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Chilling Tales: These Historical Occurrences Are Proof That the Weather Can Go Beyond Being an Inconvenience

Discussing the weather is one sure way to start conversations and fill awkward silences. Especially since we’ve become more aware of the effects of global warming, the topic of weather conditions has been an interesting subject of debate. Even more interesting is the history of extreme weather conditions that have affected different aspects of people’s lives over the centuries. Here are five extreme weather snaps in history.

Summer missed the memo

The eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia caused tons of volcanic dust to be released into the air in April 1815, resulting in a significant worldwide climate shift. This made crops fail as frosts struck even in summer in New England. 

Courtesy: The New York Times

As a result, people migrated from the Northeast to the Midwest. 1816 to 1817 was a period of famine-related migrations; typhoid broke out in Ireland, and the first cholera epidemic arose due to poor nutrition. This also caused political unrest as dissatisfied citizens replaced 70% of the House of Representatives in the November election.

1888: The year of unforgettable blizzards

In mid-January, the weather seemed to be okay for kids to go to school without their coats in the Plains States. Shockingly, a blizzard hit Dakota Territory, Montana, and Nebraska on January 12 and 13, with the temperature dropping to -20° F. Hundreds died trying to get home, and thousands of cattle froze to death.

Courtesy: Geographic Guide

On March 12 and 13, the blizzard dropped about 50 inches of snow on Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. This unusual occurrence led to 400 people dying, ships grounded, and railroads shut down.

The rains that wouldn’t stop

In 1927, one of the most dangerous river floods in the history of America was caused by weeks of rain. The Mississippi River topped the levee system that was supposed to withstand rising waters; the worst breach happened on April 21 at Mounds Ferry.

Courtesy: Britannica

Red Cross provisions were partially distributed, and town leadership conscripted black cleanup workers at gunpoint. One thousand people were killed in the flood, and 1 million became homeless; Blacks moved North in droves.

Great Lakes Storms

In 1868 and 1869, Great Lakes storms sank over 3,000 ships and killed more than 500 people. These storms have always been common when warm water fuels ‘November gale’ fronts on the five connected inland seas during late autumn.

Courtesy: Freepik

One of the worst storms was the 4-day storm that started on the 16th of November in 1869. In those four days, high winds broke telegraph poles in Chicago, 97 vessels were damaged, and six men drowned trying to reach a schooner.

Galveston Hurricane

The 1900 hurricane is one that the Texas coast can’t ever forget. On the 8th of September, the great hurricane hit Galveston, destroying bridges to the mainland and trapping the islanders. An estimation of 135 mph winds at landfall qualifies it as a Category 4 storm.

Courtesy: Time

At the end of the hurricane, Galveston, which was the wealthiest city in Texas and third richest in the country, was left with just a few buildings and 80% of its population. Between 6,000 and 10,000 people died, and water washed buildings as far as six blocks inland.

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