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 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.

WX History: July 5th

1936: Central South Dakota saw three, record high temperatures set on this day. Near Gann Valley, the temperature reached 120 degrees, setting the state record. The state record was tied on July 15, 2006, at 17 miles WSW of Fort Pierre. Other record highs on this date include 119 degrees in Kennebec and 116 degrees in Murdo. The record highs near Gann Valley, Kennebec, and Murdo are all-time highs for each location.

1925: A large hailstone weighing a half pound fell at Plumstead, just outside of London, England. This hailstone was the heaviest hailstone ever recorded in the United Kingdom.

1937: The temperature at Medicine Lake, Montana soared to 117 degrees to tie the state record. Glendive, Montana reached 117 degrees on July 20th, 1893.

1980: The “More Trees Down” started in western Iowa and tracked eastward affecting several states along its past before dissipating in eastern Virginia. Click HERE for more information from the Storm Prediction Center.


July 5, 1980 More Trees Down Derecho
The storm track image above is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.

2003: From the 5th through the 7th, New Zealand had its worst snowstorm in 50 years. The storm caused thousands of power outages to homes and businesses and stranding hundreds of motorists. In some areas, 12 inches of snow falls.

July 5, 2003 New Zealand Snow
The image above shows the blanket of snow from South Island, New Zealand’s worst blizzard in the past 50 years. The satellite image was taken on July 11, 2003, and is courtesy of NASA’s Earth Observatory.



WX History: July 4th

1776: Thomas Jefferson purchased a thermometer from a local merchant before signing the Declaration of Independence. According to his weather memorandum book, at 1 PM it was cloudy and 76 degrees. Click HERE for more information from WeatherWise.

July 4, 1776 Thomas Jefferson's Weather Obs

1911: Record temperatures are set in the northeastern United States as a deadly heat wave hits the area that would go on to kill 380 people. In Nashua, New Hampshire, the mercury peaked at 106 degrees. Other high-temperature records were set all over New England during an 11-day period. Click HERE for more information from the History.com

1969: During the afternoon of Friday, July 4, 1969, thunderstorms formed over southeast Lower Michigan (MI), several of which produced tornadoes, large hail, and high winds west and south of Detroit. As these storms moved southeastward during the early evening, they evolved into a strong derecho over extreme southeastern Michigan (MI) and Lake Erie (LE). The derecho then roared southeast across northern and eastern Ohio (OH) and Western Pennsylvania (PA) during the next few hours. The hourly positions of the gust front (associated with multiple bow echoes) are shown in Figure 1 (above). Winds gusted to 104 mph in Toledo (“T”), and reached 100 mph in the Cleveland (“C”) area. In towns and cities near Lake Erie, many people were outside, preparing to watch Independence Day fireworks. Also for the occasion, many small boat owners had anchored their craft just off the Lake Erie shore to watch the displays. As the derecho passed, untold thousands of trees were blown down, including 5000 in Toledo alone. Along the south side of Lake Erie, eight people were killed by falling trees, and over 100 boats were overturned, drowning at least three persons. A total of eighteen people were killed as a result of the derecho winds in Ohio. Some of the worst damage occurred in Lakewood, a suburb of Cleveland. The storm system continued to uproot trees, damage roofs and produce power outages as it moved into Pennsylvania, where high winds injured five people in Meadville (“M”). Click HERE for more information from the Storm Prediction Center.


July 4, 1969 Derecho
The area affected by the July 4, 1969 derecho (outlined in blue), with the approximate hourly positions of the leading edge of derecho winds (gust front) indicated by curved purple lines. Arrows indicate the direction of storm winds.



WX History: June 30th

1792: The first recorded tornado in Canadian history struck the Niagara Peninsula between Foothill and Port Robinson, leveling some houses and uprooting trees between the communities.

1900: The combination of high winds and the presence of wooded fuel-filled cargo helped to spread fire on the Hoboken Docks in New Jersey. The fire began when cotton bales caught fire and spread to nearby volatile liquids. The fire killed at least 300 people and was seen in New York City. Click HERE for more information from the History.com. Click HERE for pictures.

1912: An estimated F4 tornado ripped through Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada on this day. The storm became the deadliest tornado in Canada’s history as it killed 28 people along a rare, 18.5-mile track from south to north.

June 30, 1912 Regina Tornado Damage
Damage to the YMCA building from the tornado. Click HERE for more pictures from Regina, The Early Years.

1999: Mount Baker, Washington closed out a record snowfall season both for the United States and the verifiable world record as the seasonal total from July 1, 1998, to June 30, 1999, finished with 1,140 inches.

2014: The ‘One-two Punch’ Midwest Derechos of June 30 to the early morning hours on July 1st. A pair of Derechos brought parts of the mid-Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes an unusual “one-two punch” on June 30 – July 1, 2014. The Derechos produced swaths of significant wind damage that extended intermittently from far eastern Nebraska through much of Iowa, northern Illinois, and southern Wisconsin into northern Indiana and southern Lower Michigan. The most continuous and intense damage occurred over eastern Iowa, northern Illinois, and northern Indiana, where some locations were affected by both derecho-producing storm systems. The Derechos also were responsible for widespread disruption of air travel through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Click HERE for more information from the Storm Prediction Center. 

June 30, 2014 Derechos

WX History: May 27th

1771: In Virginia, a wall of water came roaring down the James River Valley following ten to twelve days of intense rain. As water swept through Richmond, buildings, boats, animals, and vegetation were lost. About one hundred fifty people were killed as the River reached a flood stage of forty-five feet above normal. A monument to the flood was inscribed by Ryland Randolph, of Curles, in 1771-72: ” … all the great rivers of this country were swept by inundations never before experienced which changed the face of nature and left traces of violence that will remain for ages.”

