The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
Oldenhage, H. H.
Climatology of Wisconsin, pp. -128 PDF (3.9 MB)
24HISTOIRY OF WISCONSIN. state, and the lowest 64Q at Bayfield, Lake Superior. During the months of June, July and August, the thermometer often rises as higk as 9oQ, seldom to iool. In 1874 the mercury reached this high point twice at LaCrosse, and three times at Dubuque, Iowa. There are.usually two or three of these "heated terms " during the summer, terminated by abrupt changes of temperature. The isotherm of 7o0 (an isotherm being a line connecting places.having the same mean tem- perature) enters this state from the west. in the northern part of Grant county, touches Madison, takes a southerly direction through Walworth county, passes through southern Michigan, Cleveland, and Pittsburg, reaching the Atlantic ocean a little north of New York city. From this it is seen that southern Wisconsin, southern and central Michigan, northern Ohio, central Pennsylvania, and southern New York have nearly the same summer temperature. Northwestward this line runs through southern Minnesota and along the Missouri to-the foot of the mountains. Eastern Ore- gon, at 470 3o0 north latitude, has the same average summer temperature; the line then returns and touches the Pacific coast at San Diego. The remarkable manner in which so large a body of water as Lake Michigan modifies the temperature has been carefully determined, so far as it relates to Wisconsin, by the late Dr. Lap- ham, of Milwaukee. It is seen by the map that the average summer temperature of Racine is the same as that of St. Paul. The weather map for July, 1875, in the signal service report for 1876, shows that the mean temperature for July was the same in Rock county, in the southern part of the state, as that of Breckenridge, Minn., north of St. Paul. The moderating effect of the lake during hot weather is felt in the adjacent region during both day and night. Countries in the higher latitudes having an extreme summer temperature are usually charac- terized by a small amount of rain-fall. The Mississippi valley, however, is directly exposed in spring and summer to the*warm and moist winds from the south, and as these winds condense their moisture by coming in contact with colder upper currents from the north and west, it has a profusion of rain which deprives the climate largely of its continental features. As already stated, the average amount of rain-fall in Wisconsin is about 30 inches annually. Of this amount about one-eighth is precipitated in winter, three-eighths in summer, and the rest is equally dis- tributed between spring and autumn -.in other words, rain is abundant at the time of the year when it is most needed. In Wisconsin the rainfall is greatest in the southwestern part of the state; the least on and along the shore of Lake Michigan. This shows that the humidity of the air of a given area can be greater, and the rainfall less, than that of some other. In comparison with western Europe, even where the mean temperature is higher than in the Mississippi valley, the most striking fact in the climatic conditions of the United States is the great range of plants of tropical or sub-tropical origin, such as Indian corn, tobacco, etc. The conditions on which the character of the vegetation depends are temperature and moisture, and the mechanical and chemical composition of the-soil. "The basis of this great capacity (the great range of plants) is the high curve of heat and moisture for the summer, and the fact that the measure of heat and of rain are almost or quite tropical for a period in duration from one to five months, in the range from Quebec to the coast of the Gulf." Indian corn attains its full perfection between the summer isotherms 72Q and 770, in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas; but it may be grown up to the line'of 659, which includes the whole of Wisconsin. The successful cultivation of this important staple is due'to the intense heat of summer and a virgin soil rich in nitrogen. While Milwaukee and central Wisconsin have a mean annual temperature of 450, that of southern Ireland and central England is 500; the line of 72", the average temperature for July, runs from Walworth county to St. Paul, while during the same month Ireland and England have a mean temperature of onJy 6o0. In Wisconsin the thermometer rises as high as 9o'q and above, 124
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