WX History: June 7th

1692: A massive earthquake strikes Port Royal in Jamaica, killing some 3,000 people.

Source: History.com

1816: The following is found on page 31, from the book, “History of the American Clock Business for the Past Sixty Years, and Life of Chauncey Jerome,” written by Chauncey Jerome. The book was published in 1860. “The next summer was a cold one of 1816, which none of the old people will ever forget, and which many of the young have heard a great deal about. There was ice and snow in every month in the year. I well remember on the seventh of June, while on my way to work, about a mile from home, dressed throughout with thick woolen clothes and an overcoat on, my hands got so cold that I was obliged to lay down my tools and put on a pair of mittens which I had in my pocket. It snowed about an hour that day.” This bitter cold event occurred in Plymouth, Connecticut.

June 7, 1816 Bitter Cold and Snow

Source: History of the American Clock Business for the Past Sixty Years.

1964

2013

WX History: June 6th

1816: The temperature reached 92 degrees at Salem, Massachusetts during an early heat wave, but then plunged 49 degrees in 24 hours to commence the famous “year without a summer.” Snow fell near Quebec City, Quebec Canada from the 6th through the 10th and accumulated up to a foot with “drifts reaching the axle trees of carriages.” 

1894: One of the greatest floods in U.S. history occurred as the Willamette River overflowed to inundate half of the business district of Portland, Oregon. The river crested at 33.5 feet, the worst flood ever recorded in the city.

3rd St., Portland, between Washington and Burnside streets durin
The image above is 3rd St. Portland, between Washington and Burnside during the Willamette flood. 

Source: The Oregon Encylopedia.

1897: Light to heavy frost, and in some localities, killing frost occurred on the 6th and 7th in South Dakota. These cold temperatures along with last season frost in May and wet conditions several hampered the planting season.

2017

 

WX History: June 3rd

1860: Iowa’s infamous Camanche Tornado, likely an F5 storm, kills 92 and injures 200. Every home and business were destroyed. It was one of the most damaging families of tornadoes ever to strike the US and resulted in more farm fatalities than any other tornado except for the Tri-State tornado.

 

June 3, 1860 Comanche Tornado
Above is an artist rendition of the tornado.

 

Source: Retro Iowa

1921: Heavy rains caused flash flooding over the southeastern portion of Colorado. The flooding cost the lives of 100 people and millions of dollars in property damage.

 

June 3, 1921 Colorado Flooding
Debris on the 200 block of North Main Street in Pueblo, CO, after the June 3, 1921, flood. The photograph is courtesy of the Pueblo City-County Library District.

 

Source: History.com

1959: Thunderstorms in northwestern Kansas produced up to 18 inches of hail in Selden. Hail fell for 85 minutes, while the temperature dropped from near 80 degrees before the storm to 38 degrees at the height of the storm.

June 3, 1959 Selden KS Hailstorm

Source: Monthly Weather Review.

1993: Early morning severe thunderstorms dumped huge hailstones across northern Oklahoma. Hail, up to 6 inches in diameter in Enid, went through roofs of homes, damaged three jets at Vance Air Force Base, and did $500,000 in damage at a car dealership. Winds gusts reached 70 mph at Vance Air Force Base as well. Hail damage to the wheat crop was estimated at $70 million dollars. 

1997: It was a chilly day in the East. The high temperature at Philadelphia International Airport was only 59 degrees, tying a record-low maximum for the date set back in 1881. The temperature at Middletown, Pennsylvania only rose to 58 degrees, breaking the record-low maximum for the date of 59 degrees set back in 1915. Washington, DC only reached 58 degrees, breaking the old record-low maximum of 59 set back in 1915. Central Park in New York City only reached 61 degrees.

