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December, 1900.-The following stations reported severe storms, accompanied by thunder, lightning, high wind, and rain, on the 14th: Berkeley, Campbell, Fort Ross, Grand Island, Jackson, Lick Observatory, Merced, Mills College, Modesto, Oakland, Oleta, Peachland, Pilot Creek, Rio Vista, San Francisco, San Leandro, Sonoma, Suisun, Vacaville, West Point, and Wire Bridge; also at Crescent City and Tequisquita Rancho on the 16th, and Le Grand on the 17th.
With nearly every general disturbance there are reports of individual disturbances with more or less damage in limited areas. As a rule the State of California is exempt from marked tornadic disturbances. Severe local storms, however, sometimes occur, but, as stated above, these are chiefly straight-line wind storms. The following illustration, however, seems to show more of the violent gyratory action of the whirlwind than of an ordinary storm, and is therefore given.
STORM OF DECEMBER 14, 1900.
By J. C. STANTON, voluntary observer.
The storm of December 14 in the vicinity of Rio Vista somewhat resembled a tornado, accompanied by thunder and lightning. The first manifestation seems to have been at Lodi, about 10 miles to the southeast, where considerable damage was done. It then took somewhat of a southwesterly course to Collinsville, where a hay barn was taken up bodily, carried several hundred feet, dropped, and entirely demolished. The building must have been raised perpendicularly, as a large quantity of baled hay which it contained remained intact and unmolested. From this point the storm took a northeasterly course, arriving at Rio Vista about 10.45 a. m., sweeping through the northwest part of the town, unroofing a carpenter shop, blowing down a high board fence, and overturning two windmills at St. Gertrude's Academy. These were strongly constructed, with iron towers, and from their appearance seem to have been twisted off and so badly damaged as to be entirely worthless. About 300 yards from this point the storm demolished another iron windmill, and picked up a heavy handcart, carrying it 600 feet, dropping and breaking it to pieces. By this time the wind was blowing from the west. Half a mile farther on another barn was demolished by being carried a short distance and dropped. From this point the storm traveled easterly, and at a distance of less than a mile unroofed a large warehouse on the bank of the Sacramento River. It then crossed the river in a southeasterly direction, doing some damage. During the storm, which lasted but a few minutes, the wind blew from all points of the compass, commencing from the southeast and returning to the same.
Sand storms and dust storms occur quite frequently in many portions of the State. Particularly on the southeastern slope of the Sierra and in some of the valleys of southern California do these storms occur. The presence of an area of high pressure over Nevada and Utah, causing strong northerly winds, is probably the prime factor in the formation of these dust storms. As might be expected, the air is highly electrified at such times. Like the "northers" of the great valleys these dust-laden winds are very trying upon people and injurious to stock and crops. Many illustrations could be given, but the following will probably suffice:
SAND STORM IN SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY.
The following report of a remarkable sand storm near Creston, San Luis Obispo County, is furnished by John G. W. and Wilhelmina A. Schulte. The severity of this storm was also noted by many other observers in their monthly reports for June:
"On June 30, 1898, there was an unusually heavy sand storm from 10 a. m. to 8 p. m. The early morning had the appearance of light fog, although no moisture was felt, and it was soon realized that a sand storm was approaching. The clouds of fine dust became so dense that large oak trees 50 yards away could be but indistinctly seen. The air was very still and sultry. The little sunlight visible at times through the dust was white in appearance and much resembled moonlight. In a little while all things had a gray or yellowish coating. Animals seemed affected and were quiet. Not a sound was to be heard; not even the chirping of birds. There was an unpleasant odor with the dust, which resembled buhach.
"This was said to be the severest storm known in the middle section of San Luis Obispo County. It appeared at Paso Robles, in the northern part of the county, about 8 a. m., but was not felt at Creston, 16 miles southeast, until 9.30 a. m. In Creston there was a slight northerly breeze. Maximum temperature, 91°; minimum, 46°; temperature at noon, 86°."
