CLIMATE CHANGE: UNITED STATES NOTICES OF REMARKABLY COLD WINTERS

Thomas Paine quotes taxes

Thomas Paine explains why there is now a great push for the Climate Change agenda and Carbon taxes (Click to enlarge)

 United States The “Real” Blizzard of 1888

Cold Winters in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and area, previous to 1790

Cold and Stormy Winters in Europe From A.D. 202 – 1841

History of Climate Change Hysteria and Fear Mongering

Weird Weather in the United States evidence of Climate Change?

I am adding these accounts from history, in light of the Climate Change and Global Warming Fear-Mongering and Hysteria by all the Democrats and leftist ideologues in the United States and elsewhere. Here are some stats from much earlier than the Climate Change computer models take into account, since the computer models and the so-called “experts” only use data from the last 100 years.

“We have had such a winter here as is not on record. The mercury was 18 1/2° below freezing on Reaumur’s scale, and I think it was nearly two months varying between that and zero. It gave occasion for a display of the benevolent character of this nation, which, great as I had thought it, went beyond my expectations. There seems to be a very general apprehension of the want of bread this spring. Supplies are hoped from our country, and indeed they have already reduced the price of flour at Bordeaux from 361 to 331 the barrel.”Thomas Jefferson to Count De Moustier. (Paris, March 1789)

 

It is so cold that the ink freezes in my pen, so that my letter will scarcely be legible. * * * In the winter of 1779-80, the mercury in Fahrenheit’s thermometer fell at Williamsburg once to six degrees above zero. In 1783-84, I was at Annapolis without a thermometer, and I do not know that there was one in that State; I heard from Virginia, that the mercury was again down to six degrees. In 1789-90, I was at Paris. The mercury here was as low as eighteen degrees below zero, of Fahrenheit. These have been the most remarkable cold winters ever known [by Europeans] in America. We are told however, that in 1762, at Philadelphia, it was twenty-two degrees below zero; in December. 1793, it was three degrees below zero there by my thermometer. On the 31st of January, 1796, it was one and three-fourth degrees above zero at Monticello. I shall, therefore, have to change the maximum of our cold, if ever I revise the Notes on Virginia; as six degrees above zero was the greatest which had ever been observed.—Thomas Jefferson to Mr. Volne; Jan., 1797

Notices of Remarkably Cold Winters in the United States Years 1717-1864: Defeating the Myth of Global Warming and Climate Change. Man Made Climate Change‬ is a Man Made Myth started by Charlatan’s to fool man-made fools into giving up their lifestyles, freedoms & money to Con men.

Great Plains Blizzard of 1948-49 Livestock froze on the hoof where they stood, and snow didn’t melt until June.

The winter of 1835 – 6, had, according to some, in the Eastern and Middle States, been one of the longest and severest of which we have any knowledge. There was a considerable fall of snow on the 23d of November; and from that time the sleighing continued in the vicinity of Boston, without being, at any time, entirely interrupted, till about the last of March; and in the interior of New England till the middle and in some parts till the last of April, or often later; nor did the snow in and about Boston entirely disappear till the 1st of May. The quantity of snow was very great; in some parts of the country it was four, and even five feet deep on a level.

See also: History of Climate Change Hysteria and Fear Mongering
Benjamin Franklin Concerning Record Snows in Pennsylvania

The quantity of snow was doubtless greater during the past winter, than it has been in any other winter since the year 1780. Persons who recollect the winter of 1779 – 80, represent not only the quantity of snow to have then been greater, but the cold also to have been more severe, than during the past winter. At that time accurate registers of the thermometer were so rare, that we have not the means of making a satisfactory comparison. In the vicinity of Boston, the number of days in which the thermometer fell to zero or below, was greater during the past winter than during any other winter of which we possess accurate thermometrical observations. The observations of Dr. Holyoke at Salem (which will be found noticed in the following pages, 174 and 175.) were commenced in 1786. Previous to that time thermometrical observations in this country were comparatively rare.

TempSwings

Notices are here given of some of the most remarkable winters for snow and cold, that have been known since the settlement of this country.

Notice of the “Great Snow” of February, 1717.

