provide meteorological services for the UK atomic weapons tests in Australia, a program conducted with such secrecy as to make Timcke's task extremely complex.

Despite these problems the Bureau was in good shape when Timcke retired in April 1955. His management style was less spectacular than Warren's but Bureau staff came to respect his dedication to the task of directing the Bureau through a somewhat difficult time. When, after due consideration of the best course of action to be taken, he made a decision, Timcke was not easily swayed from the course he had set.

Throughout this difficult period Timcke, a quiet and somewhat reserved man, maintained a stoical and dignified attitude. Although somewhat sombre at times he enjoyed the opportunity to relax when attending functions organised by the Bureau's social club.

Len Dwyer's style of management was as different from Timcke's as Timcke's was from Warren's. Like Warren, Dwyer had a clear vision of a Bureau of the future and was eager to make his vision a reality. He was a man of considerable imagination, innovation and determination.

Some of the Bureau's staff, myself included, felt that Len did not have the experience as a professional meteorologist desirable in a Director of Meteorology. After completing his forecasters' training course in 1937, which he shared with John Lillywhite and the other students and which John mentions in Metarch Papers No 4 (Lillywhite, 1992), Len remained in Central Office to take over the Training School, while most of the class served as forecasters at recently established field offices on aerodromes. He had little experience as a practising professional meteorological forecaster when appointed Director of Meteorology in 1955.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Lillywhite, John Wilson; Timcke, Edward Waldemar; 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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