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Nature volume 63, page 481 (14 March 1901) | Download Citation



Symom's Meteorological Magazine, February.—The pressure of the wind, by R. H. Curtis. In this paper the author deals with the wind-pressure from the point of view of the engineer and its effect upon structures, rather than from a purely meteorological standpoint. After the time of the collapse of the Tay Bridge, in December 1879, a good deal of attention was paid to this subject, and a committee was appointed to consider the question of wind force on railway structures. It estimated that the greatest pressure likely to be experienced over a large surface was 56 lbs. per square foot, but that, to ensure safety, bridges and similar structures ought to be built to withstand four times that pressure. This conclusion has probably led to an extravagant expenditure of money, as the records of improved and well-exposed anemometers have recently shown that this estimated pressure of 56 lbs. was greatly in excess of anything likely to be experienced. It is true that an Osier's pressure anemometer at Liverpool Observatory registered the extraordinary pressure of 90 lbs. on the square foot in March 1871. But this exaggerated record must have been due to a succession of impulses upon the pressure plate, as a wind force of less than 60 lbs. per square foot would, in all probability, have sufficed to carry away the anemometer itself. The author has paid much attention to this subject and will continue his interesting discussion.—Weather records at Slough, by Mr. R. Bentley. Instrumental observations were begun there by Sir William Herschel in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Mr. Bentley communicates classified rainfall values for 1874–1899, and has collected non-instrumental records of interesting phenomena in South Buckinghamshire from a very remote period.

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