National Geographic : 1899 Jul
METEOROLOGY IN THE PHILIPPINES Acting upon the recommendation made by Dr Doberck, and approved by the Chief of the United States Weather Bureau, the Secretary of Agriculture requested the Secretary of War to pro vide for discontinuing telegraphic typhoon warnings from the Manila observatory to points outside of the Philippine islands. The position taken by the United States authorities was that the Manila observatory was improperly interfering with the British observatory by sending warnings into the territory covered by the observatory at Hongkong, and that warnings of this character should not be sent except upon the request of the British govern ment. They held that as Director of the British meteorological observatory, having supervision over meteorological matters for the British government in China, Dr Doberck would not be justified in sending weather forecasts to Manila, and that such action on his part would, with propriety, be resented by the officials of the Manila observatory. In this position they were strengthened by the relations which have for many years existed between the prominent meteorological services of the world. The United States and Canadian meteorological services never presume to issue forecasts or storm warnings for any part of the territory under the sovereignty of the other, notwithstanding that they have in their possession daily meteorological observa tions from observatories both in the United States and Canada. The British government has a chief observatory at Hongkong and possesses a chain of meteorological observatories extending 1,500 miles northeastward and 800 to 1,000 miles southward, and in addition receives reports from Bolinao, on the island of Luzon. In fact, the director at Hongkong possesses a system of observa tions which is necessary to the issue of forecasts that are worthy the serious attention of mariners. The habit of the Manila ob servatory of issuing storm warnings for Hongkong and the China coast was not only contrary to international usage, but was not justified by the possession of superior facilities for making the forecasts. The relative accuracy or value of the warnings issued by the Hongkong and Manila observatories and the compara tive scientific attainments of the directors of these observatories had, under the conditions presented, no bearing upon the sub ject. Dr Doberck has by years of well-directed work and study established an excellent service and gained an enviable standing as a meteorologist, and is unquestionably entitled to the con sideration and courtesy which usage has accorded to directors of meteorological services.