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Thread: Weather Forecast Form 2330

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    Default Weather Forecast Form 2330

    In the bottom corner of the Navigator's Log used on Bomber Squadrons is a box entitled 'Weather Forecast' and written in the box is written 'Form 2330 Carried'.
    Have these forms been retained anywhere for posterity or could someone describe the info contained on them. The one I'm most interested in is the report from 9th November '42 to Hamburg, Middlebrook in his Bomber Command War Diaries talks of icing and winds that had not been forecast but I would like a bit more comprehensive information if possible.

    Many Thanks

    Pete

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    Hi Pete,

    I have acopy of the Form 2330 but from 1945. I am afraid those forms did not survied...
    Anyway I can at least describe what infromation it contains:
    - obverse: it was weather forecast for particular route for given period containing: synoptic situation, two columns for two different stages, for example base to patrol and patrol in case of CC aircraft where were following information: Wind (at specific height), Weather, Visibilty, Cloud, Icing Index, Freezing Level, Presure, etc.
    - reverse: blank columns for Weather observations by aircraft crew.

    I suppose that the form in 1942 should be similar, possible not all cells from above were used at those times...

    Back to your question - yes icing + winds should be mentioned on this form even in 1942 I think. But at those time I think no meteorological flights were performed above the enemy teritory so the weather forecast was not so good as in later years. I think other members - like Peter - can give you more details.

    HTH

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Thanks Pavel that gives me some idea, hopefully the 'Met Team', can shed some more light on the date in question.

    Pete

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    Hi Pete, As Pavel said, you're unlikely to find a store of completed F2330s as they're not on file at Kew. Night Raid Reports give forecast weather and weather experienced, including winds/speeds at various heights - they usually include a description of frontal positions as well, but no map. There are much better records from the USAAF at Kew (synoptic charts, cloud maps etc) but IIRC, they're 1943-44.

    Richard

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    Pete102, Hi

    The F2330 was a Flight Forecast form. Its purpose was to provide the crew with an alphanumeric, and pictorial, summary of the weather they could expect over the route they were to fly (and diversions). The pictorial was a cross-section of the weather along the route. Agreed that some of the early WW2 flight forecasts were not as good as they might have been (cough-cough!). On some F2330’s the reverse had space for “observed weather”. These would have been eagerly sought after by the Duty Met O at debriefs!

    The form has had various names and formats (RAF F2330, RAF F2330(Met), Metform 2330, etc) but they all served the same purpose! It would have been, I suppose, a Classified Doc in WW2 – but I’ve never seen one so annotated.

    The average Met Office on the average RAF Station could generate a lot of paper (stop laughing at the back there!). When I came across F2330, in the early 50s in Bomber Command, copies were made and distributed to the crews either on a 1-to-1 basis in the Met Office, or at a mass briefing session.

    At the end of every month all the Met forms that had been issued were rolled up and stored in the Met Off, on Station (unless they had been required for a prang CoI, or research purposes). At the end of 6(??) months they were destroyed – which is why they are not in TNA. Those 2330s that had been required for CoI/Research purposes would have been sent from Station Met Off to Group Met Off to Command Met Off, and thence to Met O HQ/Air Ministry. It is possible that the odd F2330 may be lurking in a TNA file, but it’s a needle-in-haystack problem.

    Lyffe may have further comments when he’s back on the circuit.

    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Thanks Richard it's handy to know about the USAAF records for any future need.

    Cheers Peter, that's a pretty comprehensive breakdown, the reason I ask is that on the Navigator's Log my grandfather filled in it's apparent that things had gone awry from his scribblings "WINDS", "PHOOEY" and at the bottom "Note- To be destroyed with Navigator" which I think is a tongue in cheek review of his efforts that night. It looks like he has later worked back on his fixes and concluded that he bombed 63 miles and 161 degrees from the intended target, it gives a position of 5242N 1030E which seems to be close to Dedelstorf airbase. What I was trying to do was compare the Form 2330 with his Log and see what the differences were but I think I'm a bit out of my depth.

