is a sensitive plant, and at the rude touch of war it had contracted its branches.
The enemy was fast losing his Mediterranean trade, under the operation of high premiums for war risks.
We began now to observe a notable change in the weather, as affected by the winds.
Along the entire length of the American
coast, the clear winds are the west winds, the rainwinds being the east winds.
Here the rule is reversed; the west winds bringing us rains, and the east winds clear weather.
The reason is quite obvious.
The east winds, sweeping over the continent of Europe
, have nearly all of their moisture wrung out of them before they reach the sea; hence the dryness of these winds, when they salute the mariner cruising along the European coasts
Starting now from the European seas
as dry winds, they traverse a large extent of water before they reach the coasts of the United States
During the whole of this travel, these thirsty winds are drinking their fill from the sea, and by the time they reach Portland
, they are heavily laden with moisture, which they now begin to let down again upon the land.
Hence, those long, gloomy, rainy, rheumatic, easterly storms, that prevail along our coast in the fall
The reader has now only to take up the west wind, as it leaves the Pacific Ocean
, as a wet wind, and follow it across the American
continent, and see how dry the mountains wring it before it reaches the Atlantic
, to see why it should bring us fair weather.
The change was very curious to us at first, until we became a little used to it.
Another change was quite remarkable, and that was the great difference in temperature which we experienced with reference to latitude.
Here we were, in midwinter, or near it, off the south coast of Spain
, in latitude 36°, nearly that of Cape Henry
at the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay
, and unless the weather was wet, we had not felt the necessity of a pea-jacket.
Whence this difference?
The cause, or causes, whatever they are, must, of course, be local; for other things being equal, the heat should be the same, on the same parallel of latitude; all around the globe which we inhabit.
Captain Matthew F. Maury
, of the late Confederate States
' Navy, to whom all nations accord, as by common consent, the title of Philosopher