Sure, the weather seems wacky these days. Droughts, floods, hurricanes, and heatwaves. But America has had its share of shocking weather events for centuries, and here are some of the most talked about:
1816: The Year Without A Summer
1816 has gone down in history as the “poverty year” and “eighteen hundred and froze-to-death!” Citizens were treated to a backward spring with record late snows (heavy snows fell in New England between June 6th and 11th), and an exceptionally cold summer featuring frosts in July and August. Finally, there was a drought during early fall that culminated in a killing frost well before the end of September. Crop failures were widespread, not only in New England, but also across Canada and Western Europe.
The apparent cause of this wintry anomaly was the eruption of the Tambora Volcano, half a world away in Indonesia in 1815. A tremendous cloud of fine ash and dust was ejected into the stratosphere, where it reduced the heat and light of the sun, causing 40°F temperatures in Georgia in July!
|Ironwood, Michigan Daily Globe – 03/19/1925
The Great Tri-State Tornado of 1925
This out of control monster tore through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, creating what still remains today as the worst U.S. tornado disaster. It didn’t run out of steam for 220 miles, one of the longest paths for any twister. Its fury stretched up to a mile wide as it passed directly through nine towns, killing 695 people, including 234 in Murphysboro, Illinois and 126 in West Frankfort, Illinois. Close to 3,000 homes were flattened. By today’s standards the property damage would be astronomical, but even then it totaled $17 million.
Other horrific weather events:
The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900
|Aftermath of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane
Library of Congress
15 ft. tidal surge
6,000 people lost their lives
3,600 homes destroyed
$30 million in property damage