25 JULY 1931, Page 12


A number of queer phenomena, that have not found their way into print, were associated with the queer downpours and " cloud-bursts " of last week. In Oxford, for example, immediately after—not before—the heaviest rain, an immense spout of what looked like vapour shot up into the air, appar- ently from the base of a black cloud. It resembled a true water spout in some respects, but apparently did not arise from lake or river and suggested steam rather than.solid water. One of the observers said " It looked as if the cloud kettle had suddenly boiled and shot out a jet of steam from the spout." In some of the clay soils the deep ponds drowned an astounding number of worms. They lay in scores on the surface when the water drained away, and the fertility of the ground will suffer from the:r absence. The same water drove moles into fiesh quarters, in one case a garden where they wrought no little havoc.