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Meteorological Register during the month of Taking the state of the Thermometer for the five years from January in each of the Years 1847-1851
JANUARY in Australia corresponds to July in Great Britain.
1847 to 1851 inclusive, its mean height for January is 67 94d. ; being in excess over the mean of the other months, for six years, by 9d. nearly. During this month, the horizon at morning and evening is frequently covered by a dense haze, which, the wind being light and from the northward, is commonly considered as indicative of very warm weather. The Thermometer corroborates this opinion: thus, in 1848, on the 13th January, the warmest day in that month, the wind being N.N.E. and E.N.E,, there was a very dense haze on the horizon all round, but it was clear elsewhere; towards noon, stormy looking cumuli were spreading from N.W. The evening became overcast, the wind subsiding, there was much lightning in the S.W. About midnight, there was a heavy thunderstorm, accompanied by short showers, the wind veering round fresh to W.S.W. So in the hottest day of January (22nd), 1849, when the Thermometer showed 100d. in the shade, the wind N.E. and N.N.W. there was also a haze on the horizon, a sultry atmosphere, and burning sun, which at setting was embedded in heavy cumuli; the wind then decreased, but early on the following morning it veered round to the S.W., and blew in furious squalls. So also on 21st January, 1851, when the Thermometer stood at 102d. in the shade, the wind being N.E., veering to E.; there were no clouds, but a thick haze on the horizon; the wind was very hot and variable; at 9 P.M., it came up from the S., and the night became fine.
New Zealand Charter proclaimed, 1841.
CIRCUMCISION. New Year's Day.
[from 5s. to 12s. per acre, 1839.
21. Regulations promulgated for the sale of Lands in Port Phillip, 1841. Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages Bill passed in Victoria, 1853. Wheat in store at Sydney at 12s., barley 9s. per bushel, meat 9d. per lb., 1810. 22. Foundation stone laid of the first Scotch Church in Melbourne, 1841.
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY.
[for 1 year, 1852. 28. Act passed in S. Australia, making ingot gold a legal tender at 71s. per oz., First play performed at Sydney, and the cash-box stolen, 1796. An earthquake at Sydney, 1800.
Port Phillip divided into fourteen Police Districts, 1850.
The Victoria Electoral Act amended, increasing the number of M. L. C.'s., 1853.
THIRD SUNDAY AFT. EPIPHANY. First Steamship arrived at Wellington, 1846.
The Western Market, Melbourne, destroyed by fire, 1853.
La Perouse anchored in Botany Bay, 1788.
CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL. Univ. of Melbourne Endow. Act assented to, 1853.
28. The Towns' Police Act Amendment Bill passed in Victoria, 1853.
FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY.
First Governor of New Zealand arrived, 1840.
Tu 23. Holders of Town Grants in N, S. W. permitted to redeem quit-rents, 1844. 31 W Port P. abandoned, 1804. Mass of Gold, 134lbs. 11oz., found at Ballaarat, 1853.
JANUARY is said to derive its name from Janus, a deity represented by the Romans with two faces, looking at the past and future. He was the god of gates and avenues, and is shewn with a key in his right hand and a rod in his left, to symbolize his opening and ruling the year. Sometimes he bore the number 300 in one hand and 65 in the other, the number of its days. At other times he was represented with four heads, and placed in a temple of four equal sides, with a door and three windows in each side, as emblems of the four seasons and the twelve months over which he presided. January is one of the coldest months in Great Britain; but one of the hottest in Victoria.
The table of "Meridian Transits" is useful for ascertaining, with the table of semi-diurnal arcs, when any of the planets rise or set in Victoria. Rule.-Find the declination in the table for the month, as above, opposite the planet's name. Find also the same declination, or the nearest to it, in the "Table of Semi-diurnal Arcs" (for which see page 3), where on the same line will be found the time in hours and minutes, which, taken from the Meridian Transit as given above, leaves the time of rising; and if added to the same, gives the time of setting. N.B. In finding the rising, if the transit time be less than the semi-diurnal arc, add twelve hours to the transit time before subtracting the semi-diurnal arc.
Meteorological Register during the month of February, in each of the Years 1846-1851 inclusive.
