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North Bloomfield.. Nevada..
Upper Soda Lake.. Lake
87 3,000 1,510 300 San Bernardino 1,750
25 1,148 4,900
620 1,300 50 2,140 2,326 565 2,635
During the summer months in the great valleys and canyons of the eastern and southern portions of the State thunderstorms frequently occur during the afternoon and evening hours. John Muir, writing in the Atlantic Monthly for September, 1901, on the Big Trees, makes the following statement: "Most of the Sierra trees die of disease. Thus the magnificent silver firs are devoured by fungi, and comparatively few of them live to see their three hundredth birth year. But nothing hurts the Big Tree. I never saw one that was sick or showed the slightest sign of decay. It lives on through indefinite thousands of years, until burned, blown down, undermined, or shattered by some tremendous lightning stroke. No ordinary bolt ever seriously hurts Sequoia. In all my walks I have seen only one that was thus killed outright.
"Lightning, though rare in California lowlands, is common on the Sierra. Almost every day in June and July small thunderstorms refresh the main forest belt. Clouds like snowy mountains of marvelous beauty grow rapidly in the calm sky about midday and cast cooling shadows
Nevertheless, these brief, kind storms wound
and showers that seldom last more than an hour.
"I never saw any that had been cut down to the ground, or even to below the branches, except one in the Stanislaus Grove, about 12 feet in diameter, the greater part of which was smashed to fragments, leaving only a leafless stump about 75 feet high. It is a curious fact that all the very old Sequoia nave lost their heads by lightning. All things come to him who waits,' but of all living things Sequoia is perhaps the only one able to wait long enough to make sure of being struck by lightning. Thousands of years it stands ready and waiting, offering its head to every passing cloud as if inviting its fate, praying for heaven's fire as a blessing, and when at last the old head is off another of the same shape immediately begins to grow on."
During the months of July and August, 1896, thunderstorms were unusually frequent. During July storms occurred at Bodie on the 4th, 5th, 21st, 23d, and 25th; at Crafton on the 4th; at Descanso on the 8th, 10th, 12th, 13th, and 24th; at Edmanton on the 5th, 15th, and 16th; at Greenville on the 5th, 16th, 24th, and 25th; at Guinda on the 5th; at Laporte on the 5th and 15th; at Lodi on the 25th; McMullen on the 3d, 4th, 7th, 12th, 17th, and 24th; at Middletown, 29th; Paso Robles, 4th; Peachland, 10th; Pichaco, 9th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 18th, and 24th; Pilot Creek, 5th, 15th, 16th, 25th, and 26th; Placerville, 25th; Quincy, 15th; Reedley, 4th, 5th, 22d, and 24th; Rio Vista, 10th; Rosewood, 5th, 15th, 25th, 27th, and 28th; Santa Cruz, 22d; Shasta, 17th, 26th, 27th, and 28th; Turlock, 4th and 25th; Ukiah, 10th and 29th; Upper Silver Lake, 10th, 27th, 28th, and 29th; Washington, 15th; West Point, 25th; Wire Bridge, Yreka, 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th.
August, 1896.-Bodie, 12th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 22d; Crafton, 16th; Crescent City, 29th; Durham, 30th; Descanso, 14th, 15th, and 27th; Edmanton, 22d, 28th, and 30th; Follows Camp, 16th; Folsom, 22d and 30th; Grass Valley, 22d and 30th; Greenville, 22d, 23d, 24th, 28th, and 29th; Iowa Hill, 29th; Laporte, 22d, 28th, and 29th; Los Gatos, 19th; McMullen, 20th and 29th; Middletown, 29th and 30th; Newcastle, 18th and 22d; Niles, 19th; North Bloomfield, 22d; Orangevale, 22d; Peachland, 19th and 20th; Pichaco, 14th, 19th, 26th, 27th, and 28th; Pilot Creek, 17th, 22d, and 29th; Placerville, 22d; Roseville, 21st; Rosewood, 19th, 20th, 23d, 28th, 29th, and 30th; Sacramento, 22d; San Jose, 19th; Santa Clara, 20th; Santa Cruz, 18th; Shasta, 20th and 27th; Susanville, 19th and 23d; Ukiah, 22d; Ventura. 17th; Wire Bridge, 22d; Yreka, 19th, 20th, and 21st.
