Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/504

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raised, no precipitation of moisture will occur over an area of high barometer.

The simultaneous weather observations conducted by the Government enable us to locate these regions of ascending and descending currents, and long observation has enabled us to predict their probable path across the continent, and it is upon these data that the weather officers base their predictions of future weather. Since these areas regularly travel from west to east, we in California receive much shorter notice of their coming than do the people farther east, and the weather predictions issued from our local bureau are proportionally more liable to error than are those issued from stations beyond the mountains.

And now as to the possibility of producing rain by artificial means. It is never safe to say what things are possible and what things are impossible to man. What the future may bring forth no one can tell. At the present time, however, there is no evidence to show that even the smallest local shower has been produced artificially. Further than that it is safe to say that no method of producing artificial rain has yet been publicly proposed which suggests to one familiar with the scientific principles involved even a possibility of success. That such attempts have received the official recognition and the financial support of Congress is only another evidence of the gross ignorance of scientific principles which is prevalent among our so-called educated men. That some of the men who advocate these wild schemes are honest in their motives can not be questioned, but that all the professional rain-makers are conscienceless fakirs is scarcely more questionable. That many of them are able to submit testimony as to the efficacy of their system is equally true of every patent-medicine fraud and electric-healing quack who has ever swindled an ignorant public. As an illustration of the value of testimony of this kind let me give you a local example.

I will read from the San Francisco Examiner of February 2, 1894:


Highly Successful Experiments of the Visalia Rain-maker.


He selects the Driest Section of Fresno County, where Rain seldom falls, and BY the Use of Chemicals causes Local Downpours on Two Successive Days. Many other Tests made.

Visalia, February 1st.—A week ago Wednesday Frank Baker, of Visalia, an amateur rain-maker, went to Pixley for the purpose of producing rain. Before he left he informed the Examiner correspondent that he intended to produce rain within seven days, and he kept his word. On Tuesday and Wednesday a local rainstorm occurred in the vicinity of Pixley amounting to 0·35 to 0·45 of an inch.