Excerpt from The Philosophical Magazine, 1803, Vol. 17: Comprehending the Various Branches of Science, the Liberal and Fine Arts, Agriculture, Manufactures, and Commerce
At present we can only conjecture that the local detached cirri which ramify in oil directions are collect... ing particles of water from the surrounding space, and at the same time equalizing their own electricity with that of the air or va pour That when numerous oblique short tufts appear, they are conducting between the air above and that below them.
That a decided direction of the extremities of pendent or erected cirri from the mass they join towards any quar ter, is occasioned by the different electricity of a current of air which is pressing upon the space they are contained in from thence. This is the most important point to attend to, as these tails sometimes veer half round the compass in the course of a few hours; and many observations have confirmed the fact that they point towards the coming wind, and are larger and lower as this is about to be stronger.
Lastly, that cirri in parallel lines stretching from horizon to horizon denote a communication of electricity carried on through these clouds over the place of observation; the two predisposing masses of atmosphere being very distant, and tlre intermediate lower atmosphere not in a state to conduct it. It is at least a circumstance well deserving in quiry, by what means the clouds in stormy seasons become arranged in these elevated parallel bars, which must be at least 60 miles long, and are probably much more, considering their elevation, and that both extremities are often invisible.
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