This snow storm is thus spoken of in the 5th volume of the First Series of the Mass. Hist. Coll. p. 209: —”In the ‘Boston News-Letter,’ there is an account of the snow which fell in Feb. 1717, commonly called the great snow, as it exceeded any ever known before or since.”

The “Boston News-Letter” of Feb. 26th, 1717, says: — “Besides several snows, we had a great one on Monday the 18th current; and, on Wednesday the 20th, it began to snow about noon, and continued snowing till Friday the 2?d, so that the snow lies in some parts of the streets about six feet high. The extremity of the weather has hindered all the three posts from coming in; neither can they be expected till the roads (now impassable by a mighty snow upon the ground) are beaten.”

In Dr. Holmes’s “History of Cambridge,” it is stated:—”The funeral of Mr. Brattle [minister of Cambridge] was attended on the 20th of February [1717] a day rendered memorable by the great snow. The principal magistrates and ministers of Boston and of the vicinity, assembled on this occasion, were necessarily detained at Cambridge by the snow for several days.”

In the 8th vol. Hist. Coll. page 176, it is mentioned with respect to the Rev. Samuel Treat, minister of Eastham, that, ” he died soon after the remarkable storm, distinguished in the annals of New England by the name of the great snow. The snow was heaped up in the road to an uncommon height. It was in vain to attempt making a path. His body was therefore kept several days, till an arch could be dug, through which it was borne to the grave.”

Dr. Harris in his “Chronological and Topographical Account of Dorchester,” has the following notice : — “1717, Feb. 24. — ‘Snow in drifts 25 feet dee ; in the woods a yard generally on a level.’ ”

In the “Boston News-Letter” of March 25th, it is stated ; — “The mail went on snow shoes. The carrier was 9 days in reaching Portsmouth, and 8 in returning: — 17 days in going 120 miles! He says that in the woods the snow is 5 feet deep, and in some places between 6 and 14 feet deep.”

John Winthrop of New London, in a letter to Dr. C. Mather, dated Sept. 12th, 1717, (see Hist. Coll. Vol. II. p. 13,) says, in relation to this snow : — ” The storm continued so long and severe, that multitudes of all sorts of creatures perished in the snow drifts. We lost, at the island and farms, above 1100 sheep, besides some cattle and horses interred in the snow. And it was very strange, that 28 days after the storm, the tenants at Fisher’s Island, pulling out the ruins of one hundred sheep, out of one snow-bank in a valley (where the snow had drifted over them 16 feet), found two of them alive in the drift, which had lain on them all that time, and kept themselves alive by eating the wool off the others, that lay dead by them. As soon as they were taken out of the drift, they shed their own fleeces ; and are now alive and fat.”

The Winter of 1740 – 41.

Dr. Noah Webster says:—”The winter of 1741 was of great severity. My father, who was a witness of the winter of 1741 and 1780, considered the cold of the former quite equal to that of 1he latter. But I have seen no thermometrical observations made in New England in the year 1741. By Mr. Jefferson’s observations in his ‘ Notes,’ it appears that the winter of 1780 was the most severe ; as in 1740 – 41, York River was not frozen over, whereas in 1780, the Chesapeake was-covered with solid ice from its head to the mouth of the Potomac. At Annapolis, where the bay is more than five miles wide, the ice was five inches thick.”

The following notices relating to this winter are extracted from the numbers of the “Boston News-Letter,” of the several dates given.— Jan. 22. “Last night and this day, we have a very great N. E. storm of wind and snow. The snow is higher than has been known among us since the vast snow we had on the 19th Feb. 1717.”

Feb. 12. — “On Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday last, we had here a great storm of snow and wind at the N. E., which has done a great deal of damage to man and beast; and ever since we have had the most severe season for cold, frost, and snow, that ever was known in the memory of the oldest man living here,”

March 5. — “We hear from Stratford, in Conn., that the Sound is frozen over, so that people ride every day from thence to Long Island, which is 3 leagues across, which was never known before.”

April 2.— From “Dorchester, March 28. — We have had the severest winter that has been known in the memory of the oldest among us. Our river has been so hard and so long frozen, that people from Thompson’s Island, Squantum, and the adjacent neighborhood, have come 15 sabbaths successively upon the ice to our meeting! We have had 30 distinct, settled snows.”

