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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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Flood Forecasting (continued)

After the meeting of CHM in Washington the two young Australian tyros visited flood warning offices operated by the US Weather Bureau, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Bureau of Reclamation. They found that their plans for the development of a flood forecasting system were in accordance with the approaches of those bodies.

This reassurance from their experiences in CHM and their discussions with the US practitioners gave them confidence in dealing with the problems in creating the Macleay Valley flood forecasting system.

Their task was to design a flood forecasting system, install a network of rainfall and river height observing stations, arrange a system for the rapid collection of observations from these stations with immediate transmission to the Sydney Divisional Office of the Bureau and provide for the prompt dissemination of warnings to all interested people.

They encountered difficulties from many directions in their attempts to develop an effective flood forecasting system. Not the least was that of securing the cooperation of water authorities and the NSW Civil Defence Organisation (CDO) most of whom resented the initiative of the Bureau in moving into what they regarded as their field of responsibility.

Major General Ivan Dougherty had been a NSW school inspector and GOC 2nd Division CMF before being appointed Director of the CDO. Initially the CDO had been established soon after World War II to prepare plans for protection of the civilian population from attack by nuclear weapons. As the threat of atomic attack receded and after the disastrous 1955 floods the CDO's responsibility shifted to planning of flood mitigation, issue of warnings and rescue and relief of those affected by flooding.

I had many discussions with Ivan during the Dwyer years and thereafter. He was a formidable opponent but gradually was persuaded that in the interest of timeliness of receipt of Bureau warnings by those likely to be affected by flooding they should be disseminated by radio stations in the areas likely to be affected and at the same time transmitted to Ivan's office and his nominated CDO officers in the threatened areas. Ivan accepted this compromise only after long and sometimes acrimonious discussions. The Macleay Valley had a relatively short river system so that the lower reaches of the valley flooded soon after heavy rain. This was in sharp contrast to many of the inland rivers of NSW where the flood wave took many weeks to travel their long expanses.

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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