mid-March 1941, Great Britain introduced a full meteorological war
organization over most of the Northern Hemisphere calling for suppression
of forecasts, current weather information, and past weather data
less than seven days old. These restrictions, of course, applied
only to information from British and Canadian sources, but there
was considerable pressure from some quarters for similar action
by this country. The studies of the Defense Meteorological Committee
and the Working Committee in preparing a United States plan for
security had shown at that time that the ramifications of a meteorological
service were so numerous, and the exchange of weather information
through public and private channels so common, that little short
of complete censorship could effectively cut off the supply of usable
data to an unfriendly power. However, no action on the request of
the British Government was taken at this time because to institute
and maintain complete security might incur greater injury to the
national Defense Program than would have been justified by the results.
and Combined Meteorological Committees.-For purposes
of coordination and to facilitate meteorological security under
the provision of executive Order No. 8991, dated December 26, 1941,
(quoted before) the Defense Meteorological Committee was succeeded
by the Joint Meteorological Committee. The main function of the
committee was to organize existing meteorological facilities and
services for use in war planning by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As
the Weather Bureau was the only civilian agency having membership
on the Joint Meteorological Committee of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of
Staff, it was the responsibility of the Weather Bureau to effect
coordination of plans approved by the Joint Meteorological Committee
with meteorological services of other nations in order to place
the programs into effect.
continue the broad fields of action formerly pursued by the Defense
Meteorological Committee, the new committee established seven sub-committees
to make investigations and recommendations for organizing meteorological
plans and procedures required in global warfare. The titles of the
committees were as follows: Equipment, Meteorology and Radio Propagation,
Research and Development, Weather Communications, Weather Plans,
Oceanography and Climatology. These sub-committees met at irregular
intervals as required while meetings of the Joint Meteorological
Committee were held generally on Tuesday of each week with special
meetings at other times. The recommendations made by the sub-committees
as a result of investigations and studies were forwarded to the
Joint Meteorological Committee and if approved the plans were then
submitted to the Weather Bureau, Army, and Navy for action.
the latter part of 1942 the Combined Meteorological Committee was
established, consisting mainly of U. S. and British representatives.
The relationship of this new committee to the Combined Chiefs of
Staff was similar to that of the Joint Meteorological Committee
to the U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Meteorological plan originating
in the Joint Meteorological Committee were referred to the Combined
Meteorological Committee for coordination and approval when affecting
of the first actions of the Joint Meteorological Committee was the
approval of security measures to prevent valuable weather information
from becoming available to the enemy, plans for which were first
formulated by the Defense Meteorological Committee early in 1940-41.
In addition, plans for furnishing meteorological information at
U. S. air terminals of ferry routes were also worked out. Two of
the routes were Northeast Ferry Route extending from North America
across Canada, Greenland, and Iceland to England, one of the worst
weather routes in the world, and the Southeast route extending from
Southern United States across the South Atlantic Ocean to Africa
via Acension Island. The Weather Bureau coordinated the
plan with Canada and Great Britain. Other ferry routes were established
later and when Soviet pilots were assigned to ferry operations,
arrangements for supplying forecasts and information in Russian
language were provided for use on flights to the Soviet Union.
Joint Meteorological Committee continued the project for the standardization
of international index numbers to use in identifying station report
in radio exchange of weather information. The Weather Bureau prepared
the lists and effected coordination with other meteorological services
of the United Nations, including neutral countries. About this same
time a program was also developed for the standardization of codes
for various types of reports collected and used in providing weather
service for military operations.
became apparent in 1942 that the attack on fortress Europe would
have to be made by the establishment of beachheads, first along
the African Coast and as the battle progressed into Europe, along
European coasts. To furnish adequate meteorologic service for such
military operations, the Joint Meteorological Committee devised
a Surf Code for use in reporting surf conditions at a landing beach..
The data provided by this special code proved of inestimable value
for landing of troops at beachheads when D-days arrived.
provide more effective coordination of the preparation and distribution
of hurricane warnings in the United States to the military services,
the Weather Bureau moved its hurricane forecast center from Jacksonville
to Miami, Florida. This move permitted the Weather Bureau, Army,
and Navy to protect military installations during the approach of
tropical storms originating in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
Other similar hurricane centers were located at San Juan, P.R.,
New Orleans, La., Washington, D.C., LaGuardia Field, N. Y., and
Boston, Mass. The service was later extended to provide for reconnaissance
flights by Army and Navy plans into hurricane areas to report the
progress of these storms.
foregoing are a few examples of meteorological plans devised by
the committee in order to effect full utilization of meteorological
activities, of the U. S. Weather Bureau for military operations.
The speed with which the committee organized plans for rendering
service in emergencies was one of its outstanding accomplishments.
Now that the war is over formerly done by the Joint Meteorological
Committee, which proved so effective during the war, is being taken
over by the Sub-committee on Aviation Meteorology, a branch of the
Air Coordinating Committee. The purpose of this new committee will
be to coordinate U. S. meteorological facilities with expanded civil
air operations both in the United States and with airlines engaged
in overseas operations.
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