Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/506

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center near Keeler, about ninety miles east of Pixley. Here the storm center remained for thirty-six hours, while the storm was gradually breaking up over its northern part, as shown by the three following maps, and not until the map of Wednesday morning is there an indication of an eastward movement of the storm, while as late as 5 p. m. of Wednesday, January 31st, rain was reported at Keeler. During Monday and Tuesday light rains were reported over nearly all parts of the State, and on Tuesday it rained at Pixley.

From these data we see that the local rainfall produced by the Baker process at Pixley was i)art of a storm which extended over a large part of British Columbia, over Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Nevada., and Arizona, and which had its center for thirty-six hours within ninety miles of Pixley, and that the weather forecasts sent-out from San Francisco on Monday morning at five o'clock predicted rain for the region about Pixley for Tuesday afternoon or night. As a matter of fact, it rained at Pixley on Tuesday night, as had been predicted by Mr. Pague thirty-six hours before.

I have referred to this special case, not because it differs in any essential particular from other well-authenticated cases, but because one typical example which any one can verify is worth a great amount of generalizing, and because this particular instance has been so prominently mentioned by the press of the State.

And now I wish to say a few words about the methods of some of the best known of the professional "rain-makers." For most of the following data I am indebted to a paper read by Prof. Alexander Macfarlane, of the University of Texas, before the Texas Academy of Science.

Powers.—In 1870 Mr. Edward Powers, of Delavan, Wis., published a collection of statistics in a volume entitled War and the Weather. By means of these statistics he seeks to establish the remarkable fact that battles are followed by rain. He does not prove that battles are necessarily accompanied by rain, or that a day of battle is followed more quickly by rain than a day of no battle. Having, however, apparently convinced himself of the value of his argument, he at once adopted the universal American expedient of proving his claim, and petitioned Congress for an appropriation to make a suitable test. Two hundred siege guns which lie idle at the Rock Island Arsenal were to be taken to a suitable locality in the West, and one hundred rounds to be fired from them in each of two tests. The estimated cost of the experiment was to be one hundred and sixty-one thousand dollars. He does not tell us how the molecular vibration caused by the sound and heat of the firing is to lessen the molecular vibration of the air and cause the vapor molecules to come to rest.