Weather always plays havoc

Weather always plays havoc

Klaus-peter gabelein at the beginning of may: first temperatures like in summer, then rain and a cold spell, even snow in the eastern part of the county: the weather is playing up again. That all this does not necessarily have to be connected with the much discussed climate change is proven by weather records from earlier times. The weather has always been "capricious", thus made "bocksprunge, how to translate the term from latin.

The oldest weather records for the region are from the twelfth century. There is written about the year 1148: "a very severe winter destroys many cereals" and from the year 1179 it is noted for herzogenaurach: "after a lot of snow and persistent cold, an all-around flooding followed."

And five years later, the chroniclers record: "in 1184, during the winter months in the french regions, it was so warm that trees and vines came to flower already in march, in may the grain was cut and at the beginning of august the best grape juice was drunk"." however, in the following year (1185), the cold was so persistent until pentecost that nothing could ripen and produce, so that inflation, famine and, as a consequence, contagious diseases arose".

While in 1303 there was severe heat and drought, two years later (1305) there was the "coldest winter in living memory, and even in may there was so much snow that the branches of the trees broke and the barely outstanding vines perished". And the consequence of this was from 1315 to 1322 "such a gross increase in the price of grain, as a result of the preceding misyears".

Locusts and plague

1338 brought an unimaginable plague of locusts to our region "that it almost eclipsed the sun"; this is reported by herzogenaurach’s town clerk johann schurr. Furthermore, a "frightening plague, called the black death" broke out, in 1347, the weather always hit our frankenland, so that at that time a hospital was built outside the town, the so-called siechhaus (opposite today’s liebfrauenhaus).

The people, however, also had explanations for this outbreak of plague, namely:"…Air constricted by the sea and marshlands, especially narrow mountain valleys, bad food, consumption of half-rotten fish, bad and rancid food, spoiled drinking water and finally also (by) living together in narrow, wet huts, where the skin culture (= body care) …Is neglected".

For the wednesday,12. August 1654, a solar eclipse had been predicted "because of which one has to take rough precautions because of the cattle, water and the like, to keep (protect = cover) the wells and to prevent such mischief". In addition, the people were asked to "wait for the service on future days with common prayer".

From another solar eclipse on the 12. May 1706 is reported, so that between 9 and about half past 10 o’clock the bats flew around and it became full night. The town clerk of the time, moritz steeger, noted that he had not been able to write because of the prolonged darkness.


Again and again there are also reports of strong "pebble weather" (hailstorms) caused severe damage to nature and crops. The town was also repeatedly hit by devastating floods, for example in 1733. All the footbridges over the aurach were torn away and the town pond was badly damaged; at the same time, there were "strong storm winds", so the hardwood was given away (sold) in large quantities.

The church tower proved to be a strong attraction for lightning strikes in 1770, 1793 and 1799, but fortunately no major fire broke out. Between 1800 and 1830, there were always extremely dry summers and record cold winters. It is said that in 1830, because of the extreme cold, the birds fell from the trees and the crows fought with the chickens for food.

The weather also played "crazy" again and again in the aftermath. All the catastrophes were seen as a divine fugue, the term climate change was not yet known at that time.