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Infamous metmen/women

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Infamous metmen/women

Old 1st Dec 2020, 19:28
  #141 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SirToppamHat View Post
I have spent a fair bit of time up at Saxa Vord over the past 3 years, installing the new radar system there. Those of you with experience of the place will have a feel for the conditions there. At the risk of thread drift, I have to say that without the MMU reservists on site I don't think it would have happened. The basic safety stuff (actual wind speeds above 50kts = no outdoor work and 70+ = get off the site) was very well handled without difficulty it seemed, and the the 2 main forecasters (who shall be nameless as they're still in uniform) made all the difference for the actual construction workers throughout (day and night!). Two major lifts carried out on the same day requiring wind speeds of less than 9 kts were achieved in separate windows each of about 30 mins, forecast a couple of hours ahead. Even the local drivers of the huge crane didn't believe it until it happened. The 60-foot radome was lifted whole in the middle of the evening - within 12 hours the wind speed had risen to 130kts!

Oh and I do not doubt the importance or contribution of other, regular, MetOs away from the site either. As a special bonus, there will be an automated weather station up there shortly coming on line - standby for some strong winds!

I just wanted some credit where it was due! I'll get my coat.
Thank you on their behalf.
A nice change from our motto:

WHEN I'M RIGHT NO ONE REMEMBERS, WHEN I'M WRONG NO ONE FORGETS!
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 20:08
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No Name Input

I cannot offer the names of the individuals..............

My first - when I was training at Valley in 1970, we had a young (well, old to us youth - but probably still in his 20's) Met Man who looked outrageous to our young military minds. He had long hair, tied in a pony tail...........

He usually gave us our morning Met brief and finished with "that is what I am required by Bracknell to tell you - but what is really going to happen is........."

He had local knowledge which Bracknell's computer did not have, and he was usually right!!

My second offering is a RN Met Man on (in??) HERMES in 82.........

The weather down south was not great, and one morning he put a black and white transparency onto the OHP (remember those??) of a fairly deep depression in our area....

"This" he said in serious MetMan tones "is known in meteorological circles as a Zebra's arsehole........"

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Old 1st Dec 2020, 21:25
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EFJ's post reminds me of an old and bold SmetO from my early days as a separator of aircraft in the RAAF.
Bernie (one of two MetOs with that name at Amberley at the time) appeared at the morning mass brief a few minutes late one very foggy morning in early May 1973. The Met brief followed immediately after the 0800 (2200 GMT, as it was in those days) time hack by the junior ATC so there had been an embarrassing silence for several minutes, punctuated at regular intervals by glaring looks from "Spud" (the Base Commander), Lovable Lyle (my CO) and Morphia (my SATCO). With no apologies, he launched into his brief with OHPs showing the disposition of naval forces in the Coral Sea and raid paths by allied aircraft on the Japanese fleet 31 years earlier. Following the history lesson he proceeded to show the synoptic and other charts considered of "value" to the air crew and traffickers assembled for what all hoped would be a very late start to flying due to the fog. At the end of the brief he called for questions. First up was Spud, "Thanks for the history lesson Bernie but the reason we all came here this morning was to hear a forecast and not a history lesson."

"But the forecast in in the history, as always," Bernie replied." On 5 May 1942 we had exactly the same conditions overnight and early morning here at Amberley as we have today so the fog will be gone by 1015 so cancel the first wave and you can taxi and launch the second wave as planned."

The second wave was due to taxi for a 1000 departure and at 0955 the fog was as thick as it has been all morning. Nothing moved on the flight line and in the tower we brewed a second coffee and commenced planning for early stand downs and beers. 1005 the TWR SPR called down to MET and asked for a revised forecast. "Stand by" , he was told by a non repentant SMetO. , "All will be revealed in a few minutes."

True to the history lesson and forecast by 1014 or so we were in brilliant early winter sunshine which remained all day.

I do have another MetO story from the 1970's which involves HHH, a bus trip to HatYai, a hotel lift and a swimming pool but if you are reading this Larry you can relax: my lips remain sealed.

