Page images
PDF
EPUB

than the whole atmosphere changes and everything is lovely.

"We recall with a twinge of agony, terrific summer nights spent in the northeastern States, when the thermometer indicated the same degree of heat at twelve midnight as at twelve noon, but nothing could be more agreeable than our Kansas climate in this respect. However hot the day, the night is

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed]

ADAMS HOUSE, MANHATTAN.

cool and bracing. A day in which a man is reminded of Sydney Smith's desire to 'get out of his flesh and sit down in his bones,' is followed by a night in which long before daybreak a fellow finds himself feeling sleepily around the foot of his bed.

for his blanket. After such a night one arises refreshed for the labors, and fortified against the heat of another day."

As the records of scientific observations are the true criterion by which to judge of any climate, I solicited from Prof. F. H. Snow, the following tables, for which I am under special obligations to him, as well as for other records which are presented elsewhere:

TABLES

Compiled by Prof. Frank H. Snow, of Kansas State University at Lawrence.

TABLE of Mean Temperature of twenty States for five years, from January 1st, 1865, to January 1st, 1870, compiled from Reports of the Department of Agriculture:

[blocks in formation]

Meteorological Summary for 1870 by Prof. Snow.

The following table gives the mean temperature, the extremes of temperature, and the rainfall for each month of the year 1870:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

"Mean cloudiness of the year, 47.94 per cent. of the sky. Mean at 7 A. M., 50.67 per cent.; at 2 P. M., 52.94 per cent.; at 9 p. m., 40.21 per cent. In the morning and at midday the sky was less cloudy than in 1869, but cloudier at night.'

[ocr errors]

"The number of clear days was 152, counting as clear those days on which less than one-third of the sky was covered with clouds; half-clear days 93, including under this designation those days on which between one-third and two-thirds of the sky was covered; cloudy days, 120, when two-thirds or more was covered. The clearest month was July, mean cloudiness 30.64 per cent.; the cloudiest month was September, mean cloudiness, 68.66 per cent."

Barometer.

Mean hight of barometer, 29.097 inches, being 0.006 less than in 1869. The mean hight for the two years, 1869 and 1870, was 29.100. Upon this. basis, the hight of the instrument above the level of the sea is 884 feet.

Mean hight at 7 A. M., 29.121 inches; at 2 P. M., 29.074 inches; at 9 P. M., 29.096 inches. Maximum hight, 29.764 inches, at 7 A. M., January 8; minimum, 28.191 inches, at 12:45 P. M., January 16, giving a range of 1.573 inches for the year. The highest monthly mean was in December, 29.192 inches; the lowest in May, 29.005 inches. All the barometer observations were reduced to the freezing point.

Relative Humidity.

Mean for the year, 68.4. Mean at 7 A. M., 80.4.; at 2 P. M., 49.9; at 9 P. M., 74.8. Air saturated with moisture, 48 times; number of fogs, 13. The driest month was April, relative humidity 54.7; the dampest month was September, relative humidity 82.8. The air was driest at 2 P. M., February 18th, when the relative humidity was only 2, this remarkable condition of the atmosphere being followed by a sudden change of temperature within twenty four hours."

Force of Vapor.

Mean for the year, 0.344 inches; mean at 7 A. M., 0.337; at 2 P. M., 0.342; at 9 P. M., 0.352; greatest, 0.863, at 2. P. M., July 10; least, 0.008, at 2 P. M., February 18.

Frosts.

"An important fact in regard to the long period of entire absence of frost, ought, perhaps, to be men

tioned. There was no frost in 1868, from April 10 to September 17-one hundred and sixty days; in 1869, from April 13 to September 26-one hundred and sixty-six days; in 1870, from April 18 to October 12-one hundred and seventy-seven days. The interval between the latest and earliest severe frosts would be considerably longer-one hundred and ninety-seven days in 1870."

RAINFALL AND CHANGE OF CLIMATE.

One of the most interesting facts in relation to the settlement of this country, and yet one of the most difficult to illustrate and explain, is the change of seasons which is here taking place. I do not allude especially to the increased rainfall which is evident in all the region west of the Missouri, wherever there are settlements and railroads, because the meteorogical records show that the mean annual precipitation of moisture in Eastern Kansas, has always been sufficient for agricultural purposes, if we except the single year of 1860. Being desirous of knowing whether such a drouth might be expected to occur again, I took occasion, when visiting Washington on the succeeding winter, to examine the records at the Smithsonian Institute, having the aid of one of the assistant officers of the Institution, and found that the rainfall was as great during the seventeen years preceding 1860, at Fort Leavenworth and Fort Scott, Kansas, as in Illinois or Missouri.

From the many tables which have been since published, and from those elsewhere given in this book, it is evident that the mean annual rainfall of Kansas has always been quite sufficient. But it is a fact patent to all "old settlers" that we have more showers than formerly, more rainy, drizzly days, more occasions when one can carry an umbrella in a rainstorm. The word "storm," which is almost

« PreviousContinue »