Weathering the Storm
In 1815, a volcanic eruption in Indonesia sent enough ash into the sky to disrupt the world’s weather for the next year. In New England, 1816 became known as “The Year Without a Summer.” Snow fell in June and July. Crops and animals died. Tens of thousands of people picked up and left; their search for greener pastures became an early chapter in a larger story of westward expansion.
This week on BackStory, we tackle extreme weather: how we’ve tried to predict it, control it, make sense of it. Along the way, we discover that our responses to wind, sleet, and rain have said as much about us as about the natural world.
- Gareth Davies, Lecturer in American History at St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford
- Aaron Beebe, Director of the Coney Island Museum
Resources galore! The BackStory team has pulled together some outside material to help you navigate the wild world of weather, including a bibliography of the sources consulted in the making of this episode.
Listen to individual show segments here.
Consult a transcript of the episode.
See a listing of music used in the episode.