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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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Reduction of Evaporation

Allan Rainbird's notes indicate that during his attachment to the SMHEA in Cooma he was impressed by that body's willingness to participate in innovative experiments like cloud seeding and evaporation control. At that time a CSIRO Division in Melbourne had suggested that the use of monomolecular films on water surfaces could reduce evaporation. Mansfield was the principal research scientist involved in this experiment.

While Mansfield's research was directed at reducing evaporation on small storages such as farm dams SMHEA decided to conduct an experiment on Lake Eucumbene. Studies had indicated that a relatively small degree of success would be cost effective.

The trials proved unsuccessful because it was not possible to maintain the film in place on the vast expanses of Lake Eucumbene. With the strong winds in the area, wave action resulted in the breaking up of the film but an even larger problem was the result of the strong winds piling up the film on the downwind shores of the lake.

As was the case with cloud seeding, one problem was to measure the success of the attempt to modify the process (rainfall increase or evaporation reduction). Bill Priestley's Division of Meteorological Physics was asked to assist in measurement of evaporation from the lake. With their usual scientific thoroughness they decided that a methodology for estimating lake evaporation would require measurement of water temperature, wind run and temperature/humidity profile immediately above the lake surface.

SMHEA designed, built and installed three rafts supporting masts on which cup anemometers, thermographs and hygrographs were installed. The project was stopped after 12 months because strong winds made it impossible to obtain meaningful measurements from the rafts. As Allan points out, although the project was not successful the attempt was indicative of the SMHEA's willingness to have a go, and of the innovation which SMHEA engineers brought to their work.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Priestley, Charles Henry Brian (Bill)

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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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