April 24. — “We whose names are underwritten, on the 1st day of this month [April] passed over the Connecticut River, from Hadley to Northampton, on the ice, in company with Dr. Porter, who had with him a large horse. We suppose the like has never been known in any age.”

According to Mr. Alonzo Lewis. ” A manuscript Journal, kept daily, for 44 years, by an inhabitant of Lynn, [Mass.] says, that the rivers were frozen in October; snow began to fall Thanksgiving day, Nov, 13ih, and on the 4th of April, it covered the fences.”

The Winter of 1770-1780.

The winter of 1770 – 80 is now often spoken of as one of extraordinary severity, and surpassing all that have yet succeeded it with respect to the quantity of snow. The depth of the snow was so great that almost all the roads in New England were closed for some weeks, and there was little or no travelling from one town to another except by the use of snow-shoes; and it has been stated with respect to various places in Massachusetts, that the snow did not melt so that any water dropped from the eaves of houses for the space of six weeks. The Boston Chronicle of January 28th, 1780, contains the following notice, dated Worcester, Jan. 28th. — “Travelling has not been so much obstructed by snow for forty years. Except on the great road from Boston to Hartford, all are filled, and no passing without snow-shoes.”

Registers of the thermometer were at that time rarely kept in this country; but from such statements as we have seen, it does not appear that the cold was so severe as it has been in some subsequent winters. We do not, however, possess the means of giving a satisfactory comparison. The following notice of this winter in Connecticut, together with the state of the thermometer from Jan. 1st to Feb. 5th, is given by Dr. Noah Webster.

“In the winter of 1770-80, the first snow-storm occurred about the 25th of November, and subsequent fills of snow raised it to the height of three or [In some other parts of New England the snow was considerably deeper] four feet upon a level. The wind for several weeks from the northwest, was cold, the snow was so dry and so continually driven by the wind, that no good path could be made; and travelling was almost impeded. I passed often half a mile on drifts as high as the fences. Farmers could do little else abroad than feed their cattle, and provide them with water. For about six weeks the cold was so intense, that no snow melted on the south side of buildings. The Sound between Long Island and the main was nearly all covered with ice between New York and Staten Island. Since that, as in 1788, the ice in the East River, has been passable for a footman for a few hours only at a time.— Almost all the birds of the forest perished. Here and there only a solitary warbler was heard the next summer.”

Thermometrical Observations made at Hartford, Conn., in 1780, at sunrise.

The following notices are extracted from a thermometrical register kept by President Stiles at Yale College: 1780, Jan. 23, — 3J; Jan. 29, —1; Feb. 6, (coldest) +6.

The following remarks of Mr. Jefferson are extracted from the 3d volume of his Works, page 343 : —“In the winter of 1779-80, the mercury in Fahrenheit’s thermometer fell at Williamsburg once to six degrees above zero. In 1783 – 84, I was at Annapolis without a thermometer, and I do not know that there was one in that State : I heard from Virginia, that the mercury was again down to six degrees. In 1789-90, I was at Paris. The mercury here was as low as eighteen degrees below zero, of Fahrenheit. These have been the most remarkably cold winters ever known in America. We are told, however, that in 1702, at Philadelphia, it was 22 degrees below zero: in December, 1793, it was 3 degrees below zero there by my thermometer. On the 31st of Jan., 1796, it was one. and three-fourth degrees above zero at Monticello. I shall therefore have to change the maximum of our cold, if ever I revise the Notes on Virginia; as six degrees above zero was the greatest which had ever been observed.

The Winter of 1798 – 9.

The following notice is extracted from the Columbian Centinel (Boston) of April 27th, 1799.

“The last winter has been one of the most inclement ever remembered. In Europe many men and cattle have frozen to death, particularly at the review of the Russian troops at Brinn, in December last; and the ice has obstructed the navigation of the northern seas and channels. The river Thames has been frozen over, and the roads in many parts of England rendered impassable.

“In America the winter set in seriously, early in November, and on Wednesday last, we experienced a severe snow-storm of several hours. The mail sleigh, from this town to Walpole, in New Hampshire, ran 18 weeks successively.”

THE storms of November, 1871, should not be regarded as belonging to the usual order of climatic experiences in Kansas. So great a degree of cold, so early in the season, has not heretofore been known, and is of rare occurrence in any of the winter months. A depression of temperature in Kansas severe enough to destroy life, occurring on the 18th of November, must be classed with those exceptional phenomena which at times spread suffering and destruction over large areas of the continent, and which are not peculiar to any part, but are inexplicable in all. “A great range of extremes,” says Blodgett, in his Climatology , “is one of the leading features of the climate of the Eastern United States.” We may add that it is likewise a feature of the climate of the Western States; and we may note here, as there, “the oscillations of temperature, atmospheric weight on the barometer, humidity, quantity of rain, wind, etc., passing through larger measures than in Europe, or on the West coast, as a constant and regular order of things.” “The leading element,” he continues, “about which all others are arranged, is temperature; and the low extremes of temperature have the greatest importance because of their relation to cultivation.” But these extremes are not peculiar to Kansas. In February, 1835, nearly the whole area of the Eastern United States was swept by a simultaneous refrigeration, reducing the temperature on an average fifty degrees below the mean for that month,—in Maine 65, in New York 60, and in Georgia 62 degrees; and it would be just as fair to measure the February climate of Maine,

New York and Georgia by the extraordinary weather of February, I835, as to measure the November climate of Kansas by the unprecedented weather of November, 1871.

Numerous instances of unusual depressions of temperature are given in Mr. Blodgett’s work, all of which, as he remarks, “are irregular in position and duration, and when severe, they occupy a large area.” Such great extremes as he cites “are rare, and they may not occur more than twice or three times in a century, yet they are within the probabilities of the climate,” and are shown to occur in an “absolutely non-periodic manner.”

Before the commencement of thermometric records, there are instances of great reductions of temperature in the winter months. In 1717 the “great snow” occurred, often mentioned in New England history. It continued from the 19th to the 24th of February, and was from five to six feet deep on a level at Boston, and over all the settled parts of New England. “Multitudes of all sorts of creatures perished in the drifts,” wrote John Winthrop in a letter to Dr. C. Mather, the cold was “so long and severe.” The winter of 1740-41 was distinguished both in America and Europe for intense cold. It was commonly called in the Colonies “the cold winter,” and was noted in Virginian history for extreme severity. In England the Thames was frozen over, and there was much suffering. The winters of 1748-49 and of 1765-66 were very severe at the South, destroying the fruit trees; and in the latter the olive trees were generally killed along the Rhone in France. Another severe winter in Louisiana was in 1768, and still another in 1772 . In 1780, “the most signal and severe depression of temperature occurred belonging to our entire history, except, perhaps, that of 1856.” Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia, says: “In 1780, the Chesapeake Bay was frozen solid from its head to the mouth of the Potomac. At Annapolis, the ice was five to seven inches in thickness quite across, five and a half miles, so that loaded carriages went over it. York River was frozen over at Williamsport, so that people walked across it.” Dr. Webster speaks of an immense snow fall in New England, and states that for six weeks no snow melted. “The Sound was entirely covered with ice between Long Island and the main, and between New York and Staten Island.” Troops crossed on the ice from New York to attack the British forces on Staten Island. Hugh Gaines’s diary, under date of February 6th, 1780, says: “This day eighty-six sleighs went to Staten Island on the ice, with provisions for the troops.” According to Darby, “Bayou St. John (New Orleans) was frozen for a considerable time, a phenomenon that did not occur again until December, 1814,” a period of thirty-five years. The Delaware River was closed from the 1st of December, 1779, to the 14th of March following, the ice being two to three feet thick; during January the mercury was several times ten to fifteen degrees below zero, and only once during the month didn’t rise to thirty-two degrees.

The winter of 1783-4 was also severe at Philadelphia. The Delaware closed as early as November 28th, and continued ice-bound until the 18th of March; the mercury was several times below zero, reaching twelve degrees below. Dr. Noah Webster records at Hartford, Conn., the following temperatures: Feb 10th, 1784 -10 degrees, 11th -12 degrees, 12th -13 degrees, 13th -19 degrees, 14th -20 degrees, 15th -12 degrees, 16th -16 degrees, 17th -16 degrees. Averaging for 8 days 14 ¾ degrees below zero. Dr. Webster remarks: “This is the most extraordinary instance of intense cold that I have ever known.”

