WX History: August 4th

1609: Sir Thomas Gates, future governor of Virginia, was on his way to England from Jamestown. On Saint James Day, while between Cuba and the Bahamas, a “most terrible and vehement storm” raged for 44 hours. One of the small vessels in the fleet sank to the bottom of the Florida Straits. Four of the remaining vessels reached Virginia soon after the storm…followed a few days later by three other ships. The flagship, known as Sea Adventure, disappeared and was presumed lost. A small bit of fortune befell the ship and her crew when they made landfall on Bermuda. Although the vessel was damaged on a surrounding coral reef, all survived and spent ten months on the unsettled isle. The Spaniards, though shipwrecked on the island many times, had failed to colonize there. The British claimed the island and quickly settled the subtropical isle. In May 1610, they set forth for Jamestown, this time arriving at their destination. This near catastrophe likely provided the inspiration and background for William Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest.

Source(s): BBC.CO.UK and Virginia Hurricane History from the Weather Prediction Center.

1882: A vivid aurora was visible from Oregon to Maine, down the east coast as far as Mayport, FL, and inland as far as Wellington, KS. Observers at Louisville, KY noted “merry dancers” across the sky, and observers at Saint Vincent, MN noted it was probably the most brilliant ever seen at that location.

Aug 4, 1882 Auroras

Source: Monthly Weather Review.

2008: Severe storms moved across northern Illinois and Indiana with tornadoes and stiff winds reported. With tornado sirens blaring, the game at Wrigley Field between Cubs and Astros was stopped as fans were told to evacuate to the lower concourse. Passengers at O’Hare International Airport were evacuated to lower levels of buildings as well. An estimated 350 flights were canceled.

Source: NWS Office in Chicago, Illinois.

2009: The strongest tornado to hit Quebec since the same date in 1994 ripped through Mont-Laurier. The F2 tornado tore through the small western Quebec town severely damaging about 40 homes. Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Source: Tornado slams Quebec’s Mont-Laurier – CBCNEWS

2017