« PreviousContinue »
of service, and are maintained with little increased cost of operation, as both previously formed portions of other districts. The Indianapolis district comprises the watershed of the Wabash River above the mouth of and including the White River, formerly a portion of the Cairo district. The Iola district comprises that portion of the watershed of the Neosho River from the headwaters to Neosho Rapids, Kans., formerly a portion of the Fort Smith district.
Nine new river stations were established during the year, and nine were discontinued, excluding those at Dayton, Ohio, and Fort Wayne,
where regular Weather Bureau stations were opened with the river work as a portion of their duties. Four rainfall stations were also discontinued.
At the end of the year river observations taken at regular Weather Bureau, paid, and cooperative stations made a total of 601 stations from which reports are available for the benefit of those interested in the rivers of the country.
No automatic river gauges were installed during the year, but substantial inclined concrete gauges were installed at Portsmouth, Ohio, and Mount Vernon, Ind.
Owing to a large deficiency in the precipitation of the year over a considerable portion of the country, there was an absence of great floods, except in California, where, during February and March, heavy winter snows and rains combined to cause floods, with resultant damage estimated at $1,750,000. In July and again in October the smaller tributaries of the Ohio River were in flood as a result of heavy local rains. The damage to crops and other interests amounted to about $5,500,000.
By informal agreement with the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and the United States Reclamation Service of the Interior Department, the Weather Bureau was designated to ascertain and publish in the Monthly Weather Review the losses by floods in the United States. A summary of this character indicates that the losses during the year were about $7,700,000, of which more than three-fourths fell upon the farmers. The value of property saved through the warnings of the Weather Bureau was estimated at $1,047,000.
The warnings issued for the floods were of value. The great disproportion between the losses and the value of property saved is due to the fact that three-fourths of the former were on crops that warnings could not have saved.
From present indications the new work contemplatod during the coming year will not be extensive. On July 1, 1911, river service will be extended over the Neuse River of North Carolina, and river stations opened at Neuse and Smithfield, N. C. The station at Edisto, S.C., will be reopened, and a new station established at a suitable location on the Combahee River for the benefit of the rice planters. A few additional stations will probably be needed along the lower Arkansas River and its larger tributaries. In the extreme West it is proposed to divide the district of California, establishing a new district for the San Joaquin River, with headquarters at Fresno, Cal. This river is now under the supervision of the local office at Sacramento, and the change will result in more prompt service in time of flood. It is also proposed to establish, if possible, a new district at Los Angeles, Cal., for the purpose of issuing flood warnings for the smaller streams of that section.
Steady progress has been made in the preparation of forecast schemes for the Ohio River and its larger tributaries. Schemes have been completed for the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, and one for the Wabash River is well under way. This will complete the scheme for the entire Ohio River watershed, except that portion of the main stream between Mount Vernon, Ind., and the mouth, which it is hoped also to finish within a few months. Considerable work has also been done on schemes for the Savannah and Santee River systems.
MOUNTAIN SNOWFALL WORK.
During the last two years the Weather Bureau has made systematic measurements of the amount of snowfall in the mountain regions of the West for the purpose of determining as accurately as possible the amount of water available for agricultural and commercial interests during the coming spring and summer seasons. It is hardly necessary to comment on the importance of this work, which thus far has been largely experimental on account of uncertainties as to the instrumental equipment required and the proper method of determining the water equivalent of the snowfall. The snow bins and snow platforms installed some time ago have not proved entirely satisfactory. Prof. Marvin, of the Instrument Division, has been engaged in the work of devising improvements, and it is hoped that the snowfall stations can be supplied with better apparatus within a year or two. In the meantime no new stations will be opened. During the year 61 stations were closed, experience having demonstrated that they were no longer of importance. At the end of the year there were 281 mountain snowfall stations in operation.
