June 6 1816: Snow Storms in June!

“Late on the morning of June 6, the cold front and its powerful northwest wind suddenly struck Quebec, turning rain to snow. For more than an hour, snow fell thickly on the city streets. When the sky cleared in the afternoon, residents could see the mountaintops to the north covered with snow, “the most distant apparently to the depth of a foot.” Flocks of birds hitherto found only deep in the forest swarmed into the city in search of warmth, “and were to be met with in every street,” reported the Quebec Gazette, “and even among the shipping. Many of them dropped down dead in the streets, and many were destroyed by thoughtless or cruel persons. The swallows entirely disappeared for several days.” In the countryside, newly shorn sheep perished from the cold. That night the ground around Quebec froze; the following day the thermometer never rose above freezing, and more snow fell. With the summer solstice less than two weeks away, “the roofs of the houses, the streets and squares of the town, were completely covered with snow,” observed the Quebec Gazette.”

— The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History by William K. Klingaman, Nicholas P. Klingaman

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