WX History: June 22nd

1919: The second deadliest tornado in Minnesota’s history occurred on this day. 59 people were killed as an estimated F5 tornado ripped through the town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. 400 buildings were destroyed. A blank check was found over 60 miles away, and lumber was carried 10 miles. Of the 59 victims, 35 were guests of the Grand Hotel.

June 22, 1916 Fergus Falls Tornado
Digging through the debris of the Grand Hotel. 

Source: GenDisaster.com

1928: A farmer near Greensburg, KS looked up into the heart of a tornado. He described its walls as “rotating clouds lit with constant flashes of lightning and a strong gassy odor with a screaming, hissing sound.”

Source: Seeing the Inside of a Tornado – NOAA History.

2003: A hailstone measuring 7.0 inches in diameter with a circumference of 18.75 inches and weighing 1.33 pounds falls in Aurora, Nebraska. The National Weather Service reports this is the second largest hailstone ever documented in the U.S. by weight, and the largest by size at that time. The world’s largest hailstone NOW was produced from storms in South Dakota; 8″ in diameter and 1.9375 lbs. on July 23, 2010.

June 22, 2003 Aurora Hailstone
The image above is courtesy of the National Center for Environmental Information.

2007: The first officially documented F5 tornado in Canada struck the town of Elie, Manitoba population 500 people. Video of the storm showed a heavy van being whirled through the air. The storm also tossed an almost entire house several hundred yards through the air before it disintegrated. The tornado traveled across the landscape for about 35 minutes covering 3.4 miles and leaving a damage path 984 feet wide. Wind speeds in the tornado were later estimated at 260-316 mph. Fortunately, no fatalities or serious injuries were reported.

Source: Capital Weather Gang.

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