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the weather bureau record of war administration part 10

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A number of factors must be taken into account in deciding on the relative position of the civil and military weather services. It is obvious that the work of the Weather Bureau could not have been efficient for war purposes unless there had been continuous and effective liaison with the military services and the civilian agencies which direct war production and other activities on the home front. Therefore, at the outbreak of war it was necessary to draw up a comprehensive outline of a world war weather plan. Such a plan, complete in all essential details, including the needs of the military services, was prepared for use as a basis for doing first things first and eliminating waste and shortages. (A copy is available in the Archives.)

The War Advisory Council on Meteorology.-The War Advisory Council on Meteorology was organized by the Chief of the Wether Bureau in October 1942. The Council was set up asa a Bureau organization under the general direction of the Chief of Bureau but directly under an official of the Bureau as Executive Secretary. The staff was composed of Wether Bureau personnel and the organization was financed entirely by directly appropriated funds within the regular budget. The initial organization of three persons on October 1942, grew rapidly to a staff of 28 persons by June 1943, and has remained at that level to November 6, 1945. Personnel procurement and training was a continuing problem due to the limited and steadily decreasing supply of qualified persons. It was found necessary to fill nearly all sub-clerical and graphic positions with persons having only minimum qualifications and with no training or experience in compiling or analyzing meteorological data. Although no insurmountable difficulties were encountered in meeting an excessive turnover, the organization was forced to operate less efficiently than would be expected under peacetime conditions.

The overall objective of the Council was to render assistance to the Armed Forces on meteorological and related problems as assigned by either the Joint Meteorological Committee or the Chief of Bureau. Assignments were accomplished by making fullest use of the Bureau's climatological resources, professional talent, and operational facilities.

In December 1942 a request was received from the Joint Meteorological Committee to provide special climatological studies to be used for long-range planning of military objectives. At this time, extensive studies designed to improve and extend the range of forecasts were being carried on by the meteorological staffs of the Weather Bureau, the Army, the Navy and in collaboration with educational and research institutions. However, because of the demonstrated value of statistical climatology to the military planner, the Joint Meteorological Committee requested the War Advisory Council to concentrate on the preparation of special climatological studies for specific localities which they would designate. Accordingly, "Weather Guides for Long Range-Planning" were prepared for 26 locations in the Mediterranean and Pacific theaters of war.

Weather Guides for Long-Range Planning.--The primary and continuing function of the WACM was the preparation and issuance of special climatological studies of foreign locations within existing and anticipated theaters of war. These studies under the title of "Weather Guides for Long-Range Planning", were prepared at the request of the military services through the Joint Meteorological Committee. In all, twenty-six foreign locations were assigned, the list being revised and amended as progressive military developments dictated. Primary distribution of the Guides to the military was accomplished through the Office of Air Adjutant General and the Bureau of Aeronautics, although a number of the Guides were regularly sent to subdivisions of the military departments at their specific request.

During the period from January 1943 to June 1945, approximately 25,000 copies of the Weather Guides for the following locations were prepared and distributed:

  • Baku, U.S.S.R. Port Blair, Andaman Islands

  • Tunis, Tunisia, Medan and Sebang, Sumatra

  • Bucharest, Rumania Singapore, Straits, Settlements

  • Budapest, Hungary Batavia, Java

  • Milan, Italy Penang Island Straits Settlements

  • Genoa, Italy Eastern Java and Bail

  • Marseille, France Naha and Naze, Ryukyu Islands

  • Madrid, Spain Shana, Kurile Islands

  • Jaluit, Marshall Islands Formosa Island

  • Truk and Ponape, Caroline Islands Southwest Portion, Hokkaido

  • Palau, Caroline Islands South Central Coast, Hokkaido

  • Rangoon, Burma Extreme East Coast, Hokkaido

  • Titizima, Bonin Islands Northwest Portion, Hokkaido

Approximately 1,000 copies of each Guide Were printed and assembled, using Bureau reproduction facilities. Due to military restrictions no general distribution was made, although a complete file was maintained in the Bureau Library and a small surplus of each study kept in WACM files.

In developing these Weather Guides, all the climatological data available in this country were brought into use. In nearly every case, these data were contained in the climatological publications as periodically issued by the meteorological organization of the governing country. Only for certain European locations were special summaries of ceiling and visibility data available for "flying weather" statistics.

In general each Weather Guide was published as an 11 x 15 inch pamphlet, consisting of from eight to twenty-two pages. The format consisted of a title page followed by a page presentation showing both the large-scale global location of the general region and a small-scale topographic map of the specific location. An explanation of the purpose of the Guide, a complete history of the available data with remarks as to their character, followed by an example in. the use of the Guide, always preceded the pages containing the presentations of the data.

The climatological data were presented in a graphic form especially designed to show both the probable or "most likely" conditions to be encountered and the extreme conditions which might occur. In addition to these presentations, day-to-day sequences of "typical," "good," and "bad" weather were included. Related to these presentations was a series of small-scale meteorological charts showing examples of meteorological situations which would produce either "good" and "bad" weather within selected seasons.

One particular handicap under which the War Advisory Council worked while compiling the statistical data was the lack of a sufficient number of copies of climatological data for foreign countries. This lack was aggravated by the bound volumes of the Japanese data being cut up.

As a result of this, some of the page were lost. Should a future similar situation arise, the books should be microfilmed, and the microfilm checked to see that no pages has been omitted before proceeding to remove the binding of the book and cut it into sections.


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