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1876, January 5th, 10.30 P.M.--Iowa and Missouri. This meteor, according to Mr. Irish's letter and accompanying map, was witnessed over an area extending from Cass, in Iowa, to Grundy, in Missouri. It appeared to descend almost perpendicularly, and was a very brilliant meteor, and a very noisy one also. A series of reports twenty-two in number wero heard during its transit from Cass to Grundy. The rumbling thunder of its artillery, together with its flashes of brilliant light, brought people from their beds with an apprehension that the great Civil War had broken out afresh. Its time of flight over the area indicated was not more than five seconds, and the light it emitted is said to have equalled that of noonday. None of the meteorites which must have fallen have been found, for the reasons already referred to when speaking of the detonating meteor of December 27th.
1876, January 31st, 5.30 p.M.—Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Lawrence Smith, of Louisville, observed a magnificent meteor traversing the heavens on the afternoon of the above day. He first saw it at an altitude of about 60° above the horizon, and it disappeared from view behind some houses at an elevation of about 20°. Its direction appears to have been from N.W. to S.E., and the angular magnitude about one sixth that of the disk of the moon. It was seen over an area 120 miles in diameter. A number of observers witnessed an explosion which took place when the meteor was about 10° above the horizon; all the fragments disappeared instantly, except the largest, which also became invisible before it reached the horizon. One or two of the eye-witnesses think they noticed a whizzing noise, and at the time of bursting heard the explosion. No fragments of a meteorite have yet beon met with; but it is the opinion of Dr. Smith that they fell about the range of the Cumborland Mountains in Kentucky, or in the north-east of Tennessee.
1876, April 7th (evening).-Eperjes, Hungary *. A fireball passed over Eperjes 89 [? E. or W.) from the meridian, and detonated at an altitude of 38° above the horizon. It exploded with a very loud noise, and broke into numerous fiery fragments.
1876, June 28th, 11-12 A.M.-Ställdalen, Dalecarlia, Sweden, A meteor traversed a part of Central Sweden in a W.N.W. direction, and was plainly visible in the very bright sunshine. It was observed at Stockholm and at Södermanland ; at 13 English miles S.W. of Linköping it was seen first in an N.W. direction, and at a considerable altitude, and it descended almost to the horizon in the west. A loud whistling noise was heard in the air from E, to W., followed by two sharp reports, and others less loud resembling thunder. The fall of the meteorites was witnessed by eight or ten persons, and three or four fragments have been secured by Dr. Lindström. The largest, about the size of two fists, weighs 44 skalpund (1 lb. av.=1.068 itt. or skalpund]. Ställdalen is a station on the Swedish Central Railway, on the northernmost part of Örebrolän. Some of the meteorites which fell in water have been lost.
* Egyetértés és Magyar Ujsag. Budapest, April 13, 1876.
T. TEMAN, C.E., F.
RO C. Brookes for the y
Report on the Rainfall of the British Isles for the years 1875–76, by
a Committee consisting of C. BROOKE, F.R.S. (Chairman), J. F. BATEMAN, C.E., F.R.S., Rogers FIELD, C.E., J. Glaishen, F.R.S., T. HAWKSLEY, C.E., The Earl of Rosse, F.R.S., J. Smyth, Jun.,
C.E., C. TOMLINSON, F.R.S., G. J. Symons (Secretary). In accordance with the resolution of the Association, the Rainfall Committee, originally appointed in the year 1865, now present their final report.
They gave in the report presented at Bristol in 1875 a condensed account of the contents of their previous reports.
This year they present the various tables and explanatory remarks upon them which are necessary to complete the work up to the present time, excepting that referred to in the 7th following paragraph. The tables are as follows, namely :
I. Examination of Rain-Gauges.
Examination of Rain-Gauges in situ.---Appended to this report are the results of the examination of 26 rain-gauges visited since August 1875. This brings the entire number which have been visited and examined up to 655. The Committee regard this as a very important subject, and the best guarantee of the records furnished by the observers. They have moro than once expressed their conviction that the proper course would have been to appoint a travelling inspector, so that the whole of the gauges might be properly examined ; but they have never had adequate funds for the purpose. In fact, the total amount they had been able to devote to it in the 15 years during which the inspections have been going on has only been £210, or an average of exactly £14 a year. The explanation of the smallness of the amount in comparison with the work effected (about 6s. 5d. per station visited) arises from the fact that it has been almost entirely done by our Secretary, who, as a member of the Association, received nothing for his services but merely repayment of actual expenses, and even these have been materially reduced by the hospitality of the observers.
