« ZurückWeiter »
ing we had thundering, with a continuation of lightning of the kind and appearance as before, al from the N.E. or nearly so.
A bout nine the same morning, there fell down from the clouds, which looked black, lowering, and as it were heavy with rain, in the N.E. three water-spouts; that in the middle, being the greatest, seemed as large as the mast of a ship, and I judged it to be at least a league and a half distant from us; so that in itself it was doubt. less larger than three masts. The other two were not half the size. All of them were black, like the cloud from whence they fell; and smooth, without any knot or irregularity; only at first falling, some fell perpendicularly down, and some obliquely, and all of them smaller at the lower end than above, representing a sword; some. times also one of them would bend, and become straight again, and also sometimes became smaller, and again increase its bulk ; some. times it would disappear, and immediately fall down again ; at other times it became extenuated to the smallness of a rope, and again became gross as before.
There was always a great boiling and flying up of the sea, as in a jet d'eau, or water-work; or this rising of the water had the appearance of a chimney smoking in a calm day. Some yards above the surface of the sea, the water stood like a pillar, and then spread itself, and was dissipated like smoke : and the sword.like spout from the clouds either came down to the very middle of this pillar, as if it had been joined with it, as the largest pillar, which fell per. pendicularly down, always did from the beginning to the end; or else it pointed to this column of water, at some distance, either in a perpendicular or oblique line, as did the two other lesser ones. There were three or four spouts more, which appeared at the same time in the same quarter of the heavens ; but not like the three former, either for bulk or duration : these last appeared and disappeared several times, during the continuance of these three afore. said.
It was hardly distinguishable whether the sword-like spout fell first down from the cloud, or the pillar of water rose first from the sea; both appearing opposite to each other all of a sudrloprony T observed of one of them, that the water boiled up from the sea to a great height, without the last appearance of a spout pointing to it, either perpendicularly or obliquely; and here the water of the sea never came together in the form of a pillar, but rose up scat.
teredly, the sea boiling furiously round the place. The wind being then N.E. the said boiling advanced towards the S.W. as a flitting or moving bush on the surface of the sea, and at last ceased. This shows that the boiling or flying up of the water of the sea may begin before the spout from the cloud appears : and indeed, if there be any small matter of priority between these two appearances, the boiling or throwing up of the sea water has it; which first begins to boil, and then forms itself into a pillar of water, especially on the lower part.
It was observable of all of them, but chiefly of the large pillar, that towards the end it began to appear like a hollow canal, only black in the borders, but white in the middle; and though at first it was altogether black and opaque, yet one could very distinctly perceive the sea water to fly up along the middle of this canal, as smoke does up a chimney, and that with great swiftness, and a very perceptible motion : and then soon after, the spout or canal burst in the middle, and disappeared by little and little; the boiling up and the pillar.like form of the sea water continuing always the last, even for some considerable time after the spout disappeared, and perhaps till the spout appeared again, or reformed itself, which it commonly did in the same place as before, breaking and forming itself again several times in a quarter or half an hour.
I know not if any one has accounted for this phænomenon ; but I imagine it may be solved by suction, or rather pulsion, as in the application of a cupping-glass to the flesh, after the air is first ex. hausted by the kindled flax.
It was further observable, that the oblique spouts pointed always from the wind; that is, that the wind being at N.E. the oblique spouts always pointed to the S.W.; though at the same time there were others perpendicular, which still continued so, notwithstand. ing the wind. Also that such as were curved, had always the con. vex side from the wind, and the concave towards it; that is, the wind being at N.E. the concave was towards the N.E. and the conver towards the S.W. It rained a great deal during the continuance of these peuts; and after their total disappearance, there was half an hour's violent storm from the N.E. with very little raiu; but afterwards the weather cleared up.
[Phil. Trans, 1702.
2. Fall of Water from a Spout on the Moors on Lancashire.
By Dr. Rich, Richardson.
This remarkable spout fell on Emott.moor, near Coln, in Lan. cashire, June 3, 1718, about ten in the morning. Several persons who were digging peat near the place where this accident happened, on a sudden were so terrified with an unusual noise in the air, that they left their work and ran home, which was about a mile from the place : but to their great surprise they were intercepted by wa. ter; for a small brook in the way was risen above six feet perpen. dicular in a few minutes time, and had overflown the bridge. There was no rain at that time on Emott-moor, only a mist, which is very frequent on those high mountains in summer. There was a great darkness in the place where the water fell, without either thunder or lightning. The meadows at Wicolae were so much flooded, that the like had not been seen in several years before, though it was there a very bright day.
I went to view the place where the water fell; though I believed this inundation might proceed from an eruption of water out of the side of the mountain ; such being not unfrequent, where lead or coal have been dug, but neither have ever been sought for here. On approaching the place, I was struck with unspeakable horror, the ground was torn up to the very rock, where the water fell, which was above seven feet deep, and deep gulph made for above half a mile, and vast heaps of earth cast up on each side of it, some pieces remaining yet above twenty feet over, and six or seven feet thick. About ten acres of ground were destroyed by this flood. The first breach, where the water fell, is about sixty feet over, and po appearance of any eruption, the ground being firm about it, and no cavity appearing. The ground on each side the gulph was so shaken, that large chasms appeared at above thirty feet dis. tance, which a few days after I observed the shepherds were filling up, lest their sheep should fall into them.
[Phil. Trans. 1719.
8. Water-spout near the Lipari Islands. In a letter from William Ricketės, Esq. Captain in the Royal Navy, to the
Right Hon. Sir Joseph Banks, Bart. &c. &c.
In the month of July, 1800, Captain Ricketts was suddenly called on deck, on account of the rapid approach of a water-spout among the Lipari Islands; it had the appearance of a viscid fluid, tapering in its descent, proceeding from the cloud to join the sea; it moved at the rate of about two miles an hour, with a loud sound of rain; it passed the stern of the ship, and wetted the after-part of the mainsail; hence Captain Ricketts concluded that water-spouts were not continuous columns of water; and subsequent observa. tions confirmed the opinion.
In November, 1801, about twenty miles from Trieste, a water. spout was seen eight miles to the southward ; round its lower ex. tremity was a mist, about twelve feet high, nearly of the form of an Ionian capital, with very large volutes, the spout resting obliquely on its crown. At some distance from this spout, the sea began to be agitated, and a mist rose to the height of about four feet : then a projection descended from the black cloud which was impending, and met the ascending mist about twenty feet above the sea ; the last ten yards of the distance were described with a very great ra. pidity. A cloud of a light colour appeared to ascend in this spout like quicksilver in a glass tube. The first spout then snapped at about one-third of it height, the inferior part subsiding gradually, and the superior curling upwards.
Several other projections from the cloud appeared, with corresponding agitations of the water below, but not always in spouts vertically under them : seven spouts in all were formed; two other projections were reabsorbed. Some of the spouts were not only oblique but curved: the ascending cloud moved most rapidly in those which were vertical; they lasted from three to five minutes, and their dissipation was attended by no fall of rain. For some days before, the weather had been very rainy with a south easterly wind; but no rain had fallen on the day of observation.
[Journal of Royal Institution.