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It should be pointed out that in most states, and particularly Kansas and Oklahoma, the yearly variations in size of the total crop are governed almost entirely by yield per acre-in other words, rainfall. Such changes as are generally made in acreage from season to season are nothing in comparison to the fluctuation in yield caused by weather conditions. In Kansas the highest yield per acre in 25 years was 31 bushels, in 1915. Two years before, the record was 3.2 bushels, only about 1/10 as great. In 1920 the yield was about 281/2, so that theoretically the 1921 acreage would have to be increased nine fold to assure a crop even equal to 1920, in spite of anything the weather could do.

For Missouri, Nebraska and a few other states our data are less complete. Corn yields, however, have been charted. It seems likely that in Nebraska the crop next year will almost certainly be less than in 1920, unless acreages be increased abnormally, and the same holds true to a lesser degree for Missouri. Such limited rainfall studies as have been made for these two states bear out the same conclusions.

As already stated, our work is frankly an experiment, and one which perhaps the layman can more consistently work on than the technically trained meteorologist. That we are at least doing something more than gambling purely on the law of chance, is demonstrated by the fact that the percentage of correct forecasts, which with the considerable number of trials involved should approach 50, is very much higher.


There is a definite relationship between the weather and the crops, and likewise between the crops and business. Weather and business, therefore, are rather closely associated. This is admitted as a general proposition but there are many who do not realize how profound may sometimes be the influence of weather conditions upon the business activity of the country.

During the 1920 season business has been affected more than usual by factors other than weather-strikes, transportation difficulties, credit, and a somewhat uncertain state of mind on the part of the public. Notwithstanding this the influence of the weather was also felt in every quarter, no matter what other circumstances came into play.

A cold, wet, late Spring delayed the planting of important crops-spring wheat, corn and cotton. The effect on business was quite pronounced, although more or less psychological in nature. Particularly was this effect shown in the Northwest, where 1919 had been a poor year and many were dependent upon 1920 crops to recoup themselves. Considerable pessimism was in evidence, and there was a distinct tendency to hold off until the outlook should improve.

A striking change in conditions followed this unfavorable beginning. Wheat, corn and cotton, though late, made excellent progress, with an abundance of sunshine, and sufficient rainfall. The general attitude toward the future was quickly altered for the better. During this period winter wheat matured and was harvested, yields for the most part exceeding expectations. Labor was sufficient and harvest weather good. It so happened that outside factors, such as inadequate transportation and dissatisfaction with price, prevented speedy marketing of the crop but as far as weather was concerned conditions were ideal. Later in the season the Northwest experienced considerable hot weather and some drouth. Black rust developed, and the spring wheat prospect was reduced. In this section the final result is not what was hoped for in June, but it is better


than the earlier outlook indicated, and better than last year. All reports indicate good conditions and satisfactory business.

The hot, dry weather just referred to had a rather unfavorable effect upon corn, although in most of the large producing areas actual drouth conditions were in evidence in spots only. For the most part, generous rains came before damage was serious.

In the cotton belt, after prospects indicated the largest crop in some years, excessive rains, which were so beneficial in the corn region, darkened the outlook considerably. The weather was very favorable for the boll weevils' activities, and damage was serious. About the middle of August came reports to the effect that with cessation of rainfall the cotton yield would be satisfactory and business good, but if existing conditions were maintained the business outlook would be poor. Here business depended almost entirely upon the question of rainfall. Wet weather continued and hope for a large crop is practically gone.

The last few weeks have shown another change in weather conditions—the most favorable change to be looked for under the circumstances. Dry, warm weather has prevailed over most of the corn and cotton producing region. In the corn belt the rainfall, at first very welcome, became superabundant, and the crop, being late, needed warmth and sunshine to bring it to maturity before the first heavy frost-particularly in the north. The need of dry weather in the cotton belt has been mentioned. In the case of corn, the weather of the last few weeks has assured a record crop; killing frosts came too late to do serious damage. As for cotton, deterioration has ceased, there has been improvement in many regions, and the final yield will be at least satisfactory. It will be seen at once that in the corn and cotton regions, particularly the latter, weather has been exercising a very powerful influence upon the business outlook.

An offshoot of the cold Spring this year was a "freeze” early in April, extending over most of the fruit-growing district of southwest Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. In the more southerly sections, the peach crop was practically wiped out by this caprice of the weather. In 1919 Arkansas was one of the leading peach states, with a total production of 3,639,000 bushels. The estimate for 1920 is 87,000 bushels, or about 2 per cent. of a full crop. The effect of the weather on business in these peach-growing regions, is obvious. Favorable weather, on the other hand, has promised enormous fruit crops in New York, Ohio, Michigan and other states in the East and North—with a correspondingly good business outlook.

