1,500 Years Of Heatwaves

Gaillard’s Medical Journal – Google Books

The excessive heat which prevail. at present (says a Paris paper) gives some interest to the following account of remarkably bot summers :—” In 1132 the earth opened, and the rivers and spring; disappeared in Alsace. The Rhine was dried up. In 1152 the heat was to great that eggs were cooked in the sand. In 1160, at the battle of Bela, a great number of soldiers died from the heat. In 1276 and 1277, in France, there was an absolute failure of the crops of grass and oats. In 1303 and 1304, the Seine, the Loire, the Rhine, and the Danube, were passed over dry-footed. In 1393 and 1394, great numbers of animals fell dead, and the crops were scorched up. In 1440 the heat was excessive. In 1538, 1539, 1540, 1541, the rivers were almost entirely dried up. In 1556 there was a great drought over all Europe. In 1615 and 1616, the heat was overwhelming in France, Italy, and the Netherlands. In 1646 there were fifty-eight consecutive days of excessive heat. In 1678 excessive heat. The same was the case in the first three years of the 18th century. In 1718 it did not rain once from the month of April to the month of October. The crops were burnt up ; the riven were dried up, and the theatres were closed by decree of the Lieutenant of Police. The thermometer marked 36 degrees Reaumur (113 of Fahrenheit). In gardens which were watered, fruit trees flowered twice. In 1723 and 1724, the heat was extreme. In 1746. summer very hot and very dry, which absolutely calcined the crops. During several months no rain fell. In 1748, 1754, 1760, 1767, 1778, and 1749, the heat was excessive. In 1811, the year of the celebrated comet, the summer was very warm and the wine delicious, men at Semmes. In 1818 the theatres contained closed for nearly a month, owing to the heat. The maximum heat was 35 degrees (110.75 Fahrenheit.) In 1830, whilst fighting was fining on on the 27th. 28th, and 29th July, the thermometer marked 36 degrees centigrade (97.75 Fahrenheit). In 1832, in the insurrection of the 5th and 6th of June, the thermometer marked 35 degrees centigrade. In 1695 the Seine was almost dried up. In 1850, in the month of June, on the second appearance of the cholera, the thermometer marked 34 degrees centigrade. The highest temperature which man can support for a certain time varies from 40 to 45 degrees (104 to 113 of Fahrenheit.) Frequent accidents, however, occur at a less elevated temperature.”

18 Jul 1852, 7 – The Observer at Newspapers.com

“Summer Heat Precedents.
A German writer, dealing with certain prognostications (usually heard at this time of the year) of great summer heat, goes back for precedents. In 637, he says, the springs were dried up and men fainted with the heat. In 879 II was impossible to work in the open fields. In the year 993 the nuts on the trees were roasted, as if in a baker’s oven. In 1000 the rivers in France dried up, and the stench from the dead fish and other matter brought a pestilence into the land. The heat in the year 1014 dried up the rivers and the brooks In Alsace-Lorraine. The Rhine was dried lap in the year 1132. In he year 1152 the heat was eo great that eggs could be cooked in the sand. In 1227 it is re. corded that many men and animals came to their death through the intense heat. In the year 1303 the waters of the Rhine and the Danube were partially dried upend the people passed over on foot. The crops were burned no in the : year 1394, and in 1538 the Seine and Loire were as dry land. In 1536 a great drought swept through Europe. In 1 1014 in France, and even in Switzer-lard, the brooks and the ditches were dried up. Not less hot were the years 1048. 1779 and 1701. In the year 1715 • from the month of March till October not a drop of rain fell, the temperature arose to 38 degrees Reamer and in favored places the fruit trees blossomed a second time. Extraordinarily hot were the year. 1724, 1746, 1756 and 1811. The summer of 1815 was so hot -the thermometer standing at 40 degrees Reaumur -that the places of amusement had to he closed.—London Daily News.

The Day – Google News Archive Search

17 Jul 1852, 7 – The Hampshire Advertiser at Newspapers.com

21 Aug 1901, Page 3 – Shelby County Herald at Newspapers.com


IN 637 the heat was so great in France and Germany that all springs dried up, and water became so scarce that many people died of thirst.

In 873 work in the field had to be given up ; agricultural labourers persisting in their work were struck down in a few minutes, so powerful was the sun.

In 993 the sun’s rays were so fierce that vegetation burned up as under the action of fire.

In 1000 rivers ran dry under the protracted heat ; the fish were left dry in heaps, and putrified in a few hours. The stench that ensued produced the plague.

Men and animals venturing in the sun in the summer of 1022 fell down dying; the throat parched to a tinder and the blood rushed to the brain.

In 1132 not only did the rivers dry up but the ground cracked on every side, and became baked to the hardness of stone. The Rhine in Alsace nearly dried up.

Italy was visited with terrific heat in 1139; vegetations and plants were burned up.

During the battle of Bela, in 1260, there were more victims made by the sun than by weapons; men fell down sunstruck in regular rows.

In 1303 and 1304 the Rhine, Loire, and Seine ran dry.

Scotland suffered particularly in 1625; men and beasts die in scores.

The heat in several French departments during the summer of 1705 was equal to that in a glass furnace. Meat could be cooked by merely exposing it to the sun. Not a soul dared venture out between noon and 4 p.m.

In 1718 the thermometer rose to 118 deg.

In 1779 the heat at Bologna was so great that a great number of people was stifled. There was not sufficient air for the breath, and people had to take refuge under-ground.

In July, 1793, the heat became intolerable. Vegetables were burned up, and fruit dried upon the trees. The furniture and woodwork in dwelling-houses cracked and split up; meat went bad in an hour.

The rivers ran dry in several provinces during 1811; expedients had to be devised for the grinding of corn.

In 1822 a protracted heat was accompanied by storms and earthquakes; during the drought legions of mice overran Lorraine and Alsace, committing incalculable damage.

In 1832 the heat brought about cholera in France; 20,000 persons fell victims to the visitation in Paris alone.

In 1846 the thermometer marked 125 deg. in the sun.

29 Nov 1888 – A RECORD OF HOT SUMMERS. – Trove

50C (122F) in 1930

p2 – 30 Aug 1930 – The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 – 1947) – Trove

48C (118F) in 1773

Morning Oregonian. (Portland, Or.) 1861-1937, July 24, 1906, Page 8, Image 8 « Historic Oregon Newspapers

25 Jan 1899 – “HEAT” WAVES THAT HAVE BEEN. – Trove

Meanwhile, people in British Columbia are terrified by nice weather.

bctoday on Twitter: dworry about it? Should we stop describing it as “nice” weather?