“The coldest daytime ever experienced in New York City (and throughout New England for that matter) occurred on January 10, 1859”
“The year 1859 was another exceptional year. In October the thermometer registered 110° in the shade, and in December occurred the most remarkable precipitation of rain ever known in the county. It was estimated that one foot of water fell within twenty-four hours. The rivers overflowed the lowlands, doing considerable damage. The starving cattle and sheep, unsheltered from the pitiless rain, chilled through, died by thousands during the storm. Large tracts of the bottom lands were covered with sand and sediment.”
“The Santa. Barbara Sirocco,—A. Santa Barbara correspondent of the Phare, a French paper published in San Francisco, speaking of the late burning day down there, says:
‘At one o’clock in the afternoon of the 17th last., a burning wind came upon us from the northwest, and smote us with, terror. At two o’clock the thermometer exposed to this wind rose to 133 degrees of Fahrenheit; at five o’clock it had fallen: to 122-deg., and at seven o’clock it stood at 77 deg., where it had been in the morning.
“A fisherman who was out at sea came back with his’ arms” all’ blistered.. Many calves, rabbits and birds died of suffocation.
“ The greatest.losses: are among the vegetables ; the fruit trees are all burned ; the pears and apples have been literally cooked.”
“The only instance of the simoom on this coast, mentioned either in its history or traditions, was that occurring at Santa Barbara on Friday, the 17th of June, 1859. The temperature during the morning was be- tween 75° and 80°, and gradually and regularly increased until about 1 o’clock p, M., when a blast of hot air from the northwest swept suddenly over the town, and struck the inhabitants with terror, It was quickly followed by others, At two o’clock the thermometer exposed to the air rose to 133°, and continued at or near that point for nearly three hours, while the burning wind raised-dense clouds of impalpable dust. No human being could withstand the heat. All betook themselves to their dwellings, and carefully closed every door and window. The thick adobe walls would have required days to have become warmed, and were consequently an admirable protection. Calves, rabbits, birds, etc., were killed, trees were blighted, fruit was blasted and fell to the ground, burned only on one side; the gardens were ruined. At five o’clock the thermometer fell to 122°, and at seven it stood at 77°. A fisherman in the channel in an open boat came back with his arms badly blistered.”
There was a tremendous flood on the Mississippi the week before the record heat in Santa Barbara