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Rainfall on the Western Front - July/August 1917

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The Popular Idea that the Bombardment on the Western Front brings about Rainfall, Examined. Days of Rain

The theory that the concussions in the air due to the intense bombardment on the Western front induce rainfall is one which is indulged in by many. It is an interesting explanation, but the oscillations of rainfall as shown by the above chart should give such people pause. The deviation from average month by month and year by year is so considerable that one is bound to entertain with reserve any bombardment theory, although it is held that the presence of dust might prove a local cause of precipitation under favourable circumstances. The above chart shows a great rainfall in the month of June, 1903, but there was no great war causing vibrations of the atmosphere at that time. The figures for each month are given under each black column, and the total for the year is also given.

Our High Command enjoys the opportunity of using meteorological knowledge which is denied to our foes. Our stations and ships gather exclusive knowledge of weather conditions in far westerly regions from which it is possible to forecast the weather as affected by a very great ocean area. All weather conditions passing directly from the south-west towards the Western front are, of course, known to us and to our High Command, who thus enjoy a marked advantage, and know for a very considerable range of possibility what to expect. The weather of the past wet period has not come directly from this ocean area, but from the north-east. The angry, heavily-laden clouds which gathered at the end of July and continued to choke aerial observation work for many days came towards our lines from over enemy territory. The table of dates given on this page would seem to show that the rain storm was gathering some days before the actual advance. In what ultimate cauldron the storm was brewed it is difficult to say, but the annexed diagram will indicate the broad lines of the situation.

Attached two pages from:-

The Sphere - Saturday 11 August 1917

Image © Illustrated London News Group



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