The Weird Weather of 1348
This was a phenomenal year for anyone interested in meteorology, especially in weird weather. Many historic accounts state the seasons were reversed in 1348. Snow fell in France during the summer. Earthquakes came to Germany. The elements underwent a drastic change throughout Europe and Asia.
A massive earthquake hit Greece and Italy in January. Entire villages were swallowed with hundreds buried alive. The bad elements caused wine to become turbid while in its casks. By January 25, the quakes had reached Carinthia, Austria, and Carniola, Slovenia. Twenty quakes came in a single night. Sixteen cities were destroyed and an estimated 40,000 people were swallowed into the ground.
Cyprus, Greece, was already dealing with the ravages of the Black Death. An earthquake hit the island, followed by a hurricane. The sea “overflowed*” and destroyed many ships. The island started to turn to desert. The air became noxious and many died from breathing the toxic air. At the time, citizens believed it was the plague germ. The rotten mist was believed to come from the decomposition of swarms of locusts.
A fiery meteor was seen in the sky, and for centuries, many would believe the Black Death came from this space rock. During the earthquakes, many people said they suffered from stupor and headaches. Many of the sufferers died from the illness.
Earthquakes continued, as far as Baale (believed to be Nigeria), until 1360. There were quakes through Germany, France, Silesia, Poland, England, Denmark, and the Scandinavian nations.
Many meteors also appeared in Europe this year. In August, a fireball was seen over Paris, France. On December 20, a fireball appeared for 1 hour over the horizon, over the pope’s palace in Avignon, France. Italy’s crops failed because a record 4 months of rain destroyed the seeds.
Writer Samuel Cohn said that a “Dragon” was at Jerusalem, and it devoured all. A city of 40,000 was gone due to worms as large as a fist. The worms had eight legs, but they didn’t kill the people. The city filled with toxic air.
Dominican Friar Bartolomew said countless rains of worms and serpents came to China. Many devoured the people. Fire rained from heaven, like snow. The falling ash and embers burned mountains, land and men. The fires carried a poisonous vapor that killed all.
Fire was said to fall from heaven over Turkey for around 16 days. It also rained Toads and snakes for several days. The plague was already ravaging the nation.
Many German accounts of this era continually refer to a thick, stinking mist that advanced from the East and continued to spread until it crossed Italy.