When meadows burn with budding May,
And heaven is blue.


Bus TN 1950
A double-decker bus overturned by a tornado in Suffolk, May 21, 1950

May 1
1812 An earthquake in Gloucestershire and South Wales. Chimneys were thrown down at Neath.
May 2
1923 A yellow ball of fire was seen during a severe thunderstorm in County Cork, Ireland. It fell slowly into a river. A few minutes later a second ball was seen.
May 3
1877 Huge hailstones killed thousands of sheep in Texas.
May 4
1761 A powerful tornado struck Charleston, South Carolina, and became a waterspout on the Rebellion-road. Five ships were sunk and 11 dismasted. See here.
May 5
AD 840 Louis le Debonnaire, the son of Charlemagne, died of fright after a total eclipse of the Sun.
May 6
1006 The brightest supernova on record appeared in Centaurus. The Arab astronomer Ali ibn Ridwan said the 'sky was shining because of its light'.
May 7
1840 The worst pre-Civil War U.S. tornado disaster, when Natchez, Mississippi, was wrecked at 2 pm. 48 persons were killed in the city and 269 on the river.
May 8
1902 A nuee ardente blast from the volcano Mt. Pelee destroyed the town of St. Pierre in Martinique with the loss of 30,000 lives. See here.
May 9
1867 A mysterious fall of fossilized hazelnuts at Dublin. They fell 'in great quantities and with great force.'
May 10
1879 Several large stony-iron meteorites and hundreds of nickel-iron fragments fell at Estherville, Iowa, after a detonating fireball.
May 11
AD 922 A red cloud like fire was seen over Bulgary. Noises and voices came from it, and armed men were seen in it.
May 12
1502 The latest date on which the cherry trees of Kyoto in Japan have flowered, in a record extending from AD 812 to 1864.
May 13
1915 Up to two inches (5 cm.) of snow fell after dark in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
May 14
1294 Heavy snow fell in the City of London. The equivalent date according to the Gregorian calendar would be May 25.
May 15
1137 A great wind prostrated many forests and churches in Ireland.
May 16
1808 The Sun turned red in Sweden, and a vast number of spherical bodies crossed the sky in a procession which lasted two hours.
May 17
1855 A pumiceous glassy object fell, accompanied by detonations, at Igast in Latvia. It weighed one ounce. (28 g.)
May 18
1910 The Earth is believed to have passed through the ion tail of Halley's Comet, causing a geomagnetic storm.
May 19
1780 New England's famous dark day. On Black Friday candles were lighted at noon in Providence. Soot-coloured rain fell. See here.
May 20
1729 A powerful tornado caused great damage along a path 380 yards (347 m.) wide and 12 miles (19 km.) long, from Bexhill to the River Rother in Sussex. See here.
May 21
1922 A maximum shade temperature of 91°F. (33° C.) at Camden Square, London
May 22
1851 Hailstones the size of pumpkins were reported to have fallen at Bangalore in India.
May 23
AD 905 A comet was observed from China whose tail extended across the heavens. 'The luminous envelope had an exceedingly angry appearance'.
May 24
1787 A tornado unroofed houses, uprooted trees and overturned carts, wagons and chaises at Wellington, Somerset.
May 25
1788 An aurora was seen in daylight at 11 am from Dublin, as whitish quivering rays ascending from all parts of the horizon.
May 26
1379 A number of stones fell at Hamburg, Germany.
May 27
1904 A singular intensely dark foggy gloom in London. Artificial lights were needed at mid-day. Unusual barometric oscillations were observed.
May 28
1881 About half a ton of periwinkles and a few seashore pebbles fell at Worcester before a thunderstorm.
May 29
1613 An enormous cloudburst lasting 11 hours occurred in Germany. It was remembered for a century under the name of the Thuringian Deluge.
May 30
1914 Lassen Peak in California began an eruption which culminated a year later with a lateral blast and an ash cloud six miles (10 km.) high.
May 31
1935 An earthquake at Quetta in India, of magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale. 60,000 persons were killed.