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the weather bureau record of war administration part 10

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The airway weather service covers the United States, Alaska and trans-ocean flight routes and terminals. Reports and forecasts are issued at all hours, day and night. Although attention is directed primarily to the needs of aviation, the general interests of business and the public are provided for insofar as the capacities of the facilities and staffs of this service permit.

An agricultural weather service is maintained to give special attention to farmers and horticulturists in general. The corn and wheat crop and the cotton crop services are organized by State divisions, while the fruit-frost and truck-warning service operates in portions of a number of States, in which fruit and truck growers are notified of expected frosts which might necessitate orchard heating, flooding or other means of protecting the crops.

The climatological service collects and analyses the records of observations from all sources in the United States and its territories and over the adjacent oceans so far as possible. After verifying the data, summaries are prepared and monthly and annual staticstcs on the climate of the Nation are published. Climatological records are extremely useful to economic and social interests far and wide. In addition to day-by-day uses by a great variety of interests these statistics are used for study of significant climatic changes in connection with mass migrations, large-scale economic trends, and similar problems.

The hydrometeorological service, which is divided into districts following the Nation's major geographical drainage areas, supervises the intensive rainfall-observing network conducted by the Weather Bureau in collaboration with the U. S. Corps of Engineers and the Department of Agriculture in connection with their flood control and soil conservation programs. It also supervises 85 river centers which issue reports and forecasts of river height for the country's principal's river systems.

The forest-fire weather forecast service operates in cooperation with the U. S. Forest Service. Meteorologists, expert in forecasting periods of weather conducive to occurrence of forest fires, are stationed at strategic headquarters offices located in forested areas. In addition mobile units accompany the Forest Service personnel to the scenes of fires, and there obtain radio reports with which they prepare weather maps, and from which they prepare detailed forecasts of local conditions for the benefit of the fire-fighting crews.

A hurricane and storm-warning service is maintained to aid shipping and the general interests of the public at large. This service prepares storm warnings at district forecast centers which publicize the warnings by every available means. During the hurricane season, July to October inclusive, the public in the threatened areas is warned of the severity of the hurricane, and advised concerning precautionary measures, Gale and storm warnings are issued throughout the entire year to safeguard coastal property and shipping. These warnings are widely disseminated by radio, telephone, teletype, etc., and by the display of signal flags and lights to nearby shipping from more than 500 towers located on the seacoast and shores of the Great lakes, and visible from the vessel fairways.

The general weather service provides daily maps, bulletins and forecasts for business, industry and the public. Usually four forecast are issued daily for the ensuing 36 hours. During critical periods advices are issued every three hours or oftener. These are published in practically all daily newspapers, are broadcast over most radio stations, are disseminated by local or long-distance telephone, and are available on an automatic telephone installation at many of the larger cities.

Research into the causes of weather and climate is carried on continuously. Special studies are devoted to improvement of forecasts for both short and long periods, largely for the benefit of rapidly-expanding and world-wide aviation.. Such research results in an improved knowledge of storms and allied phenomena, and finally in a greater usefulness to the public of meteorological information in general. Investigations are also conducted covering many other phases of meteorological development such as air-mass analyses; the physical characteristics of thunderstorms; icing on aircraft; invention and design of new instrumental equipment, including radar, the radiosondes and robot weather stations, storm studies as related to flood control in selected watersheds, and numerous statistical studies including those having a direct relationship to climatology.

Figure 3 illustrates in pictorial form how the Weather Bureau works and the manner in which its product is made available to the public.

Reorganization for War.--What has gone before is designed to give a summarized description of the creation, growth, and present day organization of the Weather Bureau for peacetime operation on which to superimpose the record of its contribution to the successful prosecution of the war. That which follows is a detailed statement of what contribution was made by the Bureau to the war effort, how it was done, and should the need arise how it is proposed to do it again.

 



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