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the weather bureau record of war administration part 10

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As of 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.

On April 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 Island instead.

Due largely 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.

Close 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.

The establishment 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.

Hawaiian 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.

A ship 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.

After 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.

Latin 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, etc.

The first 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.

The following 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.

In making 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.

It was 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 instructors.

The results 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.

The director 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 of Economy.

In Peru, the Meteorological Service is being reorganized and has already been expanded some, eight graduates of the Medellin school being employed.

In Bolivia, a meteorological service has been organized for the first time. Several of our Medellin graduates are employed, one being assistant director.

In Chile, 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 of study.

Another 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.

Cuba 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.

In costa 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.

In the 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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