« ZurückWeiter »
Violent Showers of Rain at Derbigh: in a Communication to Dr. (Sir Hans) Sloane, Secretary to the Royal Society.
TUESDAY the 16th of July, 1706, about eight o'clock in the morning, it began to rain in and about Denbigh, which continued incessantly for thirty hours, but not very violently till about three or four o'clock on Wednesday morning, when it rained somewhat faster, attended with a terrible noise like thunder, with some flashes of lightning, and a boisterous wind. About break of day the rain and wind began to abate of their violence, lessening gra. dually till about one or two o'clock in the afternoon, when it quite ceased, and the air became clear and somewhat calm. On the Tuesday the wind blew south west, but on the Wednesday it was come to the north west.
The effects of this great storm were dismal, for it caused the overflowing of all the rivers in Denbighshire, Flintshire, and Merionethshire, &c. which spoiled a great deal of coro, and took off all the hay that was mowed, near the banks of the rivers, which were carried by the stream in such vast quantities down to the bridges that it choked the arches and inlets, so as to break down above a dozen large bridges. Great oaks and other large trees were rooted up and swept away, with several quickset hedges, and some quillets by the side of the river Elwy were so covered with stones and gravel, that the owners cannot well tell whereabouts their hedges and landmarks stood; and the same river has altered its course in some places, so as to rob the land. lords on one side of some acres, and bestowed as much on the opposite side. Two or three rivulets that conveyed water to some mills have been so choked up with stones and gravel, as to make it hardly worth the expence of clearing.
It is affirmed by many people that the great floods were not so much the effects of the rain, as the breaking out of a vast number of springs, in such places as they were never known to flow from before. In the town of Denbigh a great many broke out in the houses and stables, especially in that part which lies next the castle on the north side; some of them with a great deal of vio. lence, and in such a quantity, that it is said that three of these new springs, which flowed out of the stables of the three noted inns, viz. the Bull, Cross Keys, and Boar's Head, were sufficient to turn any corn mill.
At a small distance, northward of Denbigh, lies Park Snodiog, a rocky hill, out of which issued a great many springs, which flowed so plentifully for nine or ten days, that the cattle watered at them all that time; whereas, before and after, the people were forced to water them all summer at a well in the highway, at some distance from Park-Snodiog. There are several deep holes and trenches cut in the highways adjoining to the river Elwy, &c. and some of them very large, which is attributed not so much to the overflowing of the river as to the breaking out of springs in those very places.
In Comb mountain there is a pit of a circular form, which in the summer time used to have little or no water in it, and in winter as much water as would swell the surface to about 14 or 16 yards over: but now in the midst of summer it rose up at least a yard and a half higher, than it was ever known to do in the wettest winters; and overflowing its banks, it fell down the hill with such violence, as to penetrate into the very body of a rock road, and dug pits in it, so that the road, which was a common highway, is now be. come irreparable.
[Phil. Truns. 1783.
2. At Ripponden.
By Mr. Ralph Thoresby, F.R.S. The effects of a violent shower of rain at Ripponden, near Halifax, were so surprising, that I wrote to a gentleman in those parts for an account that might be depended on; and particularly desired to know, whether there was not an eruption of waters out of the hills, as the late Mr. Townley wrote me there was out of Pendle-hill, in that at Star-bottom mentioned in the Philos. Trans. No.245 : but all the account I can learn of this is, that what they call the dashing of two great watery clouds on the hills, occasioned the inundation ; whatever was the more immediate cause, the effects were dis mal, and so sudden, that though it was in the day-time, the poor people could not save their lives. This calamity happened May 18, 1722, between the hours of three and five, when the beck was raised more than two yards in perpendi.
cular height, above what was ever known before. Several houses, four mills, some say six, nine stone-bridges, and ten or eleven of wood, are broken down, and the wheels, dams, and sluices, of most of the mills that are left standing, broken and damaged; and a great deal of cloth gone. Fifteen persons were drowned.
The rapidity of the torrent was so violent, that it broke down the north-side of Ripponden chapel, and carried off most of the seats. It tore up the dead out of their graves. It swept away all the corn-land, as deep as the plough had gone. Some persons saved themselves by forcing a way out of the roofs of their houses, and sitting upon the ridges till the floods abated.
[Phil. Trans. 1772.
