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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.