Meteorological Notes

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    RECENT STORMS.—We have already referred to the great cyclone of October 31, which will long be remembered as one of the most appalling catastrophes that has occurred in trie history of the human race. The storm-wave advanced over Chittagong from south to north, but most of the damage was done along the shores of the Meghna by a storm-wave which swept seawards from north to south. The details of this and the other features of this great cyclone will be looked forward to with intense interest.—We have also given some account of the storm of wind of almost unexampled violence which broke over Sydney at 9.50 P.M. of Sunday, September 10, and continued with unabated fury during the whole of Monday. Since as there are good reasons for the belief that the maximum velocity or force of the wind in great storms is frequently understated, it is desirable that the fullest details of the observations from which the velocity of the wind at the rate of 153 miles an hour has been deduced be published in the monthly publication of the Observatory.—A hurricane of great severity and followed by most disastrous results swept over Central America on October 3 and 4. The town of Managua, on the south side of the lake of the same name, and west of Lake Nicaragua, was inundated on the 4th, and 400 houses were blown down by the hurricane. As the flood rose the inhabitants had to betake themselves to the tops of the houses, and many were drowned by the houses falling. The hurricane then passed eastward over Lake Nicaragua and descended over Blewfield, situated on the Mosquito Gulf, and overturned uwards of 300 houses in that town. It was in all probability the same cyclone which was encountered at the same date by the Panama Transit and Pacific Mail Steamer Costa Rica about 300 miles to the south-east, near Parita, on the Gulf of Panama, where it was accompanied with a frightful searunning wind shifting all round the compass and blowing with such a force that the Costa Rica had its hurricane deck blown away and the head of the mainmast, maintopmast, and gaff carried off. Later, or from October 17 to 21, Capt. Bremner, of the steamship Chilian, reports the severest hurricane he ever experienced at Cayman's Island, to the west of Jamaica, where 170 houses were destroyed and much damage done to fruit trees and other crops.—The list of heavy storms and hurricanes might be increased by including the severe storms reported as having recently occurred in Behring's Strait, wrecking a dozen of whalers, the great gale near Chefoo, in which H.M.S. Lapwing was lost, the terrible storms in Madeira and Portugal, commencing on November 11, and the storms of the British Islands a fortnight since, as well as during the present week, with their attendant floods, which in certain districts attained to a height and a destructiveness unknown for many years. The last two months have thus been noteworthy for the violence of the storms of wind which have been let loose, as it were, over all quarters of the globe, thus offering in their salient weather characteristics a marked contrast to the characteristics of the weather little more than a year ago, when we were called to record disastrous inundations occurring in almost all parts of the globe. During the past two months the weather has not only been characterised by the extreme violence of the wind but also by equally unprecedented and violent alternations of abnormally warm and cold, and dry and wet tracks of weather —the connection between which is no doubt a more deeply rooted one than that of mere coincidence.

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    Meteorological Notes . Nature 15, 126–127 (1876) doi:10.1038/015126a0

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