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works Co. or Department owns the land of the tributary watershed, to increase the available yield as a result of study of the meteorological and hydrological conditions, the suggested method being to carry out some system of cultural treatment which will reduce the water losses to a minimum-R. E. Horton, Chairman.


Climate and dairy barns.-The Committee on Ventilation of Farm Buildings of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, is making a study of the proper housing conditions for stock in different parts of the United States and Canada.

As the cow is the source of heat in the dairy barn, it follows that the construction and ventilation of the barns must be different in the northern part of the country from those in the southern to maintain the proper temperature and sanitary condition of the air.

An article under the head of "Climatic Dairy Barns," by W. B. Clarkson and C. S. Whitnah, will be published in the October number of the new publication · entitled "Agricultural Engineering." The authors have divided the country into four well-defined zones, based on sustained low temperatures in the winter months, and outlined the proper type of barn in its relation to the temperature of the different zones.-J. Warren Smith, Chairman.


Mine Operators Value Weather Information.-It may be of interest to note that Professional Paper 111, of the United States Geological Survey, just issued, on "The Ore Deposits of Utah," by Victor C. Heikes and others, contains five pages (60-64 inclusive) of weather data, which were prepared in this office.

This is a very comprehensive paper, containing 672 large pages. The weather data were inserted for the convenience of mining men making studies of the accessibility of the various mining regions, in both winter and summer, and of the number of snow slides, land slides, stream heights, and so forth.

The incident which apparently led to the request for this large amount of matter, just as the report was being turned into the government printer some months ago, was a suit by some farmers against a mining company for alleged diversion of water. A large part of the stream has come from a mining property, especially the underground workings, for many years, and the farmers thought a shortage was due to breaking, interrupting, or changing of the flow in some manner through the earth's fissures within the mine by the mine workings. The mining company contended, with the aid of weather records, that a dry era had prevailed, sufficient to cause the shortage.-J. Cecil Alter. U. S. Weather Bureau

Salt Lake City, Utah


Three Instances in Which Science Could Have Helped.


Insuring against rain has become quite as much of a fad in the United States as in England, where it has been practiced for many years, and apparently it has not occurred to the insured that, at the end of a series of insurance policies they have paid not only for their own losses, but the profits of the insurers as well. Reprinted from the New York Herald, Wednesday, October 6, 1920.

Cf. this BULLETIN, July-Aug., 1920, pp. 78–80.


In England the matter is managed with a reasonable degree of intelligence; in this country-well, here are three instances:

A club decided that two-tenths of an inch of rain would spoil things. There was a shower, but the two-tenths of an inch fell short by just two-hundredths of an inch. Things certainly were spoiled, but the club got no insurance for the fee paid to the company.

Case two was a joke on the club. The club insured against one-tenth of an inch of rain within certain time limits. The club had no rain-gage; neither had the insurance company. It did not occur to either party that a tin bucket at the club grounds would have answered the purpose of a gage. So both parties agreed upon the gage at a weather bureau station about fifteen miles away.

Did it rain? Well, two-hundredths of an inch fell at the weather bureau station and more than an inch fell at the club grounds.

Case three was a joke on the insurance company. The policy covered a certain rainfall between 8 A.M. and 8 P.M. The rain came all right, but the sky was clear and bright at 9 o'clock. The function set for the afternoon went off in most delightful weather. The insurance company paid.

One thing happened in each instance: the weather bureau was damned up hill, down dale and cross lots. And yet in each instance the official in charge at the nearest weather station could have given insurers and insured the information whereby a reasonable and fairly satisfactory policy could be executed. But it is easier to damn the weather man than to ask him for information. MOUNT VERNON, October 5. OBSERVER.


Air-Charting for Airways.-Without questioning the value of Dr. Ford A. Carpenter's aeronautical notes1 in popularizing the meteorological aspects of flying, I wish to caution such readers as are not conversant with aeronautical meteorology against an assumption that valuable meteorological maps of an airway can be made solely from the results of one, or even of ten, flights over it. The observer learns about as much about the usual weather of his route as does a man riding on a railway train. Surely, a rail traveler even though he takes car-window notes every five minutes would not claim that they represented a climatic description of the route. If no other data were available, his notes would be in demand by anyone wanting to know about the weather of the region. If an aviator wants to know all he can about the weather of an airway his best sources of information are the weather records of the stations along the route. Itinerary notes would be welcome as supplementary to these records from isolated spots, in that they would serve to bind them together and to indicate local peculiarities between the set stations. In any event, the aviator or aeronaut with a good grounding of theoretical meteology and aeronautical practice is always in a position to meet the demands of those who wish to operate airways most efficiently so far as the weather factor is concerned.-Charles F. Brooks.

