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NORTH AMERICAN COLONIES.
DOMINION OF CANADA. Table of Mean Monthly and Annual Temperatures at Toronto, Province of Ontario, from 1840 to 1871,
and from 1859 to 1868. From the Records of the Magnetic Observatory, by Professor Kingston.
Mean temperature of the year
warmest and the coldest months
47 47 August 4
76.13 Feb. 4
July 14, 1868
84.50 Feb. 1855 Jan. 22, 1857
-14.38 Aug. 24, 1854
992 Jan. 10, 1859
July 31, 1344
72.75 Dec. 22, 1842
9.57 Aug. 19, 1840
89'5 December 21
Jan. 2. 1843
The following remarks have been received from the authorities of the Canadian Dominion respecting the Climate of the provinces :
Province of Ontario, “In a country of such vast extent as Upper Canada, the climate varies materially.. Throughout the agricultural or settled part of it along the St. Lawrence and the Lakes, and which extends from 50 to 100 miles in depth, the winter may be said to commence early in December. Snow usually falls in sufficient quantities in the eastern section of this range to afford good sleighing about the middle of that month, and to continue, with trifling exceptions, until the middle of March. In the western section, although we have occasionally heavy falls of snow, we are subject to frequent thaws, and sleighing cannot be depended upon except in the interior at a distance from the lakes. On the cleared lands the snow generally disappears about the middle of March, and the sowing of seed for the spring crops begins early in April and ends about the 10th of May. Ripe wild strawberries in abundance may be had by the last of June, and green peas and new potatoes are brought into market about the same time. In the southern parts the harvest commences about the last of July, and becomes general about the first week in August. The fall sowing of wheat and rye begins and should end in the month of September, as grain sown at a later period seldom does well. The weather during the fall months is generally remarkably pleasant except in November, during a part of which the climate resembles that of England during the same period."
From the head of Lake Ontario, round by the Niagara frontier, and all along the Canadian shores of Lake Erie, the grape and peach grow with luxuriance, and ripen to perfection in the open air, without artificial aid.
The grape is likely to be more generally cultivated. A vinery of some 30 acres has been started at Cooksville, 16 miles west of Toronto, and there are several other vineyards now in operation in the Niagara district, where wine is made.
Province of Quebec. “ The climate of Canada East, like that of the Lower Provinces, is unquestionably the most healthy in North America.
“ Disease is unknown among the usual population, except that caused by inequality of diet or imprudent exposure to atmospheric changes. The extreme dryness of the air is shown by the roofs of the houses (which are covered with tin) remaining so long bright, and by a charge of powder remaining for weeks uncaked in a gun.
“ It is supposed that the long winter is unfavourable to agricultural operations; and though the period during which ploughing may be carried on is shorter than in more favoured climes, yet there are many compensating advantages in the excellence of the snow roads, and the great facilities afforded thereby in conveying produce to market, in drawing manure, and hauling out wood from the forest.
“ If the real excellence of a climate depends upon
the earth yielding in perfection and abundance the necessaries of life or those which constitute the principal articles of food for man and the domestic animals, then Canada East may compare favourably with any part of the world. The steadiness and uniformity of the summer heat causes all grains and fruits to mature well and with certainty.
Nova SCOTIA. The climate is agreeable, and extremely healthy. The weather is warmer in summer and colder in winter than in England. At Annapolis it averages 6° warmer than the state of Massachusetts, and the winter is a month shorter than in Canada and New Brunswick. In Halifax and the eastern counties the mercury seldom rises in summer above 86° in the shade; and in winter it is not often down to zero. The province produces all the grain, roots, and fruits which grow in the middle and northern parts of Europe. It exports lumber, fish, coal, iron, gold, building stone, gypsium, and general produce.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND. The climate in this colony is similar to that of Nova Scotia, but without fogs.
New BRUNSWICK. Although the winters are somewhat severe (less so, however, than those of Lower Canada), the climate is exceedingly healthy.
On the shores of the Bay of Fundy there is much fog during the summer season, but this extends a short distance only into the interior. The city of St. John is frequently wrapped in a dense sea-fog, while the days are bright and cloudless at the distance of a few miles only.
There are no fogs on that coast of New Brunswick which is within the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the air there is particularly dry and bracing.
In the interior of the province, the air is much warmer in summer than on the sea coast; and there is a greater degree of cold in winter.
The ranges of temperature are:
At St. John, on the Bay of Fundy, from 150 below, to 88° above zero. At Richibucto, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, from 16° below, to 90° above zero. At Fredericton, in the interior, from 20° below, to 95° above zero.
