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Historic Weather

Elizabeth College Students, "We Twa" written on back

Weather Events in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Prior to Official Records

In this exhibit, you can view Charlotte's weather history by reading about extraordinary meteorological events from the era before scientific observation. In Charlotte, official measurement of weather events and conditions began in 1878. For information about local weather before then, we must rely on newspaper stories, diary entries, and other contemporary sources.

The list below gives historic weather information in chronological order. The same information has also been organized into sub-lists by type of weather event:

and by day of the month, to make anniversaries easier to discover. 

Prior to 1830

  • 1816, Year Without a Summer – The Charlotte Democrat (March 29, 1878) published an article about the weather and a resident remembers the year without a summer. He did not mention anything specific about Charlotte but in general the spring and summer of 1816 were colder than usual with snow in parts of New England in the summer. The eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia caused the global weather event.
  • January, 1825, Flood after Flood - The Catawba Journal (February 01, 1825) reported “the season thus far has been uncommonly wet – we have had floods upon floods, until the roads have become almost impassable.”
  • January 19, 1826, Ten to Twelve Inches of SnowThe Catawba Journal (January 24, 1826) reported that 10 to 12 inches of snow fell. It mentioned that “so large a body of snow has not fallen in this county at any one time for many years.”
  • 1829-1830, A Mild Winter - The Charlotte Democrat (March 29, 1878) published an article about the weather and an aged resident remembers the mild winter of 1829 to 1830 when farmers ploughed every month and no snow fell until February 2, 1830.

1830-1839

  • May, 1830, Snow in May - The Charlotte Democrat (March 29, 1878) The mild winter of 1829-30 was followed “by a cold, backward spring with a snow storm in May, which killed the returning swallows.“
  • October, 1830, Mines and Mills Affected by DroughtThe Miners’ and Farmers’ Journal (October 18, 1830) reported that a drought was severely felt in the area with the operations of water-powered grist mills suspended, as well as mills in mines.
  • October 11, 1830, Violent Hail Storm – A violent hail storm destroyed the cotton crop which would probably result in only a fourth of the usual production. The Miners and Farmers’ Journal (October 18, 1830) mentioned that some of the hail stones were as large as hens’ eggs.
  • May 23, 1832 Wind, Rain and Hail Storm The Miners and Farmers’ Journal (May 29, 1832) reported that a storm with wind, rain and hail did considerable damage to the wheat crop which would probably be reduced to only a fourth of the usual production.
  • 1834-1835, Worst Winter in Many Years - The Charlotte Journal (March 4, 1835) reported that last winter was notable for its cold Saturdays and deep snows. Brevard Davidson recorded in his diary that on his northeast Mecklenburg county farm there was three inches of snow on February 27, 1835, a second snow of about three inches on March 3, 1835 and a very deep snow of nine or ten inches on March 5, 1835. He commented that it was the deepest snow he ever saw and the deepest since the death of Washington in 1799. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017). A Salisbury paper, The Western Carolinian (February 14, 1835), reported that the weather this winter is said to have been the coldest since the winter of 1779- 1780 when the Yadkin River was iced over and could be crossed by loaded wagons. It mentioned a temperature of seven degrees below zero on February 8 in Salisbury. The Weekly Raleigh Register (January 20, 1835) stated in an article on the severe weather throughout the county that “This is probably the greatest degree of cold ever registered in the United States.”
  • June – July, 1835, Severe Drought – Brevard Davidson recorded in his diary that on his northeast Mecklenburg County farm on July 9, 1835 that there was a fine rain after a severe drought. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • February and March, 1836, Sleet or Hail on Five Sundays - The Charlotte Journal (March 4, 1836) reported that during the last eight weeks there were five hail storms on Sundays. They average from a half to three inches in depth. The paper stated that one hail storm was followed by the temperature falling much below freezing. [Although this news report refers to hail it could have been sleet. Sleet is liquid that freezes into pellets before hitting the ground and usually falls in winter. Hail forms in a cloud and tends to fall during thunderstorms in spring and summer]
  • August 14, 1837, Six Foot Rise in River - The Charlotte Journal (August 18, 1837) reported “one of the severest storms of rains of which we have any recollection.” The Catawba river rose rapidly about six feet. “A great quantity of rain” had also fallen over the previous ten days, inundating low-lying fields.
  • Fall 1838-October, 1839, Year-Long Drought – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary on March 15, 1839 that there was remarkable dry weather. There was not enough rain to raise the water courses since last fall. He wrote on June 17, 1839 that there was very dry weather and he had not been stopped by wet weather but half a day since March. He also wrote that the creek mills had stopped. On September 28th he wrote again about very dry weather and the water courses were said to be lower than they have ever been by some of the oldest men. His mill and creek are nearly stopped. On October 3rd he wrote that McDowell Creek has stopped running from his bridge up and the Catawba River has never been known to be as low. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)

