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Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Historical Context of Unseasonable Snow in Tri-Counties Area
And 1816 - The Year There Was No Summer (at bottom)
Subj:  [Tri-Counties] historical late snow 
Date:  5/21/2002 3:55:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time 
From: (dana richter)

The messages concerning the late snow reminded me of Heverly's History and Geography of Bradford County.  Here's what our ancestors had to deal with.

May 14 1834   10 inches of snow
May 20 & 21 1835 15-24 inches
May 25 1839  over 12 inches
September 29 1844 28 inches
July 4 1859 snow flurries  Heavy or killing frost each month
July 4 1864 Frost with ice
May 8 1867 several inches
June 14 1875 frost with 1/4 inch ice
Memorial day May 30 1884  2 inches in Barclay
July 5 1884 snow flurries
1885 snow in Barclay last week of August
1897 May 8 and 9 light snow in western parts of county
June 13 1918 Light snow fall,
July 2  1918 snow flakes

Dana Richter

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Subj: [Tri-Counties] Re: [Tri Counties] historical late snow
Date: 5/22/2002 12:03:38 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: (Dave Kester)

There is a scientific explanation for the observations recorded in Heverly's history as presented by Dana Richter.

About 900AD a four hundred year period of rising mean temperatures known as the Medeival Warm Period began. during this time Erik the Red built settlements on the southern tip of Greenland where they raised cattle on as many as 280 farms. There is even some evidence that Alaskan Eskimos settled portions of the north western corner of Greenland. About 1200AD temperatures began cooling again, in what scientists call the Little Ice Age, until by about 1675 mean temps were several degrees below what they were in 1200. The Norse setlers in Greenland had gone on to "greener pastures" by this time, but the cooler summers caused Icelanders to give up farming and turn to fishing.

The late 1600s seems to be the point at which climatic changes again reversed direction, but at a slightly slower rate. By the beginning of the 19th century mean temperatures had only increased about a degree when they leveled off until about 1880 when they resumed their upward climb which continues today. It's just the natural cycle of things caused by the sun's uneven heating of the earth's surface which is further modified by prevailing wind patterns resultant from the earth's rotation. Nothing hi-tech or revolutionary here, just Climatology 101.

Aren't we fortunate that our pioneering ancestors had the pluck to survive such harsh conditions.

Dave Kester

Joyce's Search Tip - November 2008
Do You Know that you can search just the articles on the site by using the Articles button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page
Subj:  1816 The Year There Was No Summer.doc
Date:  02/19/2004 1:03:46 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: (Kathy Sarber)
CC: (Joyce Tice)

1816 The Year There Was No Summer

From the Danbury, Conn., News

The year 1816 was known throughout the United States and Europe as the coldest ever experience by any person then living.

There are persons in Northern New York who have been in the habit of keeping diaries for years, and it is from the pages of an old diary begun in 1810 and kept up unbroken until 1840 that the following information regarding this year without a summer has been taken.

January was so mild that most persons allowed their fires to go out and did not burn wood except for cooking…. February was not cold… March came in like a small lion and went out like a very innocent sheep.

April came in warm, but as the days grew longer, the air became colder, and by the first of May there was a temperature like that of winter, with plenty of snow and ice.

In May the young buds were frozen dead, ice formed half an inch thick on ponds and rivers, corn was killed and the cornfields were planted again and again… When the last of May arrived in 1816, everything had been killed by the cold.

June was the coldest month of roses ever experienced in this latitude.  Frost and ice were as common as buttercups usually are.  Almost every green thing was killed; all fruit was destroyed.

Snow fell 10 inches deep in Vermont.  There was a seven-inch fall in the interior of New York State and the same in Massachusetts.  There were only a few moderately warm days.  Everybody looked, longed and waited for warm weather, but warm weather did not come.

It was also dry; very little rain fell.  All summer long the wind blew steadily from the north in blasts, laden with snow and ice.  Mothers knit socks of double thickness for their children and thick mittens.

Planting and shivering were done together, and farmers who worked out their taxes on the country roads wore overcoats and mittens.  On June 17 there was a heavy fall of snow.

July came in with snow and ice.  On the Fourth of July ice as thick as window glass formed throughout New England and New York and in some parts of Pennsylvania.

To the surprise of everybody August proved worst of all.  Almost every green thing in this country and Europe was blasted by frost.  Very little corn ripened.

There was great privation and thousands of persons would have perished in this country had it not been for the abundance of fish and wild game.

Another good article on Summer of 1816 -
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 23 MAY 2002
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

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