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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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Although technological advances in the telecommunications field had been spectacular during the war years the PMG's Department, having sole responsibility for the dual provision of post and telegraph services for the whole of Australia, had a mammoth task in modernising its Australia-wide telecommunication Services. The Bureau does not appear to have been ranked highly in the PMG's list of priorities for upgrading services.

DCA maintained a telegraphic and radio service for the collection of observations from Bureau offices on aerodromes and the exchange of forecasts and warnings between the Bureau's aviation offices. The Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC) maintained telecommunication links with ships at sea and remote territories while the Royal Flying Doctor Service operated pedal radio services with remote outback properties which was used for collection of meteorological observations. The RAAF operated the AXM broadcast transmitter in Canberra and the AXI broadcast from Darwin from which regular routine broadcasts were made by short-wave radio-telegraph or Morse transmissions of selected reports from the Australian synoptic network and coded analyses and prognoses.

Early in the Dwyer years major Bureau offices were connected by a teleprinter network called Intermet, although the teleprinter machines did not appear much changed from those in operation when I joined the Bureau before the war.

Issue No 25 of Weather News, July 1958, recorded that the daily telecommunications traffic included 1000 synoptic messages of 10 or more five-figure groups via Intermet; over 40 000 groups of five-figure code by DCA including aerodrome weather reports, aerodrome forecasts, and synoptic reports from remote and overseas aerodromes; 16 000 five-figure groups in the RAAF radio broadcasts from AXM Canberra and AXI Darwin, and 6000 groups of international broadcasts intercepted by AXI; 80 transmissions of 10 groups or more received from ships, over 1000 messages from Antarctic bases and about 1000 groups from Colombo; and a total of over 1000 messages transmitted by the 14 Australian coastal radio stations.

The organisation of this traffic was coordinated by Ralph Holmes who was in charge of the Communications and Facilities Section of the Bureau's Central Office. His responsibilities obviously required a considerable liaison with telecommunication engineers in the PMG, DCA, RAAF and OTC. Ralph, calm, thoughtful and mature, was ideal for the job.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Holmes, Ralph Aubrey Edward

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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

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