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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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At the time Len Dwyer became Director of Meteorology the Bureau had 18 radiosonde stations located at Adelaide Airport, Alice Springs, Amberley/Brisbane, Charleville, Cloncurry, Cocos Island, Darwin, Garbutt, Hobart Airport, Kalgoorlie, Laverton/Melbourne, Lord Howe Island, Macquarie Island, Norfolk Island, Perth Airport, Port Hedland, Rathmines/Newcastle and Woomera. A RAN radiosonde station had also recently commenced operation at Nowra.

This reasonably comprehensive network over the Australian continent was improved by the opening of radiosonde stations at Carnarvon in July 1961, Cobar. in May 1962, Forrest in February 1956, Giles in October 1956, Halls Creek in May 1962, Honiara in August 1958, Lae in October 1956, Maralinga in August 1955, Mirikata in February 1959 and Willis Island in June 1960. The activation of some of these additional 10 stations was hastened by the requirements of the AWRE atomic tests in Australia, which also saw British radiosonde observations at the Monte Bello Islands.

The opening of the Giles station involved a major expedition by a party from the Department of Supply, accompanied by V. J. (Vic) Bahr. Their exploits are recorded in the film Balloons and Spinifex. The Bureau's Public Affairs Sub-section holds a videocopy.

In January 1956 the radiosonde station at Amberley was replaced by another at Eagle Farm, and that at Rathmines by another at Williamtown/Newcastle. Radiosonde observations at Heard Island ceased in October 1954 when the ANARE base closed, but those at Macquarie Island continued. New radiosonde stations commenced operation on the Antarctic continent at Mawson in June 1955, at Wilkes in February 1959 (Wilkes station was later abandoned and operations transferred to a new station, Casey, a few kilometres away) and Davis in April 1959. The French made radiosonde observations on Amsterdam Island from April 1951 to December 1965.

The operation of Bill Brann's Central Office Instrument Section in the Dwyer years was facilitated by additional engineers. As explained in Chapter 3 Geoff Goodman had been of great assistance in overcoming delays in bringing the 277 radars into operation. Reg Stout in his reminiscences in Metarch Papers No 8, 1996, tells how Len Dwyer, impatient at the delays, had informed Bill Brann and Reg that he wished Reg to give the highest priority to advancing the program.

The other engineers who joined the Instrument Section in the Dwyer years were J. P. Ellis, who had joined the Bureau as an observer (radio) in 1954 and after completing a diploma in radio engineering, commenced working as an engineer in 1956, taking over responsibility of electronic maintenance in 1958 as an engineer grade 3, and Dave Langford, a PMG cadet engineer who graduated with honours at the University of Melbourne in 1956 and joined the Bureau in 1960 with responsibility for electronic development.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bahr, Victor John; Brann, Harold Walter Allen Neale (Bill); Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Stout, Reginald William (Reg); 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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