WX History: June 2nd

1889: The same storm that caused the historic dam failure in Johnstown, PA, also affected Washington, D.C. The streets and reservations in the center of the city and all the wharves and streets along the riverfront were under water. Pennsylvania Avenue was flooded from 2nd to 10th Streets. The Potomac River crested at the Aqueduct Bridge at 19.5 feet on June 2. Additionally, damage occurred on Rock Creek, with the Woodley Lane Bridge washed away. Considerable damage occurred to machinery plants and material at the Navy Yard.

June 2, 1889 Potomac Flood
Flooding on Pennsylvania Ave on June 2, 1889. The photograph is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

1891: An estimated F3 tornado moved northeast, passing one mile south of Hazel, South Dakota, where three people were killed in a barn. The farm home was entirely swept away. A horse was seen being carried in the air for 400 yards. The tornado was estimated to be on the ground for about 5 miles.

After touching down, an estimated F2 tornado moved northeast along the eastern edge of Watertown, South Dakota, where a barn was destroyed, and debris was scattered for a half mile. Two homes were leveled 5 miles northeast of Watertown. Near Waverly, one person was injured in the destruction of a flour mill. This tornado was estimated to be on the ground for about 15 miles.

1917: The temperature at Tribune, Kansas dipped to 30 degrees to establish a state record for the month of June.

1990

1997

1998: Frostburg, Maryland on June 2, 1998, at 9:45 PM – This was part of a killer outbreak of tornadoes that moved southeast from Pennsylvania. The storm entered Garrett County, Maryland striking the town of Finzel. It then moved up and over Big Savage Mountain in Allegany County and ripped through the northern portion of Frostburg. It reached its peak strength as it crossed the ridge. Winds were estimated between 210 and 250 mph (F4 on the Fujita Tornado Damage Scale). This was the first tornado to “officially” be rated an “F4” in the State of Maryland. The National Weather Service adopted the Fujita Damage Scale in 1973. The total damage path of the Frostburg tornado was over 25 miles long (8 miles in Allegany County) and up to a half mile wide. Along most of its path, it was producing winds over 125 mph (F2 or stronger). The damage path was continuous as it moved up and down over 2000-foot mountain ridges. The fact that no one was killed in Maryland was attributed to 5 to 10 minutes warning that was well communicated to people in Frostburg over television, radio, scanners, telephones, and sirens. People took quick action to move to their basements. A mother and child rode out the storm as it destroyed their house hiding under a table in the basement. They were shaken but unharmed. A jacket from Frostburg homes was found 25 miles away. A diploma was found near Winchester, Virginia, 60 miles away and a bill was found near Sterling Virginia (about 100 miles away).

WX History: June 1st

1903: During the early afternoon, one of the most destructive tornadoes in the history of Georgia up to this time, struck the outskirts of Gainesville. The track of the storm was about four miles in length and varied between 100 to 200 feet in width. The tornado touched down about one mile southwest of Gainesville, striking a large cotton mill at 12:45 pm, Eastern Time, just 10 minutes after 750 employees filed into the great structure from dinner. On the top floor of the mill were employed 250 children, and it was here that the greatest loss of life occurred.

June 1, 1903 Gaineville Tornado Path
The dotted lines in the image above contain the estimated tornado track. The image is courtesy of the Monthly Weather Review.
June 1, 1903 Gaineville Tornado Damage
Above is the cotton mill where most of the deaths occurred. This estimated F4 tornado killed 98 people and injured at least 200 others.

Source(s): The Monthly Weather Review and GenDisasters.com

1919: Snowfall of almost a half-inch fell at Denver, Colorado. This storm produced their greatest 24-hour snowfall recorded in the month of June. Two temperature records were set: The low temperature of 32 degrees was a record low for the date, and the high of only 40 degrees was a record low maximum. Cheyenne, Wyoming recorded 1.6 inches of snow, which is one of only six times that at least one inch of snow has fallen at Cheyenne in June.

