WX History: March 19th

1907: The highest March temperature in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was set when the temperature soared to 97 degrees. Dodge City, Kansas also set a March record with 98 degrees.

1948: An estimated F4 tornado moved through Fosterburg, Bunker Hill, and Gillespie, Illinois, killing 33 people and injuring 449 others. 2,000 buildings in Bunker Hill were damaged or destroyed. Total damage was $3.6 million dollars.

March 19, 1948 Bunker Hill Tornado 2
A view of the business district in Bunker Hill, Illinois after the tornado.
March 19, 1948 Bunker Hill Tornado
A view of Meissner School in Bunker Hill, Illinois.

Source: Bunker Hill Library.

2003: On this day in 2003, one of the worst blizzards, since records began in 1872, struck the Denver metro. Heavy snow accumulating to around 3 feet in the city and more than 7 feet in the foothills brought transportation to near standstill.

March 19, 2003 Denver Snow

Source: NWS Office in Boulder, CO.

2012: From March 17 through March 22, Buffalo, New York saw record high temperatures, including three days with highs reaching the lower 80s.

2014: A Magnitude 3.0 earthquake occurred near Summerville, South Carolina.


WX History: March 16th

1942: A deadly tornado outbreak occurred over the Central and Southern US on March 16-17th. The tornado outbreak killed 153 people and injured at least 1,284. The best estimate indicates this event contained 13 F3 tornadoes, 6 F4s, and one F5. The F5 tornado occurred north of Peoria, Illinois, in the towns of Alta, Chillicothe before crossing the Illinois River and striking the town of Lacon. A quarter of the homes in Lacon were destroyed, and debris was carried for 25 miles. 

In Kentucky, an estimated F3 tornado destroyed the Cox’s Creek Baptist Church, which is southeast of Louisville.

March 16, 1942 Lacon IL Tornado
The photograph above is the tornado that would eventually hit Lacon, IL. This photo was taken near Spring Bay.

Sources: NWS Office in Lincoln, IL,  Genealogytrails.com, Bullitt Country History

1986: A small but rare F1 tornado touched down perilously close to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The 1.25-mile long track damaged several homes and an industrial plant just northeast of the landmark.

March 16, 1986 Disneyland Tornado
The tornado track map above is courtesy of Storm Data.

Source: March 1986 Storm Data

2012: Temperatures reaching eighty degrees or higher in March across central and northeast South Dakota is a rare occurrence, and for this to occur in mid-March is exceedingly rare. On March 16th, several locations across the area set record highs by topping the 80-degree mark including Aberdeen, Mobridge, and Pierre. Sisseton and Watertown also set records for March 16th. Aberdeen topped out at 81 degrees, Mobridge reached 83 degrees, with 86 degrees at Pierre.

Source: NWS Office in Aberdeen, SD

2017: Satellite images of the eruption of snow-capped Mount Etna.


WX History: January 5th

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.

WX History: January 4th

1641: According to historical records, Mount Parker, a stratovolcano on Mindanao Island in the Philippines erupted on this day. The eruption caused the formation of a crater lake called Lake Maughan.  

Source: The Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program.

The image above is courtesy of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

1917: A tornado with estimated F3 damage cut a 15-mile path and struck a school at Vireton in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, killing 16 people. It ranks as the 4th worst school tornado disaster in U.S. history.

Source: Texas History.

The article above is from the Sweetwater Daily Reporter in Sweetwater, Texas. This article was published on January 10, 1917.

1997: The temperature rose to 61 degrees in Flint and Detroit, Michigan. The normal high temperature for January 4 is only 30 degrees!

WX History: January 1st

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.

Associated Press Domestic News New York United States FIRST AP WIREPHOTO
The wreckage of a small plane lies in a wooded area near Morehousville, N.Y., Dec. 31, 1934, after a crash landing three days earlier. The four people aboard were reportedly not seriously injured. This photo is believed to be the first photo transmitted to Associated Press members on the AP wirephoto network, Jan. 1, 1935. (AP Photo)

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.

