the Battle of Gettysburg Resource Center
Weather During the Battle of Gettysburg
|The following observations of
weather conditions at Gettysburg for the period of the Confederate invasion during the
period of June 25 to July 4 were recorded by Rev. Dr. Michael Jacobs a teacher at the
College and an amatuer meteoroligist.
"The entire period of the invasion is remarkable for being one of clouds, and, for that season of the year, of low temperature. From June 15th until July 22nd, 1863, there was not an entirely clear day."
"On the evening of June 25th at 8 p.m. a rain began . . . This rain continued at intervals until Saturday June 27th, at 7 a.m., the perception being in inches 1.280. At all the observations made on Saturday and Sunday, and until the nine o'clock observation of Monday night, the entire sky was covered with clouds. On the day before the battle, both at 7 a.m., and 2 p.m., the obscuration was again complete, with cumulo-stratus clouds moving from SSE. At 9 p.m., only four-tenths of the heavens were covered. . . . the records of the wind are those of almost entire calm."
Dr. Jacobs recorded the following details of the weather for the days of the battle, including June 30:
There were slight showers on the 5th and the 7th, and on the 8th a rain from 3 am to 11:30 am measured 1.3 inches.
The maximum temperature for the month of July 1863 was 87 degrees (at the time of Pickett's Charge). On eleven days of the month the maximum temperature was in the seventies, on one day (the 17th) it was only 62 degrees.
This helps us imagine what the weather was like during certain parts of the battle. For instance, during Buford's fight on the first morning, it was completely cloudy, slight breeze, and in the mid-70's. During the 20th Maine fight, it was mostly sunny, slight breeze, and in the low 80's. During Pickett's Charge, it was mostly sunny, no breeze, muggy due to the impending storm, and 87 degrees