The winter of 1788 was severe in lower Georgia and the South; below Savannah the ground was frozen in January, and ice formed in ditches. At Philadelphia, “the whole winter was intensely cold; the Delaware was closed from the 26th of December to the 10th of March.” In 1790, an extreme degree of cold was observed at Quebec; the thermometer remaining from five to thirty-three degrees below zero from the 8th to the 13th of February. In 1796-97 the winter was severe, all the rivers of the West, according to Darby and Drake, being frozen up “the Mississippi and Ohio and their confluents were frozen to their junction.” Dr. Wilson observed the thermometer at 17° at Charleston, South Carolina, in December, 1796. In this month the mercury fell to 14 degrees below zero at Cincinnati; and on January 8th, I797, to 18 degrees below.

In 1800 the cold was more severe in the Southern States than it had been since 1780. Holmes, in Memoirs American Academy, says: “On January 10th, 1800, there fell at Savannah the deepest snow ever known in Georgia. By a letter from Midway, I am informed that snow has been three feet deep in places, and 16 to 18 inches deep on a level.” Snow and hail fell the whole day on January 10th, at St. Mary’s, Florida, and on the 11th the snow was five inches deep. Near Natchez the mercury went down to 12°. Daily speaks of severe storms of sleet and snow in Louisiana during 1800.

For a considerable period subsequent to 1800, there are no records of excessive cold in the winter months. There is no month from 1800 to 1828 in which the mean temperature at Salem, Massachusetts, falls more than a trifle below 20°, and the single readings below zero are so great as 10 degrees only in 1817, 1818, and 1821. But during this period the most remarkable depressions of temperature in the summer months known to all history of thermometric measurements occurred, between 1811 and 1817. The years 1812 and 1816 were the coldest, the reduction being continued over all the months in each year, in a greater or less measure, but of no considerable amount in winter. The records show a great reduction from the average of summer heat, especially, and both 1812 and 1816 are memorable for “cold summers” in all the Northern United States. Snows and frosts occurred in every month of both summers. Indian corn did not ripen, and fruits and grains of every sort were greatly reduced in quantity or wholly cut off. Prof. Dewey, at Williamstown, Massachusetts, remarks: “There was frost in every month of this summer (1816) ; on June 7th a light snow; very little Indian corn ripened.” Thompson’s History  of Vermont says: “It is universally conceded that the year 1816 was the coldest ever known in Vermont. Snow is said to have fallen and frosts to have occurred at some place in the State in every month of that year. On the 8th of June snow fell in all parts of the State, and upon the high lands and mountains to the depth of five or six inches. It was accompanied by a hard frost, and on the morning of the 9th ice was half an inch thick on shallow standing water, and icicles were to be seen a foot long. The weather continued so cold that several days elapsed before the snow disappeared. Corn and other vegetables were killed to the ground, and upon the high lands the leaves of the trees withered and fell off.” In England 1816 was almost as extreme as in the United States. Both 1812 and 1816 were “famine years” in England, and the latter equally so in France and Germany. Frost occurred at Philadelphia in July, 1816.

From 1816 to 1830 the cold extremes were less important, though some very severe local depressions occurred. In February, 1818, various laurarea, the Sassafras and others, were killed, in Ohio. At Marietta the mercury fell to 22° below zero; peach trees were killed; and not again till 1852, and the still more severe cold of 1856, was there similar injury to forest and fruit trees in that State. At New York, the winter of 1820-21 was “one of the four during a century in which the Hudson River between Paulus Hook and New York was crossed on the ice.”

In the winter of 1830-31 the greatest refrigeration was at the North-west. Single readings of the thermometer during each of the three months were 20, 24 and 26 degrees below zero at the military posts of Wisconsin. The monthly means were to degrees below the average for January and February, 1831, at St. Louis. In Florida this was a severe winter also.