September, 1896.-Edmanton (distant) on the 20th and 28th; at Grass Valley on the 28th; at Iowa Hill on the 28th; at Los Gatos on the 21st; at Lime Kiln on the 5th; at Laporte on the 2d, 3d, 6th, 20th, 22d, and 28th; at Upper Lake (Ma. Tel. Vineyard) on the 22d; at McMullen on the 20th; at North San Juan on the 28th; at Pilot Creek on the 5th and 28th; at Rio Vista on the 22d; at Reedley on the 5th; at Rosewood on the 22d; at San Jacinto on the 4th, 5th, and 29th; at Shasta on the 7th; at Snedden on the 5th; at Tulare on the 5th, 19th, and 22d; at Turlock (distant) on the 5th; at Yreka on the 6th, and 22d; at Isabella on the 5th.
October, 1896.-On the 20th, at Bodie; on the 25th, at Briggs Vineyard; on the 27th, at Descanso; on the 16th, at Famosa; on the 25th, at Guinda; on the 27th, at Las Fuentes Rancho: on the 25th, at Peachland; on the 16th, at Paso Robles; on the 27th, at Claremont; on the 16th, at Reedley; on the 25th, at Sacramento; on the 25th, at Ukiah; on the 25th, at Winters.
During November and December there were few, if any, thunderstorms in California.
On January 26, 1896, the plant of the Haywoods Electric Light Company was struck by lightning. The electrician, Mr. J. Putnam, is reported as saying:
I was not more than 20 feet away from the dynamo when the crash came, and it seemed as if the lightning filled the whole building. The flames shot out from the dynamo about 8 feet, and the wires, magnets, and mica were thrown all over the place. I instantly ran to the switchboard and disconnected the wires, and there was no more
light that night. The accident was a very simple one, and one that will be guarded against in future. The lightning was conducted to the machine by one of the wires, and of course the dynamo was instantly overcharged and burnt. * * There is one hole and no trace of the missing metal. The wires that surrounded the magnets were so highly charged that they flew in all directions, and when the mica was free it fell around in showers. It will take several days to fix the wrecked machine. If I had been oiling that dynamo when the lightning struck I would have been charred to a cinder as rapidly as that piece of iron was burned.
At Folsom, on the 24th of April, lightning struck the lines of the Electric Light and Power Company five times, and the machines went out of step at each stroke. The lightning arresters were burned and discolored. On April 9, at Ontario, two strokes of lightning entered the electric power house. Wires were burned and a coat belonging to one of the employees set on fire.
The first stroke, it is stated, came from overhead, while the second struck the wires miles away and came in when the sky was clear overhead. Lightning conductors were under the floor, but had not been connected, as it was thought there would be no use for them. After the first stroke they were connected. Notwithstanding, the second stroke did more damage in the power house than the former, showing that it was much the heavier charge.
The Fresno Republican of October 17 reports that
A heavy thunderstorm in the hills caused a shutting down last evening of the entire electric plant of the San Joaquin Electric Company for twenty minutes. The lightning passing over the lightning arresters caused the points to become welded together, forming a short circuit across the two lines. Occurring at a time when the city was in darkness the delay in repairing was greater than it would have been during the day. No great damage was done to the machinery.
In the city of San Francisco houses and barns have been struck and some damage done. A large cypress tree on the southeast corner of Broderick and Green streets was riven from branch. to root. A very large branch was torn off and thrown some little distance. On August 19, 1896, the signal-flag pole at Point Lobos was struck by lightning and badly damaged. The pole was 60 feet high, and the upper 20 feet were so torn that a new pole was necessary. Large splinters of wood were thrown over 150 feet away. Lights were burned out at the terminus of the Sutro Electric Railroad, and other damage done in the vicinity.
On November 7, 1900, four distinct flashes of lightning, accompanied by loud thunder, were recorded at the Weather Bureau office at San Francisco. The first flash was at 10.15 a. m. and the others at 10.27, 10.30, and 10.42 a. m. The average interval between the flash and the thunder was about six seconds. On December 14, 1900, during a sharp thunderstorm a flash of lightning struck the relief gasometer at Bay and Buchanan streets, containing 260,000 cubic feet of gas. The tank was demolished and the gas ignited. The flame was carried by the gale a distance of 250 feet, and the roar could be heard above the noise of the storm. The officials of the gas company estimated the loss at $6,000.
