Column: The Saxby Gale of October 5, 1869

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Title: The Saxby Gale of October 5, 1869

Snippet: Maritimers are always talking about the weather. I think it’s because if we wait five minutes, it’ll change. We have the winds from the west bringing heat waves, winds from the north delivering cold fronts, the Gulf Steam transporting warm, humid air and the Atlantic Ocean that tries to maintain a constant weather day except for when it is stirring up a storm.

All this activity makes for a lot of data to analyse to predict the weather. Forecasting the conditions for an entire week is difficult, but predicting it for more than ten months into the future is near impossible. However that’s what Lieutenant Stephen Saxby of the British Royal Navy did when he warned of a devastating storm that would strike the Maritimes in 1869.

Saxby was an amateur astronomer. He used his knowledge of the moon and Earth to predict the weather according to celestial events. It was known as meteorological astrology. In November 1868, Saxby and Frederick Allison, an amateur meteorologist from Halifax, combined their research and predicted a major storm would hit eastern Canada on October 5, 1869.

A letter was sent to the Evening Standard newspaper of London, England. In it, Saxby and Allison warned mariners and those residing along the shore of the coming storm, suggesting they should prepare for the worse.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.


One thought on “Column: The Saxby Gale of October 5, 1869

  1. Pingback: Newspaper Report of the Saxby Gale 1869 | Roots to the Past

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