 

1840-1849

  • May-August, 1840, River Highest in 50 years – Brevard Davidson recorded in his diary numerous rainy days that hindered his plantings and damaged his crops on his farm in North Mecklenburg County. On May 28 he wrote that the river was said to be the highest in 50 years. He stated it was 32 inches over common water. He remembered the river 21 inches over in 1824 and 26 inches over in 1814. On June 1 he recorded losing 35 acres of crop to the creek and river. On June 3, 4 and 6 he recorded more rain and that he had not plowed in over three weeks due to the rain. May 17, he wrote that the creek is over his corn every day or two as a result of more rainy days. On June 26 he wrote that there was very wet weather and the ground was washed as much as he had ever seen it. He recorded more rainy days in July and August. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017) The Charlotte Journal (June 4, 1840) reported that almost constant rains for nearly two weeks caused the water-courses to be unusually swollen and the Catawba River higher than ever known.
  • March 30, 1841, Eight to Ten Inches Snow The Charlotte Journal (April 1, 1841) described the eight to ten inch snow as the deepest snow of that winter. There was no mail from the north due to the snow blocking the railroad. The Mecklenburg Jeffersonian (March 30, 1841) stated that snow began on the 30th at 10 pm and continued until 10 pm the next day.
  • October 4, 1841 Early Frost Day - The Mecklenburg Jeffersonian (October 5, 1841) reported the first frost of the season.
  • November 29, 1842, Early Snow The Charlotte Journal (December 8, 1842) reported quite a storm of snow and several days of severe cold.
  • March, 1843, Three snows in the month – The Charlotte Journal (March 23, 1843) reported that as of March 23rd there had been three snows and as a result of the bad weather for the entire month the farmers were "hindered in their business." The Mecklenburg Jeffersonian (March 21, 1843) mentioned snow on March 16 and another snow of 2.5 inches on March 19. 
  • October 13 and 14, 1843, Early Frost Day - Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that there was a killing frost on these two days. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017).
  • 1844-1845, Winter Mild with no Snow – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary on March 19, 1845 that it had been a remarkable mild winter with no snow and no very cold weather. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • March- September, 1845, No Rain for Months, Dry Conditions for Seven MonthsThe Mecklenburg Jeffersonian (April 4, 1845) reported that that there had not been rain for a month. “The consequence is a cloud of dust almost dense enough to suffocate.” Brevard Davidson also wrote in his diary on March 29th, April 16th, May 12th and May 21st about the dry conditions. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017). The Charlotte Journal (September 5, 1845) reported fine rains after a drought of the longest continuance in the recollection of the oldest inhabitants. The rain however was too late to do much good for the corn and there was fear of great distress in the country with word of food shortages. On April 25, 1845 The Mecklenburg Jeffersonian mentioned that no rain of any consequence had fallen for nearly two months. The Mecklenburg Jeffersonian (July 4, 1845) wrote that it was the severest drought in years and that there had not been enough rain to wet the ground since March 8. This drought affected the rest of North Carolina as well as other southern states. The drought resulted in total crop failure in the North Carolina Mountains and resulted in a demand for a railroad to Asheville because enough food could not get to the drought-stricken farms on the roads. 
  • April 9, 1845, Late Frost Day - The Mecklenburg Jeffersonian (April 11, 1845) reported the "calamity" of a frost "All tender vegetation was completely destroyed and many of the trees of the forest look as if they had been scotched by fire." Ice an inch thick resulted in "disastrous" consequences.
  • May 7, 1845, Late Frost Day - The Mecklenburg Jeffersonian (May 30, 1845) stated that several gentlemen saw frost but there was not enough to do any injury.
  • May 30, 1845, Latest Date of Reported Frost – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary on May 30, 1845 that there was cold dry weather and some frost. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017). This is the latest date that frost is reported in the sources that were reviewed.
  • October 17 and 24, 1845, Early Frost Day – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that there was a sharp frost on October 24 which was the first to do any harm except one about a week ago. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • October 19, 20 and 21, 1846, Early Frost Day - The Mecklenburg Jeffersonian (October 23, 1846) reported very heavy white frosts on all these days. Brevard Davidson also wrote in his diary about the sharp frost on October 19th that killed most of the cotton blossoms. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • November 3, 1846, Catawba River 23 Feet above Common Water – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that the river was about 23 feet past common water which was the highest since 1840. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • October 15, 1847, Early Frost Day - Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that the first frost was October 15th and it damaged the cotton leaves. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017
  • April 20, 1848, Late Frost Day – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that there was a frost on May 1. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • April 28, 1848, Hail as Large as Partridge Eggs – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that there was heavy rain and hail on April 28th which was largest he had ever seen with some of it as large as partridge eggs. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • May 13, 1848, Late Frost Day – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that there was a sharp frost on May 13 and it killed six or seven acres of his cotton. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • September 24, 1848, Early Frost Day – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that there was a light frost. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • August 16-21, 1848, Heavy Rains – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary about heavy rains almost every day from August 16 to August 21 and that on the 21st the river was 12 to 14 feet above normal. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • August 20, 1848, Heavy Rains and Tornado - A tornado 40 yards wide and heavy rains swept across parts of the county causing damage to trees, crops, fences and roofs. The Charlotte Journal (August 23, 1848)
  • April 15, 1849, Five Inches of Snow – Dr. J. B. Alexander in The History of Mecklenburg County wrote that it snowed five inches in Charlotte on this date. “All vegetation was killed, no fruit that was in bloom escaped being killed.” A decade later The North Carolina Whig (May 04, 1858) article referred to this storm when the roses were already in bloom and trees green as one of the latest and heaviest snows remembered by residents. The snow was reported in other parts of North Carolina with five inches in Wilmington (Wilmington Journal April 20, 1849), eight inches in Tarboro (Tarboro Press April 21, 1949) and five inches in Fayetteville (North Carolinian April 21, 1849). Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that it was a two-inch snow at his farm in northwest Mecklenburg County. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017). 
  • October 8, 1849, Early Frost Day – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that there was a very light frost on October 8 and 9. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • August 27-28, 1852 River Highest since 1840
  • Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that there was heavy rains on August 27 and on August 28. He recorded that the river was about 28.5 feet high which was the highest since 1840. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017).

