What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen,
What old December's bareness everywhere!


Australian dust storm
A dust storm at Broken Hill, Australia, December 13, 1907

December 1
1768 The Exeter coach was carried away by a flood near Staines in Middlesex, and six persons were drowned.
December 2
1680 A hen in Rome produced a prodigy: an egg on which was a figure of the great comet of 1680, and other marks.
December 3
1926 Two marine phosphorescent wheels were observed in the Malacca Straits.
December 4
1245 The Annals of Loch Ce say that 'poisonous snow' fell in Ireland, which took off the heels and toes of those who walked in it.
December 5
1900 Professor Pickering observed a "fountain of light on the orb of Mars", which was visible for 70 minutes.
December 6
AD 185 The Chinese observed the earliest recorded supernova in the constellation Centaurus.
December 7
1918 The night sky in England glowed with a soft white light.
December 8
1890 Seventeen completely sunless days were recorded at Kew Observatory, west London, from the 8th to the 24th.
December 9
1897 A black globe which seemed made of dense smoke passed through a kitchen at Castelgandolfo, Italy, during a storm. It escaped through a window.
December 10
1798 The coldest day of a very severe winter over all Europe, with a temperature of -18° C. (-4° F.) There were 32 consecutive days of frost in Paris.
December 11
1843 A great bolide as bright as the Sun moved with a serpentine motion over Limoux in France. The tail-less meteor threw sparks ahead of it.
1925 A tornado in Bermuda damaged many buildings.
December 13
1795 A stone meteorite weighing 56 pounds (25 kg.) fell at Wold Cottage, near Scarborough in Yorkshire.
December 14
1911 Roauld Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole. He remained three days.
December 15
1798 Vesuvius and Etna were in simultaneous eruption until Christmas Eve.
December 16
1631 A great eruption of Vesuvius began. The valleys on the sides of the cone were swept by lethal nuee ardentes. 4,000 people were killed and 15 towns wrecked.
December 17
1896 A Richter magnitude 6.2 earthquake shook Hereford. The cathedral and 217 other buildings were damaged.
December 18
1895 A fireball moving against the wind killed a man and tore up the ground for 100 yards (90 m.) in Devon.
December 19
1903 A rain of 'lavender-coloured substance' fell at Oudon in France.
December 20
1893 A brilliant white luminous body, possibly an 'auroral meteor’, was seen for over 15 minutes in Virginia and Carolina. It moved slowly from west to east.
December 21
1927 'Slippery Wednesday': severe frost on overnight rain caused thousands of street accidents in London and elsewhere.
December 22
1879 Professor Sylvanus Thompson saw the 'Brocken Spectre' from Clifton Down, Bristol. His shadow was projected as a dim giant figure on mist in the Avon Gorge.
December 23
1760 Fifteen 'new Vulcano's' burst out near Vesuvius after five earthquake shocks. An eruption of Vesuvius followed.
December 24
1927 A great three-day blizzard in England, as an easterly gale left 15-foot (5 m.) snowdrifts. Snow was six inches (15 cm.) deep in central London.
December 25
1923 During a thunderstorm at Pretoria, South Africa, 360 lightning flashes occurred in three minutes. There were 100 flashes a minute for three hours.
December 26
1778 A 'cold storm' or eastern blizzard swept the United States Atlantic coast. A driver and four oxen were found 'congealed' after the storm.
December 27
1932 People bathed in the sea on the coast of Dalmatia to keep cool in a heatwave with average noon temperatures of 86° F. (30° C.) The sea temperature was about 65° F. (18° C.)
December 28
1879 The bridge over the River Tay in Scotland collapsed in a gale as a train crossed. 75 people died. Two waterspout-like columns were seen near the bridge just before it fell.
December 29
1913 An air temperature of 31° F. (-0.56° C.) at Maymo in Burma.
December 30
1859 A powerful tornado near Calne in Wiltshire left a path of destruction six miles (10 km.) long and 150 yards (137 m.) wide. Many persons were hurt and thousands of trees felled.
December 31
1856 A three-day storm in the South of France: "the thunder scarcely ceased roaring". On January 1, 1857, the streets of Lyons were filled with snow and almost impassable.