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Author Topic: Need historical information on Barometers, Baker Island  (Read 1046 times)

Randy Jacobson

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Need historical information on Barometers, Baker Island
« on: July 16, 2020, 05:17:37 PM »

Back in 1935 (how well I remember that year!), the US began colonization of Howland, Baker, and Jarvis Islands.  The logs of the colonists makes for interesting reading, which I hope to compile into a book sometime soon.

However, the first log from Baker Island were almost entirely meteorological.  The puzzling thing is that barometric pressure was reported consistently as 25.50 plus or minus 0.10.  Usual barometric pressure is around 30 inches of mercury.  My question is: were there other barometers that used different materials that would read 25.5?  They never state inches, feet, or Pascals, so I have no idea what the units were, except that they most likely were in inches. 
Could the measurements be at a high altitude using balloons?  No mention of balloons during this time, but on Howland, they were concerned that bulbs used in making measurements could not be found (eventually they were found and used).

The instruments were provided by the US Navy, Coast Guard, or Army from Hawaii if that helps any. 
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Ricker H Jones

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Re: Need historical information on Barometers, Baker Island
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2020, 07:33:16 PM »

Could it be possible that they were using an altimeter gauge set at 29.92 and reporting the indicated elevation of the island?
Ric
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Randy Jacobson

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Re: Need historical information on Barometers, Baker Island
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2020, 07:51:20 PM »

The island is only 20 feet above sea level.
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Randy Jacobson

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Re: Need historical information on Barometers, Baker Island
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2020, 05:21:56 PM »

While reading the daily log from Jarvis Island, they reported a barometric pressure of 29.80, which is very reasonable and expected.  They were using identical weather instruments to Baker Island.  It appears that either the instrument was faulty or the person who transcribed hand-written log entries consistently mis-read the leading number.

Problem solved.  Thanks.
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