Free Balloons and Altimeter Indications.-In discussing the effect of changes of barometric pressure upon aircraft altimeters during long flights and the possible altitude readings such changes might produce, the thought has occurred

1See this BULLETIN, May, p. 59, and July-Aug. p. 78. Reference may be made also: to map and discussion of aerial routes between New York and the Pacific coast, in Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Bulletin, Nov., 1919, p. 5; to an illustrated running account of a flight from Riverside to San Diego and return, in Scientific American Monthly, June, 1920, pp. 484488; and to an unpublished well-illustrated report on an air-charting journey, Los Angeles to San Francisco, submitted in duplicate to the Director of U. S. Air Service and to the Committee on Aeronautical Meteorology of the Society, August 26, 1920.


to me that altimeters on free balloons will not be subject to this effect to such a marked degree. A free balloon is completely subject to the wind in which it is moving; it cannot be propelled nor can it be steered. The wind, at altitudes sufficiently great as not to be affected by surface friction, is subject to the distribution of pressure with respect to speed and direction. It is known as the gradient wind. The direction of the gradient wind is parallel to the isobars at a given level. If, then, a free balloon rises into such a wind, the barometric pressure which is affecting its altimeter will not change, except as the balloon changes its altitude. At a given level the altimeter would be constant in its reading, which would not be the case with an altimeter which was being moved across the isobars. It is true, that close to the surface, perhaps below 500 meters, a balloon would not strictly follow the isobars, owing to surface friction, and perhaps above 1000 meters the direction of the isobars would be such that it would be carried across the sea-level isobars; but this affords a range of about 500 meters at a convenient flying level where the balloonist may fly without danger of erroneous altimeter indications.-C. LeRoy Meisinger.


The hurricane that hit the coast of Louisiana in the early morning of September 21 was the first that has occurred this year and makes the work of the Weather Bureau in connection with these disastrous storms of timely interest. Fortunately this one was of comparatively moderate intensity and struck at a point where no large city is located and not largely populated. However, the violence of even a moderate hurricane is terrorizing and can be fully appreciated only by those who have experienced their destructive power. They are always of tropical origin and rarely occur except in the summer and autumn months. Those that originate in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico are called hurricanes, and have the same characteristics as the dreaded typhoons of the Philippines. They are by far the most violent of all general storms and are attended by clouds of inky blackness, downpours of rain, and wind of tremendous velocity, sometimes more than 135 miles an hour. In low-lying sections the high winds pile up the tides many feet and inundate the country for miles inshore. The hurricane of 1915 that passed near Galveston left a large ocean-going vessel high and dry several miles from the coast line. If a hurricane should strike on the south Atlantic or Gulf coasts unheralded the loss of life and destruction of property would be appalling. And this is what did happen before the Weather Bureau began its hurricane warning service and had learned the nature and characteristics of these awful maelstroms. For many years no tropical storm has occurred unannounced, and the savings in vessels and property undoubtedly amounts to millions of dollars, and the saving of lives can be reckoned in hundreds of thousands.

The means of detecting the beginning of hurricanes, their intensity, speed and direction of movement requires marvelous skill on the part of the forecaster. It can be compared to a physician who diagnoses a case in which there is menace and death to his patient by symptoms that he recognizes because of his technical skill and experience. If he makes a mistake, one person is apt to die; if the forecaster errs, thousands of lives may be the penalty. The forecaster has less than the physician on which to base his diagnosis, oftentimes a single wireless report of weather conditions from a vessel at sea or a land station a hundred miles or more from the storm center. His task is made more difficult because hurricanes may, and most frequently do, originate over the tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea and move for days without coming near land. A vessel caught unawares is in for a terrible buffeting and is lucky to escape.

The recent hurricane was typical of the forecaster's problem. As early as September 18 he announced that conditions were becoming threatening over the Caribbean Sea and the west portion of the Gulf of Mexico, and advised caution on the part of all vessels in those waters. It was a case of diagnosis. The

caution was broadcast by wireless and placed vessel masters on the alert. The next morning the symptoms had developed and it was evident that there was a disturbance moving toward the Yucatan channel. It might keep a straight course, move to the right or the left, or describe a parabolic curve and strike anywhere on a fifteen hundred mile coast line from western Florida to southern Texas. For sixty hours, with only a few reports, none closer than 100 miles from the center of the disturbance, as a guide, the forecaster kept the people of the entire Gulf coast, who were in a fever of anxiety, in touch with the situation. When it finally struck, those in the danger zone were prepared, while hours before those in the other threatened districts had been relieved of their anxiety. The forecaster had diagnosed the case accurately. Like the physician, he spent many sleepless hours beside his charts and took only short periods of rest until the danger had passed.-E. B. Calvert.


