WX History: February 28th

1792: Heavy snow, about 6 inches worth, collapsed the Ashley River Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina.

1846:  William S. Forrest in “Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Norfolk and Vicinity” in 1853 recorded the Great Gust of 1846. The Great Gust was a severe coastal storm that produced 5 feet waves in Norfolk. You can read his account of the storm by clicking HERE. The storm is on the bottom of page 225 to 226.

1900: A massive storm spread record snows from Kansas to New York State. Snow fell for over 24-hours in Toledo, Ohio. When it was all over, the 19 inches set a single storm record for the city. Topeka, Kansas reported 18.7 inches of snow in 24 hours to set their record for most snow in a 24-hour period. 36 inches of snow at Astoria, Illinois sets new state 24-hour snowfall record. Northfield, Vermont picked up 31 inches of snow. Snowfall totals ranged up to 17.5 inches at Springfield, Illinois and 43 inches at Rochester, New York. 60 inches fell in parts of the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. 

1952: A powerful Nor’easter hit Cape Cod with winds of 70-80 mph and snowfall amounts of 12-20 inches. These conditions created 12 feet drifts. 


 1959: An accumulation of heavy snow on the roof of a Listowel Arena in Ontario Canada caused it to collapse during a hockey game. Several people inside were killed.


Source: Therecord.com.

2007: A severe storm, named Xynthia, blows into France, Portugal, and Spain, smashing sea walls, destroying homes, polluting farmland with saltwater and devastating the Atlantic coast’s oyster farms. Winds reach to about 125 mph on the summits of the Pyrenees and up to nearly 100 mph along the Atlantic Coast. Wind speeds of 106 mph are measured atop the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The storm hits hardest in the Vendee and Charente-Maritime regions in southwestern France. The storm is blamed for 52 deaths in France. A Napoleonic sea wall collapsed off the coastal town of La’Aiguillon-sur-Mer. A mobile home park close to the sea wall was particularly hard hit.


Feb 28, 2007 France Storm
The image above is courtesy of NASA’s Earth Observatory.


Source: BBC


WX History: February 27th

1910: A severe cold wave visited the Coeur d’Alene region of northern Idaho on the 22-23rd. The cold was followed by a warm wind and heavy fall of snow. During the 5 day period ending on the 27th, the total snowfall at Burke, Idaho was 39 inches, and the measured amount of precipitation was 4.06 inches. On the 27th, about 8:30 pm, the snow ceased and the rain set in. At 10:50 pm, the first series of destructive avalanches began. Part of the mining town of Mace was inundated by snow. A short time afterward, a second slide buried part of the nearby town of Burke. Several other occurred in the district. Seventeen people were killed and many others injured.


Feb 27, 1910 Burke, Idaho Avalanche
The clipping above is from the Climatological Data for February 1910. 


2010: A magnitude 8.8 earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile at 3:34 local time. The earthquake triggered a tsunami which devastated several coastal towns in south-central Chile. Tsunami warnings were issued in 53 countries. Waves caused minor damage in San Diego area and the Tohoku region of Japan.

2017: Thundersnow was observed in the Seattle area. The video from Twitter shows lightning striking the Space Needle.


WX History: February 24th

1969: The famous “100-Hour Storm” began in Boston, MA. Snow fell much of the time between early on the 25th through noon on the 28th. The 26.3 inches at Logan Airport is the 2nd greatest snowstorm in Boston’s history. 77 inches fell at Pinkham Notch Base Station in New Hampshire bringing their February total to 130 inches. Their snow cover on the 27th was 164 inches. Mt. Washington, NH received 172.8 inches of snow in the month.


Feb 24, 1969 NE Snowfall Map
The snow map above is courtesy of the National Centers for Environmental Information.


2001: Over a dozen tornadoes spawned in central and eastern Arkansas. The strongest tornado (F3) was in Desha County, with parts of a farm shop found six miles away from where it was blown apart. An 18-month-old was killed in Fulton County by an F2 tornado.

2016: A strong area of low pressure along with a cold front produced a severe weather outbreak from North Carolina to Pennsylvania. Not one, but two, rare February tornadoes occurred in central Virgina. The strongest tornado caused EF3 damage in Appomattox, County. This is the first EF3 tornado ever in Appomattox County.

