1894: The low temperature of 36 degrees at San Diego, California on this day was their lowest on record for March.
1959: Near blizzard conditions occurred over northern and central Oklahoma during a winter storm on March 5, 1959. Up to 7 inches of snow accumulatedand 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.
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.
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.
1896: The temperature in downtown San Francisco, California fell to 33 degrees, which was the lowest ever for the city in March.
1966: One of the most devastating tornadoes in Mississippi history occurred on this day. This tornado would come to be known as the “Candlestick Park” tornado, named after a shopping center in south Jackson which was totally destroyed by the tornado. One of only two documented F5 tornadoes to strike Mississippi in the 20th century. The worst damage occurred in parts of Hinds, Rankin, Scott, and Leake counties, where a total of 57 people were killed and over 500 were injured.
1991: A major ice storm coated parts of central and northwestern New York State with up to two inches of ice. Damage was totaled at $375 million. It was the most costly natural disaster ever in the state up until that time. Nearly half a million people were without power at the height of the storm and many would not see their power restored until the 16th.
1886: The “Great Blizzard of 1886” struck the Midwest with high winds, subzero temperatures, and heavy snowfall. These conditions caused as many as 100 deaths and 80% of the cattle in the state of Kansas. Click HERE for more information from the Kansas Historical Society.
1996: A severe nor’easter paralyzed the East Coast on January 6 to the 8. In Washington D.C., this storm is also known as the “Great Furlough Storm” because it occurred during the 1996 federal government shutdown. Snowfall amounts from this event includes: 47 inches in Big Meadows, Virginia; 30.7″ in Philadelphia; 27.8″ in Newark; 24.6″ at the Dulles International Airport; 24.2″ in Trenton; 24″ in Providence; 22.5″ in Baltimore; 18.2″ in Boston; 17.1″ in D.C.; and 9.6″ in Pittsburgh. Click HERE for more information from the History.com.
2012: The coldest air in recent history moved into the Dakotas and Minnesota during the early morning hours of the 5th and continued into the afternoon hours of the 6th. The combination of sub-zero temperatures with north winds produced dangerously cold wind chills from 40 below to around 55 degrees below zero. Click HERE for more information from the NWS Office in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
1884: One of only two days in history during which the temperature at Louisville, Kentucky, never rose above zero. The low was 20 degrees below with a high of 1 below zero.
1892: From the History of Fayetteville Georgia, “Another traumatic event occurred in Fayetteville on the evening of January 5, 1892, about six o’clock in the evening. A terrible tornado or cyclone struck the town of Fayetteville just as many had sat down for dinner. The storm killed three people and injured many more as its raging force destroyed numerous residences, outbuildings, and structures including the academy, as well as killing abundant livestock. The event was written about as far away as Savannah.”
1962: Two tornadoes, about 100 yards apart and each making paths about 100 yards wide followed parallel paths from southeast to northwest through the edge of the Crestview, Florida’s residential area. These tornadoes killed one and injured 30 others.
2012: Numerous record high temperatures were broken across central and northeast South Dakota along with west central Minnesota throughout the week. Some of the records were broken by as much as 12 to 17 degrees and had been held for 80 to 90 years. Aberdeen surpassed their all-time record high for January by 3 degrees with 63 degrees on Thursday, January 5th. Kennebec tied their all-time record high for January with 70 degrees on January 5th. Click HERE for more information from the National Weather Service Office in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
1864: A historic cold blast of air charged southeast from the Northern Plains to Ohio Valley. Chicago had a high temperature 16 degrees below zero and Minneapolis had a high of 25 below zero. A farmer near Huntertown, Indiana, reported the same high temperature as Chicago, with a low of 21 degrees below zero. In his weather diary, he made the remark “rough day.” Minneapolis had a temperature of 25 degrees below zero at 2 PM. St. Louis Missouri saw an overnight low of 24 degrees below zero. The Mississippi was frozen solid with people able to cross it.
Source: David Ludlum
1886: Norway’s coldest night on record occurred as the low temperature dropped to -60.5ºF at Karasjok.Meteorologisk Institutt.
1935: The Associated Press Wire Photo Service made its debut, delivering the great weather maps, twice each day to newspapers across the country. The first photo transmitted was a plane crash in the Adirondack of New York on this day. The plane crashed during the evening hours on December 28, but the rescue did not occur until New Year’s Day. New York History Blog.
1964: A snowstorm struck the Deep South on December 31st, 1963 through January 1st, 1964. Meridian MS received 15 inches of snow, 10.5 inches blanketed Bay St Louis MS, and 4.5 inches fell at New Orleans, LA. The University of Alabama Head Football Coach “Bear” Bryant said that the only thing that could have messed up his team’s chances in the Sugar Bowl against Ole Miss in New Orleans, LA was a freak snow. Well, much to his chagrin, 4.5 inches of snow fell the night before the big game. Alabama won the game 12-7 anyway. Freezing temperatures then prevailed for New Year’s Day. NWS Nashville and NWS Huntsville.
1999: Sydney, Australia records a high of 111.6 degrees, the second hottest day on record here. Their highest maximum temperature on record is 113.5 degrees recorded in 1939. Records date back to 1859. Meanwhile, Sydney Airport recorded its hottest day on record reaching 113.4 degrees.
2011: A severe weather event which began on the 31st, continued during the early morning hours over Mississippi. One storm produced an EF3 tornado which touched down at 12:02 AM on the 1st.
1995: The Madison County Flood on June 27, 1995, was the worst flash floods Virginia had seen since the remnants of Camille dropped up to 30 inches of rain one night in Nelson County in August 1969. The Nelson County flood ranked as one of the nation’s worst flash floods of the century and resulted in the deaths of 117 people. The Madison County flood of 1995 killed one person.
2011: Polar temperatures and unusual snowfall chill several cities in Brazil’s southern states. Four cities in Santa Catarina state are blanketed in snow. The city of Urubici reported a temperature of 23.9 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of 16.6 degrees below zero. In Florianopolis, the capital of Santa Catarina and a renowned sea resort, thermometers registered 21.2 degrees.
1902: Light to heavy frost occurred over most of South Dakota with low temperatures ranging from the mid-20s to the lower 30s.
1987: A tornado destroyed 57 mobile homes at the Chateau Estates trailer park northwest of Detroit, Michigan killing one person and injuring six others. Total damage was estimated at 1.7 million dollars. Thunderstorms over Lower Michigan also drenched the Saginaw Valley with up to 4.5 inches of rain in less than six hours.
1988: The first full day of summer was a hot one, with afternoon highs of 100 degrees or above reported from the Northern and Central Plains to the Ohio Valley. Sixty-nine cities in the north central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. The high of 110 degrees at Sioux Falls, SD was an all-time record for that location.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.