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Storm Warnings—Question

Volume 203: debated on Friday 5 August 1870

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said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Board of Trade, What number of storm warnings have been transmitted by the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society to places on the British and Irish Coasts since last October; what number have been followed by storms; and what number of such warnings have not been followed by storms, and where such failures have occurred?

Sir, in reply to the hon. and gallant Member's Question, I have to state that I have been informed by the Meteorological Committee, that since October in last year 55 storm signals have been transmitted to places on the British and Irish Coasts. With regard to the number of signals followed by storms the hon. and gallant Member seems to have misunderstood the meaning of the signals. In the notices issued with reference to this subject, I find the following:—

"The hoisting of the drum does not imply any prophecy of wind or weather; it is only intended to convey information that there is an atmospherical disturbance somewhere which may possibly reach the place where the signal is hoisted, and the knowledge of which is likely to be of use to the mariners and fishermen of that part of the coast."
In conclusion, I have to state that the Board of Trade are not responsible for those details. The work has been handed over to a committee of most eminent scientific men appointed by the Royal Society, and the Board of Trade exercise no control over their storm signals, any more than over the storms which may follow them.