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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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Warnings (continued)

Developments in warning services of tropical cyclones, gales, floods and bushfires were impressive and are discussed in some detail later in this chapter. The important requirement for a drought warning service was a much more difficult need to satisfy, principally because of the lack of scientific knowledge. J. C. Foley, as Chief Scientific Officer, made a significant contribution to the knowledge of drought occurrence and impact but it took more than another decade of work before a system to warn of the significance of rainfall deficiencies was established and many more decades before attempts were made to forecast drought.

In addition to the progress made in warning of floods, gales and bushfires, the Bureau also developed systems to warn of other meteorological conditions likely to endanger life and/or property. Len Dwyer encouraged Bureau staff to suggest warning systems which might be initiated. Other initiatives came from outside the Bureau, some from Commonwealth and State agencies and some from the general public. A wide variety of warning systems was developed during the Dwyer years.

Farmers and graziers enthusiastically welcomed the beginning of weather alerts warning of cold outbreaks with rain likely to endanger the lives of sheep, especially at lambing time. Orchardists and vignerons were similarly interested in warnings of humidity, hail or other conditions likely to damage fruit crops.

Electricity authorities were warned of danger of lightning so that they could arrange teams of linesmen to be on duty to restore damaged power systems.

Special forecasts and warnings were developed for small commercial and recreational fishing craft operating in coastal waters and harbours. Warning services for deep sea craft had been prepared and issued for many years, being broadcast over special marine broadcasts for shipping, but the small craft warnings were broadcast by ABC and commercial radio stations as well as by special broadcasts for coastal shipping.

Small craft warning services became so popular that many yacht and fishing clubs sought speakers from the Bureau, talks often being given by Bureau staff in their off-duty hours. Users of other warning services were also eager to have discussions with Bureau staff, most of whom made time to fill speaking engagements.

The issues of Weather News during the Dwyer years contain many references to this wide variety of specialised warning services. They are listed in an index in the Bureau's Metarch Papers No 1 of February 1986.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Foley, James Charles; 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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