 

1850-1859

  • August 24, 1850, Tremendous Wind and Rain Storm – The Charlotte Journal (August 28, 1850) reported a severe storm of wind and rain in some areas. "The Catawba River and nearly every creek was swollen to a tremendous height. . . . The whole expanse of water was covered with rafts of floating timber wartermelons &c. The river was about 10 feet above normal."
  • March-April, 1852, Four to Five Week Drought – Brevard Davidson diary entry on April 12, 1852 mentioned that it rained after a drought of four or five weeks. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • October 12, 1853, Early Frost Day – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that there was a very light frost on October 12. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • January 7, 1854, Eight inches of Snow The North Carolina Whig (January 10, 1854) reported that snow fell to a depth of eight inches. Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that it was a nine and half inch snow at his farm in northwest Mecklenburg County. (Williams, Ann. (The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017). 
  • February 24, 1854, Heaviest Rain in 20 Years The Western Democrat (March 3, 1854) reported on "one of the heaviest falls of water we have had in twenty years." It began raining at 8 PM Saturday and "poured in torrents until after daylight Sunday morning." The Catawba River was higher than it was in 1840.
  • May 1, 1854, Late Frost Day – Brevard Davidson wrote in his diary that there was a sharp frost on May 1. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017)
  • 1855, Coldest Winter in 20 Years - The North Carolina Whig (February 13, 1855) reported, "it is believed that this has been the coldest winter that has been experienced in this latitude since the one of 1835." Ice houses have been filled. Sleighing is the mode of transportation and ice skaters are making the most of the cold weather. No temperatures were mentioned in the article.
  • April 19, 1855, 96 Degrees in April – From The Diary of Mr. James Harvey Carson: “Thermometer at 96 degrees”.
  • May 7, 1855, Drought in County – From The Diary of Mr. James Harvey Carson: Many portions of the county are still suffering from drought.
  • May 9, 1855, Late Frost Day – The Diary of Mr. James Harvey Carson noted that there was frost this morning, but not enough to do much injury to vegetation.
  • January 6-February 5, 1856, Coldest Winter in 40 Years - Both the North Carolina Whig (January 15, January 29, and February 05 1856) and The Western Democrat (January 15, January 29 and February 05, 1856) reported that there had been a cold spell, five snowfalls, and snow on the ground for this entire period. A wooden building 300 feet in length on Trade Street opposite the Presbyterian Church collapsed from the weight of the snow on the roof. It was considered to be the longest spell of cold weather for the last 40 years. Brevard Davidson recorded temperatures of 20 degrees on January 31, nine degrees on February 4 and two below zero on February 5. (Williams, Ann. The Rural Hill Farm Journals of Adam Brevard Davidson 1834-1856. Antebellum Books, 2017). 
  • July 1, 1856, Wind, Hail and Rain Storm – A wind, hail and rainstorm passed over parts of the western part of the county and did much damage to crops. Western Democrat (July 08, 1856)
  • November 3, 1856, Tornado – The Western Democrat (November 18, 1856) reported a tornado that went across Mecklenburg County from the Catawba River to Cabarrus County. There was great property damage but no serious human injuries. (See also J. B. Alexander, Reminiscences of the Past Sixty Years (Charlotte, 1908) pp.335-336)
