WX History: July 16th

1916: The “Great Flood of 1916,” as many people call it, swept through on July 16, 1916, when the normally shallow French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers in North Carolina jumped their banks after heavy rain fell over the area. We will never know precisely how many people died that fateful day. But, experts estimate that at least several dozen citizens lost their lives in Asheville alone. Click HERE for more information from NCDC.

1979: The most damaging tornado in Wyoming history touched down 3 miles west-northwest of the Cheyenne airport. This strong tornado moved east or east-southeast across the northern part of Cheyenne, causing $22 million in damage and one fatality. 140 houses and 17 trailers were destroyed. 325 other homes were damaged.  Four C-130 aircraft and National Guard equipment sustained $12 million in damage. Municipal hangars and buildings suffered $10 million in losses.

July 16, 1979 Wyoming Tornado

2009: A hailstone, 3.3 inches in diameter, 6.8 inches circumference, and weighing 2.1 ounces fell in Westford, Vermont. This hailstone is the largest ever found in Vermont. The image of the hailstone above is courtesy of the NWS Office in Burlington, Vermont. Click HERE for more information.

July 16, 2009 Vermont Hailstone


WX History: July 15th

1885: The first of three damaging tornadoes hit the Highmore area of South Dakota.  Two small homes were destroyed before the funnel turned to the east, then northeast and north before lifting. This tornado was estimated to have an F2 strength and was seen in all directions for 20 miles. The second tornado appeared to be motionless 3 miles east of Harrold, and then moved east to Holabird, in Hyde County, where it destroyed two homes and dissipated. A third tornado, this one with an estimated F3 strength, formed to the west of Highmore and moved east into town, then lifted about 4 miles east of town. Three homes were destroyed, and about 20 other buildings were damaged at Highmore. A farmer was killed 2 miles east of town. Losses included many new buildings, including a church and a skating rink.

July 15, 1885 Highmore, SD TornadoJuly 15, 1885, Highmore, SD Tornado · Sat, Jul 18, 1885 – 2 · Evening Herald (Fort Scott, Kansas) · Newspapers.com

1888: The Bandai volcano erupts on the Japanese island of Honshu on this day in 1888, killing hundreds and burying many nearby villages in ash. Click HERE for more information from the History Channel.

1901: The city of Marquette, Michigan set their all-time record high temperature with 108-degree reading.

2006: Record heat occurred across central and north central South Dakota and into parts of northeast South Dakota. Afternoon high temperatures ranged from 105 to as high as 120 degrees. The coop observer station 17 miles west-southwest of Fort Pierre tied the state record high temperature with 120 degrees. 

WX History: July 14th

1995: On the evening of Friday, July 14th, thunderstorms producing severe weather were occurring over Upper Michigan and adjacent portions of Ontario near Sault Saint Marie. By late evening the storms had evolved into a bowing line just northwest of the Mackinac Bridge. At 10:17 PM EDT, the thunderstorm gust front hit the bridge, and a gust of 90 mph was measured. Sustained winds of 80 mph continued on the bridge for ten more minutes. Thus began the intense “Ontario-Adirondacks Derecho” that would cause hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damage, several deaths, and many injuries as it raced southeast from the northern Great Lakes to the Atlantic coast. Click HERE for more information from the Storm Prediction Center.

July 14, 1995 Ontario-Adirondacks Derecho

2006: Tropical Storm Bilis tracks across northern Taiwan before making landfall in southeastern China’s Fujian province with maximum sustained winds near 65 mph. The storm causes at least 575 deaths in Fujian, Guangdong, and Hunan provinces and direct economic losses near $3.3 billion.

July 14, 2006 TS Bilis Satellite

Click HERE for more This Day in Weather History from the Southeast Regional Climate Center.

WX History: July 13th

1895: A tornado that began in Cherry Hill, New Jersey made its way to Woodhaven, Long Island in New York. The image below is a hand-colored lantern slide in the Museum Library’s Lantern Slide Collection.

July 13, 1895 Cherry Hill Tornado

1951: Rivers across eastern Kansas crest well above flood stage, causing the greatest destruction from flooding in the Midwestern United States to that time. Five-hundred-thousand people were left homeless, and 24 people died in the disaster. Click HERE for more information from the History Channel. Click HERE for additional photos from the NWS Office in Topeka.

July 13, 1951 Kansas Flooding
The cloverleaf in North Topeka at the junction of U.S. Hwys. 24 and 75. The recently opened Jayhawk Junior Motel was underwater on its roof. The photo was looking southeast (photo courtesy of G.L. Sardou, Topeka, Kansas).


