Weather in 1816

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      I am tracing the history of a steam-vessel, the Lady of the Shannon, which was built by John Scott of Greenock in 1816 and powered by a 20 hp engine by James Cook of Glasgow. The vessel was expected to enter service on the Shannon Estuary in 1816 but does not seem to have done so until 1817. I have not found any explanation for the delay, but I wonder whether the weather in 1816 — the year without a summer — might have persuaded the owner, a former naval lieutenant, to defer a trip along the north and west coasts of Ireland.

      I have found no useful information about the weather in 1816; I wonder whether anyone knows anything about it. As I am myself on (or near) the west coast of Ireland, visits to archives are infrequent.

      If anyone is interested, I would be happy to pass on what I have written (about 10 pages including references) about the steamer in question.



        ‘Morning Brian

        Whilst browsing through the Naval Chronicle for 1816 Vol 35 – Jan-Jun, I note that it provides a monthly table detailing a daily record, noted as being kept by C. Blunt, Philosophical Instrument Maker, No. S3, Tavistock street, Covent-Garden.

        The second volume for 1816 also includes some results of a METEOROLOGICAL REGISTER, as well as info kept at the Observatory of the Naval Academy, Gosport, for July, 1816, and also Sept., but haven’t looked too closely.

        Available through Google Books, but a far better edition available via the Wayback Machine, both of which can be downloaded in .pdf format.

        And a couple of hundred years down the line :
        Sep 19, 2016 0900 UTC ; not that far from 49.9N 2.9W
        Wind Direction: W (260°) ; Speed: 6.0 knots
        Significant Wave Height: 2.6 ft Average Period: 8 sec
        Atmospheric Pressure: 30.21 in (1022.9 mb) Air Temp : 61.5°F (16.4°C)
        Water Temperature: 62.4°F (16.9°C)
        with thanks to


          Thank you for that. It does seem that 1816 was colder and wetter than usual, and that there were some gales, so my theory is, I think, not implausible but a long way from being provable.

          I have found many discussions about 1816 on tinterweb, including some which, though learned, seem to veer off into discussion of global warming. Here’s a non-loopy discussion


          angela b

            The year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer (also the Poverty Year, the Summer that Never Was, Year There Was No Summer, and Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death), because of severe climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F).
            Angela ketty


              Thank you. bjg

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