WX History: April 30th

1888: 246 people died in the world’s deadliest hailstorm in India. Hailstones were reportedly the size of baseballs. 1600 domesticated animals at Moradabad perished.

April 30, 1888 Newpaper clipping of India hailstorm
The newspaper clipping above is from The Argus in Melbourne, Australia, on May 8th, 1888.

Source: History.com

1924: A major tornado outbreak occurred from Alabama to Virginia on the 29 through the 30th. 26 tornadoes were of F2 intensity or greater. A total of 111 people were killed, and over 1,100 injured. An estimated F4 tornado tore through Steedman and Horrell Hill, SC. 55 people were killed from this tornado.

April 30, 1924 South Carolina tornado info

Source: Climatological Data of South Carolina in 1924.

1953: An F4 tornado, 300 yards in width leveled homes on the north side of Warner-Robins Georgia, and barracks on the south side of the Warner-Robins Air Force Base. 19 people were killed and were 300 injured. 

Source: Robins Air Force Base.




WX History: April 29th

1910: The temperature at Kansas City MO soared to 95 degrees to establish a record for the month of April. Four days earlier the afternoon high in Kansas City was 44 degrees following a record cold morning low of 34 degrees.

1991: Southeast Bangladesh was devastated by a tropical cyclone with sustained winds of approximately 155 mph in the during the late night hours. A 20-foot storm surge inundated the offshore islands south of Chittagong and pushed water from the Bay of Bengal inland for miles. Best estimated put the loss of life from this cyclone between 135,000 and 145,000 people.

April 29, 1991 Bangladesh Cyclone
Bangladesh cyclone near peak intensity on April 29 at 0623 UTC. This image was produced from data from NOAA-11.


Source: History.com 

WX History: April 28th

1893: A ½ mile wide estimated F4 tornado killed 23 people and injured 150 as it tore a path of devastation through Cisco, Texas. Every building in the town was either totally destroyed or severely damaged. 

1973: The record crest of the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri was registered at 43.23 feet on this day. This level exceeded the previous 1785 mark by 1.23 feet. This record was broken during the 1993 Flood when the Mississippi River crested at 49.58 feet on August 1st. At Memphis, Tennessee, the Mississippi was over flood stage for 63 days, more than that of the historic 1927 flood, and the river was above flood stage for an even longer 107 days at upstream Cairo, Illinois. Out of the seven largest floods on the Mississippi between 1927 and 1997, the 1973 event ranked third in both volume discharged and duration but only sixth in flood height. Over $250 million of damages were incurred mainly in the Mississippi Valley states of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

April 28, 1973 Morgan City, Mississippi River Flooding
Above is Morgan City, Louisiana during the Mississippi River flooding of 1973. This aerial image was taken in May.


1991: Memphis, Tennessee recorded their wettest April ever with 15.03 inches, breaking their previous record of 13.90 inches in 1872.

2002: During the evening hours, a violent F4 tornado carved a 64-mile path across southeast Maryland. The La Plata, Maryland tornado was part of a larger severe weather outbreak that began in the mid-Mississippi Valley early on that day and spread across portions of the Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic States. In Maryland, three deaths and 122 injuries were a direct result of the storm. Property damage exceeded $100 million. Tornadoes along the Atlantic coast are not common, and tornadoes of this magnitude are extremely rare. Only six F4 tornadoes have occurred farther north and east of the La Plata storm: Worchester, Massachusetts – 1953; New York/Massachusetts – 1973; Windsor Locks, Connecticut – 1979; five counties in New York – 1989; New Haven, Connecticut – 1989; North Egremont, Massachusetts – 1995. None was as close to the coast. The tornado traveled across the Chesapeake Bay almost to the Atlantic.


The La Plata tornado was moving southeast across the Chesapeake Bay as a waterspout. The photograph was taken from Long Beach, Maryland. The photograph is courtesy of Ted L. Dutcher.


Source(s). NWS Assessment and Earth Science Picture of the Day.


WX History: April 27th

1898: The first Weather Bureau kite was launched in Topeka, Kansas to report daily, early morning, atmospheric observations. By year’s end, 16 additional launch sites would be in operation.

Source: The Weather Doctor.

1912: The April 27-28, 1912 outbreak was the climax of a wild, week-long period of severe weather that occurred in Oklahoma. Strong to violent tornadoes struck portions of central and north central Oklahoma on April 20, 1912. Also, a violent tornado hit Ponca City, OK on April 25, 1912. From the 27 through the 28th, 16 tornadoes rated F2 or greater touched down in the state with 6 of them rated F4. About 40 people were killed, and 120 people were injured by the storms.

Source: NWS Office in Norman, Oklahoma. 

1931: The temperature at Pahala, located on the main island of Hawaii, soared to 100 degrees to establish a state record.


2003: For only the 11th time since records began in 1871, hail was observed in Key West Florida. A severe thunderstorm produced hail to 1.75 inches in diameter which easily broke the previous record of a half an inch in diameter which was set on May 10, 1961.

