Did You Know? One Year There Was Literally No Summer
Have you noticed how strange the weather has been lately? It's almost as though the Coronavirus has jumbled up more than people's health. The weather has been jumbled, too.
We've had a few really nice sunshine-filled days, but we've also had some days where it's snowed, hailed, thundered, and then become sunny all in the span of just a few short hours. However, we probably shouldn't complain about the odd weather we've experienced because it could definitely be worse. It could be as bad as the summer of 1816 was.
1816 was literally a year without a summer and not just in New York and in Pennsylvania. In 1816, summer passed over practically the entire Northern Hemisphere. There was no summer-like weather in any part of North America, Northern Europe, and parts of Asia. Zero. Can you imagine looking forward to summer all through the cold winter months only to have it never arrive?
Temperatures were so cold during the "summer" months of 1816 that widespread crop-killing frosts happened in July and August. So many crops were killed that food shortages became a very real thing and people were so starved that rioting and looting ensued in the United Kingdom and in France.
Sadly, it was also so bitterly cold that many residents of our New England states and the Canadian Maritimes froze to death, starved, or suffered from extreme malnutrition. It wasn't just cold that plagued people though. There was so much snow with totals of over a foot landing in both May and June.
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The northern states weren't the only part of the country crippled by the cold. Southern states were also impacted. As a matter of fact, the highest temperature in all of 1816 was on July 4th, and on that day, it only reached 46 degrees in Savannah, Georgia.
Nobody is really sure what caused such chilly temperatures, but there’s quite a bit of suspicion that a series of volcanic eruptions during the winter of 1815 was partially to blame. When Mt. Tambora in Indonesia erupted, a massive cloud of ash and dust ended up in the stratosphere, where it sat for quite a bit of time. The belief is that the ash actually insulated the earth from the heat and light of the sun and the result was a cooling effect. Scientists also believe that there's also a chance that 1816 was part of a mini ice age that lasted from 1400 to around 1860.