Thunderstorms on a Cool Day

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, July 13, 1913:  Went to Sunday School this afternoon. Had to wait awhile after church before starting home because it was raining. Just got home in time before it commenced again. I’m glad I didn’t get another drenching. Got a good one yesterday so that was enough.


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Yeah—Grandma, I’m glad you didn’t get soaked. Sometimes things work out just right.

According to the historic weather records for Williamsport Pennsylvania—a town about 20 miles from McEwensville—July 13, 1913 was the coolest day so far in the month.  The high was only 72 degrees and the low was 55. And, there was a thunderstorm in the afternoon with 0.08 inches of precipitation.

The weather records also show (just as Grandma wrote) that there was a thunderstorm the previous day.  I’m surprised she didn’t mention the rain in the preceding diary entry. Instead, on July 12, 1913, she wrote about helping load wheat. Did the storm roll in while she was loading wheat?—and did it cause any damage to the crop they were harvesting?

If you’d like to find historic weather records for many towns in the US, see this previous post:

How to Find the Temperature for Any Date in Any City in the US

14 thoughts on “Thunderstorms on a Cool Day

  1. No wonder Helena was called in to help with the wheat. If a thunderstorm was expected they would have needed all hands on deck to get in as much of the harvest as possible.

  2. Wow! That’s amazing that you can find the weather records for the day Grandma wrote about! It did seem to be rather cool for a July day.

    1. It is amazing that records can be found. I often wonder who uploaded all this information onto the WWW. Remember when internet first came out, there was hardly any information about anything on there, now you just google whatever you want and you get dozens, if not more, hits!

  3. When I was young I loved being drenched in rain but nowadays, the lightnings are scary so I stay out. But I still love a rainy day, not thunderstorms though. ANd yes, it’s amazing you found the weather records.

  4. I am surprised that she didn’t mention the rain when they were doing the wheat. Well, I didn’t know about the old weather records so I am definitely going to visit that next. I just love your blog 🙂 Annie

  5. Thank you so much for this series. I am so enjoying your sleuthing. I think I’ve told you I’m working on a fictionalized biography of my father. Born in 1890, he came here from Sweden in 1909 and was married to my mother in 1917. How wonderful to be able to enrich the stages of his story with weather descriptions. Thank you! Thank you! for the link.

    1. I’m glad you found the link useful. The fictionalized biography sounds really interesting. I’m looking forward to reading it when it is done.

  6. That is an interesting little tidbit about the weather. I wish it was cool today…hot humid and the day started off with rain. Sun is out but so is the humidity.

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