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No. 30: Nov-Dec 1983

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Soil Temperatures Forecast Rainfall Patterns

Dig a hole about 40 inches deep, take the soil temperature at that depth, and you can predict future wet and dry periods months ahead of time. To illustrate, warm spring soils are usually followed by rainy summers; cold soils precede dry summers most of the time. At first, American scientists doubted this Chinese discovery, but their re-search soon proved that the correlation is even stronger in the United States. The best explanation so far is that soil temperatures affect atmospheric convection and modify weather patterns locally.

(Anonymous; "Digging for a Forecast," Science Digest, 91:30, September 1983.)

From Science Frontiers #30, NOV-DEC 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss