The weather diary of Georg Christoph Eimmart for Nuremberg, 1695–1704
Abstract. Weather diaries have long been used to reconstruct past climate. However, they could also be used to reconstruct past weather. Weather reconstructions could help to better understand the mechanisms behind, and impacts of, climatic changes. However, reconstructing the day-to-day weather requires many diaries from different regions covering the same period, ideally combined with instrumental measurements. In this paper, I describe the weather diary of Georg Christoph Eimmart from Nuremberg, covering the period 1695 to 1704, which was particularly cold in Europe. The diary was imaged from the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg and then digitized. It contains twice daily weather conditions in symbolic form, wind direction, and information on precipitation and temperature in text form. Symbols changed during the first two years, after which a much reduced (and stable) set of symbols was used. Re-coding all days according to the later set of symbols, I find no signs of inconsistency over time in symbols, wind direction, and precipitation information extracted from the text. Comparisons with other sources confirm the day-to-day weather information in the diary. For instance, the wind direction in Nuremberg agrees with the daily pressure gradient between Jena and Paris. Three case studies further confirm the meteorological correctness of the information. This is shown on behalf of an eight-day sequence of stormy weather in 1702, a study of the severe winter of 1697/8, and of the summer of 1695, which was cold and wet, possibly related to tropical volcanic eruptions. The examples underline the consistency of the weather diary with other information and suggest that weather reconstructions as far back as the late 17th century might become possible. However, the spatial information is limited, and any approach arguably needs to make good use of the temporal sequence of information.
Status: final response (author comments only)
RC1: 'Comment on cp-2022-98', Anonymous Referee #1, 23 Feb 2023
- AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Stefan Bronnimann, 15 Mar 2023
RC2: 'Comment on cp-2022-98', Anonymous Referee #2, 11 Mar 2023
- AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Stefan Bronnimann, 15 Mar 2023
Viewed (geographical distribution)
The paper analyses the content of the weather diary of GG Eimmart for Nurember, 1695-1704. The content is both symbolic and literal, evolves through time and the final and more stable version uses a limited number of symbols. The value of weather diaries as a source of meteorological and climatological information has been previously demonstrated in the literature and this paper adds a new piece to the incomplete puzzle of the Late Maunder Minimum weather/climate.
The paper is well organised and easy to read. The methods to extract the information are well described and statistics of the results are provided. As is usually the case, the author provides some case studies to support the consistency of the data obtained from the diary with those obtained from other sources. Therefore, I think that the paper is suitable for publication in CP after some minor changes.
The discussion of the Winter 1697-8 would benefit if evidences of the circulation over the Atlantic contained in a recent paper by Mellado-Cano et al 2020.
In my opinion, the author uses the terms spatial (lines 364-365) and temporal information (lines 419-421) in a misleading way. The information from a single point can only be temporal and you can only obtain spatial information aggregating several points. I recommend rephrasing the sentences where those terms are associated.
Line 33 ‘based instrumental data’ should be ‘based on instrumental data’
Line 50 a reference to the use of new approaches could be appropriate here
Line 85 what do you mean by larger observatory? Should be clarified
Line 258 Kaliningrad is repeated