1940, the Army Air Forces and Navy each established weather centrals
in Washington, D. C., to provide meteorological service required
for their operations. These weather centrals were later moved to
the U. S. Weather Bureau, Washington, D. C. , after consideration
of three important questions by the Defense Meteorological Committee.
First, there was a shortage of trained and experienced meteorological
personnel, both civilian and military, secondly, the move would
affect better coordination of meteorological services and facilities
between the Weather Bureau, Army Air Forces, and Navy, and lastly,
it would eliminate a considerable amount of duplication
in the preparation of charts required for forecast purposes by the
1942, as a result of recommendations by the Joint Meteorological
Committee, the Weather Bureau set up a central weather analysis
section in Washington which occupied quarters adjacent to the Army
and Navy Weather Centrals. Establishment of the U. S. Weather Bureau
Analysis Center permitted the rapid plotting of a voluminous amount
of data required for making synoptic weather analyses of surface
and upper-air charts required for forecast purposes. Analyses based
on these charts were then coded and distributed by Civil Aeronautics
Administration teletype systems to Weather Bureau filed offices
and also those of the Army and Navy throughout the United States.
Entry of the analyses on weather maps at filed offices reduced considerably
the large amount of weather data to be plotted which was essential
to render local service in the past.
work of the three weather centrals increased considerable and owing
to lack of adequate quarters, the Army Air Forces Weather Central
was forced to move to the Pentagon Building in 1943. Repeated efforts
to obtain space near the Wether Bureau on which to construct quarters
to house the three weather centrals were made without success. The
moving of the Army Weather Central increased the amount of duplication
in plotting and preparing weather charts, but the continuation of
close coordination and liaison between the three weather centrals
kept the amount of duplication to a minimum.
of Weather Information.-To maintain the continuous flow
of weather reports from the greater portion of the Northern Hemisphere
and parts of the Southern, the Weather Bureau was faced with the
problem of enciphering and deciphering on the average of 150,000
words daily consisting mainly of weather reports. Such reports formed
the basis for rendering weather service to the Army, Navy, and also
domestic industries engaged in war production.
in 1940, the Weather Bureau effected arrangements to obtain reports
from Canada, England, and other belligerent nations in cipher. Owning
to the spread of Nazi warfare on the high seas against ships of
neutral registry in 1941, it was necessary to also include in cipher
weather reports received from outlying stations of North America
and ships of Untied States registry while at sea. It was due largely
to these security measures that the Weather Bureau was enabled to
begin the enciphering of all weather bulletins broadcast by Navy
and Civil Aeronautics Administration radio stations in the United
States by the evening of December 7th. Personnel to do
this work were detailed from other Weather Bureau activities to
meet this emergency until employees could be recruited, investigated,
and trained in cryptographic and communications work.
and communications units were established at Washington, D. C.,
New York, N.Y., New Orleans, La., San Francisco, calif., Seattle,
Wash., Anchorage, Alaska and Honolulu, T. H., each of which functioned
24 hours daily on 3 shifts of 8 hours. To insure the secrecy of
this work at all times, guards were stationed at the entrance to
the units. Admission of persons other than those actually employed
in the unit, including Weather Bureau personnel, were permitted
only after they had been cleared by the security officer and the
unit supervisor informed of their intended visit.
the need arises to resume the enciphering of weather reports in
the future, it is believed that cryptographic machines which were
developed and used during the latter part of the war will be available,
thus eliminating the recruitment of a large number of employees
to encipher weather reports before transmission.
after the Office of Censorship was established early in 1942, that
office issued censorship codes for the guidance of press and radio
which included restrictions on news releases relating to weather
information. Since the Weather Bureau, through the U. S. Joint Meteorological
Committee, had already placed into effect restrictions on the release
of weather information from its offices in the previous December,
the effectiveness of these restrictions which was also coordinated
with the Office of Censorship, was immediate.
between the Office of Censorship and the Weather Bureau was established
and all news items and articles relating to the weather which were
submitted to the Office of Censorship for clearance, were referred
to the Weather Bureau for review before publication. Much of the
liaison work between the Weather Bureau and Office of Censorship
was conducted by telephone since clearance for publication of numerous
news releases submitted by press associations could be determined
after the main subject matter had been discussed informally.
provide pilots of companies engaged in war production with weather
information they were issued letters of authority which, when presented
at Weather Bureau airport stations, permitted them to obtain flight
forecasts before take-off. Necessarily these letters of authority
were only issued after the companies and pilots requesting them
had been thoroughly investigated.
addition, there were restrictions on practically all weather information
collected and issued by the Weather Bureau during wartime. These
restrictions are described fully in documents contained in the official
files of the Bureau.
Prepared for Military Uses of Meteorology.-There are two
phases of the meteorological problem in time of war. First, the
basic weather service that must be maintained in support of activities
on the home front and second, meteorological service which is a
necessary part of the operations of the armed forces. These two
are quite different in several respects. Weather service on the
home front is continued, expanded, and intensified as may be necessary
as an aid to agriculture, industry, transportation, war production,
and all other activities bearing directly or indirectly on the war
effort. The nature of this service is not subject to radical changes
during the progress of the war. It is based on years of experience
in furnishing weather service for a familiar region and activity.
The weather service required for military and naval operations is
subject to radical changes from time to time, depending on the nature
of warfare and the development of weapons as the war proceeds.
ability of a country to keep pace with the weather requirements
of war depends on the efficiency of the weather service which is
maintained in time of peace. While military service maintains a
meteorological unit in time of peace, which serves as a nucleus
for expansion in time of war, it is neither economical nor advisable
to attempt to maintain full scale meteorological organizations within
the armed services during time of peace. They would be organized
on the basis of experience in past wars. The trend of development
in a new war would make the systems obsolete, and it would be necessary
to reorganize anyway. It has been decided that the most effective
plan is to maintain military meteorological units sufficient to
keep abreast of technical developments in warfare as related to
meteorology, and then depend on the national meteorological service
and the meteorological training facilities of the country to assist
in expansion to meet the specialized needs of a new war.
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