In connection with the study of snowfall and its consequent run-off, a systematic snow survey was begun in the watershed of Maple Creek, near Springville, Utah. While the work was of an experimental nature, it has an immediate effect on the owners of 227 tracts of land that are irrigated by the melted snow waters from the Maple Creek watershed, and it is expected that the experience obtained will be valuable in connection with the future study of the general problem. Thus far the comparatively small outlay in experimental work has been well expended. A report of the work carried on during the spring of 1911 was prepared by Messrs. A. H. Thiessen and J. C. Alter, of the local office of the Weather Bureau at Salt Lake City, Utah, and published in the Monthly Weather Review for April, 1911. About 2,000 soundings and 277 measurements of the depth and density of the snow were made with the density apparatus devised by Prof. Marvin. The final results showed an average snow depth of 36 inches, with an average water equivalent of 11.5 inches, or 32 per cent, making 3,833 acre-feet of water, or enough to spread a layer of water 14 inches in depth over all the land irrigated by the stream. This is the first attempt at a definite measure of the water equivalent of accumulated snowfall, the great value of which to irrigation farmers and those interested in water power is apparent. It is thought that with two years' more work in the Maple Creek watershed sufficient observations will have been obtained to permit of accurate forecasts of water supply from the winter snowfall. The system can also be extended to other and larger projects, and the work will be limited only by the amount of funds available for the purpose. The report on the preliminary campaign in the Maple Creek watershed has brought many expressions of commendation from farmers and hydraulic engineers.
EFFECTS OF FORESTS ON OLIMATE AND STREAM FLOW.
As stated in my last report, the Weather Bureau and the Forest Service, with the permission of the Secretary of Agriculture, are cooperating in an exhaustive study of the entire question of forest effects upon climate and stream flow. It is believed that the data to be secured will be of such a character as to shed valuable light upon the subject. The experiment station at Wagon Wheel Gap, Colo., established for the purpose of this investigation, is now on a firm basis, and a complete series of observations has been made during the last eight months. Cooperative meteorological stations are also maintained in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona, and in the Fremont National Forest in Colorado, data from which will be available for study and comparison in connection with the records at Wagon Wheel Gap.
However, it should be well understood that no results obtained in this semiarid region would be of any value as a criterion for determining problems in connection with run-off that obtain in the humid regions of the East. It is hoped that in course of time an experimental area may be secured and the necessary plant installed in both the Allegheny and White Mountain regions.
DIVISION OF OBSERVATIONS AND REPORTS. The new "Division of Observations and Reports," formed during the year, has supervision of the collection and distribution of telegraphic meteorological reports, the distribution of forecasts and warnings, the issue of station maps and bulletins, and the marine work of the bureau.
At the close of the year there were in operation 197 regular observing stations. The station at Jupiter, Fla., was discontinued during the year and one established at Miama, Fla., in its place. New stations were also established at Fort Wayne, Ind., and Dayton, Ohio. Of these regular stations 164 take two observations daily, at 8 a. m. and 8 p. m.; 25 take one observation daily at 8 a. m., and 8 take one observation daily at 8 p. m., seventy-fifth meridian time. These observations are telegraphed to Washington and over circuits to other stations for use in making the daily maps for forecast purposes and the daily weather maps and commercial maps for issue to the public.
The United States is divided into six forecast districts, with centers at Washington, D. C.; Chicago; Denver; Portland, Oreg.; San Francisco; and New Orleans, at which places the forecasts are made and telegraphed to distributing centers. From these points they are furnished to the public by telegraph, telephone, and postal card.
SPECIAL METEOROLOGICAL STATIONS. There are 50 special meteorological stations in operation. Of these, 19 are for use in the general forecast work of the service and in making special frost predictions for the orchards of Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado; 8 for use in frost predictions for the cranberry interests of Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and New Jersey; 9 for use in the special predictions for the vineyard and citrus-fruit interests of California and Florida; 8 in the West Indies, rendering reports from July 1 to November 15 for use in the special hurricane forecasts, and 6 in Alaska for use in the general forecast work of the service.
