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.
1878: The second deadliest tornado in New England history struck Wallingford, Connecticut, killing 34 persons, injuring 100 others, and completely destroying thirty homes. The tornado started as a waterspout over a dam on the Quinnipiac River. It was 400 to 600 feet wide and had a short path length of two miles. The deadliest New England tornado occurred in 1953 when an F4 killed 90 people in Worcester, Massachusetts.
1969: An F3 tornado hit the northern suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, killing four people. The tornado moved in a southeasterly direction at 40 to 50 mph.
1992: An F2 tornado caused significant damage to the town of Chester, South Dakota shortly after 7 pm CDT. Four businesses were destroyed, three others had major damage, and five had minor damage. An elevator and new grain bin were leveled, and another bin was heavily damaged. Most of the building housing the fire department was demolished. In one instance a steel beam was thrust through a garage and into the car inside. One mile north of Chester, an entire house was moved off the foundation. The town had to be evacuated for 19 hours after the tornado because the tornado damaged a 12,000-gallon ammonia tank releasing 4,000 gallons of the liquid gas into the air. To the south of Chester, the storm destroyed a new convenience store and blew two fuel tanks over 100 yards.
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.
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.
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 around $16 million dollars.
1975: An Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 crashed at JFK airport in New York City. 113 of the 124 people on board the aircraft died. Researcher Theodore Fujita studied the incident and discovered that a microburst caused the crash. His research led to improved air safety. The tower never experienced the microburst, which was held back by a sea-breeze front. The plane crashed 2,400 feet short of the runway.
2003: An F4 tornado destroyed or heavily damaged all buildings, other structures, and vehicles in the small town of Manchester, in Kingsbury County. Many homes were stripped to the foundation. Of the six residents of the town, four were injured and were transported to hospitals. Three were deemed to be severely injured, but none of the injuries were listed as life-threatening. Throughout the path, the tornado was observed to have multiple vortices. The tornado was seen and videotaped by many storm chasers and researchers. Researchers also deployed weather sensors around the town of Manchester. One of these sensors recorded a 100 millibar pressure drop as the tornado passed. This tornado was part of a larger outbreak in eastern South Dakota, which experienced a record 67 tornadoes within an eight-hour time frame.
1919: The second deadliest tornado in Minnesota’s history occurred on this day. 59 people were killed as an estimated F5 tornado ripped through the town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. 400 buildings were destroyed. A blank check was found over 60 miles away, and lumber was carried 10 miles. Of the 59 victims, 35 were guests of the Grand Hotel.
1928: A farmer near Greensburg, KS looked up into the heart of a tornado. He described its walls as “rotating clouds lit with constant flashes of lightning and a strong gassy odor with a screaming, hissing sound.”
2003: A hailstone measuring 7.0 inches in diameter with a circumference of 18.75 inches and weighing 1.33 pounds falls in Aurora, Nebraska. The National Weather Service reports this is the second largest hailstone ever documented in the U.S. by weight, and the largest by size at that time. The world’s largest hailstone NOW was produced from storms in South Dakota; 8″ in diameter and 1.9375 lbs. on July 23, 2010.
2007: The first officially documented F5 tornado in Canada struck the town of Elie, Manitoba population 500 people. Video of the storm showed a heavy van being whirled through the air. The storm also tossed an almost entire house several hundred yards through the air before it disintegrated. The tornado traveled across the landscape for about 35 minutes covering 3.4 miles and leaving a damage path 984 feet wide. Wind speeds in the tornado were later estimated at 260-316 mph. Fortunately, no fatalities or serious injuries were reported.
1957: An F5 tornado cut a swath through Fargo, North Dakota killing 10 and injuring at least 103 people. This tornado was the northernmost confirmed F5 tornado until the Elie, Manitoba tornado on June 22, 2007.
1989: A meteorological “hot flash” hit Pierre, South Dakota. Descending air from collapsing thunderstorms caused the temperature in Pierre to warm from 86 degrees at midnight to 96 at one a.m. and to 104 at 2 a.m. Pierre’s record high for the date of 105 degrees in 1974.
1970: Nesbyen, Norway reached 96 degrees on this day, becoming the warmest temperature recorded in Norway.
2001: Large hail driven by strong thunderstorm winds raked Denver International and front-range airports. Wind gusting to 54 mph along with hail as large 2 inches in diameter punched at least 14 thousand holes and cracks in the flat roofs of several buildings at Denver International Airport. Also, 93 planes and hundreds of cars were damaged. About 100 flights had to be canceled stranding 1500 travelers. The Airport was completely shut down for about 20 minutes. The storm also damaged ground avoidance radar used to track planes on the ground to prevent collisions. Damage was estimated at 10 million dollars not counting the damage to the 93 airliners. The storm moved south and struck Watkins Colorado with hail as large as 2 1/2 inches in diameter and winds gusting to 60 mph.
1972: Hurricane Agnes was one of the largest June hurricanes on record. The system strengthened into a tropical storm during the night of the 15th and a hurricane on the 18th as it moved northward in the Gulf of Mexico.
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.”
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.
Seven years ago, 20 campers were swept away by high water at the Albert Pike Recreation Area (deadliest flash flood in AR history).#arwxpic.twitter.com/lk0lY39dy0
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.