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STORM-WARNİNG DISPLAY STATIONS.
Fifteen storm-warning display stations were established at points on the sea and lake coasts during the year, and six were discontinued. Arrangements have been made to begin the display of storm warnings at Seddon Island—Tampa (Fla.) section as soon as a tower can be erected. As is usual, the display of warnings on the lakes was discontinued for the winter on December 6 and resumed April 10. Inspection trips were made to 124 storm-warning stations.
The following statement gives the number of stations, arranged under district centers, receiving storm warnings:
STATION MAPS AND BULLETINS.
The policy of discontinuing the station weather maps wherever the newspapers would publish the commercial maps, adopted in 1910, was continued during the past year, and has resulted in the maps being published at 74 places in 132 newspapers having a total daily circulation of 2,898,000. At first there was some opposition to the commercial map, but this gradually subsided as the vast enlargement of the service thus rendered through the newspapers came to be recognized. A few comparisons of the distribution obtained through the press with that possible through the maps issued at the stations are sufficiently convincing on this point. New York issues daily 1,013 weather maps as compared to 191,000 commercial maps; Chicago, daily weather maps 1,171, commercial maps 507,449; Philadelphia, daily weather maps 375, commercial maps 140,000. While the publication of the commercial maps has been substituted at 54 stations, the daily weather maps are still printed at 58 stations, the total daily issue being 15,000.
Daily weather bulletins (Form No. 1038) were published at 9 stations, the daily issue being 467.
Glass weather maps are changed daily at 42 stations, having a total number of 53 maps. These maps are displayed at boards of trade, cotton exchanges, maritime exchanges, at the stations proper, in the Washington Terminal Railroad Station, and in the Senate and the House of Representatives, in Washington, D. C.
The field covered by this section of the bureau's activities includes the meteorological work of the principal oceans of the world and of the Great Lakes of the United States, the supervision of the wireless telegraph weather service, and the work of the vessel-reporting service.
The meteorological work consists in the collection, compilation, and study of ocean and lake meteorological data, and the publication and distribution of the data thus obtained, by means of the marine meteorological charts of the Weather Bureau, which are distributed to mariners, maritime exchanges, and meteorological institutions throughout the world. The meteorological information collected in this manner is also furnished to the Hydrographic Office of the Navy Department, and forms the essential features of the Pilot Charts published and distributed by that office.
The publication of a series of monthly charts for the Indian Ocean and the Great Lakes will be completed with the issue for December, 1911, and with the others will constitute the first complete set of meteorological charts covering the principal oceans of the world and the Great Lakes of the United States.
The charts for the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Indian Oceans and for the Great Lakes are published monthly, and those for the South Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans quarterly. They are mailed 40 days in advance of the month or quarter for which the chart is an issue.
The North Atlantic charts contain on their face the normals of pressure and temperature; tables for reducing barometer observations for comparison with data on the charts; wind roses, with percentages of gales and calms for each 5-degree square of latitude and longitude; storm tracks of recent years; fog areas and percentages of days with fog; trade-wind limits; sailing routes; magnetic-variation lines; location of wireless-telegraph stations; tables of equator crossings; a statement of the average conditions of wind and weather; storm-warning signals of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Holland, France, and Portugal; and the United States submarine distinguishing and warning flags. On the reverse side appear as regular features articles on the temperatures of the air and the water surface, and charts of the currents of the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans. Special articles have been printed on West Indian Hurricanes, Waterspouts, Cyclones and Anticyclones, Weather Lore of the Sea, Fog and Fog Signals, and Ocean Currents.
The South Atlantic charts contain much the same gener information as that appearing on the charts for the North Atlantic Ocean, slight modifications, such as the omission of fog areas and the addition of storm-warning signals for ports on the Indian coast, being the chief differing features. The same general similarity and minor differences are found in the charts for the North Pacific, South Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
The fog areas and the percentage of days with fog, as now shown on the charts for the North Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Great Lakes, have been pronounced particularly valuable features by those using the charts. "Mr. H. C. Thomson, engineer in charge of the survey for a short-line railway and steamship route to Europe, states that the fog data for the North Atlantic chart as revised by the bureau have been an invaluable aid to his project. He has interested himself in an endeavor to secure fog data from Canadian lighthouses for incorporation in an article to be published on fog of the North Atlantic Ocean. The English Meteorological Office, on its chart of the North Atlantic, continues to make use of the fog data and shading published by the Weather Bureau.
A chart has been prepared, and will be published at an early date, showing the average direction and rate of movement of storm centers in each 23-degree square of latitude and longitude in West Indian and Gulf waters.
The charts for the Great Lakes were begun with the January number of this year. They contain on their face normals of pressure and temperature; barometer reduction tables; wind roses; storm tracks; fog areas and percentages of days with fog; arrows showing direction of lake currents; magnetic variation lines; location of wireless-telegraph stations; a statement of the average conditions of wind and weather; percentages of days with rain, snow, fog, gales, and calms at lake stations; dates of opening and closing of ports on account of ice; wind-barometer indications for the Great Lakes; storm-warning signals of the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, and Canada; a table of verifying wind velocities at Weather Bureau stations; and the United States submarine distinguishing and warning flags.' The reverse side presents monthly tables of wind velocities; seasonal tables of snow and ice; lists of lake wireless-telegraph stations, with call letters for each; and lists of submarine signal-bell stations, with code.