Source: http://www.weather.gov/media/rnk/Appomattox.pdf

The photo above was taken by Jason Smith in the Evergreen area.

Source: NWS Office in Wakefield, Virginia.  And pdf here.

WX History: February 17th

1894: According to Grazulis, an estimated F2 tornado hits 5 miles south of Warren, Arkansas. An elderly woman was killed in one of the small homes that were destroyed. Fruit trees were ripped out and carried a half mile. Another tornado, estimated F3, killed 2 people in Claiborne County, Louisiana.

1926: A deadly avalanche, Utah’s worst, demolishes 14 miner’s cottages and a three-story boarding house in Bingham Canyon. Thirty-six are killed and 13 injured.

Source: GenDisaster.com

1962: Very heavy snow of 20 to 30 inches fell across the southeastern half of South Dakota from February 15-18th. Everything was shut-down due to the storm including roads, schools, and businesses. Some snowfall amounts included, 10 inches at Bryant, 11 inches at Miller, 20 inches at Mitchell, 21 inches at Redfield, 23 inches at Huron, and 32 inches at Sioux Falls.

The surface map on February 18th, 1962 at 7 am.
The snowfall map above is courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.

February 12th

1784: Ice floes were spotted in the Gulf of Mexico after passing out of the Mississippi River in February 1784. Ice blocked the river at New Orleans, Louisiana. The ice in New Orleans is one of two times that this occurred, the other during the Great Arctic Outbreak of 1899. The eruption of Laki in Iceland from June 8, 1783, through February 7, 1784, is the likely cause for the severe winter of 1783 to 1784.

Feb 12, 1784 Laki Fissure
The image is the center of the Laki Fissure.

Source: The Ultimate History Project.

1899: More from the bitter cold outbreak of 1899. Texas and the Eastern Plains experienced their coldest morning of modern record. The mercury dipped to 8 degrees below zero at Fort Worth, Texas and 22 degrees below zero at Kansas City, Missouri. The temperature at Camp Clarke, Nebraska plunged to 47 degrees below zero to establish a record for the state. The all-time record low for Oklahoma City was set. The mercury fell to a frigid 17 degrees below zero and broke the previous record low of 12 below zero, which was set on the previous day. In the eastern U.S., Washington D.C. hit 15 degrees below zero, while Charleston SC received a record four inches of snow. Snow was reported in Fort Myers, Tampa, and Tallahassee in Florida.

Feb 12, 1899 Fl Capitol Snowball fight
The image above is a snowfall fight on the steps of the Florida Capitol building.


Source(s): National Centers for Environmental Information and Florida Memory.

1958: Snow blanketed northern Florida, with Tallahassee reporting a record 2.8 inches. A ship in the Gulf of Mexico, 25 miles south of Fort Morgan Alabama, reported zero visibility in heavy snow on the afternoon of the 12th.

WX History: February 10th

1921: The town of Gardner, Georgia was devastated by a massive, estimated F4 tornado that caused an entire section of the small town to disappear. This tornado killed 31 people and injured 100.

1959: St. Louis, Missouri was hit by a massive F4 tornado that killed 21 and injured 345. Over 2000 buildings were damaged or destroyed, including the St. Louis Arena.

Feb 10, 1959 St_ Louis Tornado Damage
Above is the St. Louis Arena after the tornado. The storm partly toppled one of the building’s distinctive twin towers.

Source: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

1981: A morning tornado at Bay Minette, AL struck the local middle school. The school’s gymnasium was severely damaged, and 62 people were hurt, 44 of which were students.

Feb 10, 1981 Bay Minette Tornado
Newspaper photo of the tornado damage at Bar Minette Middle School.


Source: The Tuscaloosa News.

2010: Cyclone Pat slams The Cook Islands with 125 mph winds, which destroyed about 80 percent of the island of Aitutaki.

Feb 10, 2010 Cyclone Pat
Visible satellite image of Severe Tropical Cyclone Pat as the sunset on February 10th. The storm was near its peak intensity at this time and approaching the small island of Aitutaki. The image is courtesy of NASA.


2017: An atmospheric phenomena know as “moonbow” was seen in the Seattle area.