On October 3, 1901, at Houghton ranch, near Thomas Creek, about 12 miles west of Corning, Cal., during a heavy thunderstorm Coutea Jobe, aged 20 years, was struck by a flash of lightning and killed.
The light-house on the Southeast Farallon Island was once struck and a small amount of damage resulted.
January, 1898.-At Hill Ranch on the 31st.
February, 1898.-At Fort Bragg on the 20th, Grass Valley 7th, Iowa Hill 27th, Lodi 7th, Rosewood 7th, 20th, and 27th, Sacramento 7th, Shasta 24th and 27th, Wire Bridge 7th and 27th. March, 1898.-At Folsom and Grass Valley on the 9th, Hill Ranch 25th, Iowa Hill 9th and 17th, Limekiln, Oleta, Placerville, and Pilot Creek 9th, Rosewood 16th, West Point 9th, Wire Bridge 9th and 26th.
April, 1898.-At Bowmans Dam 29th and 30th, Descanso 14th, Durham 30th, Edmanton 29th, Elsinore 14th, Folsom 30th, Grass Valley 29th, Laporte 29th and 30th, North Hill vineyard 6th, Oleta and Pilot Creek 30th, Quincy 29th, Shasta 27th, Susanville and West Point 30th, Yreka 20th and 22d.
May, 1898.-At Bodie on the 11th and 12th, Cedarville 5th, 11th, and 13th, Grass Valley 19th, Rosewood 12th, 17th, and 18th, Shasta 17th and 18th, Susanville 14th, Yreka 5th, 11th, 12th, and 13th.
June, 1898.-At Bodie on the 6th, Bowmans Dam 7th and 8th, Cedarville 7th, 11th, and 22d, Edmanton 8th and 9th, Manzana 10th, Rosewood 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th, Shasta 1st and 8th, Ukiah th.
July, 1898.-At Bodie on the 6th and 29th, Descanso 10th, Edmanton 8th, Los Angeles 4th, San Jacinto 3d and 4th, West Saticoy 4th, Yreka 8th and 21st.
August, 1898.—At Bodie on the 6th, 12th, and 13th, Cedarville 8th and 13th, Crescent City 28th, Descanso 10th, 15th, 20th, 21st, 22d, 24th, and 28th, Edmanton 28th, Elsinore 9th, 10th, 12th, and 20th, Fallbrook 9th, Greenville 6th and 7th, Laporte 6th, Oleta 7th, Quincy 29th, Rosewood 6th, 13th, 14th, and 31st, San Jacinto 9th and 21st, Shasta 28th, Sierra Madre 9th, Susanville 13th and 29th, Ukiah and Upper Lake 13th, Yreka 6th, 7th, 14th, 28th, and 31st.
September, 1898.-At Anada on the 1st, Descanso 8th, Georgetown, Grand Island, Oleta, and Pilot Creek 26th, Rosewood 1st, Susanville 30th, Turlock 26th, Yreka 1st.
October, 1898.-At Crescent City on the 1st, Durham 3d, Grand Island 3d and 7th, Greenville 7th and 8th, Lodi 2d and 8th, Oakland and Peachland 7th, Rosewood 3d, Turlock 1st and 8th, Wire Bridge 2d.
November, 1898.-At Crescent City, Del Norte County, on the 19th.
December, 1898.-At Escondido on the 9th, Fallbrook 8th and 9th, Long Beach 14th, Poway 9th.
January, 1899.-At Fallbrook, Irvine, Paso Robles, Ranch House, Santa Barbara, and West Saticoy on the 11th, Oleta on the 20th.
February, 1899.-At Berkeley on the 1st and Mills College on the 2d.
March, 1899.-At Goldrun on the 12th, Grass Valley 13th, Iowa Hill 12th, Kennedy Gold Mine 28th, Lodi 16th, Oleta 26th, Pilot Creek 12th and 28th, Rosewood and Shasta 24th and 28th, Wire Bridge 13th and 18th, Yreka 28th.
April, 1899.—At Grand Island on the 25th, Greenville 21st, Guadaloupe 26th, Laporte 21st, Napa 24th, North Bloomfield 27th, North San Juan 24th, 25th, and 30th, Oleta 23d, Pilot Creek and Raymond 30th, Rosewood 1st and 24th, Thermalito 24th and 30th.