2011: April 27 was the single deadliest day for tornadoes since records began in 1950. The death toll from Wednesday’s 199 tornadoes surpassed 300. The worst day in recorded history for storm fatalities is March 18, 1925, with 747 deaths. Of the 316 deaths reported, 313 were associated with the afternoon/evening tornadoes. In all, 31 of these tornadoes were rated as EF3 or stronger. Eleven tornadoes were rated EF4, and four were rated EF5. The average EF4 and EF5 tornado path length were 66 miles.

Source: NWS Office in Birmingham, Alabama.


WX History: April 26th

1884: Tornadoes were hard to capture on old cameras with their hard to use glass plate negatives. The first recorded photograph of a tornado was taken on this date by A.A. Adams near Garnett, Kansas.

The photographer, A.A. Adams took the photograph from a street corner near the United Presbyterian Church. It is reported to be the earliest known photograph of a tornado. 

Source: WeatherNation and Kansas Historical Society

1978: An unusually strong occluded front swept out of the Gulf of Alaska and produced the first April thunderstorm of record at Fairbanks. Pea-size hail fell northeast of Fairbanks from thunderstorms whose tops were less than 8000 feet.

1986: The Chernobyl nuclear power station in Kiev Ukraine suffered a massive explosion. The radioactive cloud of particles and gas carried westward and northwestward, contaminating large areas of Europe in the following week.

April 26, 1986 Chernobyl_Disaster
Chernobyl Disaster aftermath shows very extensive damage to the main reactor hall (center of image) and turbine building.

Source: History Channel.




WX History: April 25th

1875: New York City received three inches of snow, the latest measurable snow on record for that location.

1880: A violent tornado, at times up to 400 yards wide, swept away at least 20 homes in Macon, Mississippi. Pieces of some of the homes were found 15 miles away. 22 people died, and 72 were injured. Loaded freight cars were thrown 100 yards into homes.

1910: Chicago, Illinois was blanketed with 2.5 inches of snow, and a total of 6.5 inches between the 22nd and the 26th. It was the latest significant snow of record for the city. Atlanta, Georgia also received late season snowfall when 1.5 inches fell. Their 32 degrees low is the latest freeze on record.

1912: Ponca City, Oklahoma was struck by an estimated F4 tornado. One person was killed, and 119 homes were damaged or destroyed. Dozens of oil derricks were flattened or twisted, southwest of town. The tornado was reportedly visible and audible for 20 miles.

April 25, 1912 Ponca City Tornado
The image above is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Source: Library of Congress.

1990: Thunderstorms produced severe weather from Texas to Nebraska. Thunderstorms spawned fifteen tornadoes, including a powerful F4 tornado near Weatherford, Texas. Between 3 PM and 8 PM, a storm complex tracking northeastward across central Kansas spawned four tornadoes along an 119-mile path from Ness to Smith Center, with the last tornado on the ground for 55 miles. Del Rio TX was hit with hail two inches in diameter and wind gusts to 112 mph. Brown County and Commanche County in Texas were deluged with up to 18 inches of rain, and flooding caused more than 65 million dollars damage.

April 25, 1990 Ellis County, KS tornado
Above is the F3 tornado as it entered the southwestern part of Ellis County. This tornado destroyed 13 farms. The photograph is courtesy of Mike Corn, Harris News Service in Hays, Kansas.

Source: Storm Data.

WX History: April 24th

1880: Several tornadoes affected parts of central and southwest Illinois. One tornado of F4 intensity touched down near Jerseyville and killed one person along its 18-mile path. Another F4 tornado passed just north of Carlinville and lifted near Atwater, destroying 50 buildings. Six people died in Christian County by an F5 tornado, which tracked from 9 miles southwest of Taylorville to near Sharpsburg.

1908: Severe thunderstorms spawned eighteen tornadoes over across the Central Gulf Coast States claiming the lives of 310 persons. The state of Mississippi was hardest hit. A tornado near Hattiesburg, Mississippi killed 143 persons and caused more than half a million dollars damage. Four violent tornadoes accounted for 279 of the 310 deaths. The deadliest of the four tornadoes swelled to a width of 2.5 miles as it passed near Amite, Louisiana. The tornado also leveled most of Purvis Mississippi.

April 24, 1908 Mississippi Tornado
The home of Mrs. Mary Meigs. This photo is courtesy of Mr. Jerry Cornelius and Mr. Thomas Bodine.

Source: NWS Office Birmingham, Alabama.

2003: The temperature soared to a maximum of 70 degrees in Juneau, Alaska. This is the earliest record of 70-degree reading to occur in Juneau.

2010: April Tornado Outbreak- During a major severe weather outbreak across the South on April 22-25, 142 tornadoes raked the region, including 77 on April 24 alone. Ten died from the long-track tornado that swept across Mississippi on April 24. A long-lived twister left a trail of destruction extending over 149 miles from Louisiana through Mississippi, resulting in 10 deaths and 75 injuries. This EF4 storm, which grew to a width of 1.75 miles, sported the fourth longest track in Mississippi history. This storm destroyed part of Yazoo City, Mississippi. The Swiss Reinsurance Company estimated insured damages with this outbreak at $1.58 billion.