The lateness of so many important crops, due to the lateness of the season, will have a definite effect upon business in various parts of the country. Collections, for example, may be slow, and general business activity likewise, pending the marketing of these crops that are overdue. More heavy rains, that would interfere with cotton picking, would slow up business and collections in the South-as was the case in 1919.-A. L. BOSTWICK.


[Abstracts with excerpts from the administrative section (24 pp., 8 vo.) of the forthcoming Annual Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1919-20.]


"It seems appropriate in this report to lay special emphasis upon the limitations which now surround practically all the activities and service the Weather


Bureau is charged by law to render. For several years the annual appropria tions of the Bureau have remained practically stationary, while costs for services and supplies of all kinds have advanced greatly. To the difficulties these conditions bring in maintaining the service of meteorology applied to the interests of agriculture, commerce, and navigation at its proper standard of completeness and efficiency there are added the necessities of meeting, as far as possible, the new demands created by simply the normal growth of the Nation as well as needs which are now a permanent part of national existence as a result of war experiences and developments. Meteorological service for aeronautics and military operations must be supplied. The Weather Bureau is the logical Federal agency for this purpose and needs the strongest possible support of Congress and the people to enable it to meet all its new obligations.

"Every national activity, industry, and interest has become aroused to the immediate practical value of weather advices, warnings, forecasts, and information in the daily sequence of affairs. Aviation and the aerial mail service are protected and assured a greater percentage of safety and success by a foreknowledge of flying conditions. The total number of stations now equipped to render the special free-air data required is only 11, to represent the continental United States. Even supplemented by about an equal number of reports from Army posts and Naval bases, the number of stations is ridiculously inadequate and must be increased to meet the present demands and future growth of aviation.

"Limited personnel, whose rate of pay has remained stationary with stationary appropriations, has compelled the Bureau to make numerous curtailments of useful activities. For example, it was formerly the custom for employees of the Bureau to prepare daily the large glass weather maps on the principal exchanges, boards of trade, chambers of commerce, etc., in the larger cities of the country. Much dissatisfaction prevails whenever it is imperatively necessary, from lack of funds and trained employees, to curtail this service.

"The enormous development of motor traffic and trucking has created an urgent demand upon the Bureau for weather reports and statements of road conditions for vicinities surrounding each of its principal stations. This has been met as far as possible, but the Highway Weather Service, as it is called, falls far short of supplying the motoring public with the aid and service to which it is entitled. "A new enterprise in the form of weather and rain insurance imposes other important obligations of preparedness upon the Bureau to supply facts and data this undertaking requires. This is not a burden at the present time, but is doubtless destined to crystallize into an activity which in the aggregate for the country will entail a very material added expenditure of time and effort.

"Obviously meteorology cannot be limited by either national or even continental boundaries. Its logical field must embrace the entire globe. Every success attained in great storm warnings and forecasts simply increases the confidence of those served and benefited, awakens greater expectations, and imposes added obligations upon the forecasters. The greatest hope in meeting this situation comes through the collection of numerous reports from the vast ocean expanses and international exchange of observations. A circumpolar service of this character, but of small extent, which existed before the war, has not yet been restored, but happily agencies are at work which give promise that the future will ultimately bring about the realization of a daily weather map, first of the Northern Hemisphere and, possibly, later of the world. In the meantime, every

effort is now being directed to the restoration of the meteorological reports of the oceans.

"In general terms, the Weather Bureau is suffering from the ravages of the war and the consequences of an enormous change in economic conditions. Its work is conducted under strained conditions by a faithful personnel, largely discouraged by the slow and inadequate adjustment of Federal compensations to existing conditions of life. The rehabilitation of the service is now a most urgent need."

Some of the principal features of the work are mentioned in the following paragraphs:


In spite of increased demands no material changes could be made in the regular forecast service during the year, some special forecasts and warnings are summarized below.

The Army and Navy Balloon Race started from St. Louis on Sept. 25, 1919. Throughout the race each contestant was supplied promptly with the observations, forecasts and advices. The information proved of decided value and the forecasts were accurate to a remarkable degree.

Recruiting Tour of the "NC-4."-The naval flying boat NC-4 began its recruiting trip from Rockaway Beach, Long Island, the latter part of September. Throughout the entire trip, which lasted several months, the morning and evening forecasts of weather and wind directions and velocities, both at the surface and aloft, for the aviation zone in which the boat happened to be were supplied by the Weather Bureau. [See report in Mo. Weather Rev., Sept., 1920.]

