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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

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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Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45 (continued)

The section was called upon at times to make long-range "forecasts" of up to a month for certain targets or large scale objectives. Although they informed the powers that be that detailed forecasts for periods longer than 48 hours were out of the question, they were ordered by D.Met.S. to "have a go" at any operational problem they were required to attack. It was bad enough forecasting for 24 to 48 hours ahead over a region where information was all too scanty, but to "forecast" a month ahead in the usual manner was impossible. The job involved a thorough climatological study of the locality under discussion and the application of beliefs in regard to weather from year to year. Based on this and the known variations in the position and rate of movement of southern anticyclones, the section produced what it called an "advice" but which GHQ insisted on calling a "forecast".

The joy and pride of the Unit was the "advice" given a month ahead for the allied landing east of Lae on 4th September 1943 and simultaneously the first use of paratroops. If, as often happens at that time of year, there had been low overcast, it would have suited the amphibious operation but not the Nadzab parachute landing. If it were clear, both paratroops and the sea convoy would require strong air cover. The latter condition would necessitate much careful planning and timing for the Air Command. The former would make the Air task less difficult. The Jap was ready to take advantage of a wrong decision. Largely on consideration of the upper winds that season, the section "forecast" good weather, which came to pass. The landing proceeded with adequate fighter cover (A.A.F. shot down 23 enemy planes) and the next day the successful parachute descent on Nadzab took place.

Being the G.H.Q. Met. Section it was called upon for all sorts of incidental jobs, even to week-end forecasts for Brisbane beach resorts for exhausted officers proceeding on short leave.

One very pleasing task was that of lecturing to the pupils of an A.I.F. School of Intelligence near Brisbane. It was found that the students of this school were keenly interested in the application of weather to army operations and were full of pertinent questions. The officer students fully realised the importance of weather in deciding the nature of air support and in amphibious and gas and smoke operations, and in the movement of troops and transport for operational tasks.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Directorate of Meteorological Services (D.Met.S)

People in Bright Sparcs - 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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