It may be open to question whether the subject of earthquakes should properly be included in a memoir upon climatology. The subject belongs rather to geology. In the absence, however, of any systematic record of seismic phenomena in the State of California, a brief record of the quakes has been kept by the Weather Bureau. There is a well-defined belief among the older residents of California that earthquakes are preceded by a spell of sultry weather, and this is even known by the name of "earthquake weather." There is, however, no known relation between earthquakes and the weather. As shown by the following table, some of the most severe earthquakes have occurred when the conditions of weather were in nowise those which are said to be characteristic. The true causes of earthquakes must be sought elsewhere than in meteorological conditions.
January, 1897.-At Niles on the 29th, San Leandro 17th and 23d.
February, 1897.-At Descanso on the 16th and 25th.
May, 1897.-At Crescent City on the 15th, 23d, and 29th, Edmanton 15th.
June, 1897.-On the 20th at Campbell, Centerville, Hollister, North Hill Vineyard, Rio Vista, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, Santa Cruz, and Stockton.
July, 1897.-At Castle Pinckney on the 18th.
August, 1897.-At Ukiah on the 19th.
September, 1897.-At Descanso on the 6th and 22d, Hollister 2d.
October, 1897.-At Campbell on the 2d and 17th, Descanso 27th, Niles 2d, San Francisco and San Jose 17th.
November, 1897.-At Descanso on the 12th and 22d, Escondido and Fall Brook 22d.
December, 1897.-At Niles on the 26th.
1898. The only severe shock experienced was on the 30th of March, when considerable damage resulted at San Francisco, Vallejo, and other points in the central and northern portions; and at Centerville, Alameda County, it was reported the most severe since October 21, 1868.
January, 1898.-At Peachland, Sonoma County, at 5.15 a. m. on the 1st.
February, 1898.--At Bishop, Inyo County, a light shock on the 6th, and five distinct shocks between 3.30 and 5.30 a. m. on the 15th.
March, 1898.-At Descanso on the 3d, Upper Lake 17th; and the following stations reported unusually severe shocks on the 30th, at about 11.42 p. m.: Agnews, Berkeley, Campbell, Fort Ross, Georgetown, Hollister, Iowa Hill, Lytton Springs, Napa, Niles, North San Juan, Oakland, Oleta, Peachland, Rio Vista, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Leandro, Santa Cruz, Stockton, Upper Lake, Vacaville, Vallejo, and West Point.
April, 1898.-At Claremont on the 30th, Descanso 21st; Fort Bragg, Mills College, Oakland, Peachland 14th, Pomona 30th, Upper Lake 14th and 15th.
May, 1898.-At Cedarville on the 17th and 19th, Hollister 28th. There were frequent shocks during the month at Fort Bragg.
June, 1898.-At Descanso on the 23d and 24th, Ukiah 8th, 9th, and 11th, Upper Lake 9th.
August, 1898.-At Oakland on the 7th, San Leandro 28th and 31st.
October, 1898.-At Bishop on the 13th, Descanso 30th, San Bernardino 23d, Ukiah 15th.
January, 1899.-Light shocks occurred at Napa and Sonoma on the 13th, and at San Bernardino on the 24th.
March, 1899.-Light shock at Ukiah on the 7th.
April, 1899.-Light shocks at Oakland on the 5th and 30th, Cuyamaca 14th, Hydesville 16th and 18th. On the 30th quite heavy shocks were reported at Alvarado, Campbell, Capitola, Coyote, Gilroy, Glenwood, Hollister, Los Gatos, Niles (Centerville), Pacific Grove, San Francisco, San Leandro, Santa Cruz, Soledad, Stanford University, and Stockton.
May, 1899.-There was a light shock at Bishop on the 13th.