  • January 17-27, 1857, Bitter Cold for Ten Days and Two and a Half Feet of Snow on the Streets – An East Coast storm dumped record amounts of snow from Georgia to Maine. In Charlotte The Western Democrat (January. 20 and 27, 1857) reported drifts two and half feet deep on the streets. The “oldest inhabitants” said it was the greatest storm ever in this part of the country. The North Carolina Whig (January 20 and 27, 1857) reported drifts of three to four feet. Passengers on an eastbound train from Charlotte only got as far as Jamestown, N.C. where they were stranded for three days as workers cleared drifts up to 11 feet deep. Norfolk, Virginia reportedly had 20 foot drifts of snow. The Western Democrat (February 24, 1857) gives a summary and additional data about the storm in other parts of the country. The Charlotte Observer (December 29, 1876) reported that the snow in that year was probably the most since the 1857 storm when up to 24 inches fell. Following the record snowstorm of January 17-18, bitter cold gripped the area continuously for ten days. It surpassed the intensity of any previously known cold in Mecklenburg according to The Western Democrat (January 27, 1857). The North Carolina Whig (January 27. 1857) reported that it was two below zero on January 20.

  • April 13, 1857, Late Frost Day – The North Carolina Whig (April 14, 1857) reported a late overight frost.
  • May 14, 1857, Destructive Hail Storm – A wind and hail storm hit portions of the county destroying crops, killing pigs and chickens and damaging fences and houses. According to one witness, the wind had drifted the hail to a depth of one foot in places.The Western Democrat (May 19, 1857)
  • September 30 and October 1, 1857, Early Frost Day – The Western Democrat (October 06, 1857) reported that there was frost on September 30th and October 1.
  • December 25, 1857, Christmas Snow – “We had a brisk fall of snow for five hours in this place on Christmas morning” reported The Western Democrat (December 29, 1857). 
  • February 12-13, 1858, Dangerous Ice Storm – A severe snow, freezing rain and sleet storm damaged many of the city’s shade trees, especially the elm trees. The North Carolina Whig (February 16, 1858) reported that it was dangerous to ride in the woods due to falling limbs. The Western Democrat (February 16, 1858) reported the measurement of the "snow with a thick crust of ice" at four to five inches.
  • April, 15, 1858, Late Frost Day – The North Carolina Whig (April 20, 1858) reported “quite a frost” but had no reports of any damage.
  • April 27, 1858, Late Frost day The Western Democrat (May 11, 1858) mentioned that there was a heavy frost on April 27 but it was not as destructive as it was feared.
  • September 28,1858, Early Frost Day – The Western Democrat (October 5, 1858) reported that there had been "a pretty heavy frost in this section" on September 28.
  • November 16, 1858, Early Snow – There was a “slight sprinkling of snow” in Charlotte. The Western Democrat (November 23, 1858) mentioned that it was unusually early for snow. 
  • December 31, 1859- January 10, 1860, Intense Cold and Snow on Ground for Several DaysThe Western Democrat (January 10, 1860) reported that it was intensely cold. Snow fell on December 31, 1859 and remained for eight or ten days. "Ice on the ponds has been in excellent condition for skating."

