May and June have been cooler than normal in parts of the Northeast, especially in areas from Boston to New York City, and I have even heard whispers that 2009 has started as a year without a summer.
Notice I said a year without a summer, not the year without a summer because the cool start to the summer does not compare in the least to the official Year Without a Summer–1816.
During that “summer,” ice apparently flowed in Pennsylvania rivers in June. Parts of New England had a frost in July–after freezing temperatures (and snow) in June had delayed the start of the growing season. A killer freeze ended the growing season in the third week of August.
The famine and pestilence caused by the lack of a summer was blamed for the deaths of thousands, and it was an utter global disaster. Conditions similar to those described in the northeastern part of the United States (which was the main part of the country in 1816) were also seen in Europe.
This year, it’s been a few degrees cooler than average in a small area, centered on New York City. New York’s temperatures have averaged about 4 degrees below average in June. This has caused people to complain about the amount of cloudiness and rain and whine about not being able to use the pool–not exactly like the year without a summer.
NOTE: For a preview of the upcoming winter’s weather (2009-2010), see Snowy, Cold Winter on the Way?