As evidence of the general appreciation in which the charts are held, the following are quoted from letters received during the year:
From the American consul at Dundee, Scotland: I take this opportunity to say that recently the captain of one of the Clan liners, then in this port, called at this office on receiving a letter sending him a supply of these weather-report forms and ocean charts, when he expressed his thanks to the American Government for the courtesy in supplying these charts, and desired to say how much they were appreciated by British shipmasters, at the same time speaking in terms of the highest commendation of the system adopted for collecting materials for keeping the charts fully up to date, to which he would give his cordial cooperation.
From Capt. T. W. Pickard, of the British S. S. Ningpo:
I am of the opinion that your publications are of extreme value to seafarers generally, and I think that we should all cooperate with you in the good work.
MISCELLANEOUS PUBLICATIONS. Additions have been made to the useful information contained in the calendars for the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and these have been distributed to all cooperating officials. The large chart, formerly issued, showing the classification of clouds, has been put in book form, making it more convenient for use and increasing its durability. It contains full descriptive matter and illustrative plates, with view to ajding observers in the identification of the several cloud forms according to the International System of Classification. A new and enlarged edition of the Instructions to Marine Meteorological Observers, with a complete index, was issued during the year. The form used in reporting observations has been remodeled into a more light, compact, and convenient form. Its reduction in bulk will also effect a saving in postage.
COLLECTION OF METEOROLOGICAL DATA. The weather reports from vessels are mailed to the Washington office by the observers or are forwarded through the local offices of the Weather Bureau. In foreign ports they are usually forwarded through the American consular offices. The American consuls at 154 of the principal foreign ports have assisted the bureau in the collection of marine meteorological data from vessels and in the distribution of meteorological forms, charts, and pamphlets. During the year, 2,416 cooperating observers forwarded 10,669 books of weather reports.
The Weather Bureau maintains marine centers at its principal seacoast and lake stations, and an official at the center visits vessels in the harbor for the purpose of comparing barometers, securing observers, and collecting marine meteorological observations. Officers and observers of cooperating vessels visit the offices of marine centers for information, comparison of instruments, and supplies of meteorological charts and forms. These offices are equipped with standard instruments, marine instrument shelters, textbooks, and other accessories to this work. Assistants are assigned to special duty at New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Seattle in connection with this work. The official at Seattle has supervision of the meteorological work of all vessels entering Puget Sound.
The bureau is indebted to the Weather Bureau of the Philippine Islands and to the Hongkong Observatory for storm tracks of the western portion of the North Pacific Ocean; and to Prof. Froc, of the Zi-ka-wei Observatory (Père H. Gauthier, compiler), for approximate tracks of storms of the middle and high latitudes of that ocean. Other valuable data have been contributed by the Indian Meteorological Department; the Australian Meteorological Service; the Meteorological Office, London, England; the Meteorological Service of Canada; and the Deutsche Seewarte, Germany.
WIRELESS TELEGRAPH SERVICE.
San Francisco received 206 and Portland, Oreg., 244 wireless reports of observations during the year. These messages are sent and received without expense to the bureau through the courtesy of the vessel captains, the United Wireless Telegraph Co., and the naval wireless stations. Many of these reports are received at Katalla or Cordova, Alaska, and forwarded by the Signal Corps cable free of cost.
It is expected that the number of observations reported by wireless telegraph will be increased during the coming year as a result of the regulations, effective July 1, 1911, requiring all vessels of a certain class to be equipped with sufficient apparatus for radiocommunication.
The Weather Bureau stations at Block Island, Cape Henry, Sand Key, Southeast Farallon Island, Point Reyes Light, North Head, Port Crescent, and Tatoosh Island, in addition to their meteorological work, are required to report all passing vessels, wrecks, marine disasters, and casualties, and to transmit communications between masters, owners, underwriters, and others interested. A total of 28,098 vessels were reported and notice of 47 casualties was given during the year.
The stations at Cape Henry, Sand Key, Southeast Farallon Island, Point Reyes Light, North Head, and řatoosh Island are equipped for day signaling by international code, and are prepared to transmit messages by telegraph. Cape Henry and Sand Key are also equipped for night communications by flashlight (Morse code). An acetylene plant for this purpose was installed at Cape Henry during the year.
The station at Jupiter was closed as a vessel-reporting station on April 20, 1911.
Cape Henry uses the telephone and telegraph in reporting to Norfolk and Newport News. A list of vessels passing that station is sent daily to the Norfolk press and the New York Maritime Exchange. All naval vessels are reported to Norfolk and in some cases to the Navy Department at Washington. The Maryland and Virginia pilot associations cooperate with this station, and such vessels as do not burn night signals or can not be seen on account of fog are reported each morning by the pilot boats. A time flag is dropped daily at noon for the benefit of the pilot boats and other vessels in the offing.
When the wireless telegraph regulations become effective, an effort will be made to have the captains and operators on all approach