Source: The Flood of 1771 – Historical Marker Database.

1896: A massive tornado struck Saint Louis, Missouri killing 255 people and caused thirteen million dollars in damage. The tornado path was short but cut across a densely populated area. It touched down six miles west of Eads Bridge in Saint Louis and widened to a mile as it crossed into East Saint Louis. The tornado was the most destructive of record in the U.S. at that time. It pierced a five-eighths inch thick iron sheet with a two by four-inch pine plank. A brilliant display of lightning accompanied the storm.

May 27, 1890 St. Louis TornadoSources: National Centers for Environmental Information and the St. Louis Public Library.

1973: An estimated F4 tornado hit Jonesboro, Arkansas during the early morning hours.

1997: An F5 tornado killed 27 people in Jarrell, Texas. Although tornado warnings were issued 30 minutes in advance and local sirens were sounded, there were few places to go for safety. Most homes were on slabs, with no basements. Houses were swept clean off their foundations, with little debris left behind. Total damage was $20 million dollars. The same thunderstorm complex produced a wind gust to 122 mph at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio.

Source: TornadoTalk.com and the History.com

2017: GOES-16 captured a hail swath covering the ground following a thunderstorm in New Mexico.


WX History: May 8th

1784: A deadly hailstorm occurred along the Wateree River in South Carolina. The hailstones, measuring as much as nine inches in circumference, killed several persons, and a great number of sheep, lambs, and birds.

May 8, 1784: South Carolina HailstormMay 8, 1784: South Carolina Hailstorm · Thu, Jul 29, 1784 – Page 3 · The Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com

1902: On May 7th, Martinique’s Mount Pelee began the deadliest volcanic eruption in the 20th century. On this day, the city of Saint Pierre, which some called the Paris of the Caribbean, was virtually wiped off the map. The volcano killed an estimated 30,000 people.

Source: History.com

1965: The strongest tornado recorded in South Dakota tracked across eastern Tripp County. It was part of a larger tornado outbreak in Nebraska and South Dakota during the afternoon through late evening hours.

May 4, 1965 SD Tornado Track
The tornado map above is courtesy of the Midwest Regional Climate Center.

Source: NWS Office in Rapid City, South Dakota, Midwest Regional Climate Center Tornado Track Tool, and the Chicago Tribune.

1979: Widespread damage occurred in the Tampa Bay area. The 19 tornadoes reported are the most in one day in Florida history. Three people drowned in Pinellas County where flooding was most severe. Rainfall amounts of 18 inches in 24 hours were reported with 12.73 inches falling at Tampa, FL; with 7.84 inches of that in just six hours. Worst hit was the Polk County community of Auburndale where a tornado made a direct hit on the Auburndale School. Only eight students were hurt by flying debris. An 83-year-old woman was killed as she hid in an unreinforced concrete block storage shed. 98 trailers were damaged or destroyed, and 40 people were injured.

2003: This was the second of three consecutive days with strong to violent tornadoes around Oklahoma City. A violent F4 tornado that affected Moore, Oklahoma City, Midwest City and Choctaw took on a path very similar to the 5/3/1999 devastating tornado. This particular storm back in 2003 affected areas from Newcastle and Moore to Del City and Choctaw. Although over 130 people were injured, there were no fatalities.

May 8, 2003 Moore OK tornado

Radar image of the Moore/Oklahoma City supercell around 5:25 PM, CDT on May 8, 2003. The storm was at its peak intensity in southeastern Oklahoma City. Image courtesy of the NWS Office in Norman, OK.

Source: NWS Office in Norman, Oklahoma.

2009: A deadly derecho squall line crosses far southern Illinois at midday devastating the Carbondale area on its way across a 1,200-mile swath of terrain covering sections of nine states. Hundreds of homes and businesses are damaged or destroyed in Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri. The wind gusts to 106 mph in the Carbondale area with sustained winds measured at up to 90 mph. In southern Illinois, the storm system peels siding and roofs off homes and other buildings, blowing out car windows and tearing up trailer parks.


Source: The Storm Prediction Center.

2017: Golf ball to baseball size hail fell on the Denver metro, causing $1.4 billion in damages. This is now Denver’s costliest hailstorm on record.


WX History: June 29th

1904: Tornado hits Karacharov Village area of Moscow killing about 24 people.

June 29, 1904 Russia Tornado

Source: Englishrussia.com

1998: A derecho which originated in far southeast South Dakota moved across Illinois during the afternoon and evening and continued as far east as Ohio the next morning. Every county in central Illinois sustained some damage, as these severe thunderstorms passed. Winds gusted in the 60 to 80 mph range, with some localized microbursts producing winds more than 100 mph. Significant damage occurred in the microburst areas, including the towns of Morton, McLean, LeRoy, and Tolono. In Tolono, 22 cars of a southbound 101-car Illinois Central freight train were blown off the tracks. It was unknown how many cars were picked up by the wind, but 16 cars were turned over, and another six derailed but remained upright. The train was en route to Centralia from Chicago with a load of mixed freight, including plastic pellets and meal. The freight cars empty weighed about 60,000 pounds, while a full one weighs about 260,000 pounds. Overall, 12 people were injured, and damage was estimated at $16 million dollars.

June 29, 1998 Corn Belt Derecho

Source: Storm Prediction Center.