Jule G. Charney, 64, an internationally known authority on meterology and ocenography and a retired professor and department chairman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, died Tuesday in a hospital in Boston. He had cancer.
In 1976, Dr. Charney was hailed by the American Geophysical Union as the scientist who had "guided the postwar evolution of modern meterology more than any other living figure."
Jerome Namias of the Scripps Oceanographic Union said, "Prof. Charney really created nothing short of a revolution in weather forecasting. It was quite a breakthrough."
Between 1948 and 1956, Dr. Charney was director of the meterorological research group at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, N.J. During those years he and mathematician John von Neumann conducted some of the pioneer work in using computers in weather prediction.
In 1956, Dr. Charney joined the faculty at MIT, where until recently he had been Alfred P. Sloan professor of meterology. He was chairman of the department of meterology from 1974 to 1977.
His later work included studies of the structure of hurricanes, the dynamics of ocean currents and the propagation of wave energy.
He was chairman of the National Academy of Science's committee for global atmospheric research from 1968 to 1971 and had been president of the meterological section of the American Geophysical Union since 1970. He was a founder of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
His awards included a gold medal from the Royal Meterological Society in 1961, a medal from the Smithsonian Institution in 1968 and the Bowie Medal of the American Geophysical Union in 1976.
Dr. Charney was a native of San Francisco. He earned bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
He taught physics and meterology at UCLA from 1942 to 1946. During those years he also instructed members of the armed forces in weather forecasting.
From 1946 to 1947, he was a research associate at the University of Chicago. He studied under a post-graduate fellowship at the University of Oslo, Norway, and went to Princeton in 1948.
Dr. Charney's two marriages ended in divorce. His survivors include two sons and a daughter.