A story which can be reported with only a small amount of embarrassment to the MetO involved also comes from those halcyon days in the 1970's. . Spear (not his real name) was put on the RAAF Specialist Reserve and posted for duties at Butterworth with a plan to send him back to Australia for OTS some four months later. On the way he was issued with a large number of uniform items. The RAAF in those days had transitioned from 3As 2B, 1As, battle jackets, pansy drabs and so on including drab shorts and shirts for warmer climes to an "all seasons uniform" which could be mixed and matched to suit the climate or order of dress for parades and formal occasions. On his first morning in uniform Spear chose the short sleeved blue shirt, drab shorts, the dark blue belt, and the nice pale blue tie to impress the boss on day 1.. He crossed Highway 1 from the Officers' Mess to the Main Gate and inquired of the very military gent standing at the gate checking dress of arrivals, "Can you please show me where the Control Tower is, as I've been told to report to the Senior Meteorologist there. "

"Sir," the Base WOD addressed him formally, "How much have you been paid to preform this circus act."

Thankfully the day shift tower team were passing by and rescued him, having met him (excuse the pun) the previous evening over many beers.

Spear's ability to forecast tropical Met was somewhat questionable but he went on to gain much experience in Antarctic Met and delivered a very learned paper in a 45 minute riveting presentation on "The Dynamics of Rain Drop Formation and Shape" in 1987 at a meeting I attended in my (then) role as liaison between he Bureau and the ADF. He was also a very accomplished French Horn player.

MJG

Last edited by mgahan; 3rd Dec 2020 at 22:34. Reason: instrument change after looking him up on the 'net.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 21:35
  #144 (permalink)  
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Great!

In 41 years, and literally dozens of postings and nigh on a thousand colleagues, I never knew, or knew of, a single one who could play a musical instrument.
[Other than his/ her own trumpet.]
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Old 3rd Dec 2020, 16:18
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........................................

Last edited by langleybaston; 4th Dec 2020 at 18:19. Reason: boredom
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Old 11th Dec 2020, 21:34
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In the middle 60's the Weather Man on Anglia Television was a gentleman by the name of Michael Hunt. He was a regular guest at the Officer's Mess bar at RAF Marham at the weekends.
He was a flamboyant version of Captain Mainwaring in that he was short in stature, but with a better moustache. He also wore a colourful bow tie. His party piece was to introduce himself
as " Mike'unt" which said rapidly caused much mirth amongst the male attendees, but some consternation with the ladies.
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Old 11th Dec 2020, 22:58
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Rumour was that::
He said " I am a country member" and people said they remembered..
The Met assistants were Betty Swallocks and Mary Hingepiece.
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 16:06
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Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
Great!

In 41 years, and literally dozens of postings and nigh on a thousand colleagues, I never knew, or knew of, a single one who could play a musical instrument.
[Other than his/ her own trumpet.]
I found the met people at Rothera (British Antarctic Survey base) to be a very musical bunch. In particular - Will Lang, played bass in the band, (very well...), and that was not his main instrument. He also sang, and played keyboards, drums, guitar, better than most of us in the rest of the band, and I think his main instrument at home was brass (tuba?). Also, George Fell, who drummed in the band for a while and was also a very good guitarist, who I think had taught himself without being able to really see the guitar, while flat on his back after breaking his back in a kayak accident. He was a met observer at Rothera, who I think went on to be a forecaster, before moving on to being an outdoor activities instructor. And Adam Thornhill, also a very good drummer, also an observer who went on to become a forecaster - I met up with him again a few years later when he was posted to Mount Pleasant.
So maybe your colleagues weren’t quite as tone deaf as you thought . . .

Last edited by Ant T; 14th Dec 2020 at 16:52.
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 19:59
  #149 (permalink)  
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Musical Met.

Thank you: obviously the musical met folk went a long way away from Home. "Over the Hills and Far Away!"

There was one famous, and indeed eminent, very senior musical gentleman of the old school: 3 piece suit, even on one of his occasional shifts. Occasional because he was indeed very senior and did a few shifts, like any good boss, to stay current and keep an eye on things.

I shall call him Alf. Professionally, he was a rare beast, having worked his way up and up by sheer ability to become a Chief Experimental Officer. He was responsible for many practical and empirical solutions to problems before numerical computers, and was both revered for his dedication and feared for his unbending discipline.

None of which has anything to do with music. "What did he play?" I hear you wonder.

His nose!

He hummed incessantly. Being a devout Christian and Lay Preacher, all his tunes were hymns. He carried a full repertoire: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost followed in due season, interspersed with Harvest, the occasional wedding, and the occasional funeral. Remembrance was not forgotten.

It was said that a night shift with Alf was never to be forgotten. Unfortunately.

RIP sir, a legendary giant among men who were the mainstay in the war, and the leaders thereafter.
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