WX History: April 3rd

1898: An avalanche near Chilkoot Pass, Alaska in the Yukon during the Gold Rush buried 142 people and killed 43 others.                                                                        

Source: Library and Archives Canada.

1964: KAUZ in Wichita Falls, Texas broadcast the first live television pictures of an F5 tornado moving through the city. Seven people were killed, 111 injured and 225 homes were destroyed during the twisters 5 to a 6-mile path. Extensive damage was done at Sheppard Air Force Base where three tanker planes, a hanger, the power plant, and the chapel were all destroyed. Damage estimates exceeded $15 million dollars.

April 3, 1964 Wichita Falls Tornado
Looking to the north over Wichita Falls, Chet Sutherland took one of the most dramatic of all tornado photographs. This photograph can be found in Thomas P. Grazulis’s book, Significant Tornadoes of 1680 – 1991 on page 1050.

Source: Significant Tornadoes 1680 – 1991, by Thomas Grazulis.

1974: A “Super-Outbreak” of tornadoes ravaged the Midwest and the Eastern U.S. Severe weather erupted early in the afternoon and continued through the next day. Severe thunderstorms spawned 148 tornadoes from Alabama to Michigan, most of which occurred between 1 PM (CST) on the 3rd and 1 AM on the 4th. The tornadoes killed 315 persons, injured 5300 others, and caused 600 million dollars in damage. Alabama, Kentucky, and Ohio were especially hard hit by the tornado outbreak. One tornado destroyed half of the town of Xenia, Ohio killing 34 persons. Another tornado, near the city of Stamping Ground, Kentucky produced a path of destruction a record five miles in width. A tornado raced through Guin, Alabama at a speed of 75 mph. Two powerful tornadoes roared across northern Alabama during the early evening hours, killing fifty persons and injuring 500 others. Some rescue vehicles responding to the first tornado were struck by the second.

April 3, 1974 Super Outbreak 2
Detailed Super Outbreak tornado path and intensity analysis.

April 3, 1974 Super Outbreak

Source: NWS Office in Wilmington, Ohio.


WX History: March 1st

1910: The worst avalanche in US history regarding lives lost, occurred in Wellington, Washington. Heavy snow occurred from February 26 through the 28, which blocked the rail lines. Weather conditions turned on the 28th with a thunderstorm occurring over the area. Just after 1 AM on March 1, a ten to 14 foot high mass of snow broke free from the mountainside and pushed the trains 150 feet down into the Tye River Gorge. In all, 96 people were killed by this avalanche.

Sources: History.com  Seattle Times.com


1998: Incredible amount of snow falls on Lead, South Dakota from February 25 through March 1. The official storm total was 103 inches for the 5 day period. Source: NWS Office in Rapid City, SD