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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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Reorganising the Bureau

Len Dwyer gave serious attention to reshaping the staff structure of the Bureau at the same time as he grappled with the problems of building the observational network, providing meteorological services in support of the UK atomic weapons tests, improving meteorological services for the general public and for requirements of aviation, agriculture, engineering and other industries requiring special services. He was particularly interested in improving warning services of tropical cyclones, floods, fire weather and other meteorological conditions likely to endanger life and property. He was also keen to promote an awareness of how Bureau services could improve the efficiency and productivity of industry, commerce and Government agencies.

The management of any organisation such as the Bureau requires the development of a common belief among all members of staff that their work is important for the successful operation of that organisation. Len sought to achieve that aim by improving communication of information and objectives. He attached great importance to forward planning, setting objectives and timetables, coordinating and reviewing the efforts of a widespread and diverse staff and giving praise for initiative and achievement.

Len made no immediate moves to change staffing arrangements. J. C. Foley was Chief Scientific Officer, due for retirement on 18 June 1957. I had acted in that position and hoped I might be considered for promotion as permanent occupant. The position of Assistant Director (Administration) was occupied on an acting basis by John Hogan (1896–1970) and by Vic Bahr when he returned from a tour of duty as Administrative Officer in the WMO Secretariat in Geneva. Tom Hall, as Chief Clerk, provided significant administrative support in those early days of the Dwyer years.

Walter Dwyer remained as supervising meteorologist in charge of aviation services and was responsible for the overall direction of field staff procedures in providing service to aviation. Ralph Holmes assisted Walter as Inspector (Aviation) and Telecommunications.

Bill Brann continued in charge of Instruments and Observations, Harry Ashton was in Climate with Gerry O'Mahony in charge of the Statistical Section and Neil McRae in charge of Training and Publications.

The Divisional Offices still operated with a considerable degree of local initiative and independence. The field offices continued largely under the control of their OICs with Walter Dwyer giving overall guidance.

People in Bright Sparcs - Ashton, Henry Tamblyn (Harry); Bahr, Victor John; Brann, Harold Walter Allen Neale (Bill); Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Dwyer, Walter Anthony; Foley, James Charles; Hall, Thomas Taylor (Tom); Hogan, John; Holmes, Ralph Aubrey Edward; McRae, John Neil; O'Mahony, Gerard (Gerry)

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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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