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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:
|Clear liquid||Bright and clear weather|
|Cloudy liquid||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||Windy weather|
|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.
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