1947

1934: June started off on a warm note as high temperatures surpassed the century mark across parts of the Midwest. Several locations tied or set a record high temperatures for June including Rockford, IL: 106°, Mather, WI: 105°, Hatfield, WI: 103°, Mondovi, WI: 102°, Chicago, IL: 102° and Grand Rapids, MI tied their June record high with 102°.June 1, 1934 June warmth.jpg

1999: A tornado with an intermittent damage path destroyed 200 homes, businesses, and other buildings in the southern portion of St. James, Missouri. Of these, 33 homes were destroyed along with the St. James Golf Course clubhouse and two Missouri Department of Transportation buildings. The tornado then moved east, south of the downtown St. James area and intensified. F2 to F3 damage occurred with a 200 to 300-yard damage path. Several homes and farm buildings were severely damaged or destroyed. Further north, severe thunderstorms produced many tornadoes around central Illinois. The most intense tornado touched down in Montgomery County south of Farmersville and moved into southwest Christian County. One person was killed when a semi-trailer overturned at a rest area on I-55. Across eastern parts of the state, high winds up to 70 mph caused damage to trees, power lines, and some buildings. The Mattoon area also reported flooding from these storms, producing $3 million dollars damage. 

2011

2014

WX History: May 17th

1896: An estimated F5 tornado tracked 100 miles through northeastern Kansas and extreme southeastern Nebraska. Seneca, Oneida, Sabetha, and Reserve, Kansas sustained severe damage. While passing through Reserve, the tornado was 2 miles wide. 25 people were killed, and 200 were injured. Damage was estimated at $400,000.

 

May 17, 1896 Seneca KS Tornado Damage
The image above is Seneca, Kansas following the tornado.

 

Source: GenDisasters.com

1979: A reading of 12 degrees at Mauna Kea Observatory established an all-time record low for the state of Hawaii.

WX History: May 4th

1774: Snow was reported in the Williamsburg Gazette to have fallen in Dumfries, Virginia. George Washington’s weather diary logged at Mount Vernon that it was a cold day with spits of snow and a hard wind from the northwest. Thomas Jefferson near Charlottesville recorded that the Blue Ridge Mountains was covered with snow. The late snow and frost killed most of the fruit crop in the northern part of the state. It also snowed north across Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

1922: The first of two tornadoes that formed over Austin, Texas was called the “western cloud.” It was more visible, but caused much less damage than the “eastern cloud.”

May 4, 1922 Austin Texas Tornado 3
The image above is courtesy of the Austin Public Library. This storm produced the only major tornado in Austin’s history. The tornadoes on May 4th killed 13 and injured 14 others.
May 4, 1922 Austin Texas Tornado
This tornado was seen from the rooftop on downtown Congress Avenue.

Source: The Portal to Texas History.

1996

2007: A devastating EF5 twister demolishes nearly every structure in Greensburg around 9:30 pm (CDT) and kills ten. The mammoth wedge tornado cuts a swath 1.7 miles (2.7 km) wide and 22 miles (35 km) long across the Kansas landscape. It is the worst single tornado to touch down in the US in eight years.

May 4, 2007 Greensburg Kansas Tornado Damage
Greensburg, Kansas on May 16, 2007. The center of town 12 days after an EF5 tornado hit with 200 mph winds. The photo is courtesy of Greg Henshall from FEMA.

Source: NWS Office in Dodge City, Kansas.

WX History: May 1st

1857: The Washington Evening Star publishes the first US national weather summary using observations from volunteers to the Smithsonian Institution’s cooperative network.

May 1, 1857 Evening Star
Above is the first published weather summary from the Washington Evening Star. The image is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

1933: An estimated F4 tornado struck Minden, Louisiana, killing 28 people and injuring 400 others. 500 homes were damaged or destroyed with $1.3 million dollars in damage.

May 1, 1933 Minden, LA tornado

Source(s): Memories of Minden and LSU Archives and Special Collections.

1999: Record, low temperatures for the date, were broken in the Deep South. Mobile, Alabama dropped to 46 degrees.  Miami fell to 58; Miami Beach bottomed out at 61, and Vero Beach dropped to 47 degrees, all new records. Other stations in Florida also set record cold maximums for the date, including 61 at Jacksonville and Daytona Beach with 66 degrees. 

