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causes earthquakes; in the clouds, when they are in a process of

change and contract and condense into water, it is ejected and

causes thunder and lightning and the other phenomena of the same


So much for thunder and lightning.

Book III


LET us explain the remaining operations of this secretion in the

same way as we have treated the rest. When this exhalation is secreted

in small and scattered quantities and frequently, and is transitory,

and its constitution rare, it gives rise to thunder and lightning. But

if it is secreted in a body and is denser, that is, less rare, we

get a hurricane. The fact that it issues in body explains its

violence: it is due to the rapidity of the secretion. Now when this

secretion issues in a great and continuous current the result

corresponds to what we get when the opposite development takes place

and rain and a quantity of water are produced. As far as the matter

from which they are developed goes both sets of phenomena are the

same. As soon as a stimulus to the development of either

potentiality appears, that of which there is the greater quantity

present in the cloud is at once secreted from it, and there results

either rain, or, if the other exhalation prevails, a hurricane.

Sometimes the exhalation in the cloud, when it is being secreted,

collides with another under circumstances like those found when a wind

is forced from an open into a narrow space in a gateway or a road.

It often happens in such cases that the first part of the moving

body is deflected because of the resistance due either to the

narrowness or to a contrary current, and so the wind forms a circle

and eddy. It is prevented from advancing in a straight line: at the

same time it is pushed on from behind; so it is compelled to move

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