The "Volunteer Weatherman"
As a man of many interests, Vail became known throughout the Santa Barbara community as a "volunteer weather man." In his scrapbook of newspaper clippings there are some of his obituaries, one of which alludes to his amateur career as a meteorologist. Vail was a very active member of his community, involved in many public works projects, but one of his most notable contributions was his comprehensive research regarding the local weather and climate. As stated in one obituary (the first clipping on the left), Vail prepared weather statistics for approximately thirty years, including average temperatures, rainfall, and other values.
Included in Vail's collection of newspaper articles is one that details the curious climate of Santa Barbara, which he deems "perpetual spring." In this particular article, Vail explains the distinctions between each season, going on to explain common misconceptions of the Santa Barbara climate. Beyond general considerations of rain, temperature, humidity, and other factors, Vail also goes into the issues of wind and dust, and compares the climate of Santa Barbara to other well-known cities.
This type of analysis of the seasons in Santa Barbara was not uncommon for Vail, and was explored further during various points of his life. He often wrote to the paper regarding changes in weather and comparisons between years. Much like his interest in astronomy and nature, Vail put a significant amount of time and effort into his research of general meteorology, producing numerous articles with thorough investigation of topics like water, rainfall, temperature, and climate.
Most likely taken from a magazine of some sort, the clipping that appears in the whiter paper regarding an inquiry into the climate of Santa Barbara once again exhibits Vail's love of sharing knowledge. This article details the weather of Santa Barbara, using points of references in other cities to relate it to outsiders. His methods of explanation in these articles is a reflection of his roots as a teacher, demonstrating a drive to share knowledge with a wide audience of people, hoping to relate information on an individualized level. His description is thorough and offers many different distinguishing characteristics to give a deeper feel of the area.