Course of the Seasons in New Brunswick. The winter is fairly established at Christmas. In January, as in the other North American colonies, there is the usual thaw; in February is the deepest snow; which seldom exceeds four feet on the average in the northern portion of the province, and three feet in the southern portion. In March, the sun acquires much power, and the snows begin to melt. In the cleared country the snow disappears in April, and spring-ploughing commences; seed-time continues, according to the season, from the last week in April until the end of May. In June, the apple trees are in full blossom; in July, wild strawberries of fine flavour are ripe and abundant; haying then begins. In August, early potatoes are brought to market, as also raspberries, and other wild fruits.
In September, oats, wheat, and other cereal grains are ready for the sickle; these are generally secured before October. The autumn is long, and the weather is then delicious ; this is decidedly the most pleasant portion of the year. There are usually heavy rains in November, but when not wet, the weather is fine and pleasant; the rivers generally close during the latter part of this month, and in December winter again fairly sets in.
The average interval between the earliest sowing and latest ploughing, or mean length of summer, is six months and twenty-two days. Of this period, the growth of wheat and crops of spring corn requires an average of three months and seventeen days. After reaping the corn crops there are generally about seven weeks clear for ploughing before winter sets in. Before the average sowing time in spring there are usually about six weeks, during which ploughing and other preparatory treatment of the land can be carried on.
The severe frosts in winter generally penetrate so deep into the ground, especially when it is not covered with grass, as to raise up and separate the particles from each other, to a considerable depth; so that when the thaw comes, it is already so loose and open as scarcely to require ploughing at all, if ploughed, to be done with little force and great speed.
The manner in which all root crops thrive in the province is remarkable, and the frost by opening and pulverizing the soil, is one of the agents by which the large product is brought about.
The meteorological observations from which the following seasonal summary is compiled (from diary kept by Gilbert Murdock, Esq.) were made in the city of St. John, New Brunswick, (latitude 45° 15' north, and long. 66° 4' west) at an elevation of about 140 feet above high-water mark; and embrace a period of 12 years, commencing with December 1850, and ending with November 1862.
In the above, the winter season is assumed to begin with December. The average daily temperature is deduced from tri-daily observations, viz., 6 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. And the water equivalent for snow will not be less than one-tenth.
There are not more than four snow storms in any one year, in which over one foot of snow falls at one time; and snow storms rarely last more than two days. In England, 9 inches of snow"melted"average one inch of water; in New Brunswick, 17 inches “melted" average one inch of water. The snow is therefore twice as light, or dry, as that of England.
NEWFOUNDLAND. The following are the results of Meteorological Observations for the Years 1862, 1863, 1864, taken from the Colonial Building, St. John's Newfoundland, by E. M. J. Delaney, Esq., C.E., Observer, lat. N., 470 34 80", long, W., 520 39'45", 170 feet above sea level.
Maximum height of barometer,
corrected to sea level Minimum do
do do Maximum height of thermometer Minimum do Mean temperature for year Quantity of rain and melted snow
in inches Prevailing winds Rain fell on 98 days ; snow on 44;
fog 70; thunder and lightning 4; barbour blockaded with ice from
middle of April to middle of June. Maximum height of barometer
corrected to sea level Minimum do do Mean
do do Maximum height of thermometer Minimum do Mean temperature for year Quantity of rain and melted snow
in inches Prevailing winds
Extract of meteorological observations taken at the
Government House, New Westminster, B.C., during the year 1865. Latitude, 49° 12' 47"N. Longitude, 1220 53' 19" W.
inches. The highest reading of the barometer,
corrected for temperature, was - 30.589 4 Feb. The mean height do. do. at 9.30 a.m. 29.975
Do. do. do. do. at 3.30 p.m. 29.963 The lowest do. do.
- 29.137 19 Feb.
degrees. Maximum temperature in sun's rays (black bulb) was
108·5 4 Aug. Maximum
temperature of air in shade
87.5 29 July Do. do. do. 9.30 a.m. 7807 3 Aug.
Do. do. do. 3.30 p.m. 84:5 Mean
do. do. 9.30 a.m. 47.6 Do. do. do. 3.30 p.m. 51.9 Minimum do. do. 9.30 a.m. 15-0 8 Feb.
Do. do. do. 3.30 p.m. 16:7 18 Dec. Minimum temperature on the grass 1.8 18 Dec. Greatest amount of humidity
do. 9.30 a.m. .822 Do. do. do.