The tornado track map above is courtesy of the NWS Office in Jacksonville, MS.

Source: NWS Office Jacksonville, MS. and Discovery.com stormchasers.

WX History: April 23rd

1948: A three block long section was devastated at the edge of Ionia, Iowa in Chickasaw County by an estimated F4 tornado. Six homes and a church were leveled, and nine other homes were severely damaged. Two deaths occurred in the collapse of the Huffman Implement Store. Overall, the tornado killed five people, injured 25, and caused $250,000 in damages. An F2 tornado touched down initially 5 miles northeast of Rochester. Barns, silos, windmills, and machinery were destroyed on four farms as this tornado tracked north.

April 23, 1948 Chickasaw Tornado Damage
Above is the HUFFMAN Implement Shop at Ionia after the tornado. The image is courtesy of the Chickasaw County Iowa Genealogical Society.


1961: Severe weather struck the south suburbs of Chicago, IL. Joliet, IL reported an inch of hail with some hailstones the size of golf balls. Heavy rain from these storms also resulted in some flooding. A tornado struck the town of Peotone resulting in damage to nearly every building with damage also reported in Lorenzo and Wilton Center, IL. Damage was estimated at $9 million dollars with about 30,000 structures affected. 

1999: On Friday, April 23, 1999, a horrific hailstorm moved southeast from Pennsylvania across Garrett County, Maryland and into the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. It had weakened some as it crossed Garrett County and the Allegany Front, but as it passed east of Keyser, West Virginia, hail began to increase in size once again. By the time it reached Capon Bridge in eastern Hampshire County, West Virginia, the size of the hail had grown from golf balls to baseballs. As it moved into Frederick County, VA, the hail storm continued to grow dropping golf ball size hail in a swath now reaching from the north of Winchester, south to Stephen City (about 10 miles). The intensity of the hail stripped and shredded leaves and bark from the newly budding trees. Hailstones grew to the size of Grapefruit (4 inches in diameter) just east of Winchester. The storm continued east through Clarke County, southern Loudoun, and northern Fauquier doing considerable damage to Middleburg, then across Fairfax County hitting Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax, Burke, Springfield, and Lorton with golf ball to baseball size hail. It crossed the Potomac River and weakened just slightly. It moved across northern Charles, clipped southern Prince Georges and then into Calvert County with 1 inch to 1.5-inch diameter hail and onto the Chesapeake Bay continuing southeast to the ocean. The damage left behind was incredible. In Northern Virginia alone, it amounted to over $50 million dollars in losses to public and private properties. Some communities saw a third of the homes with siding and roof damage. Some required total replacement. Windows were broken, cars dented, and windshields smashed. Piles of shredded plant debris were left on the ground in the storm path. In about 6 hours of time, this one thunderstorm, moving at about 50 mph, did $75 million in damage. There have been other severe hail storms to hit this area before, but none to cause this much damage to property.

WX History: April 22nd

1883: A tornado outbreak from Louisiana to Kansas claimed the lives of at least 127 people and injured over 800 others. One of the tornadoes destroyed the town of Beauregard, Mississippi.

Source: GenDisasters.com

1978: Lightning sometimes strikes tents. In this case, a tent containing some sleeping Girl Scouts was hit by lightning as they were camping at DeGray Lake in Arkansas. Two of the Girl Scouts suffered minor burns.

1999: A one million dollar air charter Bowling 727 flew into large hail. Although the plane and it 66 occupants landed safely, the aircraft was declared a total loss.

2003: Tropical Storm Ana became the first Atlantic tropical storm since records began in 1871 to form during the month April. Maximum sustained winds reached 55 mph. Starting as a non-tropical area of low pressure on the 18th about 210 miles south-southwest of Bermuda, it was classified as a sub-tropical storm early on the 20th, it gained full tropical characteristics near 0000 UTC on the 21st, developing an “eye” feature.

April 22, 2003 Tropical Storm Ana
Tropical Storm Ana on April 21, 2003. The satellite image is courtesy of NASA.



WX History: April 21st

1885: The town of Denison, Texas was struck by a tornado in 1883 that destroyed a church. The congregation rebuilt the church. On this date, a second tornado destroyed the newly rebuilt church.


1967: Severe thunderstorms spawned 48 tornadoes in the Upper Midwest. Hardest hit was northern Illinois where sixteen tornadoes touched down during the afternoon and evening hours causing fifty million dollars damage. On that Friday afternoon, tornadoes struck Belvidere IL and the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn, killing 58 persons.

April 21, 1967 Oak Lawn Tornado Damage
Aerial view of tornado damage in Oak Lawn near 95th Street and Southwest Highway following the violent tornado event. This tornado killed 33, making it one of the deadliest tornadoes since 1950. The image courtesy of the NWS Office in Chicago, Illinois.

Sources: NWS Office in Chicago Illinois.   Tornado Talk – Outbreak in Oak Lawn.

1988: After having had just twelve rain outs in the previous twenty-six years at Dodger Stadium, the third day of heavy rain in southern California rained out a doubleheader at Dodger Stadium, which had been scheduled due to rainouts the previous two days.