Although a West Indian hurricane is a good-sized storm, it is surprising at times to learn of cases of very localized damage such as is described by Mr. T. W. Forman in the following passage from a letter:

"When I went to Brownsville (Tex.) the last time, two days after the storm (of Sept. 1919), I noticed that the path of most destruction along the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico R. R., crossed the railroad north of Kingsville, in the vicinity of Bishop, Texas. In this section many buildings were unroofed and small ones completely demolished, while 15 or 20 miles either side of this strip you could not tell that anything had happened.

"The railroad officials of this same railroad reported that at a little station south of Kingsville, Armstong, Texas, that the rainfall for the month of Sept., 1919, alone, was 53 inches. The make-up of the country in this vicinity is unlike any adjacent to it. The surface of the ground is several feet of hard-pan, covered with shifting sand that has formed into small dunes. It seems that the area covered by this hard-pan forms a basin, as it has no drainage, except evaporation. When we went down on the train, through that section the water was up to the steps on the cars, and remained that way for several months."T. W. Forman (U. S. Engineer Office, Galveston, Tex.).


A general account of the Conference is published in the Monthly Weather Review, August, 1920, vol. 48, pp. 466, 467; the text of the general resolutions is to be found in Science, Sept. 24, 1920, pp. 286–287, and that of the special resolutions in subsequent issues of Science. An account of the origin of the PanPacific Union and its relation to the Bishop Museum appeared in Science, July 23, 1920, pp. 74-76. The papers presented at the Conference will be published in the Proceedings of the Conference; and those of meteorological interest will probably appear in some form in the Monthly Weather Review.


Investigations in meteorology, or the physics of the atmosphere, designed to lead to an accurate, scientific knowledge of atmospheric phenomena are of recognized importance. Very little is known of the behavior of the upper air over the land, and still less over the ocean. The fundamental aspects of these phenomena are exhibited in their simplest manner over the greatest of oceans, the Pacific. Hence it is necessary to make meteorological observations over the Pacific for use in studying the more complex problems over the land.

Moreover, the collection, and prompt dissemination of marine meteorological

data are of great benefit to humanity in carrying on its commerce and in weather forecasting, which is now limited by a lack of synchronized, uniform, meteorological data over the great ocean areas not within the customary track of vessels.

Observations at the place of origin of typhoons, hurricanes, larger cyclonic, and anticyclonic areas, as well as the development, dissipation, oscillation, and translation of the same, are essential to successful forecasting and the study of ocean meteorology. Moreover, the meteorological survey of these ocean areas has practical value; therefore the governments of the countries bordering on the Pacific Ocean are urged to carefully consider these matters with a view to increasing the number of meteorological vessel and land stations within the confines of this ocean and on its borders, especially the establishment of vessel reporting stations in somewhat fixed positions. In considering these matters it is believed that especial attention should be given to increasing the number of stations in the well known "centers of action."

The Pan-Pacific Scientific Conference commends the Ocean Navigation Companies and their masters of vessels for the valuable assistance they have rendered the Meteorological Services of the various nations, and urges them to further coöperate, especially in the matter of transmitting their weather reports by radiograph, as well as by mail.


Since the observations made at the meteorological station on Macquarie Island resulted in improvements in the accuracy of weather forecasting, this Conference expresses the hope that observations at that station, interrupted by the war, may be resumed at an early date.


In view of the fact that Mauna Loa, Island of Hawaii, the highest accessible point in the central Pacific, offers exceptional opportunities for the exploration of the upper air, it is recommended that a station of the first order be established on its summit for continuous meteorological observations.


Several pathetic appeals from Austrian meteorologists or their families have been received recently by a number of American meteorologists. The following one came to the editor of the Monthly Weather Review (published by U. S. Weather Bureau in Washington) on October 6:


Wien XIX Hohe Warte 38

20, September 1920.

In view of our calamities in Austria, I beg you to help my colleagues, the members of the staff of the Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie in Vienna, in their great need of food. The American Relief Administration Warehouse has published the following circular:

For several weeks the American Relief Administration Warehouses in Austria have been delivering food parcels to holders of food drafts. You can buy at any bank in the United States American Relief Warehouse Food Drafts and send them to us in Vienna. On presentation of these Food Drafts at the warehouse in Vienna, we can also draw American Food. We are in great need of food in Austria. Individual food parcels sent from America usually do not reach us. Money does us no good when there is no food to buy. Help us in our distress by sending an American Relief Warehouse Food Draft-quickly! For further information apply to American Relief Administration, 115 [present address, 42] Broadway, New York City, or to your own or the nearest bank.

Allow me to draw your attention to it. We are, the families included, 67

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