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Popular Science Monthly/Volume 54/November 1898/Correspondence


Editor Popular Science Monthly:

Dear Sir: Scientific investigators in meteorology have again and again declared they have not been able to discover by accurate and long-continued observation that the moon has any effect whatever upon terrestrial weather; yet the farmers have, for unreckoned years, undoubtingly ascribed certain kinds of weather—changes, especially—to the moon; and, despite the dictum of the scientists, they have persisted in their confidence in the pale orb as a weather-breeder, and as a disposer, in a large degree, of the wet and dry features of the months.

Now comes Mr. H. H. Clayton, meteorologist at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, and shows by diagram and dates that the electrical condition of the atmosphere varies in close accord with the position of the moon in her orbit.

That electricity performs various offices in the atmosphere, notably among the particles of vapor, is well known; but just how and to what extent atmospheric phenomena result from electrical action has not yet been clearly demonstrated. However, we have now a scientific basis for the assumption that the moon has an influence on the weather.

An interesting summary of present knowledge concerning the atmosphere is contained in Studies of the Upper Atmosphere, by A. Lawrence Rotch, director of the Blue Hill institution. The diagram of comparative altitudes, which forms the last illustration of my article on kite-flying, in the May number of this magazine, is from the frontispiece of Mr. Rotch's pamphlet just mentioned, for which credit was inadvertently omitted.

George J. Varney.
57 Cornhill, Boston, August 19, 1898.