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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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CSIRO and the Universities

I have mentioned the participation of scientific staff of the CSIRO, universities and other bodies in conferences, seminars, and colloquia organised by the Bureau. These and the other opportunities for discussions with scientific staff of these bodies in other meetings such as those of ANZAAS, working groups and committees planning Australian programs for the IGY and the Antarctic were particularly valuable in the development of the Bureau. Staff in Central Office and Divisional Offices had frequent contact with CSIRO and university staff whose subjects had a meteorological context.

As previously mentioned the Bureau was involved in assisting CSIRO'S Division of Radiophysics in monitoring rainfall in areas where cloud seeding was carried out and in discussing the significance of results of seeding. While our closest interactions with the CSIRO were with the Section (later Division) of Meteorological Physics at Aspendale and the Division of Radiophysics in Sydney, staff of Central and Divisional Offices worked with staff of a number of other divisions from time to time. Relations were generally cordial and beneficial to the Bureau although Taffy Bowen's critical attitude toward the Bureau was not ameliorated when Bureau Central Office staff crossed swords with him when discussing the results of cloud seeding and the accuracy of his long-range rainfall forecasts.

Although the research interests of the Division of Meteorological Physics at Aspendale had little common ground with those of the Bureau, many of our staff were keen to know more of their work in turbulence and the general circulation. There was close and frequent contact with Bill Priestley, who served as Academy of Science representative in many areas in which the Bureau was involved. Len Dwyer, busy with a heavy commitment in reorganising the Bureau, participating in the work of the Atomic Weapons Safety Committee and deeply involved in WMO programs, saw less of Bill than many others in the Bureau. They had a cordial relationship only occasionally impaired by a difference of opinion and attitude which one might expect between a Director of Meteorology and the head of a Division of CSIRO.

Bureau contacts with universities were mainly with the University of Melbourne although there were associations with staff of the ANU, Universities of Sydney, New South Wales, Queensland and Adelaide, and institutes like the Waite in Adelaide.

Our main associations were with staff of the University of Melbourne, Fritz Loewe, Uwe Radok, Vic Hopper and Professors Forster and Leeper. Fritz Loewe retired from his position as Reader-in-Charge of the Meteorological Department late in 1960 and was succeeded by Uwe Radok. Loewe was a man of great dignity whose background was of great interest to me. His lectures to our training course in 1940 fascinated me, particularly when we students were able to divert him from a blackboard tabulation of meteorological data by asking an unrelated question about his experiences on the Greenland ice-cap.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bowen, Edward George (Taffy); Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Loewe, Fritz; 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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