May, 1899.-At Bodie on the 5th, Bowmans Dam 4th and 18th, Cisco 12th and 18th, Cuyamaca 8th, Delta 5th, Floriston 18th, Folsom 14th, Goldrun 6th, Grand Island 5th and 24th, Greenville 5th and 14th, Iowa Hill 18th and 24th, Lodi 6th, Moreno Dam 8th, North Bloomfield 5th and 14th, North San Juan 6th, Oleta 24th, Placerville 24th, Sacramento 14th, Tehama, Thermalito, and Wheatland 5th, Yreka 24th.
June, 1899.-At Folsom, Pilot Creek, and Wire Bridge on the 2d, Susanville on the 1st. July, 1899.--At Cedarville on the 14th, Cuyamaca and Volcano Springs 20th and 21st, Yreka 14th and 15th.
August, 1899.-The central and northern portions of the State experienced unusual electrical storms during the first part of the month, that of the 3d being the most severe in the month of August for many years; it was accompanied by rain at some places and by heavy hailstorms at others, but no extensive damage was reported. In the San Joaquin Valley, where the storm was most severe, telegraph and telephone lines were interfered with, fuses were burned out and a few poles were struck by lightning, and at North Hill vineyard two horses were instantly killed. During the storm of the 6th, in the vicinity of Chico six persons were stunned by lightning while riding in a wagon and a young colt was killed. On the 10th, at Susanville, Lassen County, several sheep were killed by lightning. The following stations report thunderstorms on the 3d: Auburn, Bodie, also on the 1st, 2d, 4th and 7th; Elkgrove, Folsom, also on the 4th; Goldrun, Grand Island, Guinda, Iowa Hill, also 2d, 4th, 5th, 6th; Lagrange, Lankershim, Lathrop, Lick Observatory, Lodi, Merced, Milton, Minturn, Napa, North Bloomfield, North Hill vineyard, North San Juan, also 4th and 6th; Palermo, also 5th and 6th; Pilot Creek, also 4th, 5th, 6th; Raymond, Riovista, Sacramento, Shasta, also 16th; Stockton, Upper Lake, Vacaville, Wheatland, Wire Bridge, Woodland. Other thunderstorms were reported as follows: At Boulder Creek on the 4th and 5th, Chico 6th, Covelo 20th, Edmanton 17th, Fort Ross and Grass Valley 4th, Greenville 4th and 6th, Healdsburg 2d, Kono Tayee 1st, Laporte 4th, 6th, 17th, Los Angeles 9th, Oleta 6th, 7th, Orange 9th, Quincy 6th, Rosewood 6th, 7th, Santa Ana 9th, Susanville 4th, 5th, 6th, 10th, 17th, Yreka 13th, 19th.
September, 1899.-At Arcadia, Buena Park, Compton, Downey, Irvine, North Ontario, Palm Springs, Ranch House, and Sierra Madre on the 9th. There were also thunderstorms in the mountains near Bakersfield, Downey, Huron, and Tejon Rancho on the 11th.
October, 1899.-At Arcadia on the 7th, Crescent City 19th, Cuyamaca and Lamesa 6th, Lodi 11th and 12th, North Bloomfield 12th, North Hill vineyard 11th, North Ontario 6th, Oleta 11th and 12th, Pilot Creek 11th, 12th, and 20th, Ranch House 6th, Reedley 13th, Represa 11th, Rosewood 12th, 21st, and 22d, Shasta 19th and 22d, Stockton 1st, Summit 10th and 11th, Wire Bridge 11th and 12th.
November, 1899.-At Crescent City on the 21st, Fall Brook 17th, Lamesa 14th, Oleta 12th and 15th, Placerville 15th, Rosewood 10th.
December, 1899.-At Berkeley and Fort Ross on the 8th and Crescent City on the 14th, 30th, and 31st.
January, 1900.-At Crescent City on the 7th.
February, 1900.-At Porterville, Rosewood, Santa Maria, and Yreka on the 18th.
March, 1900.-At Bellevue on the 3d, Claremont and Follows Camp 20th, Crescent City 26th, Delta 2d, Edmanton 22d and 25th, Folsom, Grass Valley, Greenville, Laporte, Mokelumne Hill, North Hill vineyard, Oleta, Porterville, Westpoint, and Wire Bridge 22d, Lagrange, Raymond, Redding, Represa, Rosewood, Thermalito, and Wheatland 4th, Moreno Dam 14th, North San Juan 7th, Pilot Creek 21st, Susanville 30th.
