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Societies and Academies

Nature volume 101, pages 179180 (02 May 1918) | Download Citation



LONDON. Royal Meteorological Society, April 17.—Sir. Napier Shaw, president, in the chair,—E. G. Bilham: The variations of underground watel-level near a tidal river. The paper is chiefly devoted to a comparison of records from the Kew Observatory water-level recorder and the Richmond Lock tide-gauge for a period of two years beginning May, 1914. The seasonal variations, determined from lunar-monthly means, were found to be very similar, as was to be anticipated on general grounds. A better method of determining the extent to which the variations of subsoil water-level were directly controlled by the River Thames consisted in the analysis of the well records to find tidal oscillations analogous to those which were well-marked in the river. The well responds but slightly to the lunar semidiurnal tide, but the lunar-fortnightly oscillation is well reproduced with a lag of five days and a reduction of amplitude in the ratio of 1 to 14 (approximately). After allowing for the direct action of the river, the well is found to be very sensitive to local rainfall during winter months. The effects of rainfall upon river-level and underground water-level appear to be in many respects closely similar.—J. Fairgrieve: Suggestions as to the conditions1, precedent to the occurrence of summer thunderstorms, with special reference to that of June 14, 1914. The paper deals particularly with the thunderstorm of June 14, 1914. The meteorological phenomena accompanying the rainfall are put on record. The cloud distribution, the barometric-pressure, the wind movements, and the temperature are specially dealt with. From an examination of the data it is evident that the clouds and the rainfields lie in parallel belts, and that the former appear some hours before the rain begins to fall. It is suggested that this belting of wind and rain may be due to rippling on a large scale, the rippling being brought about by the interaction of two currents of different temperatures. If the conditions are unstable, and especially if relief also induces disturbance, thunderstorms will develop along lines of rippling, and will drift with the wind. Thundej-storms have apparently three movements, a development along a belt, a sideways movement in the direction of the prevailing wind, i.e. to leeward, and a spread to windward. The first may be due to rippling; the second is a drift; the third may be explained if it is granted that a local ridge of high pressure develops along the axis of the thunderstorm. The thunderstorm then breaks up into two belts, of which the leeward soon dies out owing to the lack of a supply of rising air.

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