WX History: August 18th

1925: During the late morning hours a severe hailstorm struck southeastern Iowa completely destroying crops along a path six to ten miles wide and 75 miles long. The hail also injured and killed poultry and livestock, and caused a total of 2.5 million dollars damage. The hailstorm flattened fields of corn to such an extent that many had to leave their farms in search of other work.

1931: The Yangtze River in China crests during a horrible flood that kills 3.7 million people directly and indirectly over the next several months. This flood was perhaps the worst natural disaster of the 20th century.

Source: History Channel.

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WX History: August 14th

1898: A deadly, estimated F4 tornado moved southeast from 12 miles northwest of Clear Lake in South Dakota, passing 7 miles north of town and ending about 4 miles west of Gary. Deaths occurred on two farms. One man was killed when the kitchen of his farm house was torn off. Five members of one family were killed along with two labors on another farm as every building was swept away. Buildings suffered massive damage on eight farms. This tornado was one of the earliest, estimated F4 tornadoes on record for South Dakota.

1953: Hurricane Barbara hits North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane. Damage from the storm was relatively minor, totaling around $1.3 million (1953 USD). Most of it occurred in North Carolina and Virginia from crop damage. The hurricane left several injuries, some traffic accidents, as well as seven fatalities in the eastern United States; at least two were due to electrocution from downed power lines. Offshore Atlantic Canada, a small boat sunk, killing its crew of two.

 

Aug 14, 1953 Hurricane Barbara
Surface weather analysis of Hurricane Barbara on 14 August 1953.

 

1969: Hurricane Camille, a powerful, deadly, and destructive hurricane formed just west of the Cayman Islands on this day. It rapidly intensified, and by the time it reached western Cuba the next day, it was a Category 3 hurricane.

 

Aug 14, 1969 Hurricane Camille
Hurricane Camille was spawned on August 5th by a tropical wave off the coast of Africa. The storm became a tropical disturbance four days later on the 9th and a tropical storm on the 14th. The image is courtesy of the USGS.

 

1975: In London, England, a localized torrential downpour known as The Hampstead Storm, drops 6.72 inches of rain in 155 minutes at Hampstead Heath. One died in the storm. The water floods the Underground and forces sewer covers up.

WX History: August 13th

1831: The Great Barbados Hurricane was an intense Category 4 hurricane that left cataclysmic damage across the Caribbean and Louisiana in 1831. From August 11 through the 13, Bermudians were amazed to see the sun with a decidedly blue appearance, giving off an eerie blue light when it shone into rooms and other enclosed places. Ships at sea as far west as Cape Hatteras reported that “their white sails appeared a light blue colour.” A month later it was learned that the astounding blue sunlight had coincided with a terrible hurricane that caused 1,477 people to lose their lives. It was assumed that the hurricane was intensive enough to cause an unusual disturbance in the higher atmospheric strata, and refraction, diffraction or absorption of light rays, to cause the blue reflection. Because the sun appeared bluish-green, Nat Turner took this as the final signal and began a slave rebellion a week later on August 21.

Source: NOAA Hurricane Research Division

1987: A succession of thunderstorms produced rainfall that was unprecedented in 116 years of precipitation records at Chicago, Illinois during an 18 hour period from the evening of the 13th to the early afternoon of the 14th. The resulting flash flood was the worst ever to strike the Chicago metropolitan area, causing three deaths and water damage that amounted to 221 million dollars. O’Hare International Airport received an event total of 9.35 inches of rain in 18 hours, shattering the previous 24-hour record of 6.24 inches. For about 24 hours, the airport was only accessible from the air as all roads were blocked by high water, including the Kennedy Expressway.

http://abc7chicago.com/video/embed/?pid=251209

Source: Eyewitness to History: Record rainfall, floods in 1987 – ABC7 Chicago.

1991:  Stockton, California received 0.05 inch of rainfall on this day. Since 1949, this is the only measured rainfall in Stockton on August 13th.

2003: A string of days in Paris France with temperatures from the 4th to the 12th above 95°F ends when the day’s high drops to 90°F. During the long, hot summer which began 25 July and has registered several days above 100°F, an estimated 14,800 have died from heat-related causes, the French government admits.

Source: NASA’s Earth Observatory.

2014: An official, New York State 24 hour precipitation record was set at Islip, NY on August 12-13 when 13.57″ of rain fell.

 Source: NWS Office in New York.

WX History: August 5th

1843: A spectacular cloudburst near Philadelphia turned the small creeks and streams entering the Delaware River into raging torrents. According to David Ludlum, as much as sixteen inches of rain fell in just three hours. Flooding destroyed thirty-two county bridges and caused nineteen deaths. It is believed that several small tornadoes accompanied the torrential rains, one of which upset and sank more than thirty barges on the Schuylkill River.

Source: Great Rain Storm and Flood – Delaware County History.

