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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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Atomic Weapons Tests—Mosaic G1 and G2

Atomic bombs mounted on towers were exploded at the Monte Bello Islands in Operations Mosaic G1 and G2 on 16 May and 19 June 1956 respectively, G1 on Trimouille Island with a yield of 15 kilotons and G2 on Alpha Island with a 60 kiloton yield.

The AWTSC specified that atomic bombs should only be exploded if fallout was unlikely to occur in the sector from 050 degrees through east and south to 240 degrees, thus excluding possibility of fallout over Western Australia. The Safety Committee had arranged for the operation of a network of radioactive monitoring stations with equipment designed by the Australian Radiation Laboratory (ARL), installed and operated by the Bureau, with results analysed by ARL. The equipment consisted of air samplers collecting airborne material on filters and sticky papers collecting fallout. The monitoring network also included collection of thyroids from grazing animals and samples of water and sludge from reservoirs.

In addition to the information contained in the report of the Royal Commission, the submission of 18 pages and four maps by Robert Latimer (Bob) Southern to that Royal Commission is a rich source of the history of the meteorological aspects of those trials to which I cannot pay full justice here. I hope it will be included in the memoirs he is writing.

Bob Southern was one of the crop of young meteorologists who joined the Bureau post-war. Born on 17 July 1926 and educated at Applecross Primary School, Wesley College and the University of Western Australia, he joined the Bureau in 1948 and after a course in the Bureau's Central Office Training School was posted to the Perth Divisional Office as a forecaster. During his years in that office he impressed his seniors with his integrity, initiative and enthusiasm. After two years in the Bureau's Central Analysis Office he was chosen by Len Dwyer to head Len's proposed Darwin Regional Office (formed in 1962) which, along with the Divisional Offices in Brisbane and Perth later functioned as a Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre.

Bob was one of those who responded to my call for help in writing my impressions of the Bureau from 1946 to 1962. He provided a great deal of information of which his story of the Monte Bello Islands and Maralinga nuclear weapons tests is but one part.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Central Analysis Office (CAO)

People in Bright Sparcs - 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
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