easily account for the fact of a less intensity of frost occurring in severe winters, in the localities above mentioned, than in the kindred vales of Cross, Mark, Bridgewater, &c. although lower down the Channel, and nearer the Ocean, but destitute of such a barrier against the winter sea-breezes as that above described.
The same observations, as to temperature, will hold good with regard to the Welch or northern side of the Bristol Channel, where the advantage of a southern exposure is more than counterbalanced by the want, generally, of the protective barrier of low hills along the water's edge, and still more by the vicinity of high mountains, often covered with snow in winter, and at all times environed with an atmosphere of reduced temperature, the influence of which must be sensibly felt in the vales and low grounds adjoining.
The geographical position of Bristol is not less favourable than its locality, to the mildness of its climate. At the extremity of a narrow bay or inlet of a hundred miles in length, it participates of the equalizing influence of the ocean on its superincumbent atmosphere, and is comparatively exempt from the storms and tempests to which the more projecting coast of the English Channel is obnoxious, as well as from the humidity which characterises the south coasts of Devonshire and Cornwall; the latter being more advanced into the ocean, and surmounted every where by lofty mountainous ridges, attract and condense the clouds, surcharged with moisture, as they roll in from the Atlantic; and thus a smaller
- See Kirwan on Temperature.