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Weather term defintions from......1771


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  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Here's from a 1771 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica the defintion of these following weather terms.

    Dew:- a dense moist vapour , falling on earth in form of a misting rain, while the sun is below the horizon.

    Fog:- a meteor, consisting of gross vapours, floating near the surface of the earth.

    Frost:- in physiology, such an excessively cold state of air as converts watery fluids into ice.

    In very cold snowy weather, not only water but urine, beer, ale, milk, vinegar and even wine, are eitherly wholly or in part coverted into ice, though the last but slowly.

    When brandy freezes, a liquid part, much stronger than common brandy, retires to the centre of the vessel.

    ..........Mr Boyle, in order to ascertain this depth, after four nights of hard frost, dug in an orchard, where the ground was level and bare, and found the frost had scarce reached 3 and a 1/2 inches, and in a garden nearer the house, only 2 inches below the surface.

    Nine or ten successive frosty nights froze the bare ground in the garden to 6 inches and a 1/2 inches deep, and in the orchard. where a wall sheltered it from the south sun, to the depth of 8 and a 1/2 inches. He also dug in an orchard, near a wall, about a week afterwards, and found the frost to have penetrated to the depth of 14 inches, In a garden in Moscow, the frost in a hard season only penetrates to 2 feet. ....

    Hail :- in physiology, an aqueous concretion, in form of white or pellucid spherules descending out of the atmosphere.

    Hail is evidently no other than drops of rain congealed into ice. This happens when in their passage thro' the inferior air, they mett with nitrrous particles, which are known to contribute greatly to freezing. Their magnitude is owing to a fresh accression of matter as they fall. Hence we see the reason why hail is so frequent in summer , because at the time greater quantities of nitre are exhaled from the earth and float up and down in the air.

    Hoar-frost:- a cold moist vapour, that is drawn up a little way into the air, and in the night falls again on the earth, where it is congealed into icy crystals of various figures. Hoar-frost therefore is nothing but dew, turned into ice by the coldness of the air.

    Monsoon:- in physiology, a species of trade wind, in the East Indies, which for six months blows constantly the same way, and the contrary way for the other six months

    Snow:- a meteor produced in this manner: When the vapours are become considerably condensed, yet not so far as to liquefied , or dissolved into water; then, by a special degree of condensed vapour are changed into ice; several of which adhering together , form little fleeces of a white substance , some of which is heavier than the air; and therefore descend in a flow and gentle manner through it; being subject , by reason of its lightness, to be driven about by the various motions of the air and wind; and is what, when arrived to the surface of the earth, we call snow.

    Tornado:- a sudden and vehement gust of wind from all points of the compass, frequent on the coast of Guinea.

    There is a great article about the similarity between electricity and lightning.

    "..it would be safer, during a thunder-storm, to have one's clothes wet than dry as the lightning, then, in a great measure, be transmitted to the ground, by the water, on the outside of the body. It is found, that a wet rat cannot be killed by an explosion of the electrical bottle that a dry rat maybe."

    "In a thunder-storm at Stretham, described by Dr Miles, the lightning stripped off some paint which had covered a guilded moulding of a panel of wainscot. Dr Franklin (Benjamin Franklin) imitated this, by passing a slip of paper over the filleting of gold on the cover of a book, and passing an electric flash through it. The paper was torn from end to end, with such force that it was broken in several places........this convinced the doctor, that if it had been paint, it would have been stripped off in the same manner with that on the wainscot at Stretham."

    "Lightning destroys animal life. Animals likewise have been killed by a shock of electricity. The largest animals which Dr Franklin and his friends had been able to kill were a hen and a turkey which weighed about ten pounds."

    Edited by Mr_Data
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