WX History: March 5th

1894: The low temperature of 36 degrees at San Diego, California on this day was their lowest on record for March.

March 5, 1894 Low in San Diego

1959: Near blizzard conditions occurred over northern and central Oklahoma during a winter storm on March 5, 1959. Up to 7 inches of snow accumulated and winds up to 50 mph created snow drifts four to eight feet deep. In Edmond, a bus slid off the road into a ditch and overturned, injuring 16 people. 

In Iowa, the record-breaking snowstorm on March 4-6 began with light snow in western Iowa on the morning of the 4th then spread across the state and intensified with heavy snow falling from the night of the 4th, through the 5th, and into early morning on the 6th in eastern Iowa. The amount of snowfall and its subsequent effects were less severe in western Iowa and grew progressively worse moving eastward. In central Iowa, snowfall amounts were generally 6 to 10 inches, while in eastern Iowa a swath of about 12 to 20 inches of snow fell roughly from Appanoose County through Tama County and northeast to Allamakee County. Reported storm total snowfall amounts included 12.9 inches at Waterloo, 14.5 inches at Decorah, 16.0 inches at Oelwein, 17.0 inches at Oskaloosa, 17.6 inches at Dubuque, 19.8 inches at Marshalltown where 17.8 inches fell in just 24 hours, and 22.0 inches at Fayette where 21.0 inches fell in 24 hours. Winds strengthened steadily during the storm with speeds reaching 30 to 50 mph at times and causing extensive blowing and drifting of snow. Drifts 6 to 10 feet deep were common and in northeastern Iowa, a few locations reported drifts 15 to 20 feet deep.

March 3-5, 1959 Snow Storm
A general snowfall map courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.


1966: A plane crashes near Mount Fuji in Japan after encountering severe turbulence. The pilot veered a few miles off course to give the passengers a better view of Mount Fuji when it tremendous wind gusts. All 124 people on board the aircraft were killed. Click HERE for more information from BBC.

March 5, 1966 Mount Fiji Plane Crash
The image above shows the crash of the Boeing 707. The image is courtesy of BBC.

1989: A F2 tornado killed one person and injured six others in Heard County, Georgia. A stronger, F3 tornado injured 23 persons and caused more than 5 million dollars damage around Grantville, Georgia.

March 5, 1989 Georgia Tornado Tracks
The image above is courtesy of Storm Data.





WX History: April 4th

1804: A group of tornadoes slashed a 120-mile path across seven counties in Georgia and one county in South Carolina killing 11 people near Augusta, GA. The tornado’s path through heavy timber was still visible some 71 years later as noted in an Army Signal Corps survey.

April 4, 1804 Georgia Tornado
The clipping above is from the Army Signal Service survey report from a tornado event on March 20, 1875.  They noted damage from the April 4th, 1804 tornado was still evident.

Source: Army Signal Service annual report of 1875.

1923: An estimated F4 tornado killed 15 people and injured 150 at Alexandria and Pineville, LA. 142 homes and businesses in Pineville were destroyed.

April 4, 1923 Pineville LA tornado damage
Main Street Pineville following the tornado. The photograph is from the Vintage Postcard Collection of Alexandria, Louisiana.

Source: Vintage Postcard Collection of Alexandria, Louisiana.

1966: One of the strongest tornadoes in Florida’s history moved in from the Gulf of Mexico and ripped through Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, and Osceola County. Damage was very severe in the towns of Gibsonia and Galloway in Polk County. 11 people were killed, and 350 were injured. The tornado was classified as F4.

April 4, 1966 Florida Tornado Paths
The tornado track map above is courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center’s Tornado Tracks Tool.

1977: A Southern Airways DC-9 jet crashed near New Hope, Georgia, after being struck by large hail. The hail and associated heavy precipitation caused the engines to flame out. Seventy-two people (including nine on the ground) died.

April 4, 1977 New Hope Georgia Plane Crash

1977: A massive F5 tornado moved across northern Birmingham, Alabama, killing 22 people and injuring 130. The tornado cut a 15-mile path from just northwest of Birmingham to the town of Tarrant. 167 homes were destroyed, primarily in the Smithfield Estates subdivision. Daniel Payne College sustained significant damage. At one point, the tornado was three-quarters of a mile wide. The tornado crossed busy I-65, tossing cars and trucks like they were toys. Other tornadoes killed one other person in Alabama and one person in Georgia that day.

April 4, 1977 Smithfield tornado damage
Damage in Smithfield, Georgia following the tornado.

Source: NWS Office in Birmingham, Alabama.