January 1, 1941, seven first-order stations were operating in Alaska
from which radiosonde and pilot balloon observations were available,
16 second-order hourly reporting stations, and 97 airway reporting
stations. Juneau was designated as the general supervising station
for the Territory and direct supervision of activities within specified
areas was assigned Fairbanks, Anchorage and Nome. On August 2, 1941,
the Army Air Corps requested that weather reporting service in Alaska
be further expanded, with minor modifications. This was accomplished.
24, 1942, the Navy requested that a weather reporting station be placed
on St. Matthew Island. As this was not practicable because of lack
of facilities, a radiosonde station was opened at Gambell on St. Lawrence
to the requirements of wartime aviation implemented in part by the
transfer of funds from the War Department, there was steady growth
in the network of stations. Toward the end of the war there were forecast
centers at Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks with the administrative
work of the Region (#8) centered at Anchorage. Ten combination radiosonde
and pilot-balloon and two pilot-balloon stations were in operation
by the Bureau, supplemented by others operated by the Army. There
were nearly 150 airway weather stations including those reporting
on-call and others taking observations for forecast maps. The C.A.A.
also took observations at a small number of their communication stations.
liaison was maintained during the war with the AAF and C.A.A. and
changes in observing stations, programs, instrumental equipment and
the transmission of reports were worked out to the mutual benefit
of all concerned.
and maintenance of a network of reporting stations in Alaska has been
difficult because of limited communications and transportation facilities
and the lack of observer personnel in some communities. Transportation
difficulties were greatly reduced by the development of landing fields
and installation of air-navigation aids by the C.A.A. Closely associated
therewith has been the development of radio communication facilities
by that agency. However, the lack of communication facilities has
been one of the Bureau's primary problems in obtaining reports from
points off the airways, where it has been necessary to rely upon overloaded
radio-communication facilities operated by the Signal Corps in some
cases, or upon radio facilities operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
personnel, or by some individual in the community. In many cases transmission
of reports has been unsatisfactory. However, plans are under discussion
with the C.A.A. for that agency to provide and maintain radio transmitting
equipment for use of Bureau employees in transmitting weather reports.
and Pacific Islands Service.-As a part of the National Defense
Program, the Weather Bureau in 1940 arranged for and completed the
instrumentation of C.A.A. stations at Hilo, Maui Island and Port Allen,
TH; Johnston, Palmyra and French Frigate Shoals. In addition funds
provided under the "First Supplemental Civil Functions Appropriation
Act, 1941" were used for establishing radiosonde observations at Midway
and on two ships plying between Honolulu and the States.
supervising station was established at Honolulu to supervised pilot-balloon
activities on ships operating between Honolulu and the mainland. A
forecast center was also set up at Honolulu to assist the Army and
Navy with flight wether service.
the attack at Pearl harbor, the military forces took over and operated
all facilities in Hawaii and Pacific Islands previously supported
by the Weather Bureau. Most of the Wether Bureau personnel were transferred
from Honolulu; however, forecasters were later reassigned to the Army
OATC and NATS to assist with forecasting problems and flight weather
service activities for Army and Navy flights from Honolulu to the
mainland and between island bases in the Pacific.
American Training Program.-As a preliminary to initiating the
Latin American Training Programs one of our officials in 1941 visited
the directors of all established meteorological services in South
America. He was able to obtain information of benefit to naval and
military operations, including a comprehensive list of surface and
pilot balloon stations reporting at synoptic hours and the codes employed,
the schedule of weather broadcasts made twice daily, the call letters
and frequencies of broadcasting stations, forecasting facilities,
training class was organized in the closing days of February 1942
at New Orleans, La. In all, ten students from countries surrounding
the Caribbean region were brought to this country for training in
meteorological work, particular attention being given to tropical
meteorology and the forecasting of hurricanes. This program was carried
out by Wether Bureau officials with a few supplemental lectures by
specialists secured outside the Bureau.
year a much broader program was undertaken with the approval of the
Army and Navy and included nearly 200 students, all of the Latin-American
republics being represented. Funds were provided jointly by the Coordinator
of Inter-American Affairs and the Defense Supplies Corporation. The
course was conducted at Medellin, Colombia, so as to avoid the transportation
bottleneck across the Caribbean and to provide less drastic adjustment
in habits and modes of living.
the selection of so many students from so many different countries,
it was necessary to have some common yardstick to measure their relative
ability. This was accomplished through four competitive examinations
in (a) mathematics and physics (b) English comprehension (c) language
aptitude and (d) physical science aptitude. The examinations were
of the multiple choice type. These were supplemented by personal interviews
by the staff of the Embassies and local Coordinating Committees and
selections were made by an impartial board in Washington.
necessary to transport all text and reference books, instruments,
weather map series and other teaching equipment, helium cylinders,
etc., from the United States to Colombia; as well as the greater part
of the American instructors. Generous time was allowed for shipments
of supplies and equipment mostly by boat but delays ensued due to
the principal shipment by boat being offloaded and lost nearly two
months, making it necessary to complete the shipment by plane at great
expense. Boat transportation for persons was not available, requiring
the Latin-American students and instructors to travel by air. As a
result bottlenecks developed at Panama, at Cali in Colombia and at
Lima, Peru. The staff included 10 Americans and 10 Latin Americans.
The American group comprised one administrator, one fiscal agent,
four language specialists and four technical instructors, while the
Latin American group consisted of eight meteorologists and two mathematics
of this class have had the effect of emphasizing the need for meteorological
service in all of Latin American and some meteorological budgets have
already reflected the impact by providing more generous support for
meteorological work. Several South American countries have begun the
reorganization of their weather services, including specifically Ecuador,
Peru and Bolivia, and an impetus has been given meteorology particularly
in Chile, Uruguay and Brazil.
of the meteorological service in Ecuador secured information from
the Weather Bureau regarding its organization and the fundamental,
basic laws under which it operates, so as to serve as a basis for
drawing up a decree reorganizing the meteorological service of that
country. As a result an Executive Decree published in October 1944,
and signed by President Velasco Ibarra of Ecuador, placed the meteorological
service of that country on a much stronger basis under the Department
the Meteorological Service is being reorganized and has already been
expanded some, eight graduates of the Medellin school being employed.
a meteorological service has been organized for the first time. Several
of our Medellin graduates are employed, one being assistant director.
an impetus has been given to meteorological work. Two graduates from
Medellin (Matasi and Toro) formerly employed in the Fuerza Area (Army
Air Force) were sent to the United States at their country's expense
to study Weather Bureau organization and methods. They have since
returned to Chile where they are developing a weather service for
military and civilian aviation. It is understood that they have placed
orders in this country through the Chilean Air Mission for a large
number of weather instruments. Another student (Villegas) who connected
with the Marine Department (corresponding to a combination of the
Coast and Geodetic Survey and the Hydrographic Office) likewise was
sent to this country at the expense of his government for one year
student was sent to this country from Uruguay for the purpose of attending
a university and for studying Weather Bureau methods and organization
for a period of a year. Living expenses were paid by his government.
also sent a student, all expenses being paid, to take a course of
meteorological training at a university and the student was given
a two month's course in radiosonde training by the Weather Bureau.
Rica where there is no formally organized government weather service,
one of our students was awarded a meteorological scholarship to the
United States. He later returned to Costa Rica and became the Chief
Meteorologist of the TACA aviation company, being in charge of its
training program for observers and meteorologists.
latter part of 1943, forty Latin-American students were brought to
the United States for advanced training in meteorology and five others
were given grants-in-aid for studying climatology. During the years
1944-1946, the Bureau has averaged about eight scholarships annually
for advanced training in the United States.
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