Fifty years ago...
Bulletin 4 (1), January 1955
on a third international programme of geophysical
observations was underway (the First International Polar
Year took place in 1882-1883 and the Second in 1932-1933 (in
1957/1958, solar activity would be close to its maximum).
The title of International Geophysical Year was selected in
preference to Third International Polar Year in order to
stress the need to extend synoptic observations of
geophysical phenomena over the whole surface of the Earth,
especially equatorial areas. In the programme, priority was
given to problems which could only be solved by effective
125 years on, work is currently underway on the
International Polar Year 2007-2008. See http://www.ipy.org/
progress was reported in the adoption of an International
Ice Nomenclature. The possibility was being considered of
adopting a complete version for scientific use and an
abridged version for navigation. Also under study was the
sending of weather reports from whaling ships and the
reception by the latter of weather analyses and forecasts
from Meteorological Services.
international meteorological codes were introduced
throughout the world on 1 January 1955 (basic code forms and
specifications and regional codes). For the first time, a
section gave details of national practices, i.e. those which
were permitted in the general scheme and those which
represented deviations from standard practices.
headings for use in international meteorological
telecommunication exchanges were introduced on 1 January
1955 by the European and North and Central American regions.
total of 59 countries responded to an inquiry about methods
for reporting horizontal visibility. Of these, 49 reported
minimum visibility and 11 reported a visibility index,
defined as the greatest visibility ... attained or
surpassed throughout half of the horizon circle, not