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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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The Advent of Television

There is no doubt that the advent of television in Sydney and Melbourne in 1956 was a major milestone in Bureau communication with the general community, many of whom were engaged in workplace activities where Bureau products were extremely useful.

In the early years of 1956 Harold Bond and John Lillywhite visited the ABC offices in Sydney to discuss the form of presentation of weather forecasts and other information in their TV programs. These were followed by discussions on the same subject with commercial TV stations.

The ABC decided to follow the British Broadcasting Commission practice of having the weather session presented by meteorologists from the meteorological office. After ABC auditions in Sydney and Melbourne, programs in Sydney commenced on 6 November and those in Melbourne on 31 December 1956. Allan Rainbird, Ray Sheard and Alan Wilkie (brother of Ray and later to become a fulltime weather presenter on a commercial station in Sydney) were the presenters on ABC TV in Sydney while the Melbourne team for ABC TV was Gordon Hunter, Tony Powell, Geoff Tyler and Arthur Woolcock.

In the meantime the commercial TV stations in Sydney and Melbourne decided to use their own presenters and after a period of elementary training in the Bureau TCN 9 commenced broadcasting weather programs on 15 September in Sydney and HSV 7 broadcast two weather presentations each night beginning on 4 November 1956.

Allan Rainbird has been one of the most generous in responding to my request for information on his career in the Bureau. He recalls that following the completion of his cadetship in Sydney and training as a forecaster in Melbourne he joined the Sydney Divisional Office and worked as a forecaster with Max Moss, Gwynne Wilson, Ken MacKinnon and Bruce Kell. He also worked in the Climatological Section and remembers an interesting assignment in 1954 when he and Ken Smith were attached to an army unit at Holsworthy camp some distance from Sydney to provide meteorological information for a 25-pounder artillery calibration shoot. It lasted three to four days from daylight to dark with little opportunity for rest.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bond, Harold George; Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Lillywhite, John Wilson; Powell, Frank Anthony (Tony)

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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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