 

1860-1869

  • June 19, 1860, Dreadful Hail StormThe Western Democrat (June 26, 1860) "One of the most terrible hail storms ever witnessed passed over the southern part of Mecklenburg." It left some places covered with several inches of hail stones, some measuring eight inches in circumference [2.5 inches in diameter]. It damaged crops and even peeled bark from trees.
  • September 15, 1860, Early Frost Day The Western Democrat (September 18, 1860) reported frost in the neighborhood on September 15. This is the earliest date that frost was reported in the sources reviewed.
  • March 20-21, 1863, Late Snow – The Western Democrat (March 24, 1863) reported that there was heavy sleet and some snow. There was fear that early fruit has been injured.
  • October 2, 1863, Wind Storm The Western Democrat (October 6, 1863) reported a heavy wind storm in the Steele Creek neighborhood did considerable damage to a dwelling, stables, barns and fences. It (the paper calls it a hurricane) covered a space of about 150 yards in width and carried some ears of corn for 200 yards.
  • March 22, 1864, Late Snow – The Western Democrat (March 29, 1864) reported the heaviest snow we have seen since January 1857 occurred on March 22.
  • October 8, 1864, Early Frost Day The Western Democrat (October 11, 1864) reported the first frost of year was October 8.
  • December 9, 1864, Early December Snow – The Western Democrat (December 13, 1864 reported that several inches of sleet and snow covered the ground.
  • October 5, 1865, Early Frost Day The Western Democrat (October10, 1865) mentioned the first frost of 1865 was October 5.
  • January 8-9, 1866, Ice on Ponds 3.5 Inches Deep The Western Democrat (January 16, 1866) reported that these were the coldest days in many years. The ice on ponds was 3.5 inches thick
  • April 9, 1866, April Snow – The Western Democrat (April 10, 1866) reported that snow fell in sufficient quantity in Charlotte to cover the tops of houses
  • December 15, 1866, December Snow The Western Democrat (December 18, 1866) “A heavy snow and sleet fell here last Saturday.”
  • December 29, 1866- January 2, 1867, Snow for five Days – The Western Democrat (January 8, 1867) reported that it snowed at intervals for five days covering the ground with several inches. “Such a severe spell of weather has not occurred within the past 10 years.”
  • March 4-10, 1867, Heavy Rain Damages Bridge over River – The Western Democrat (March 12, 1854) reported that the Railroad Bridge over the Catawba River was damaged so that trains could not use it due to very heavy rains over the past week.
  • March 15, 1867, Late Snow The Western Democrat (March 19, 1867) reported a heavy snow. "Peach and other fruit trees were in full bloom, and we fear that fruit will be scarce again this year.”
  • May 9, 1867, Wind, Rain and Hail Storm The Western Democrat (May 14, 1867) reported that there was "a heavy storm of rain and wind accompanied by hail. . . . The hail was quite heavy and did considerable damage to growing cotton and wheat" especially in the Steele Creek and Providence neighborhoods.
  • May 9, 1867, Late Frost day The Western Democrat (May 14, 1867) mentioned that there was frost in some areas but that it did no harm.
  • May 20-27, 1867, Cold in Late May The Western Democrat (May 28, 1867) reported that it was cold enough to make fire comfortable and blankets necessary at night.
  • May 23, 1867, Late Frost Day – From The Western Democrat (May 28, 1867) “We are assured that frost was visible in certain localities.” This is the 2nd latest date that frost that is reported in the sources that were reviewed.
  • July- August, 1867, Thirty Two Days of Drought The Western Democrat (August 6, 1867) reported that there had been a drought for 32 days.
  • October 8, 1867, Early Frost Day The Western Democrat (October 15, 1867) mentioned the first frost of the year was on October 8.
  • December 15, 1867, December Snow The Western Democrat (December 17, 1867) reported the first snow of the season.
  • December 30-31, 1867, Snow for 48 hours The Western Democrat (January 7, 1868) "Snow, sleet and rain fell alternately for about 48 hours and the whole was frozen into a solid mass on the ground as fast as it fell. The result was that the ground was covered to the depth of several inches. We have not had such a severe spell of weather since January 1857.”
  • July 15-17, 1868, Drought for a Month The Western Democrat (July 21, 1868) reported that these were "the warmest days ever felt in this country." It also mentioned that this area had suffered from drought for the last month.
  • May 12, 1869, Severe Storm – According to The Western Democrat (May 18, 1869) one of the heaviest wind and rain storms within the past 10 years visited the area. Damage was done to the crops, out buildings and fences. "It seems that a hurricane or tornado, covering a breadth of not over 300 yards, accompanied the general storm." The Steele Creek and Paw Creek neighborhoods had the most damage.