June, 1899.-On the 1st, at 11.20 p. m., severe shocks occurred at San Francisco, Niles, Oakland, Stanford University, Capitola, Mills College, Napa, and Livermore. Lighter shocks were also reported, as follows: On the 1st at Campbell, Moreno Dam, Peachland; 3d, Oakland; 5th, Bradley; 11th, Keeler, Porterville, and Milo; 13th, San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley; 25th San Miguel.
July, 1899.-At 12.10 p. m. on the 6th light shocks occurred at Berkeley, Boulder Creek, Campbell, Capitola, Coyote, Elmwood, Gilroy, Glenwood, Gonzales, Hollister, Lathrop, Le Grand, Los Gatos, Merced, Milbrae, Modesto, Mount Eden, Napa, Niles, Oakland, Pacific Grove, Salinas, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Cruz, and Stockton. Several severe shocks occurred in the southern portion of the State on the 21st and 22d, followed by lighter ones on the 23d, 28th, and 29th; reports were received from Anaheim, Arcadia, Colton, Duarte, El Cajon, Elsinore, Escondido, Fall Brook, Florence, Los Angeles, North Ontario, Pasadena, Pomona, Redlands, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Dimas, San Pedro, Santa Ana, Spadra, and Ventura.
August, 1899.-The following stations reported light shocks on the 4th and 5th: Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Campbell, Capitola, Glenwood, Lathrop, Los Gatos, Napa, Niles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Cruz, and Tequisquita. There was also a slight shock at San Diego on the 21st.
September, 1899.-There was a severe shock at San Miguel on the 16th; two light shocks at Needles on the 20th.
October, 1899.-Light shocks occurred at Cuyamaca, Peachland, and Santa Rosa on the 12th; Moreno Dam, 11th and 28th.
November, 1899.-There was a light shock at Napa on the 16th.
December, 1899.-On the 25th sharp shocks were experienced throughout southern California; many observers reported the shocks the most severe ever known. Lighter shocks were also experienced frequently from the 25th to the 31st. Reports were received from the following stations: Arcadia, Banning, Claremont, Crafton, Cuyamaca, Duarte, El Cajon, Elsinore, Escondido, Fall Brook, Follows Camp, Girard, Hemet, Indio, La Mesa, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Monte, Moreno Dam, Needles, North Ontario, Norwalk, Ontario, Palm Springs, Pomona, Ravenna, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Dimas, San Jacinto, Sierra Madre, Tehachapi, Tustin, and Whittier. Lighter shocks were reported at Chico on the 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, and at Napa on the 25th.
January, 1900.-At Campbell, Niles, and San Leandro on the 14th, Los Gatos 6th, Moreno Dam 28th, Napa 5th, Palm Springs, "frequently during the first part of the month," Peachland 31st, San Jacinto 1st, 2d, 4th, 9th, 13th, 15th, and 27th.
February, 1900.-At Claremont on the 2d, Cuyamaca 13th, Petaluma 9th, San Jacinto 7th and 9th.
March, 1900.-At Claremont on the 21st, Napa, Vacaville, and Vallejo 26th, Peachland 20th, San Jacinto 18th.
April, 1900.-At Cuyamaca on the 23d, Fall Brook 9th, Napa 16th, San Jacinto 15th and
May, 1900.-At Mount Eden on the 20th and San Jacinto on the 10th.
July, 1900.-At Branscomb on the 12th and 13th, San Diego 23d, San Jose 28th.
- August, 1900.-At Elsinore on the 18th, Ferndale 16th; Mills College, Niles, and Oakland 31st, San Jacinto 19th, San Jose, Stanford University and Tequisquita Rancho 31st.
September, 1900.-At Oakland on the 19th and Tequisquita Rancho on the 28th.
November, 1900.-Light shocks occurred at Branscomb on the 8th, Cuyamaca 5th and 19th, Fallbrook 14th, Moreno Dam 19th, Napa 25th, Oakland 24th, Penn Grove 13th.
December, 1900.-There was a light shock at San Jose on the 30th.