Characteristic weather phenomena of California : a regional analysis based on aeronautical weather observations
Byers, Horace R.
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During the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1928, the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics maintained an experimental meteorological service for the benefit of air transportation between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The system was designed as a first approach toward a model weather reporting organization for air traffic. Its main feature was the gathering of simultaneous weather observations from about 35 stations in Southern and Central California covering an area of, roughly, 65,000 square miles. The observation hours were 6.30 a.m., 8 a.m., 9.30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12.30 p.m., and 3.30 p.m., 120th meridian time. The regular Weather Bureau observations furnished additional data for 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. A description of the organization has been published by E. H. Bowie. Since the service was organized strictly for the purpose of informing airplane pilots of weather conditions over their routes and not with a view of furnishing a fertile field for meteorological investigations, certain instrumental readings which are important in meteorological research were not provided. Thus humidity observations are lacking, except as subsequently obtained from the few but more thoroughly equipped stations of the U. S. Weather Bureau, the U. S. Navy and the University of California. A series of airplane ascents made at the Naval Air Station at San Diego provided pressure, temperature and relative humidity observations from the upper atmosphere for part of the period investigated. Three pilot balloon stations were established by the Fund to supplement those of the Government, so that ample free air wind data are available. Non-professional part-time observers were employed at most of the stations. For this reason, inaccuracies are likely to have lessened the value of the reports. These errors occurred chiefly in the determination of cloud forms. When the uncertainties of cloud classification and the diffculties it presents even to the trained meteorologist are fully appreciated, the errors in these observations are not surprising. It is the opinion of the authors that the cloud forms herein recorded are for all practical purposes correct. During the year in which this service was conducted by the Fund, some interesting data were collected to add to the knowledge of meteorological conditions in California. This applies particularly to the movement of fronts and the development, distribution and dissipation of the persistent and frequent fogs in the area. Some of these results will be presented below.
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