WX History: July 12th

1995: An intense heat wave affected much of the Midwest for a 4-day period beginning on this day. The worst effects of the heat were noted in the Chicago metropolitan area, where 583 people died from the heat. Temperatures across the region reached as high as 104 degrees, overnight lows on falling to the upper 70s to low 80s. Dew point temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s created heat indexes peaking at 125 degrees. Electricity and water usage reached record levels, causing periodic outages. Click HERE for more information from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

July 12 1995 Chicago Heat Wave

1996: Hurricane Bertha makes landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC with maximum winds of 105 mph, but the storm surge dealt the most devastation. The U.S. Virgin Islands, along with North Carolina, were declared federal disaster areas. Surveys indicate that Bertha damaged almost 2,500 homes on St. Thomas and St. John. For many, it was the second hit in the ten months since Hurricane Marilyn devastated the same area. The primary effects in North Carolina were to the coastal counties and included storm surge flooding and beach erosion, roof damage, piers washed away, fallen trees and damage to crops. Over 5,000 homes were damaged, mostly from storm surge. Storm total rainfall amounts ranged from 5 to 8 inches along a coastal strip from South Carolina to Maine. Overall, as many as 12 deaths resulted with 8 in the U.S. and territories. Click HERE for more information from the NWS Office in Morehead, North Carolina.Hurricane Bertha, 1996 2

WX History: July 11th

1909: A deadly, estimated F2 tornado moved across the Simpson Park section of Big Stone City in South Dakota. A bus was thrown from the road, and the driver was killed. Two homes and several barns were destroyed. As the tornado crossed the foot of Big Stone Lake, it tore apart a railroad yard and killed four of the 26 Armenian laborers who were living in box boxcarsOrtonville, Minnesota. Nineteen were injured.

July 11, 1909 Ortonville tornado report
The newspaper article above is courtesy of the Willmar Tribune.

1936: From July 5-17, temperatures exceeding 111 degrees in Manitoba and Ontario claimed 1,180 lives (mostly the elderly and infants) during the longest, deadliest heat wave on record. Four hundred of these deaths were caused by people who drowned seeking refuge from the heat. In fact, the heat was so intense that steel rail lines and bridge girders twisted, sidewalks buckled, crops wilted and fruit baked on trees. Some record temperatures include; 112 degrees at St. Albans and Emerson, Manitoba, 111 at Brandon, Manitoba, 108 at Atikokan, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

1990: One of the costliest hailstorms in U.S. history occurred along the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. Denver, Colorado saw softball-sized hail destroyed roofs and cars, causing more than $600 million in total damage.

July 11, 1990 Denver Hailstorm

Click HERE for more This Day in Weather History from the Southeast Regional Climate Center.

WX History: July 10th

1887: A dam breaks in Zug, Switzerland, killing 70 people in their homes and destroying a large section of the town. Click HERE for more information from the History Channel.

1911: The mercury hit 105 degrees at North Bridgton, Maine the hottest reading of record for Maine. North Bridgton also reached 105 degrees a few days earlier on July 4th, 1911.

1913: The mercury hit 134 degrees at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, California, the hottest reading of record for the World. Sandstorm conditions accompanied the heat. Click HERE for more information from the World Meteorological Organization. 

July 10, 1913 World highest thermomter
Will Herron, a business person, dreamed of a large thermometer for 25 years before he made it a reality in California’s high desert. The World’s Largest Thermometer is 134-ft.-tall, symbolic of the record high temperature in the US, in Death Valley. The thermometer is located in Baker, California.

1926: At the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, lightning struck one of the explosives storage structures during a thunderstorm and started a fire. As a result, several million pounds of explosives detonated over a period of 2–3 days. This explosion not only structural devastation, 187 of 200 buildings destroyed but military and civilian casualties as well. Close to one hundred are injured as explosion spreads havoc within a radius of 15 miles in New Jersey. Otto Dowling was in charge at the time and received a Distinguished Service Cross for his handling of the situation. Click HERE for more information from the Vane.


WX History: July 9th

1938: A deadly, estimated F4 tornado moved ESE across the eastern edge of Andover to the north of Bristol, South Dakota. Seventeen buildings were destroyed at Andover, and at least one home was completely swept away. Seven homes and a church also suffered damage. An elderly person was killed at the western edge of Andover, and a couple died in a home at the southern side of town. About two hours later, another estimated F4 tornado moved ENE from 2 miles northeast of White, South Dakota in Brookings County to Hendricks, Minnesota.  Only one person was injured from this storm.
July 9, 1938 - Andover, SD TornadoJuly 9, 1938 – Andover, SD Tornado · Sun, Jul 10, 1938 – 1 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.com

1979: Hurricane Bob was born in the Gulf of Mexico, becoming the first Atlantic Hurricane to be given a male name.

