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Thread: Met experts?

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    Default Met experts?

    Hi chaps (Peter, Brian?)

    For the purposes of researching any particular day or night ops in WWII, can anyone tell me please if historic met records are available, from where, and what detail they might provide? Also cost?

    Just wondering, as another source of potentially useful background research info, eg for considering aircraft claims / losses: 'who could have been where and when' ... and 'who couldn't'.

    Many thanks in anticipation

    Ian

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    From the Met Office point of view "Not a lot" is the answer I'm afraid Ian. So far as I'm aware the only records that survive in the Met Office Archives are surface (1939-1945 and upper air analyses (1943-1945), but these will not tell you anything. Continental data were very variable, some days there was a reasonable coverage, but on others the charts were nearly blank.

    I suspect that what you are after are the forecasts issued but they were never archived by the Met Office. For the first year of the war Bomber Command operations were largely Group affairs and the forecasts issued by the met offices at the respective Group HQ. This continued until Dec 1940, by which time two or more Groups were sometimes either operating on the same night, and sometimes against the same target. However, the Group Met Offices (GMO) often issued conflicting advice which resulted in some Groups not flying whilst others completed the operation.

    This led to the Bomber Command Conferences, a daily telephone conference between the GMOs and the Command Met Office at HQ Bomber Command, at which a forecast was agreed for the weather for the night's operations. Even so the exact wording of the forecast issued to a Greoup was left to the individual GMOs.

    That was just the weather - the forecast winds were prepared by the Central Forecast Office at Dunstable. I won't go into the detail of that - it's far too complicated - but you should be getting the idea that it was all rather messy.

    As for the weather experienced on any one raid I think there are summaries in the NA, but I'm afraid someone else will have to provide the file references. Other than that some ORBs (Little Staughton for one) include summaries of conditions encountered en route or at the target, but these appear to be pretty general.

    Brian

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    Default Met Records

    OK, thanks Brian

    Oh well, it was worth asking.

    Ian

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