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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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Wording and Verification of Forecasts

The wording of forecasts has been a thorny subject frequently raised by news media and the general public. One of the most contentious matters has been the manner in which the forecast conveys the meteorologist's assessment of the likelihood of rain.

To a farmer suffering the effects of drought the word fine seems inappropriate because dictionaries indicate many meanings, most of which connote feelings or assessments of pleasure, although some indicate the meaning of sunny or absence of rain.

Another problem with rain is its spatial and temporal variability. The term showers is generally used by meteorologists to indicate convective rainfall which occurs in patches adjacent to areas in which no rainfall occurs. The problem is further complicated by the difficulty of forecasting exactly where and when rainfall will occur and the amount of rain which will fall.

By contrast the forecasting of temperature is less difficult because the processes which determine temperature are less complicated, although the difficulty of forecasting cool changes and cloudiness can produce problems in forecasting maximum and minimum temperatures.

There is also less difficulty in communicating the idea of what is cold, cool, warm and hot. An idea which developed during the Dwyer years which caused some dispute within the Bureau suggested that the expected maximum and minimum temperature should be included in forecasts. As degrees Fahrenheit were used at that time some Deputy Directors expressed the view that to use such a system was beyond the accuracy with which forecasts could be made. My memory suggests that some of us in Central Office persuaded Len Dwyer to adopt the system, which was used to advantage.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bond, George Grant; Dwyer, Leonard Joseph

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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
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher