Charles Henry Brian Priestley was born and educated in England. After completing the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge, he joined the Meteorological Office in 1939. For the next seven years he was engaged mostly in wartime work, including a two-year spell in Canada (1941–43) and three years with the Meteorological Office upper-air unit at Dunstable, UK (1943–46). In 1946, aged 31 years, he took up an Australian appointment with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (later to become the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)) to establish and develop a group to undertake research in meteorological physics. Thereafter he was based in Melbourne, Australia, with his career in the CSIRO extending to 1977. Priestley’s own early research focused on large-scale atmospheric systems, including substantial work on global-scale transport, and later on small-scale atmospheric convection and heat transfer, in which he established some significant results. He had a leading role in the development of the atmospheric sciences in Australia, and was strongly involved in international meteorology.
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