740 Least do. do.
270 12 Dec. The cistern of the barometer is about 34 feet above the level of the sea. All the observations were made at 9.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. daily throughout the year.
Table showing the depth of rain, the number of days on which it fell, the mean humidity (9.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m.), mean temperature of air in shade, and the lowest temperature on the grass, in each month.
BRITISH COLUMBIA and VANCOUVER ISLAND. The climate of the Western Colonies is stated to be excellent, and has been compared to the climate of the milder parts of England or to that in the South of France. Indeed, it is said to be preferable to that of England, as it has more fine steady weather, is far less changeable, and on the whole milder. The days in summer are warm, but not oppressive, and free from glare: the evenings are cool, with a gentle sea breeze. Heavy rains generally fall in December or January. The winter is a little cold, but not severe. There are occasional frosts and falls of snow, but they rarely last long.
The climate of British Columbia may compare favourably with most colonies, more particularly with those on the American Continent in similar latitudes. It is remarkably healthy both in summer and winter, there being nothing like malaria or ague either in the hottest summer weather or the dampest localities. The climate varies considerably according to the height from the level of the sea.
On the western and eastern side of the Cascade Range the climate is quite different. The western is heavily timbered and subject to heavy rains in spring and autumn, while on the eastern side the country consists of rolling grassy plains lightly timbered, the summer heat more intense, the rain light. Tomatoes and melons ripen readily in the open air, and the winters are comparatively mild. Again, at Williams' Creek, Cariboo District, situate in latitude 53o, or 5° north of New Westminster, the site of our most extensive gold mines, and at an altitude of 4,200 feet above the level of the sea, the weather at all seasons is most variable, subject to violent storms of rain and thunder both in summer and winter. The winter begins in October and lasts till April, the thermometer varying from 10 above to 20 below zero. Snow generally falling in January and February to a depth of 7 to 10 feet.
The present meteorological observations may be taken to represent chiefly the features of the climate of that portion of the colony occupying the southern corner of the Cascade Range. Snow not exceeding a foot in depth except in extraordinary winters, and the summer season very much like that of England, with less rain in June, July, and August.
The day on which most rain fell, and which measured 1.64 inches, was on the 28th November.
The prevailing direction of wind was E. and N.E.
Ozone registered for nine months only, gave a greater quantity than former years as shown by the test papers, its mean daily number would be represented by 5 on the scale and often indicated as high as 9.
An earthquake was felt a few minutes after 9 p.m. on the 25th August.
Heavy thunder and vivid lightning occurred on June 20, July 15, August 6, and September 12.
New South WALES. The climate is considered to be very salubrious, but, from the great extent of the colony and other causes, alınost every variety of climate may be found.
Table showing the meteorological results for New South Wales, from 1859 to the ena of 1870 inclusive.
In the column headed humidity, 0 denotes the absence of all moisture in the air ; and 100 denotes complete saturation.
perature is more constant than in many other
regions within the same isothermal lines. This Although the latitude of its southern boundary is
equalization is due partly to the sea breeze, temnot higher than 290 S., the mean temperature is low pering the heat of summer, and partly to the as compared with many places more distant from the
copious rains which fall during the hottest months equator, as will be seen by the annexed table.
of the year. The peculiar coolness and dryness of
the atmosphere as compared with the latitude has Mean
been explained by the intense and active evaporation
rain fall days on which takes place in this part of Australia. The temperin inches. which absence of the hot winds that frequently afflict the rain fell.
other Australian Colonies further accounts for the
comparative coolness of the climate in Queensland. Brisbane (Queensland) 28° S. 687
During a large proportion of the year, the weather
is fine, the sky cloudless, the atmosphere dry, elastic, Funchal (Madeira) 320 37 X.
and exhilarating. The summer months (December, Cape Town 840 S.
January, and February) are hot, but not sultry or Malta - 350 33 x.
oppressive. The winter season, when dry (as it
almost invariably is) is very agreeable. The mornAlgiers 360 N.
ings and evenings are cool.' During the day the air Mauritius | 200 gs.
is warm and balmy, the sky brilliantly blue, and the
atmosphere singularly transparent. London 51° 30 N.
The Colony is free from endemic diseases, and
cpidemics are of rare occurrence. The diseases In a territory so extensive as Queensland there are, incidental to childhood are usually very mild in their of course, great variations of temperature, and the character and short in their duration. The climate heat is greater on the seaboard than on the elevated is described as everywhere favourable to the Eurolands of the interior.
pean constitution; and in the incipient stage of The climate of a large portion of the colony consumption it usually affords great relief. closely resembles that of Madeira. The tem