 

1870-October 6, 1878

  • August 30, 1870, Destructive Storm The Western Democrat (September 6, 1870) reported that there was a "terrific storm of wind, rain and hail" that covered a width of 1.5 miles. It damaged crops and uildings.
  • December 22-25, 1870, Five Degrees above Zero The Western Democrat (January 3, 1871) reported that the first snow of the season fell followed by three days of colder weather, the thermometer going down to five degrees above zero.
  • April 23, 1871, Late Frost day The Charlotte Democrat (April 25, 1871) reported a heavy frost April 23.
  • June- August, 1871, Nine Weeks without a Good Rain The Charlotte Democrat (August 22, 1871) reported that there had not been a good rain for nine weeks.
  • September 29, 1871, Early Frost Day The Charlotte Democrat (October 03, 1871) reported that the first killing frost on September 29 was thick enough to write names in it.
  • November 30, 1871, November Snow The Charlotte Democrat (December 05, 1871) reported the first snow of the season and it was unusually heavy besides being earlier than for many years past. 
  • March 1, 1872, Eight-Inch March Snow The Charlotte Democrat (March 5, 1872) reported that there was a heavy snow storm with up to eight inches of snow.
  • April 18, 1872, Destructive Storm The Charlotte Democrat (April 23, 1872) reported that a storm and tornado went from Chester, S.C. up the Steele Creek neighborhood in Mecklenburg County doing considerable damage to several farms. There was also a "terrific hail storm" but it did not do much damage. The storm moved in an east direction and was about a mile wide. Houses, trees, fences and out buildings were blown down.
  • April 23, 1872, Late Frost day The Charlotte Democrat (April 30, 1872) reported frost on April 23.
  • October 12, 1872, Early Frost Day The Charlotte Democrat (October 15, 1872) mentioned a heavy frost on October 12.
  • December 11, 1872, First snow The Charlotte Democrat (December 17, 1872) reported the first snow of the season. It was "not deep, but cold enough to run wood up to an extravagant figure."
  • February, 1873, Heaviest Rains in many Years The Charlotte Democrat (February 25, 1873) reported heavy rains within the past three weeks was the heaviest rains known for many years.
  • April 25, 1873, Late Frost day The Charlotte Democrat (May 06, 1873) mentioned that there was a heavy frost April 25
  • May 6-10, 1873, Three Days of Heavy Rain – According to The Charlotte Democrat (May 13, 1873) it rained for three days steadily and heavily. The rivers and creeks were the highest in 25 years. There was considerable damage done along the Catawba River.
  • October 7, 1873, Early Frost Day The Charlotte Democrat (October 14, 1873) stated that the first frost was on October 07.
  • December 25, 1873, Christmas Snow The Charlotte Observer (January 30, 1873) reported intervals of snow, sleet and rain "but it did not keep from the streets a large number of those who seek pleasure in popping of the fire cracker, and kindred pastimes." 
  • April 10, 1874, Late Frost dayThe Charlotte Democrat (April 14, 1874) mentioned that there was frost on April 10.
  • April 29, 1874, Late Snow The Charlotte Observer (April 30, 1874) reported a light snowfall in the city. It was accompanied by a little hail and rain and melted as it fell.
  • September 30-October 1, 1874, Hurricane on the Coast – A hurricane was reported in September30-October 1, 1874 along the coast with Wilmington, Charleston and Savanah seeing the most damage. There was no report of any impact in Mecklenburg County. According to The Wilmington Journal (October 2, 1874) “The blow could hardly have extended very far to the interior, as yesterday’s Raleigh papers seem to have been unaware of the fact that there had been a heavy storm on the coast.” There was no mention of any weather related to the hurricane in Charlotte from local newspapers.
  • October 13, 1874, Early Frost Day The Charlotte Democrat (October 19, 1874) reported the first killing frost was on October 13
  • December 10, 1874, First Snow The Charlotte Democrat (December 14, 1874) reported the first snow of season. It soon disappeared.
  • April 3 and 4, 1875, April Freeze The Charlotte Democrat (April 19, 1875) reported a very heavy freeze on both nights and that the weather was intensely cold.