FEBRUARY is the driest month in Victoria; it is also one of the hottest. During 71 months, the average height of the Thermometer in shade, taken at 8 A M., 2 P.M., sunset, and at 9 P.M., during this month was, 67.31d., but the average of the whole 71 months was only 58 92d.'; the Thermometer in February is therefore 8 39d. higher than the mean average of the whole period. The greatest height observed in the shade was on 6th February, 1831, when it showed 110d. at 3 P M., while the Barometer was 29-59 inches, and the Wet Thermometer 88d. The day is known as "Black Thursday," in consequence of the serious loss of life and property occasioned by the extensive bush fires which simultaneously burst forth on that day in many parts of Port Phillip. The wind at Melbourne was N.N.W. In the early part of the day it was light and fresh, but became very strong and hot from 10 A.M. till 4 P.M There was a thick lurid haze over the sky all day, yet the sun was visible except occasionally for a minute or two. At 3 P.M., when the heat was greatest, the haze was so intense that the sun could be looked at through an unshaded 48-inch Astronomical Telescope, with a power of upwards of 50. The disk appeared of a deep crimson, and several well-defined spots were seen, the largest being towards the centre. They had been observed some days before, and were also visible several days after. The wind shifted suddenly at 8h. 15m. P.M. to S.; a light breeze and the night fine. The Thermometer appears, per register, to have been lowest during this month on the 21st, in 1849, at 9 PM., when it stood at 50d., having fallen 5d. from sunset. With regard to the dryness of the month, the average fall in February, for six consecutive years, has only been 0·953 of an inch. The greatest fall of rain in February, in any one year, was in 1846, viz., 167 inches, of which 14 inches fell on the 2nd alone.
Inches. Degrees. Degrees. Inches. 1846 29.849 66.65 65 67 1.67 1847 29.879 68.87 68.10 0.97 1848 29.961 67.14 66.68 0.03 1849 29.921 65.09 1.03 1.37 0.65
Th Annular Eclipse seen at Melbourne, 1851. First Coroner appointed, 1841.
SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY. 1, Nelson, in New Zealand, founded, 1842.
8. The first resident Judge (John W. Willis, Esq.) app. for Port Phillip, 1841.
The Savings' Bank and Melbourne Incor. Act Amend. Bills assented to, 1853.
Mr. Hargraves discovered gold in New South Wales, 1851.
Great Anti-Transportation Tea Meeting held in St. Patrick's Hall, Melb., 1851.
QUINQUAGESIMA, SHROVE SUNDAY.
18. Pub. Meeting in Melb. to relieve sufferers by fires of 'Black Thursday,' 1851.
QUADRAGESIMA. FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT.
27. Steamer West Wind burned in Hobson's Bay, 1854.
17. Pensioners arr. from Hobart Town as Police for Mt. Alex. Diggings, 1852. First Supreme Court opened at Auckland, New Zealand, 1842.
FEBRUARY is named from the Februa or Feralia, sacrifices offered to the manes of the gods by the Romans, at this season. Numa, the second King of the Romans, placed it the second in the year, as it remains with us, and dedicated it to Neptune, the Lord of Waters. Verstegan states, "that the Saxons called February sprout kele, by kele meaning the kele-wurt, which we now call the cole-wurt; the greatest pot-wurt in time long past that our ancestors used, and the broth made therewith was therefore also called kele; and as this kele-wurt was the chief winter-wurt for the sustenance of the husbandman, so was it the first herb that in this month began to yield out wholesome young sprouts, and consequently gave thereunto the name of sprout kele."
The Saxons also called it "Solmonath," which, as explained by Bede, according to Spelman, is pan-cake month," because cakes were therein offered, by our Pagan forefathers, to the Sun; and "Sol," or "Soul," signified food or cakes.
NEW MOON.-This occurs at the instant when the Sun and Moon have the same right ascension. They are then said to be in conjunction in R. A. At this time the illuminated disc of the Moon being turned entirely from the Earth, we cannot see the Moon at the instant its centre ascends, or passes to the eastward of the centre of the Sun, excepting when there is an Eclipse of the Sun; in which case, the Moon appears to pass over a part or the whole of the Sun's disc. It is no uncommon occurrence in Victoria to see the New Moon before it is thirty hours old,-a proof of the clearness of our atmosphere.
Note. In the column of Moonlight, from New to Full Moon, the time given is that which elapses between the setting of the Sun and Moon; but from Full to New Moon, the time given is that which elapses between the rising of the Moon and Sun.