Storm of Salt Rain. Along with the water, gasseous and other light materials that frequently ascend into the atmosphere in the usual process of evaporation, we occasionally meet with a combination of much heavier, and more unexpected substances, when the force of wind, volcanic eruptions, local electricity, or some other concurrent power is present and in great activity. The following is a singular instance of the kind, and made so striking an impression at the time, that the Philosophical Transactions contain three separate articles upon it; which, as each contains circumstances unnoticed by the rest, we shall give in their regular order. The three en. suing sections, however, will be found to offer still more extraor. dinary examples.
1. Salt-storm in Sussex: as described in a Letter from John
Fuller, Esq. Dec. 6, 1703. We live ten miles from the sea in a direct, and yet cannot per: suade the country people but that the sea water was blown thus far, or that during the tempest the rain was salt; for all the twigs of the trees the day after were white and tasted very salt, as I am informed almost by erery body, though I did not taste them time enough myself, nor observe it; and that not only upon this hill where we live facing the sea, but in all other places within fourteen or fifteen miles of the sea, as well in the valleys, between which and the sea are sereral very high hills, as on the hills them. selves.
2. Observations on the above, by the Rev. Iilliam Derham,
F. R.S. of the preceding parts of this year, the months of April, May, June, and July, were wet in the southern parts of England; particularly in May, when more fell than in any month of any year since 1696; June also was very wet; and though July had considerable intermissions, yet on the 28th and 29th there fell violent showers of rain. And the newspapers gave accounts of great rains that month from divers places of Europe ; but the north of England (which also escaped the violence of the late storm) was not so remarkably wet in any of those months; at least not in that great proportion, more than in the southern parts, as usually there are; particularly July was a dry month with them. September with us was a wet month, especially the latter part of it. October and November, though not remarkably wet, yet have been open warm months for the most part. My thermometer, the freezing point of which is about 84, has been very seldom below 100 all this winter, and especially in November.
Thus I have given a short account of the preceding disposition of the year, particularly as to wet and warmth; because I am of opinion that these had a great influence on the late storm ; not only in causing a repletion of vapours in the atmosphere, but also in raising such nitro.sulphureous or other heterogeneous matter, which when mixed together might make a sort of explosion, like fired gunpowder, in the atmosphere: from which explosion I judge those corruscations or flashes in the storm proceeded, which most people, as well as myself, observed, and which some took for lightning
On Thursday, Nov. 25, the day before the tempest, in the morning there was a little rain, the winds high in the afternoon, at S. by E. and S. In the evening there was lightning, and between nine and ten o'clock at night, a violent but short storm of wind, and much rain, at Upminster, and of hail in some other places, which did some damage. Next morning, November 26, the wind was S.S.W. and high all day, and so continued till I was in bed and asleep. About twelve that night the storm awakened me, which gradually increased till near three that morning. And from thence till near seven it continued with the greatest vio. lence ; then it began to abate slowly, and the mercury to rise swiftly. The barometer I found at 12h. } P. M. at 28.72, where it continued till about six the next morning, and then hastily rose; so that it was gotten to 82 about eight o'clock.
The degrees of the wind's strength not being measurable, but by guess, I thus determined with respect to other storms : on February 7, 1699, was a terrible storm, that did much damage : this I number 10 degrees; the wind then W.N.W. vid. Phil.Tr. No. 262. Another remarkable storm was Feb. 3, 1702, at which time was the greatest descent of the mercury ever known: this I number 9 degrees. But this last of November, I number at least 15 degrees.
I have accounts of the violence of the storm at Norwich, Bec. cles, Sudbury, Colchester, Rochford, and several other interme. diate places.
I have just received an account from a clergyman, an intelligent person, at Lewes in Sussex, not only that the storm made great desolations thereabouts, but also an odd circumstance was occa. sioned by it, viz. “That a physician travelling soon after the storm to Tisehyrst, about twenty miles from Lewis, and as far from the sea, as he rode he plucked some tops of hedges, and chewing them he found them salt. Some ladies of Lewes hearing this, tasted some grapes that were still on the vines, and they also had the same relish. The grass on the downs in his parish was so salt, that the sheep in the morning would not feed, till hunger compelled them, and afterwards drank copiously as the shepherds report. This he attributes to saline particles driven from the sea. He hears also, that people about Portsmouth were much annoyed with sulphureous fumes, complaining they were almost suffocated with them."
3. Ailditional Observations on the same,
By M. Leuwenhoeck. Upon the 8th of December, 1703, N. S. we had a dreadful storm from the south west, insomuch that the water, mingled with