When you're melting in a July heat wave, it's easy to fantasize about just a day or two of winterlike chill. What if you had an entire summer that ran hot and cold? That's what happened to New England in 1816, the "year without a summer." One farmer in Vermont called it "the most gloomy and extraordinary weather ever seen." Hi, I'm Dave Thurlow from the Mount Washington Observatory and this is The Weather Notebook.
This brutal cool down was caused by something halfway around the world. The volcano Tambora, in Indonesia, had blown its top a year earlier in the largest eruption of modern times. Millions of tons of ash were sent into the stratosphere, filtering out sunlight over much of the globe for the next several years.
Today's contributing writer is Bob Henson. The Weather Notebook is a production of the Mount Washington Observatory and recorded at the Weather Discovery Center science museum in North Conway, New Hampshire. Be sure to visit our website at weathernotebook.org. Funding for our show comes from Subaru and the National Science Foundation.