National Balloon Race. - This race was scheduled to start from St. Louis, Mo., at 6 P.M., October 1, 1919. A special message was sent that morning stating that there would be showers and thunderstorms to the east and north of St. Louis that night and the following day, and that the conditions would not be favorable for free ballooning. A second forecast, based on special observations, was sent at 2.33 P.M. advising that the race be postponed, as the balloons would be carried northward toward the Great Lakes, where squalls and thunderstorms would be experienced. Notwithstanding this advice, the race was started at the appointed time. The contestants, 10 in number, were carried northward as predicted, and squalls, thunderstorms, and generally unfavorable weather occurred. One of the balloons, with its two occupants, was lost in Lake Huron.

Transcontinental Reliability Aeroplane Race. This race was confined to aviators of the United States Army. Starting points were San Francisco, Calif., and Mineola, N. Y., the course being a round trip between the two points. It began October 7 and ended October 31, 1919. Special forecasts were prepared for the benefit of the contestants each morning and evening during the entire period. For this purpose the route was divided into seven zones, and a separate prediction of weather that would be encountered was issued for each zone and telegraphed to the control stations. These forecasts were of great assistance to the flyers. The race was won by Lieut. Belvin W. Maynard. In commenting on the race the official news bulletin of the Air Service said:

"Lieut. Maynard's wonderful time was due to the fact that he took advantage of the splendid service rendered by the Weather Bureau in sending the weather forecasts to all of the control stops. If he had been informed that the weather would be bad for the next control stop, he would immediately take off and get


to this stop before the storm had approached. This enabled him to gain a distinct advantage over the other participants at the very outset of the race."

Open-Air Entertainments and Weather Insurance.-While the Bureau has been called upon many times in former years for special weather forecasts for various public functions, such as State and county fairs, roundups, and other assemblages in the open air, the number of such requests has greatly increased in the past year. A new and important feature has been involved in such service, due to the rapid incresae of weather insurance written by companies to cover owners and directors of such enterprises against losses because of bad weather. Moreover in the settlement of insurance claims the official records of the Bureau are regarded as the final authority.

Flying-Weather Forecasts.-In July, 1919, a new form of forecasts, known as "Flying weather," was begun at the request of the War Department. The country was divided into seven zones, and a separate forecast made for each of them in the A.M., and certain of the eastern zones in the P.M. Later the number of zones was increased to 13.

"Similar service has been furnished the Post Office Department as an aid to mail-route aviators. It is likely that arrangements will be made for supplying similar information for the coastal zones of the Navy." ***

Storms. Although only two or three storms of extraord nary character and violence occurred, cold waves, storms, heavy snows, frosts, etc., which required the issuance of warnings and advices, were in excess of the average. It was a year of weather abnormalities which necessitated extra vigilance on the part of the forecasters.

Verification of Forecasts. In order to show the verification of the forecasts, a table is given in the Report. This table covers the five years, 1915 to 1919, inclusive, for each of the five forecast districts into which the United States is divided, and shows the percentage of vertificaion of the A.M. 36-hour weather and temperature forecasts. This table is of considerable interest not only as showing the uniformly high percentage of verification maintained in all States and in all years, but also as indicating what portions of the United States are the most difficult to forecast the weather for. The hardest region for which to predict temperatures is Montana, the 5-year average being 84.4 per cent.; and the easiest is southern California, with 96.1 per cent. The hardest region for forecasts of "weather" (fair or rain or snow) is Upper Michigan, with a score of 81.6 per cent for the 5 years, and the easiest is southern California, with 92.6 per cent. For the whole United States the average for 1917, 87.6 for the "weather" exceeds by 2.2 the percentage of verification for 1918. 1915 was the best year for temperature forecasts, 91.0 per cent and 1918, the worst, 89.0 per cent. The combined average for all the districts for the five-year period is 88.4 per cent. "It has long been recognized that the complete verification of weather forecasts, by which is meant the finding of the exact relation between the conditions forecast and those which actually occur, involves insurmountable difficulties and that approximately accurate results only are possible according to a series of relatively arbitrary rules. As verifications are based on the results of two observations a day (8 A.M. and 8 P.M., seventy-fifth-meridian time), account is taken only of precipitation or its absence during 12-hour periods. For example, the forecast "Rain to-night, fair Wednesday," would be counted a failure in the second period if some rain fell after the morning observation, although the weather was fair for the rest of the day; it would receive a credit of only 50 per cent. by

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