Rainfall of the years 1874-5.-The usual biennial tables of monthly rainfall at selected stations are appended. Ever since their appointment the Committee have continued these biennial tables, and as Mr. Symons had submitted similar ones for some years previous to their appointment, the entire series embraces 16 consecutive years. Subject only to changes rendered necessary by the removal or death of observers, the same stations have been quoted in each biennial table, and thus these tables contain about 200 perfect records, each extending over 16 consecutive years. Only those persons who are aware of the great importance of continuity in physical researches will fully realize the value of this series, both for physical and hydrological purposes.
The Rainfall of 1874 was slightly below the average, owing to a rather dry spring and exceedingly dry summer. The most remarkable foature of the year was the heavy fall of rain on October 6th, when the average fall over England and Wales was slightly above 1 inch in the 24 hours, and the fall at many stations in North Wales and the Lake District was upwards of 5 inches. So heavy a fall over so large an area is a very rare occurrence.
The Rainfall of 1875 was greatly above the average in England (especially in the Midland Counties), and irregular in Scotland and Ireland. A very heavy rainfall occurred in Wales and the southern parts of England on July
14th ; the fall in 24 hours exceeded 1 inch at 252 stations, 2 inches at 109, 3 inches at 39, 4 inches at 7, and 5 inches at 3 stations.
New Irish Stations. We reported last year the success of our efforts to improve the geographical distribution of Rainfall Stations in Ireland, showed that the gauges started at the cost of the Association had been supplemented by many others established at the cost of private individuals, and gave a map showing the present complete distribution of stations. Almost all the observers have proved good ones, and, as the table shows, the returns have been forwarded with regularity. The period is too short to yield precise results, but a good system has been inaugurated and is in full operation.
At the commencement of this report it was stated that there was one very important exception to the otherwise satisfactory completion of the work up to the present time. This exception is the classitied list of stations, and the results of the “ position-returns” which we intended to have incorporated therewith. In 1865 we published a complete list of every station in the British Isles at which rainfall observations were known to have been made, giving the observers' names, the height of the stations above mean sea-level, the epoch of the observations, and various other details. Owing to the large development of rainfall work during the subsequent 10 years, the list has become very imperfect, and the Committee have been actively engaged in the preparation of a revised list. In addition to the details previously given, the list was also to have contained other most valuable information. The "position-returns" obtained from the various stations, and which have been mentioned in previous reports, were to have been summarized, and the results indicated by symbols affixed to the stations in the classified list, and references to publications in which the records could be found were also to have been added. The classified list of stations would thus have formed a complete catalogue raisonné of all the existing rainfall data, and have given most useful information at present non-existent. To the great regret of the Committee, the Association declined to publish the portion of this list presented last year, and the Committee have therefore felt compelled to relinquish its completion. They the more deeply regret this, as they consider that the publication of this list would have been a fitting termination of their work, and would have redounded to the credit of the Association.
Notwithstanding the above most important omission, the Committee feel they have done good service to rainfall work. When they commenced their labours, the weakest part of rainfall observations was the defective geographical distribution of the stations. This defect has now been very materially lessened. By the grants of the Association nearly 250 gauges have been erected in districts hitherto without observations. The work done in the inspection of stations has already been mentioned. A definite unit has been adopted for the term “ rainy day," namely, any day on which one 100th of an inch of rain falls. A complete code of rules has been drawn up, so as to secure uniformity of practice among observers. The secular variation of the rainfall of the British Isles has been investigated. A determination of the average proportion of the total yearly rainfall which occurs in each month has been effected. Elaborate observations have been made and discussed on the relative quantity of rain indicated by gauges of various sizes and shapes, and erected at different heights above the ground
To sum up their labours in a sentence, your Committee have aimed—they hope not without success—primarily at obtaining unimpeachable records ; and, secondarily, at so discussing and arranging these records as to render them as useful as possible to physical inquirers and hydraulic engineers.