Use of the Barometer
Changes in air pressure are very closely connected with changes in the weather. The barometer does not directly foretell the weather, but a low or falling pressure, accompanied by a simultaneous fall of the mercury, usually precedes foul weather, while a rising pressure, accompanied by a simultaneous rise in the mercury, usually precedes fair weather. The barometer is not an infallible prophet, but it is of great assistance in predicting the general trend of the weather. There are certain changes in the barometer which follow no known laws, and which allow of no safe predictions, but on the other hand, general future conditions for a few days ahead can be fairly accurately determined. Figure shows a barograph or self-registering barometer which automatically registers air pressure.
Seaport towns in particular, but all cities, large or small, and villages too, are on request notified by the United States Weather Bureau ten hours or more in advance, of probable weather conditions, and in this way precautions are taken which annually save millions of dollars and hundreds of lives.
I recollect a summer spent on a New Hampshire farm, and know that an old farmer started his farm hands haying by moonlight at two o'clock in the morning, because the Special Farmer's Weather Forecast of the preceding evening had predicted rain for the following day. His reliance on the weather report was not misplaced, since the storm came with full force at noon. Sailing vessels, yachts, and fishing dories remain within reach of port if the barometer foretells storms.
FIG. - Barograph.