At the close of 1831 a severe and widespread depression of temperature occurred. The month of December was 15 degrees below its average at the North-west, and also from St. Louis to New York and Norfolk. At New Orleans it was 9 degrees below the average. Of this winter Dr. Hildreth says: “The Mississippi was frozen over in December for 130 miles below the mouth of the Ohio, a circumstance before unknown. The river was also covered with floating ice below Natchez, and at New Orleans ice was formed strong enough to skate on.” At Fayetteville, Vermont, “ it was colder than any other month in the last half century.“ (Field)

In 1835 a destructive severity of cold occurred over many of the States. In the South tropical fruits were cut off, which had been uninjured for half a century. In the Eastern and Northern States the first severe cold was in January—“ when the mercury froze at Lebanon, New York.” At Marietta, Ohio, “the lowest temperature in January was 20 degrees below zero.” (Hildreth) This cold extended to Washington, where it was 16 degrees below zero, but did not reach the Gulf coast or the larger portion of the valley of the Mississippi. In February the greatest depression was south and west of the first area, though it was nearly as great at the east and north as in January. Nearly all the surface of the United States as then observed, or all that east of the Great Plains, was below zero on February 8th, 1835; Natchez at the South-west and Savannah on the Atlantic coast being the limits, though a large inland area of the north of Florida was also below zero, its limits there being about the 29th parallel. In many parts of New England snow remained from December until May. At Washington snow lasted two months, a very rare occurrence. Long Island Sound was closed by ice, and the Boston harbor was nearly closed. The cold was greatest in February, and the weather continued severe through March and April.

In the winter of 1845-46 another general depression of temperature occurred, and, as in many other cases, it was severest at the South. In Georgia it was considered second only to that of 1835. There was snow in Mississippi and ice in New Orleans. December was the coldest month, and the mean was 6 to [0 degrees below the average over the entire coast of the Gulf.

The winter of 1851—52 was 3 to 8 degrees below zero in each month in the Eastern States, but not so at the West, where it was on the whole warmer than usual. In the Central and Southern States, January was 6 to IO degrees below the average, with damaging effects on the vegetation. The Susquehanna was frozen over at Havre de Grace for seven weeks, and the Potomac at Washington for three weeks. Snow fell in New Orleans and remained several days. Snow fell at Charleston, S. C., and Jacksonville, Fla., through the entire day on 13th January; and also at Matamoras and Tampico, Mexico, on the 14th. The East River at New York was closed, and was crossed on the ice on the 20th, and for three days following. Dr. Hildreth cites temperatures in the Muskingum Valley, Ohio, 30 degrees below zero, with destruction of native kalmias and rhododendrons; also the pyrus japonica and other shrubs. Thick ice was formed at Charleston from 13th to 20th of January. . ‘

In 1853-54 severe cold occurred, which was spread over a large area, occurring in ‘the interior and on the Pacific‘ coast, and also in England. At Fort Snelling, the thermometer fell to the freezing point of mercury. The reporting officer at Fort Ripley, latitude 46″ 19’, and 1130 feet above the sea, gives the lowest extreme at 50° below zero, and says: “ The mercury receded entirely into the bulb of the thermometer, and fifty grains placed in a charcoal cup were completely frozen.” At Fort Gibson the thermometer was 1° above zero, at Fort Tuson 3° below; at Santa Fe 6°, and at Fort Defiance, N. M., 20° below; at Fort Kearney 16”, and Fort Laramie 21° below. “ In England the thermometer fell to 4’‘ below zero on the 1st of January, and, as in the United States, storms of excessive severity continued for most of the month. It is noticeable that the cold there was nearly simultaneous with that in the United States, even to the Pacific coast.” (Blodgett.)

In the winter of 1855-56, “a still more severe degree of refrigeration occurred, which was central to the middle latitudes of the United States, disappearing at the north at about the 46th parallel. This was a reproduction of the winter of 1780 more nearly than any other, both in degree and in position. The district of the great lakes was but little affected, and the line of the greatest severity was at the 35th to the 38th parallels. The tropical coasts of Central America were in some degree influenced, apparently rendering the winter a stormy season instead of one of the usual calmness.” Mr. Blodgett gives the following citations :

Washington, Jan. 10, 1856 …. -10° below zero.
Philadelphia, Jan. 10, 1856…. -7° below zero.
Pittsburgh, Jan. 9, 1856….  -18° below zero.
St. Louis, Jan. 9, 1856…. -18° below zero.
Chicago, Jan. 10, I856…. -30° below zero.
Fort Snelling, Jan. 9, 1856 …. -26° below zero.
For! Gibson, Jan. 29, 1856 …. -15° below zero.

