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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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Cloud Physics

The various aspects of hydrometeorology discussed in the last twenty or so pages arose from consideration of the Bureau's responsibility for flood forecasting. The scope of our discussion in those pages emphasises the breadth of knowledge required to provide what at first appears to be a rather narrow field of activity. As Jack Wiesner pointed out in the final session of the rainfall seminar the practising meteorologist resembles the practising engineer in that he (or she) faces a deadline in time in providing information. This information is often provided on the basis of insufficient data and incomplete understanding of the underlying mechanism of the system on which his/her advice is sought.

In sharp contrast the environment in which scientific research is conducted is ideally without time restraint. In the ideal world the researcher finds the solution to a problem in a time scale governed only by the difficulty of the problem and his initiative and intelligence. Unlike the practitioner the researcher concentrates on a narrow field of enquiry and digs deep in unknown territory. The practitioner is required to cover a broad field and has little time to delve deeply.

This contrast was evident in the Dwyer years when Len Dwyer broadened the Bureau's field of endeavour while the CSIRO meteorologists were able to concentrate on specific areas of investigation.

We learn something of the history of the CSIRO Division of Radiophysics from the record of Jack Warner's discussion when interviewed by Bruce Morton and the article by Brian Ryan in Windows on Meteorology (1997). The CSIR Division of Radiophysics originated when David Martyn of the Radio Research Board joined CSIR. After a brief period he was succeeded by Fred White who was Chief for most of the wartime years. When Taffy Bowen succeeded Fred White he initiated investigation in the fields of radio astronomy, radio research and cloud physics.

The references quoted by Brian Ryan provide evidence of the quality of research by Bigg, Fletcher, Squires and Twomey in cloud and rain physics. They moved from the laboratory into the real atmosphere in aircraft originally used for cloud seeding but more effectively used to examine the physics of clouds.

In some respects the Bureau's rain seminar resembled the Bureau's tropical cyclone conference in September 1955 which was followed by an international symposium organised by the Bureau in 1956. However the rain seminar had the advantage of participation of CSIRO, university and other specialists.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Radio Research Board

People in Bright Sparcs - Bowen, Edward George (Taffy); Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Squires, Patrick; White, Frederick William George

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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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