April, 1900.-At Bellevue, Bodie, Shasta, Susanville, and Yreka 30th, Bowmans Dam 15th, Branscomb, Durham, Edmanton, Grass Valley, Iowa Hill, Johnsville, Lagrange, Lankershim, Laporte, Le Grand, Lodi, Merced, Nevada City, Palermo, Redding, Rosewood, Vina, Visalia, and Wire Bridge 2d, Elsinore 28th, Greenville 25th, 28th, and 30th, Irvine 3d and 27th, Moreno Dam 27th, Oleta 23d, Pilot Creek 2d and 28th, Raymond 3d.
May, 1900.-At Bellevue on the 31st, Crescent City, Edmanton, Greenville, Laporte, and Pilot Creek 2d, Folsom, Irvine, Represa, Sacramento, Shasta, Tracy, and Wire Bridge 4th, Rosewood 9th and 10th, Susanville 3d.
June, 1900.-At Antioch, Brentwood, Campbell, Danville, Jackson, Laporte, Lick Observatory, Lodi, Los Gatos, Milton, Mokelumne Hill, North Hill vineyard, Oleta, Riovista, San Luis Obispo, San Ramon, and Wire Bridge on the 13th, Auburn, Georgetown, and Iowa Hill on the 12th, Cedarville 11th, Cottonwood, Red Bluff, and Shasta 15th, Edmanton 9th, Greenville 9th and 15th, Paso Robles 8th, Pilot Creek 12th to 15th, Rosewood 8th, 13th, and 15th, Susanville 8th and 9th, Tejon Rancho 8th, Yreka 2d, 11th, 15th, 17th, and 22d.
July, 1900.-At Bodie on the 31st, Bowmans Dam 21st, Cedarville 20th, 21st, and 29th, Elsinore 20th, Greenville 2d, 21st, and 22d, Laporte and North San Juan 21st, Palm Springs 20th and 31st, Pilot Creek 21st, 22d, and 23d, Rosewood 1st, Summit 20th and 24th, Susanville 2d, 20th, 21st, and 29th, Yreka 20th and 29th.
August, 1900.-At Bellevue on the 7th, 14th, 18th, 20th, 22d, and 28th, Bodie 1st, Cedarville 10th, 14th, and 20th, Edmanton 30th, Elsinore and Fall Brook 1st, La Porte 29th, Mammoth Tank 1st, Manzana 31st, Moreno Dam 1st, Oleta 30th, Placerville 30th, Redding 20th, Rosewood 7th and 28th, Shasta 24th, Susanville 19th, Yreka 14th and 21st.
September, 1900.-At Branscomb on the 7th, 11th, and 13th, Cedarville 7th and 10th, Cuyamaca 2d, Folsom and Grand Island 12th, Greenville 3d, 10th, 11th, and 12th, Jackson 12th, Lodi 13th, North Bloomfield 11th, 12th, and 13th, North Hill Vineyard 12th, Pilot Creek and Placerville 13th, Redding 4th, 5th, 12th, and 13th, Rosewood 4th, 7th, 11th, and 12th, Sacramento 12th, Santa Barbara 1st, Shasta 4th, Summit 12th, Susanville 3d, Tejon Ranch 1st and 2d, Visalia 2d and 3d, West Point 3d and 12th, Wire Bridge 12th, Yreka 7th, 10th, and 12th.
October, 1900.-At Branscomb on the 3d, Crescent City 18th and 23d, Grand Island 28th, Iowa Hill 2d, Keeler, La Porte, and Moreno Dam 11th, Pilot Creek 2d, 11th, and 28th, Redding 11th, Summit 4th, Wheatland 18th, West Point 2d.
November, 1900.-At Berkeley on the 7th and 16th, Branscomb 20th, Claremont and Cuyamaca 17th, Grand Island, Grass Valley, and Los Gatos 7th, Los Angeles 16th, Mills College 7th and 16th, Niles 7th, North Ontario 17th, Oakland and San Francisco 7th and 16th, Oleta 19th, Rio Vista 21st, Rosewood 7th, Sacramento 21st, San Bernardino and Soledad 17th.