Weather History Highs and Lows | Almanac.com

Weather History Highs and Lows


The Weather Temperature Roller Coaster

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It’s always a trip to follow the ups and downs of world temperatures. Here is a glimpse of weather history highs and lows—and so called “predictions.”

1895: “Geologists think that the world may be frozen up again.” 

             –The New York Times

1912: “The human race will have to fight for its existence against cold.” –Los Angeles Times

1912: Titanic strikes an iceberg and sinks. “An ice age is encroaching.” –The New York Times

1923: “The Ice Age Is Coming Here” –The Washington Post

1923: “Scientist Says Arctic Ice Will Wipe Out Canada and Parts of Europe and Asia, and Switzerland Would Be Entirely Obliterated” 

                –Chicago Tribune

1930s: Searing heat and drought turn the nation’s midsection into a “Dust Bowl.”

1933: “America is in longest warm spell since 1776, with temperatures in a 25-year rise.” 

                –The New York Times

1939: “… weathermen have no doubt that the world, at least for the time being, is growing warmer.”


1951: Receding permafrost in Russia is reported as proof that the planet is warming.

1952: Melting glaciers are the trump card of global warming. 

              –The New York Times

1960s: Brutal cold prevails worldwide.

1970s: The chill continues. TIME and Newsweek magazines report on the coming ice age.

1974: Climatologists forecast crop failures and starvation due to global cooling.

1976–79: The United States and many other parts of the Western Hemisphere experience the coldest contiguous winters on record.

1979: “Plan for the Study of Dome Over Town Is Approved” [Winooski, Vermont; to protect the city from cold] –The New York Times

1980: A brutal summer heat wave occurs in much of the United States. (Residents of Winooski realize that they would have fried to death under a dome.)

1980–2000: Temperatures rise globally, interrupted only by the cooling effects of major volcanic eruptions: El Chichón in Mexico (1982) and Pinatubo in the Philippines (1991).

1988: Record heat and drought in the eastern and central United States cause over $40 billion in crop losses.

1991: “Volcano’s Eruption in Philippines May Counteract Global Warming” –The New York Times

1997–98: A super El Niño results in the warmest temperatures on record worldwide.

1998: “Earth Temperature in 1998 Is Reported at Record High” –The New York Times

2007: A bitter cold spell sweeps across the Southern Hemisphere, as Australia records its coldest June ever and Chile experiences its toughest winter in 50 years. Johannesburg, South Africa, gets its first significant snow in a half-century. Despite the bitter cold throughout much of the Southern Hemisphere, NASA expert James Hansen declares 2007 the second-warmest year in a century.

2007: “First Major Snow in Buenos Aires Since 1918” 

           –International Herald Tribune

2008: “Snow Day in Baghdad” 

           –International Herald Tribune

2008: The coldest weather since 1964 hits the Middle East, while China experiences unusually heavy snow and freezing temperatures.

2009: NOAA reports the 2000–2009 decade as warmest on record.

2010: Snow has to be trucked in for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. Lowest volume of Arctic ice on record.

2010: “Snowmageddon” buries Philadelphia and Baltimore. 

2010: Russian heat wave kills 55,000.

2014–15: Globally, December– February is the warmest on record since 1880. 

2016: January is the warmest January ever recorded.

About The Author

Michael Steinberg

Mike Steinberg is Senior Vice President for Special Initiatives at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Read More from Michael Steinberg