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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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ADP, EDP and Computers (continued)

As described earlier Warren had recruited Des Halsted to run the Statistical Section and rapid progress was made in the installation of Hollerith punch-card, punching, sorting and tabulating equipment.

After Gerry O'Mahony returned to the Bureau, following his year with Prof Moran studying statistics at the ANU, Len Dwyer sent him and J. V. Maher to attend the meeting of the WMO Technical Commission for Climatology (CC1) in London at which Gerry had his somewhat spectacular public discussion with Forsdyke on identification of punch-cards. Len arranged that Gerry would return to Australia via Europe and the US with time to survey the state of progress with the use of computers to make numerical weather predictions. Gerry has informed me that he saw nothing spectacular and that in the US progress was slow "because of the lack of available software".

On page 11 of his history of the Meteorology Department of the University of Melbourne (June, 1993) Uwe Radok describes how the acquisition of the prototype digital computer CSIRAC by the Physics Department in 1956 made him aware of the possibility of using it for a program of computer modelling research in the Meteorological Department. He was becoming accustomed to the use of punched paper tape to code the CSIRAC memory when two brand-new physics graduates, Peter Schwerdtfeger and Dick Jenssen, came to see whether they could do postgraduate work with him.

Uwe tells how Dick Jenssen quickly mastered CSIRAC and other machines of the day and within less than the prescribed two years qualified for his M.Sc. degree with numerical predictions of 500 mb circulations. These predictions took almost five hours to make a 24 hour forecast, not counting time correcting machine errors which on average occurred at half hour intervals. Uwe and Dick Jenssen contributed a paper on numerical prediction to the Bureau's rain seminar in 1960 after Uwe was able to adapt the model to provide vertical velocities.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Maher, John Vincent (Jack); O'Mahony, Gerard (Gerry); 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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