2003: A record-setting 516 tornadoes occurred during the month of May 2003. In particular, during the period May 4-10, 2003, an unprecedented number of tornadoes, 393 total, affected the central and the southern United States. The tornadoes resulted in 39 deaths across four states. Six of these tornadoes were classified as violent (F4) on the Fujita Tornado Intensity Scale.

Source: History.com

2013

2017

2017

 

WX History: April 16th

1849: Charleston, South Carolina recorded their latest freeze ever with a temperature of 32 degrees while 6 inches of snow fell at Wilmington, North Carolina. Snow fell as far south as Milledgeville, Georgia. A damaging hard freeze occurred from Texas to Georgia devastating the cotton crop. 

Research is ongoing for this unusual event.

1851: “The Lighthouse Storm” of 1851 struck New England on this date. Heavy gales and high seas pounded the coasts of New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts. The storm arrived at the time of a full moon, and high tide was producing unusually high storm tides. The storm was so named because it destroyed the lighthouse at Cohasset, Massachusetts. Two assistant lighthouse keepers were killed there when the structure was swept away by the storm tide.

April 16, 1851 Lighthouse Storm
The fog bell was heard furiously clanging around 1 AM on April 17th, 1851, moments before it toppled into the boiling surf.

Source: The New England Lighthouse Storm and the Yankee Gale.

1939

1947

2011:

2008: Typhoon Neoguri forms over the South China Sea on the 15th and rapidly intensifying to attain typhoon strength by the 16th, reaching its peak intensity on the 18th with maximum sustained winds near 109 mph. More than 120,000 people are evacuated from Hainan when heavy rains cause flash floods in low-lying areas. Three fatalities are attributed to the storm, though 40 fishermen are reported missing. Neoguri made landfall in China earlier than any other tropical cyclone on record, about two weeks before the previous record set by Typhoon Wanda in 1971.

April 16, 2008 Typhoon Neoguri
Typhoon Neoguri, seen from MODIS on the Aqua satellite at 0550Z on April 17th. The image is courtesy of NASA.

WX History: April 7th

1926: Lightning started a disastrous oil fire at San Luis Obispo, California, which lasted for five days, spreading over 900 acres, and burned over six million barrels of oil. Flames reached 1000 feet, and the temperature of the fire was estimated at 2,500 degrees. The fire spawned thousands of whirlwinds with hundreds the size of small tornadoes. One vortex traveled one mile to the east-northeast of the blaze, destroying a small farmhouse and killing two people. Damage totaled $15 million dollars.

April 7, 1926 Tank Farm Fire
This is the San Luis Obispo fire.

Source: SanLuisObispo.com

 

1948: Illinois and Indian saw six tornadoes on this day, with three occurring near Chicago. The strongest tornado, an estimated F4, ripped through Kankakee County in Illinois, and Lake, Porter, and Jasper County in Indiana. According to Thomas Grazulis book, Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991, this tornado was “perhaps the first photograph that clearly showed a distant multiple-suction-vortex structure.”

April 7, 1948 Peotone, IL Tornado 2
The clipping above is from Thomas Grazulis book, Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991. This picture can be found on page 937.

Sources: Chicago Tribune Archives.  The Tornado Project.

 

1980: Severe thunderstorms spawned tornadoes that ripped through central Arkansas. The severe thunderstorms also produce high winds and baseball size hail. Five counties were declared disaster areas by President Carter. A tornado causing F3 damage also affected St. Louis and St. Charles counties in Missouri producing $2.5 million dollars in damage. *More research is needed on this event*

 

2006:

 

2007:

 

2010: The record heat that affected the region on April 6-7 included 93 degrees at the Washington-Dulles Airport on April 6, the earliest 90-degree reading on record. On April 7, Newark, New Jersey, shattered its daily record by seven degrees when the maximum temperature rose to 92 degrees. The Northeast ended up with its second warmest April in 116 years.