  • April 22, 1875, Late Frost Day The Charlotte Democrat (April 26, 1875) reported frost on April 22 was "as heavy as we ever saw and looked like snow had fallen during the night."
  • March and April,1875, Widespread Damage from Floods – According to The Charlotte Observer (March 3, 5 and 23, 1875) and The Southern Home (March 15 and 22 and April 5, 1875) this area and the rest of North Carolina experienced flooding that was the worst in 10 years except for the 1873 flood. The farmers that could make it to the city told of the damage done to their fields, most of the mills along rivers in Buncombe County were washed away, a farmer in Clarendon lost 500 hogs, factories and mill in Randolph County were heavily damaged and the Pee Dee River was said to be the highest in 85 years and with the most destruction.
  • May 1, 1875, Heavy Wind and Rain The Charlotte Democrat (May 03, 1875) Reported a heavy wind and rain storm blew down a few houses, trees and fences. The storm was more severe in Cabarrus County.
  • May 18 and 19, 1875, Late Frost Day – Dr. J. D. Alexander in The History of Mecklenburg County wrote that frost was so heavy that crops were killed.
  • September 27, 1875, Early Frost Day The Charlotte Democrat (October 4, 1875) reported the first frost was on September 27.
  • March 20, 1876, First Snow The Charlotte Democrat (March 20, 1876) reported the first snow of the season with up to five inches of snow and it was still snowing at 8 am.
  • April 19, 1876, Late Frost Day The Charlotte Democrat (April 24, 1876) Heavy frost mentioned.
  • June 12-17, 1876, Catawba River Highest in at Least 100 Years – Local newspapers reported the damage from this flood for over a month as reports of the damage came in. The Catawba River was two feet higher than the highest water mark that could be traced back 100 years according to a local resident. Two mills in Mecklenburg County were washed away. Crops were heavily damaged. The Charlotte Observer (June 21, 1876). The bridge at Powell’s Factory on the Catawba in Iredell was washed away and crops were washed away. The Charlotte Observer (June 22, 1876). "The road from Asheville to Warm Springs was literally destroyed." The Charlotte Democrat (July 17, 1876). Half of the town of Marshall was reported washed away. The Sun (July 4, 1876). "Two spans of the elegant new bridge at Haw River were washed away. " The Charlotte Observer (July 1, 1876).
  • September 28, 1876, Early Frost Day The Charlotte Democrat (October 02, 1876) mentioned the first frost was on September 28.
  • December 4-10, 1876, Ice Skating on Ponds in Early December The Charlotte Democrat (December 11, 1876) reported that "for the first time in several years the weather was cold enough last week to make ice on the ponds thick enough to afford skating to those who wished to enjoy it. Parks’ Pond near the city was occupied by skaters three or four days." The Charlotte Observer (December 12, 1876) also reported that on December 10 it was unusually cold and that it was a "fine time" for ice skaters.
  • December 10, 1876, First snow The Charlotte Democrat (December 11, 1876) reported the first snow of the season.
  • December 23-24, 1876, Big Snow The Charlotte Observer (December 29, 1876) reported that this two day snow was "one of the deepest ever known here." It mentioned that the snow of 1857 was up to 24 inches so this was probably the most since then. It measured up to 16 inches in the open fields in the country. The snow lasted through Christmas and by then the small supply of sleighs had been increased with a few new ones that were "manufactured for the occasion." Many people were able to enjoy the pleasure of sleighing on Christmas.
  • January 3, 1877, Coldest day of a Cold Winter The Charlotte Observer (January 4, 1877) reported that January 3 was the coldest day of this very cold winter. "Sleighing was never better here. . . . The cold has kept everyone off the streets except the faithful policemen." The Charlotte Observer (January 5, 1877) stated that it was difficult for two men to agree how many degrees below zero it was on the 3rd.
  • November 7, 1877, Early Frost Day The Charlotte Democrat (November 09, 1877) reported that the first killing frost was on November 07.

 

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