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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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Research and Special Investigations (continued)

In his Stormy weather: a history of research in the Bureau of Meteorology, (1997) John Gardner has described the development of meteorological research, pointing out that the Bureau has the distinction of being the first scientific institution established by the Commonwealth of Australia. John quotes the result of his examination of many official documents revealing the difficulties of many of the early Bureau staff in securing the facilities to mount a worthwhile research program.

I believe that John has over-emphasised what he calls the war between the Bureau and CSIRO. There is no doubt that Taffy Bowen's denigration of the Bureau's scientific capability had created problems for Warren, and Taffy's attitude, too, was not eased by the candour with which Gerry O'Mahony and I expressed doubts concerning the validity of his claims of success in cloud seeding. We in the Bureau saw urgency in the need to take advantage of the immense technological advances which had occurred during and after the war. There were times when we were impatient with the 'academic' meteorologists in CSIRO and the universities who were critical of our scientific ability. Despite this we appreciated their erudition and were grateful of the opportunity to benefit from it.

Len Dwyer's main objective for the Bureau was to increase the effectiveness of its forecasting and warning services, especially with regard to tropical cyclones, floods and bushfires. He saw that a basic requirement for a better warning services was a significantly expanded network of observations and gave this a high priority. At the same time Len was well aware of the importance of increasing the scientific capability of the Bureau and encouraged me to take all possible measures to this end. He saw the importance of improving liaison with the CSIRO, the universities and international organisations and encouraged his staff to foster such liaison.

The pressure to give priority to research and special investigations directly related to improvement of Bureau services was a source of frustration to many Bureau meteorologists. They were often required to interrupt their attention to a field of research in which they had a special interest to investigate a problem in another area of Bureau activity. Reg Clarke and Kevin Spillane were two members of the Bureau who moved to the CSIRO where they were able to pursue careers which offered more opportunity to focus their research in an area in which they had a special interest.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bowen, Edward George (Taffy); Clarke, Reginald Henry; Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; O'Mahony, Gerard (Gerry); Spillane, Kevin Thomas; Warren, Herbert Norman

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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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