    Rgds

    Pete







    Edit, I was hoping these would display as images but they have appeared as links.
    Last edited by pete102; 23rd September 2013 at 21:38.

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    I can't really help with this one in respect of F2330, Pete. It would be a working form and there would have been no reason to retain it after an operation. That said the comments in the BCWD seem a little strange in that there appears to have been a large anticyclone over Germany on the 9th, which, at first sight, wouldn't suggest much in the way of icing. The reference to "winds that had not been forecast" is meaningless on its own. 97 Sqn ORB (http://www.97squadronassociation.co....ord-book-1942/) records the target was obscured by cloud, but there's no reference to icing, nor anything about the winds.

    Would not the Group summaries help?

    PAMPA sorties (long-range, high level met reconnaissance over enemy territory) were being flown at this time. P/O Price (pilot) and P/O Butchart of 521 Sqn, departed Bircham Newton at 1510 on the afternoon of the 9th, in Mosquito DZ359. They found 10/10 'low' cloud over northwest Germany and 'poor' conditions generally. 'Low' is relative to the Mosquito operating altitude of about 30000 ft. (Source - 521 Sqn ORB). The aircraft landed at 18.15 - about 10 minutes after the first 97 Sqn took-off.

    Brian

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    Can't read the forms, Pete, whats the difference between forecast and found winds?

    The winds on F2330 would be the same as those he's logged as 'forecast winds' - but I can't read them.

    Brian

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    Thanks Brian, if you right click on the image and choose 'view original' it should give the full size image.

    I haven't the 4 Group summary but the entry in Pocklington Station Orb has the following

    ...cloud thickened to 10/10ths as the enemy coast was approached and the land was found to be completely obscured. Navigators had to rely on nav aids and there was an unexpected change in the wind from westerly to northerly, coupled with an increase in velocity. No Pathfinder flares were seen, and this force it was subsequently found refrained from using their flares as pinpoints were impossible. A number of recognition cartridges were seen to be fired over the North Sea, and it transpired that Coastal Command were attacking a convoy off the Frisian Islands..The ordered exit from enemy territory was between Cuxhaven and Wesermunde but most Captains found they left the continent between Amsterdam and Den Helder, having been blown considerably southwards.
    Last edited by pete102; 23rd September 2013 at 22:26. Reason: additional info

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    Pete,

    If I'm reading the form correctly the forecast to 05E at 15000 and 20000 ft was 260/30, then 290 25 (15000 ft) and 310/25 (20000 ft) to the target. The found wind from 05E to target and return to 05E was 359/41 at 20000 ft. On the face of it that is a considerable error, but there is a good reason - bit of history coming up.

    At the time, forecasting upper winds was still in its infancy, forecasters had very little experience and forecasting rules had yet to be developed - and matters were not helped by a dearth of data from occupied countries. The earliest archived upper air charts in the Met Office date from Jan 1943 and whilst these usually had sufficient observations on which to base the contour lines (similar to the pressure lines on the surface charts) from which winds could be estimated, there were actually very few wind reports as such. The situation would not have been any different prior to Jan 1943. The problem was compounded by the fact that continental upper air data were only received for 0600 and 1800 GMT, so forecasters preparing a forecast for the coming night were always working from data that were already out of date.

    With that in mind it comes as little surprise that forecasts went awry - some more so than others - and this was one of the reasons that during 1943 the concept of wind-finders was introduced. 'Wind-finders' were aircraft leading a bomber-stream delegated to report 'found' winds. These were received by the Met Office and a new forecast broadcast for the next legs. This enabled a bomber-stream to remain reasonably coherent. (This is much simplified, but the idea is there.)

    Because there are no archived British charts (although there are some German ones) it would be difficult to explain exactly why the forecast was in error, but gut feeling suggests this was one of those days when there were little continental data available to the British forecasters.

    I notice the forecast temperatures at 15000 and 20000 ft were almost spot-on!

    Brian

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