Page 1076
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
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



Contact us

Hydrometeorology (continued)

Eager to increase his academic knowledge Gerry successfully applied for a Public Service Fellowship at the ANU in Canberra and in September 1958 commenced a year's study in the Statistics Department under Professor PAP Moran. On his return Gerry gained an M.Sc. from the University of Melbourne with a thesis centred on what he had learnt from Prof Moran.

Colin Hounam of the Central Office Climatological Section took over as acting OIC of the Hydrometeorological Section and Allan Rainbird was transferred to the Section in the same month as Gerry took leave to study at ANU.

In preparing these reminiscences I solicited the help of some 30 former Bureau people. It took some time to contact Allan Rainbird to ask for details of his career but I was rewarded by one of the most fruitful of all of the replies received. Most of the material in the following paragraphs comes from the 37 pages of detailed information he supplied.

Allan was one of the cadet meteorologists recruited by the Bureau in the early 1950s. They included Don Handcock, Kevin Spillane and Neil Streten, all of whom were to make significant contributions to the development of the Bureau. Some of Allan's early history in the Bureau is mentioned in previous paragraphs in this chapter relating to meteorological programs on television and to the proceedings of the tropical cyclone symposium.

I will refer now to his general background and will leave the history of his involvement in information for hydrological design and cloud seeding and in the development of flood forecasting systems until later.

Allan was an innovative and confident young man who in his years in the Sydney Divisional Office had a wide range of experience. He says that probably the most significant event during his time there was the major and widespread flooding which occurred over a large part of New South Wales in February 1955. Coastal rivers north from Sydney (especially the Hunter River) and many inland rivers in northern New South Wales had major floods. Allan's father was lucky to escape being trapped at Maitland in the Hunter River valley, having to abandon his car.

While Allan was in Sydney he observed a surge of interest in NSW in the development and management of Australia's water resources. A water-oriented group emerged in the Engineering Department of the University of NSW under Professor Crawford Munro. A Water Research Foundation was created with Jack Beale playing a prominent role. Groups interested in water were established in regional areas eg the Hunter Valley Research Foundation. Some local bodies such as the Macleay Valley County Council took steps to develop local groups to study flood forecasting and flood mitigation.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Handcock, Don; Spillane, Kevin Thomas; Streten, Neil Anthony

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

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
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher