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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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Importance of Radio Stations

Both ABC and commercial broadcasting stations were keenly aware of the public interest in weather forecasts and became highly competitive in seeking to attract listeners. The radio stations in the capital cities had the advantage of timeliness because they had direct telephone contact with the Bureau. The newspapers were at a disadvantage because of the time taken to set up and print.

In the ABC, Graham White of the Victorian Rural Department maintained a very close liaison with the Bureau's Central and Divisional Offices. Following discussions with the ABC the Bureau arranged a conference with the news media, attended by representatives of newspapers and radio stations, to discuss the availability, wording and content of forecasts and other information provided.

For many years the ABC had provided a very comprehensive coverage of forecasts and other information with considerable emphasis being given to sparsely settled areas. These broadcasts contained district forecasts for individual rural areas, details of rainfall from a considerable network of urban and rural rainfall stations and river heights of major river systems.

Morning newspapers in capital cities also contained comprehensive detail of rainfall and river heights but had the disadvantage for rural dwellers of delay in delivery. The ABC programs containing this information were generally broadcast at noon.

During the Dwyer years representations were made by the ABC and some commercial stations for direct broadcasts from the Divisional Office weather rooms. This had the advantage of being very timely because the forecaster making the broadcast was able to include the latest information. A major advantage for the Bureau was a public awareness that the forecaster was a real, often witty, person. The direct broadcasts were made in January 1957 from the Melbourne weather room through radio station 3AW and in Sydney in July of that year from the Sydney weather room through radio station 2GB.

These direct broadcasts by Bureau forecasters through ABC and commercial stations have continued to the present time, with Bureau forecasters participating in talk-back radio broadcasts and becoming well-known radio personalities. As we shall see the public relations impact of including weather presentations in television programs was spectacular, but the portability of small transistor radios and the simplicity of voice transmission still make the direct broadcasts very popular.

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

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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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