July 9, 1979 Hurricane Bob
The image above is Hurricane Bob on July 10, 1979.

1997: Torrential rains in the Carpathian Mountains caused severe flooding in the Czech Republic, Poland, and German. In all, 104 people died as a result of the deluge. In the aftermath, authorities from each country blamed the others for the extent of the disaster. Click HERE for more information from the History Channel.

2007: The Argentine capital experiences its first major snowfall since June 22, 1918, as wet snow spreads a thin white mantle over the area. The storm hits on Argentina’s Independence Day holiday thus adding to a festive air. Thousands of Argentines cheer the event, throwing snowballs in the streets. Local radio stations dust off an old tango song inspired by the 1918 snowfall: What a night! Click HERE for more information from the Guardian.com

WX History: July 8th

1680: The first confirmed tornado death in the United States occurred in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The funnel was filled with, stones, bushes, and other things. The tornado also unroofed a barn and snapped many large trees.

2003: What may be the world’s highest dew point temperature was recorded at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in the Persian Gulf. A dew point of 95 degrees was recorded at 1 PM while the air temperature was 108 degrees. The apparent temperature at that time would have been 176 degrees. 

2009: An intense cold front brings heavy snow, hail, high winds and unusually cold temperatures to southern Peru. The severe conditions were blamed for the deaths of more than 246 children due to cold-related illnesses. Click HERE for more information from BBC.

2009: A tornado passed through the city of Dickinson, ND, on the far south side, mainly just south of the Heart River. From their eyewitness accounts, and from video obtained from the Dickinson Police Department, it is likely that this was a rain-wrapped tornado, and very difficult if not impossible to see. The tornado occurred before sunset, yet it was described as being as dark as night during the event. Over 450 structures were damaged, of which nearly 100 were declared destroyed or beyond repair. Numerous vehicles were damaged or destroyed; some were on their roofs. From that, it was determined that peak wind speeds in the tornado were on the order of 150 mph. Click HERE for more information from the Dickinson Police Department.

July 8, 2009 Dickson Tornado
The picture above is courtesy of the Dickinson Police.

2015: A violent F4 tornado hit Dolo and Mira, just west of Venice on July 8, 2015. This tornado is one of the most violent tornadoes on record in Europe: it caused 1 fatality and 72 injuries, along with a damage path 12 km long. Click HERE for more information from Severe Weather Europe.

WX History: July 7th

1905: On this day, the mercury soared to 127 degrees at Parker, Arizona to tie the all-time state record established at Fort Mohave on June 15, 1896. The current record for Arizona is 128 degrees set in Lake Havasu City on June 29, 1994.

1991: During the early morning hours of Sunday, July 7, 1991, a bow echo developed over southeast South Dakota and began racing east, producing very damaging winds. This bow echo was the start of a long-lived derecho that lasted 17 hours and affected areas from the Great Plains into western New York and Pennsylvania. Wind gusts in some places reached 80 to 100 mph. The strongest gust, 103 mph, was measured at Sioux Center, Iowa around mid-morning, and the roof of a school was blown off in nearby Orange City. Click HERE for more information from the Storm Prediction Center.

July 7, 1991 SD to PA Derecho

2004: A tornado occurred in the Rockwell Pass area of Sequoia National Park, California. Since the elevation of the tornado’s ground circulation was approximately 3705 m (12,156 ft) MSL, this is the highest-elevation tornado documented in the United States as of 2017.

July 7, 2004 Sequoia National Park Tornado
Funnel cloud and cloud-based swirl associated with developing tornado above Rockwell Pass in Sequoia National Park at 2332 UTC 7 Jul 2004. (Photo by Scott Newton.)

2012: In Krymsk, Russia, nearly 11 inches of rain falls within a few hours on July 6th. The resulting flash floods occurred during the early morning hours on the 7. The flood wave, as high as 23 feet killed at least 172 people. The 10.83 inches is equivalent to three or four months’ worth of precipitation in a typical year.

July 7 2012 Russia Rain
Satellite image of Russia’s Krasnodar region along the northeast coast of the Black Sea, taken at 09:30 UTC Friday, July 6, 2012.

Click HERE for more This Day in Weather History from the Southeast Regional Climate Center.