Under the Portland, Oreg., center, four important fruit districts have been grouped-at Lewiston, Idaho, Boise, Idaho, North Yakima, Wash., and in the Rogue River Valley of Oregon. In the Lewiston district the observing stations are located in the Lewiston orchard district and across the Snake River at Clarkston, Wash., each station being the center of its respective district of orchard bench land. The Boise district has an observer at Meridian who cooperates with the Boise station. In addition to the special observer at North Yakima a regular trained observer was put in charge for the fruit season, and arrangements were made to receive reports from cooperating stations at Wapato, Zillah, Sunnyside, Moxee, and Natchez. In the Rogue River Valley a special station was established at Medford under the charge of a trained fruit and orchard superintendent; and in addition to the old observing stations at Siskiyou and Marshfield, cooperating stations were located at Grants Pass, Ashland, and Jacksonville.
The Salt Lake City office is in charge of the frost-warning service around Provo, Utah, while the fruit region of the Grand River Valley of Colorado receives warnings from Grand Junction. In the citrusfruit region around Los Angeles the observer at that station is in charge of the frost warnings, with special observers at Pasadena, Redlands, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Santa Barbara. San Francisco sends warnings to the fruit interests of Northern California, with an observer reporting from Paso Robles.
In Florida, Jacksonville issues warnings for the fruit and vegetable industries, with special observers stationed at Bartow, Eustis, Titusville, and' Gainesville. Arrangements are being made to investigate the fruit conditions of North Carolina.
Frost warnings are issued for the cranberry districts of Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, the most important cranberryproducing section being around Cape Cod, Mass. Arrangements were made during the season for more complete reports in that section by changing the
station at New Wareham to the State bog at East Wareham, making the latter place the observation center. The instruments at South Carver were moved to a better location, and new stations were established at Halifax and Marstons Mills. Observations have been continued with good results in New Jersey. In Wisconsin'the old station at Berlin was reestablished and conditions improved for observation.
The appropriation for this branch of the service was inadequate to meet the many demands for daily forecasts and special warnings during the past year. While the decrease in the number of places receiving the warnings at Government expense was 60, there was an increase of more than 500,000 in the number of telephone subscribers to whom the forecast was delivered by free telephone distribution, owing to the very favorable arrangements entered into between the bureau and the various telephone and telegraph companies. By an arrangement between the Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co. and the Weather Bureau, which goes into effect on July 1, 1911, this distribution by free telephone will be materially increased during the next fiscal year.
At the close of the year the number of places receiving forecasts at Government expense was 2,120, while by free telephone distribution the forecasts were available to 4,251,347 addresses.
The following table shows in detail the distribution of daily forecasts and special warnings in the several States by the various means employed:
2 2 10
0 979 2,680 718
15 114 110 144 88 45 79
0 38 48 16 0 52 233
0 408 201 335 175 96 49 40 46 58 316 171
0 32 109
0 346 163
93 237 16
70 284 227
0 45 84
0 53 281
74 47 32 13 72
6 15 24 11 118 74 24 82 32 10
932 1,037 1,044 2,333
843 1,392 1,839
871 3, 547 2,808 2,727
940 1,074 1,984 3, 270 5, 419 1,944 1, 552 4,686
84 922 1,308
78 7,491 1,624
840 1,850 1, 663
821 1,578 1,072
18 0 76 258 387 13
6 52 0
7,399 25, 233 98,212 45, 713 88, 626
8, 198 34, 318 13,975 372, 779 188, 315 121, 770 239, 392 54, 516 18, 226 44, 140 28, 950 204,047 225. 433 159, 599
26, 166 211,985
14, 441 175, 262
646 29, 622 27, 695
4,925 258, 826 27,819 20, 919 469, 682
6,624 16, 178 482, 584
1,400 10, 679 52, 235 37,909 168, 406 12,025 27, 720 39, 314
3, 560 38, 320 61,818 6,930
200 2, 408 1, 454 4,472 2,080 788
30 951 571 170
600 3,885 1,041 2,025
0 1,446 100
115 1,055 1,188
467 1,393 1,091
0 452 18 38 0