button to main menu  Clarke's Survey of the Lakes, 1787

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page xl:-
similar to that which is experienced by the inhabitants of the Malabar and Coromandel coasts, occasioned by the mountain range that is extended from Cape Comorin along the Peninsula of Indus: For what are called Shedding-Winds generally blow on the contrary sides of this mountain from opposite quarters; also the rains which come from the Atlantic, and those which drive from the German Ocean, seldom extend with any great power beyond its summits, being sometimes entirely spent and exhausted upon them: so that Northumberland, and the corresponding parts of Cumberland, however similar in many respects, may in this be considered as different climates.
Upon the upper part of this lofty ridge there often rests, in dry and sunny weather, a prodigious wreath of clouds, involving in its whole extent, and reaching sometimes more and sometimes less than half way from its summit to its base; at this time, the other mountains in different quarters are for the most part clear of mist, nor are there any signs of rain. This mighty collection of vapour exhibits an appearance uncommonly grand and solemn; whether we regard its different shades descending from that gleaming whiteness with which the sun tinges the volumes of its upper surface, to that indiscriminate gloominess which to the distant spectator renders the plains beneath almost invisible; or the tranquillity which it preserves amidst the commotion issuing from it, and the currents of air which must be supposed to prevail in the higher regions of the atmosphere. Or, again, if we consider its vast bulk, which notwithstanding still represents the form of the mountain (corresponding with its elevations and depressions) so that the boldest head of Cross-fell, which is somewhat to the northward of the middle part of its range, is still distinguishable even in its Helm; for such is the name of that heap of vapour from which the wind of which we are treating issues. When this heap first gathers upon the hill, there is seen above it a black streak of cloud continually flying off, and continually fed from the white one, which is the real Helm: this is called the Helm-bar, from its being supposed to bar or obstruct the winds that burst forth upon the vallies beneath as soon as it wholly vanishes: its direction is parallel to that of the white cloud, and it seems in continual motion, as if boiling, or at least agitated by a violent wind; and indeed the wind which really does follow its removal is sometimes prodigious violent, varying with respect to the extent of territory which it affects, in proportion to the force and direction of what I shall here call the Real Winds. Sometimes when these are its direct antagonists, and in full force, it does not reach further than two or three miles; nor do I know, that, even without such impediment, it ever extends further than thirteen or fourteen; being interrupted in its progress by the vis inertiae of the air at large, or by some cause arising from the impulse of contrary currents. However, though it always bears a certain proportion to the force and direction of the real winds, its own intrinsic force is not always equal, nor is it found so, even at the foot of the hill; where, on account of the shortness of its course, the action of contrary currents, or the resistance of the air, cannot be supposed to have had any material effect in changing the degree of its power, or of interrupting its progress. It may however be remembered as a truth, that, near the base of the mountain, it is at times excessively strong, bearing almost every thing before it, though at a distances of a few miles it is not felt at all.
Such is the Helm-Wind generated in that enormous cloud, which, like a helmet covers the summit of Cross-fell. It is here particularly favoured by circumstances; for on one side there is a plain of above thirty miles in breadth in some places, and on the other no hills to rival that from whence it comes. This wind is not much taken notice of in natural history; yet the Dutch, by the iron chains with which they are obliged to moor their ships at the Cape of Good-Hope, bear ample testimony to the fury of such an one. It hath been met with by late voyagers in the South-seas; it is said to have been felt in the Straits of Gibraltar; and I doubt not but mariners and travellers have found it in many other places, though they may not have observed it with care, or may have given it different names. I apprehend that the land-breeze in the West Indies, though less violent and more regular, is similar to it; and I doubt not but there may be a helm-wind from almost every hill covered with a cloud in certain kinds
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