“The severity of the cold,” says Mr. Blodgett, “continued nearly three months, and in both the months following the dates given the extremes of temperature fell nearly as low as those cited. Snow remained in large quantity at Washington from the first of January to the middle of March; ice covered the Potomac for the same period; Chesapeake Bay at Annapolis was closed from January 8th to March 14th; the harbors of Baltimore and Philadelphia were closed until late in March; Long Island Sound was closed to navigation from January 25th to February 27th; and the harbor of New York was; much obstructed by ice, which several times made temporary connection across East River. The Western rivers were equally obstructed by ice, and it formed in the Mississippi as low as Vicksburg Mississippi, floating in vast quantities below Natchez. At all points in Louisiana ice formed for weeks, and some places had heavy falls of snow. It was the same in all places bordering the Gulf.”

So far we have compiled from the valuable work of Mr. Blodgett, published in 1857. All who remember the winter of 1855-56 will recognize the truth of his remark, that “An almost instantaneous refrigeration had fallen: on all the United States east of the: Rocky Mountains on the 23d and 24th: of December, giving the sharpest extremes very soon after this date in Texas, and prolonging its effects at the north and east.” During that remark— able winter the ice in the Mississippi at St. Louis attained such strength that a large steam fire-engine, nearly as heavy as a locomotive, was crossed on it. The ice remained several weeks.

The year 1864. opened with a remarkable degree of cold in many localities. From the records of the Department of Agriculture, we get the following measures of temperature for the first of January 1864: Kelley’s Island, Ohio, 11°; Cincinnati, Ohio, 12°; Ann Arbor, Mich., 22°; New Albany, Ind., 10°; South Bend, Ind., 20 degrees; Ottawa, Ill., 25°; Galesburg, Ill., 23°; Pekin, Ill., 20°; St. Paul, Miss., 35°; Debuque, Iowa, 29°; St Louis, Missouri, 22°; Lawrence, Kan., 17°; Fort Riley, Kan., 12°:

Later in January, 1844, a depression of -26° below zero was reached in the State of New York, and about the same in Northern Illinois and Wisconsin. But the latter part of January showed a high temperature over a large area. Although the 1st day of the month had been cold enough to kill peach trees in St. Louis county, Missouri, yet on the 27th the mercury stood at 71°; the snow had disappeared, and the ground in gardens could be spaded, ready for spring planting. On the 27th the thermometer marked 69° at Lawrence and Fort Riley, in Kansas, and 53° at Bellevue, Nebraska. In February, 1864, the mercury fell below zero in several of the States on the 17th, 18th, and 19th; but in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska the cold was so intense as in the other States; the lowest record being 10 degrees below zero at Harrisonville, Missouri, 2 degrees below zero at Bellevue, Nebraska, and 9° above zero at Fort Riley.

The Kansas mean temperature for the month 5° higher than in Illinois, and nearly 1° higher than in Missouri. The figures previously given for the 1st day of January show that the thermometer fell 5° lower in Missouri on that day than in Lawrence, and 10° lower than at Fort Riley. There are no records at hand for points in the Plains west of Fort Riley, which would probably show a still less degree of cold.

A record cold wave settled in over the Northern Virginia, Maryland region. Records set in Maryland during this period remain to the present day. It was close, but not quite cold enough to break the records in Virginia set during the February 1899 “Great Arctic Outbreak”. The cold wave of 1912 hit on January 5 and continued until February 16. It was one of the most severe and longest in duration on record. Ice formed on the rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. On January 13, Oakland in far western Maryland recorded the state’s all time record low temperature of -40°F. In Washington, DC, it reached -8°F. On the 14th, College Park reported -26°F, Hagerstown -27°F, Frederick -21°F, Laurel -19°F, Baltimore -2°F and Washington, DC -13°F. The coldest temperatures in Virginia were -25° at Lincoln (Loudoun County) and Dale Enterprises near Harrisonburg. Fredericksburg was -11°F and Culpeper fell to -20°F. In the Eastern West Virginia Panhandle, temperatures ranged from -14° at Lost City in Hardy County to -30° at Bayard in Grant County.

Sources:
Loudonhistory.org
The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1837; (by Jared Sparks, Johann Schobert, Francis Bowen, George Partridge Sanger)
The Kansas Magazine, Volume 1 January to June 1872; Entered by Act of Congress into Library of Congress 1872

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