The Storm Glass Barometer came into general use in the early 1700s. Sailors attached this instrument to the masts of their ships and by interpretation of the constantly changing crystal formations, relied upon it to forecast good weather and foreboding conditions at sea.
Admiral Robert Fitzroy (1805-1865), as commander of the HMS Beagle, participated in Charles Darwin's expedition (1834-1836) and conducted a detailed study of this instrument. He refined the chemical formulation and published the following observational guidelines:
How to read:
||Bright and clear weather
||Cloudy, possible thunderstorms & rain
|Small dots in the liquid
||Humid or foggy weather
|Large flaky crystals
||Cloudy skies, snow in winter
|Threads of crystals at the top
|Crystals at the bottom
||Frost may be coming
How the storm glass really works is a mystery, but it is believed that electromagnetic changes in weather patterns activate the crystals inside.
- When you first receive this weather station, it will be in a state of disruption and may take a week or more to settle. The liquid inside the glass should start as a clear liquid. If it is not clear, gently shake the glass to redistribute the crystals into the solution liquid.
- Once the liquid has turned clear, place in an area of your home that is not subject to sudden temperature changes. Do not subject to direct sunlight or place near to any heating or cooling vents.
- It may be necessary to test different locations in your home to find the area of optimal operation of the weather station.
- Gradually, as the temperature of the weather station starts to stabilise to room temperature, the liquid will start to turn white and crystals will appear. Leave the glass undisturbed, and over the course of a week or so, you will begin to notice changes to the state of the liquid, which you can then match the descriptions listed above.
- It may be necessary to reset the weather station two to three times a year. To do this, gently shake the glass to redistribute the crystals, then leave to stand, undisturbed.