WX History: January 4th

1641: According to historical records, Mount Parker, a stratovolcano on Mindanao Island in the Philippines erupted on this day. The eruption caused the formation of a crater lake called Lake Maughan.  

Source: The Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program.

The image above is courtesy of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

1917: A tornado with estimated F3 damage cut a 15-mile path and struck a school at Vireton in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, killing 16 people. It ranks as the 4th worst school tornado disaster in U.S. history.

Source: Texas History.

The article above is from the Sweetwater Daily Reporter in Sweetwater, Texas. This article was published on January 10, 1917.

1997: The temperature rose to 61 degrees in Flint and Detroit, Michigan. The normal high temperature for January 4 is only 30 degrees!


WX History: January 3rd

1883: A remarkably brilliant meteor display occurred on the night of January 3rd. The phenomenon was observed at stations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. This meteor was described as having resembled a large, bright ball of fire.  

Source: Monthly Weather Review.

1949: During the late afternoon hours, an estimated F4 tornado destroyed the town of Warren, Arkansas. This tornado killed 55 people and injured more than 250 others. The destruction of the Bradley mill displaced 1,000 employees.

Above is the Bradley Mill Smoke Stack following the tornado. The image is courtesy of Bradly County Historical Museum.

Source: Ancestry.com


WX History: January 2nd

1870: One unofficial source reported the heaviest snowfall ever known in Louisville, Kentucky, piled up to about four feet. That would be more than twice as much as the accepted official record of 22.4 inches set February 4 through 6.

1897: Tornadoes in January? Two tornadoes touched down on this day. The first tornado touched down in the town of Mooringsport, Louisiana, killing five people and injuring 21 others. The second tornado occurred at Benton, Arkansas. Although this tornado was more destructive regards to property damage, it caused one death.

Source: Thomas Grazulis book, “Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991.”

1955: Hurricane Alice passed through the Islands of Saint Martin and Saba in the Caribbean Sea on this day. Alice, which developed on December 30, 1954, is the only known Atlantic hurricane to span two calendar years.

Shown above is a PPI scope image from an SPS-6 radar on the USS MIDWAY at 2330 GMT on January 1st, 1955.
Above is the Hurricane Alica storm track.

Source: Monthly Weather Review.




WX History: January 1st

1864: A historic cold blast of air charged southeast from the Northern Plains to Ohio Valley. Chicago had a high temperature 16 degrees below zero and Minneapolis had a high of 25 below zero. A farmer near Huntertown, Indiana, reported the same high temperature as Chicago, with a low of 21 degrees below zero. In his weather diary, he made the remark “rough day.” Minneapolis had a temperature of 25 degrees below zero at 2 PM. St. Louis Missouri saw an overnight low of 24 degrees below zero. The Mississippi was frozen solid with people able to cross it.

Source: David Ludlum

1886: Norway’s coldest night on record occurred as the low temperature dropped to -60.5ºF at Karasjok.

Source: Meteorologisk Institutt.

1935: The Associated Press Wire Photo Service made its debut, delivering the great weather maps, twice each day to newspapers across the country. The first photo transmitted was a plane crash in the Adirondack of New York on this day. The plane crashed during the evening hours on December 28, but the rescue did not occur until New Year’s Day.

Source: New York History Blog.

Associated Press Domestic News New York United States FIRST AP WIREPHOTO

First transmitted wire photograph from the Associated Press.

1964: A snowstorm struck the Deep South on December 31st, 1963 through January 1st, 1964. Meridian MS received 15 inches of snow, 10.5 inches blanketed Bay St Louis MS, and 4.5 inches fell at New Orleans, LA. The University of Alabama Head Football Coach “Bear” Bryant said that the only thing that could have messed up his team’s chances in the Sugar Bowl against Ole Miss in New Orleans, LA was a freak snow. Well, much to his chagrin, 4.5 inches of snow fell the night before the big game. Alabama won the game 12-7 anyway. Freezing temperatures then prevailed for New Year’s Day.

Sources: NWS Nashville and NWS Huntsville.

Snowfall amounts across the southeast U.S.
Snowfall aftermath at the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee. The photo is courtesy of the University of the South.

1999: Sydney, Australia records a high of 111.6 degrees, the second hottest day on record here. Their highest maximum temperature on record is 113.5 degrees recorded in 1939. Records date back to 1859. Meanwhile, Sydney Airport recorded its hottest day on record reaching 113.4 degrees.

2011: A severe weather event which began on the 31st, continued during the early morning hours over Mississippi. One storm produced an EF3 tornado which touched down at 12:02 AM on the 1st.