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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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Meteorological Satellites

In October 1957 the USSR placed the first artificial satellite into orbit around the Earth. I recall Audrey and I standing with our children in our garden viewing Sputnik speeding across the night sky. Later we heard the beep-beep-beep of the transmission from the satellite on our radio news. A month later a second USSR Sputnik was orbiting the Earth, and in January 1958 the US successfully placed the satellite Explorer 1 into Earth orbit.

These achievements were a logical development from the technological advances made in the development of rocket vehicles during the latter years of the 1939–45 world war, but the success in placing artificial satellites into Earth orbit as early as 1957 was unexpected by many people and was a sign of the exponential growth of technology.

The more technologically advanced nations had given high priority to the development of powerful rockets for military purposes in the 1950s. In addition to testing nuclear weapons in Australia, the British defence authorities had obtained Australia's cooperation in developing a rocket launching site at Woomera with plans for a firing range extending to the north-west coast of the continent. The Bureau had established a meteorological station at Woomera in 1948, with George Trefry in charge, which provided the meteorological support for the high-altitude experimental rocket launchings. My special friend and wartime colleague Bryan Rofe, who left the Bureau after the war to take up an appointment with LRWE, was directly involved as the LRWE controller of operations.

It is interesting to recall that the establishment of the WMO World Weather Watch in the late 1960s was facilitated by the efforts of President Kennedy in the United Nations in the early 1960s to seek agreement for developments in outer space to be directed towards peaceful purposes.

One of the earliest involvements of WMO in high altitude research was in the International Geophysical Year (IGY) which operated from 1 July 1957 to 31 December 1958 and which will be discussed later in this chapter. It is interesting to recall the close relationship between military preparedness, national territorial boundaries and the development of science and technology.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Rofe, Bryan

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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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