Snowfall amounts across the southeast U.S.
Snowfall aftermath at the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee. The photo is courtesy of the University of the South.

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.


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.


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 10th

1856: A hurricane destroyed Isle Dernieres or Last Island, a pleasure resort south-southwest of New Orleans on this day. The highest points of the island were under five feet of water. The resort hotel was destroyed, along with the island’s gambling establishments. Over 200 people perished, and the island lost all its vegetation and split in half. Only one cow remained on the island after the catastrophe. The Last Island is now only a haven for pelicans and other sea birds. The steamer Nautilus foundered during the storm. The lone survivor clung to a bale of cotton and washed ashore sometime later.

Aug 10, 1856 Isle of Derniere

Source(s): A Hurricane Destroyed This Louisiana Resort Town, Never to Be Inhabited Again – smithsonianmag.com

Clipped from The Times-Picayune,  15 Aug 1856, Fri,  FRIDAY’S AFTERNOON EDITION,  Page 2 – Tom Malmay.

1884: An earthquake, centered near New York City and registering a magnitude 5.5, hit the region a little after 2 PM. The tremor made houses shake, chimneys fall, and residents wonder what the heck was going on, according to a New York Times article two days later.

Aug 10, 1884 New York Earthquake

Source: Historical Earthquakes – USGS.gov

1886: An estimated F3 tornado moved southeast from 10 miles northwest of Aberdeen. This massive tornado destroyed four homes and a dozen barns. This is the earliest significant tornado on record for Brown County.





WX History: August 3rd

1874: The crew of a Union fleet witnessed a waterspout move right past their ship, causing no damage, in Albemarle Sound, North Carolina.

Aug 3, 1864 Albemarle Sound Waterspout
Grand Water-Spout in Albemarle Sound, August 3, 1864. Harper’s Weekly.

Source: Civil War Harper’s Weekly, Published on September 10, 1864.

1885: A tornado causing estimated F3 damage hit Philadelphia and Camden along its eight-mile path.Aug 3, 1885 Philadelphia Tornado

Source: Millheim Journal. volume (Millheim, Pa.), 06 Aug. 1885. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress

1970: Hurricane Celia was the costliest tropical cyclone in Texas history until Hurricane Alicia in 1983. Hurricane Celia made landfall near Port Aransas as a major Hurricane, Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale with sustained winds of 130 mph.

Source: NWS Office in Corpus Christi, Texas.




WX History: August 2nd



1985: An aircraft accident occurred at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport at approximately 6:00 p.m. Neither the crew nor air traffic control was aware that below what appeared to be a rather insignificant thunderstorm existed a strong downdraft of cold, dense air. Upon final approach, the pilot of the Lockheed L-1011 ran into the microburst and was unable to lift out of it. He lost control of the aircraft, hitting several objects on the ground before finally crashing into a water tank near the runway. 133 people were killed, and 31 were injured.

Source: WFAA.com



2006: Johannesburg, South Africa residents see snow flurries for the first time in at least eight years.

August 2, 2006 South Africa Snow Source: NASA’s Earth Observatory.



The same storms that wrecked havoc in Michigan, also impacted southern Ontario. The intense storms caused nearly 50,000 customers to lose power.

Aug 2, 2015 Toronto Storm
The picture from CBCNEWS and was taken by Mike Talmage.

Source: CBCNEWS.



WX History: June 28th

1788: The Battle of Monmouth in central New Jersey was fought in sweltering heat. The temperature was 96 degrees in the shade, and there were more casualties from the heat than from bullets.

1924: An estimated F4 tornado struck the towns of Sandusky and Lorain, killing 85 people and injuring over 300. This tornado is the deadliest ever in Ohio history.

Source: Caught by Surprise! The 1924 Sandusky-Lorain, Ohio Tornado – Tornadotalk.com

1975: Lightning strikes Lee Trevino and two other golfers at the Western Open golf tournament in Oak Brook, Illinois.

June 28, 1975 Lee Trevino Struck by Lightning