1875: Several tornadoes moved across northern and central Illinois. One of the stronger tornadoes touched down in Warren and Knox County where it destroyed 25 homes and killed two people. Another in a series of tornadoes touched down near Knoxville and moved east into northern Peoria County. This estimated F4 tornado injured 40 people and was described by eyewitnesses as looking like a “monstrous haystack.”

Aug 5, 1875 Macomb Torndado Damge
The image above was Fisher Foundry in Macomb, IL. The image is courtesy of the Archives and Special Collections at Western Illinois University Libraries.

Source: Archives and Special Collections, Western Illinois University Libraries.

1980: Hurricane Allen was one of the most intense hurricanes ever observed in the Atlantic. On this date, the hurricane reached Category 5 status for the first of three times during its long path across the Atlantic as reconnaissance aircraft measured 911 millibars (26.90 inches of mercury) pressure in the eastern Caribbean while south of Puerto Rico.

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WX History: August 1st

1983: During the early afternoon hours, a strong microburst swept across Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.  Although the base anemometer was not calibrated at extreme wind speeds, the peak gust hit 149 mph. It was reported that Air Force One, with President Reagan on board, landed 6 minutes before the peak gust.

Source: Capital Weather Gang

1985: A devastating flash flood and hailstorm struck Cheyenne, Wyoming during the evening of August 1st, 1985. Twelve people lost their lives and damage was estimated to be in excess of $65 million. The NWS Office in Cheyenne measured 6.06 inches in 24 hours. Hail, up to 2 inches in diameter pummeled parts of the city, reaching depths of nearly a foot deep. 

Aug 1, 1985 Cheyenne Flood

Source: Meteorological Analysis of the Cheyenne, Wyoming, Flash Flood and Hailstorm of 1 August 1985 – NOAA Technical Report.

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WX History: June 27th

1915: The temperature at Fort Yukon, Alaska soared to 100 degrees to establish a state record.

June 27, 1915 Fort Yukon Heat

Source: Brian B’s Climate Blog

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.

June 27, 1995 Virgina Flash Flood

 

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.

Source: MercoPress.

WX History: June 26th

1807: Lightning strikes a gunpowder factory in the small European country of Luxembourg, killing more than 300 people. The Luxembourg disaster may have been the most deadly lightning strike in history.

Source: History.com

1986: Hurricane Bonnie made landfall on the upper Texas coast. A wind gust to 98 mph occurred at Sea Rim State Park. Ace, Texas recorded a total of 13 inches of rain.

Hurricane Bonnie 1986

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WX History: June 14th

1903: Major flash flooding along Willow Creek destroyed a significant portion of Heppner, Oregon on this day. With a death toll of 247 people, it remains the deadliest natural disaster in Oregon.

June 14, 1903 Willow Creek Flood
Downtown Heppner during the flood.

Source: The Oregon Encyclopedia.

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WX History: June 12th

1915: An estimated F4 tornado moved northeast from northwest of Waterville, Iowa crossing the Mississippi River two miles south of Ferryville, Wisconsin. A man and his daughter were killed in one of three homes that were obliterated southwest of Heytman,” a small railroad station on the Mississippi River. 60 buildings and eight homes were destroyed in Wisconsin. This tornado caused approximately $200,000 in damage. In addition to this tornado, another estimated F4 tornado moved northeast across Fayette and Clayton Counties in northeast Iowa. One farm was devastated, the house and barn leveled. Heavy machinery was thrown 300 yards. Clothing was carried two miles.

1948: The Columbia River Basin flood peaked on this date in the Northwest. The flood produced the highest water level in the basin since the flood there in 1894. The damage estimate for the 1948 flood was $101 million dollars, and 75 lives were lost.

June 12, 1948 Columbia Basin Flooding

Source: Floods of May-June 1948 in the Columbia River Basin, a USGS publication.

WX History: June 11th

1842: A late season snowstorm struck New England. Snow fell during the morning and early afternoon, accumulating to a depth of ten to twelve inches at Irasburg, Vermont. Berlin, New Hampshire was blanketed with eleven inches of snow during the day. Snow whitened the higher peaks of the Appalachians as far south as Maryland. The latest date for the occurrence of a general snowstorm in our period over northern New England and northern New York came in 1842 on the morning of 11 June. Zadock Thompson, a professor of natural history and the Queen City’s longtime weatherman, commented: “Snow during the forenoon’s boards whitened and the mountains as white as in winter.”

Research is ongoing for about this event.

June 11, 1842 Snow

Source: The Cecil Whig. (Elkton, MD.), 18 June 1842. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.

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1990: One of the most costly hailstorms in U.S. history occurred as $625 million dollars of damage was caused along the Colorado Front Range from Colorado Springs to Estes Park. Golf to baseball sized hail fell along with heavy rain. 60 people were injured in the storm.

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