WX History: July 15th

1885: The first of three damaging tornadoes hit the Highmore area of South Dakota.  Two small homes were destroyed before the funnel turned to the east, then northeast and north before lifting. This tornado was estimated to have an F2 strength and was seen in all directions for 20 miles. The second tornado appeared to be motionless 3 miles east of Harrold, and then moved east to Holabird, in Hyde County, where it destroyed two homes and dissipated. A third tornado, this one with an estimated F3 strength, formed to the west of Highmore and moved east into town, then lifted about 4 miles east of town. Three homes were destroyed, and about 20 other buildings were damaged at Highmore. A farmer was killed 2 miles east of town. Losses included many new buildings, including a church and a skating rink.

July 15, 1885 Highmore, SD TornadoJuly 15, 1885, Highmore, SD Tornado · Sat, Jul 18, 1885 – 2 · Evening Herald (Fort Scott, Kansas) · Newspapers.com

1888: The Bandai volcano erupts on the Japanese island of Honshu on this day in 1888, killing hundreds and burying many nearby villages in ash. Click HERE for more information from the History Channel.

1901: The city of Marquette, Michigan set their all-time record high temperature with 108-degree reading.

2006: Record heat occurred across central and north central South Dakota and into parts of northeast South Dakota. Afternoon high temperatures ranged from 105 to as high as 120 degrees. The coop observer station 17 miles west-southwest of Fort Pierre tied the state record high temperature with 120 degrees. 


WX History: July 12th

1995: An intense heat wave affected much of the Midwest for a 4-day period beginning on this day. The worst effects of the heat were noted in the Chicago metropolitan area, where 583 people died from the heat. Temperatures across the region reached as high as 104 degrees, overnight lows on falling to the upper 70s to low 80s. Dew point temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s created heat indexes peaking at 125 degrees. Electricity and water usage reached record levels, causing periodic outages. Click HERE for more information from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

July 12 1995 Chicago Heat Wave

1996: Hurricane Bertha makes landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC with maximum winds of 105 mph, but the storm surge dealt the most devastation. The U.S. Virgin Islands, along with North Carolina, were declared federal disaster areas. Surveys indicate that Bertha damaged almost 2,500 homes on St. Thomas and St. John. For many, it was the second hit in the ten months since Hurricane Marilyn devastated the same area. The primary effects in North Carolina were to the coastal counties and included storm surge flooding and beach erosion, roof damage, piers washed away, fallen trees and damage to crops. Over 5,000 homes were damaged, mostly from storm surge. Storm total rainfall amounts ranged from 5 to 8 inches along a coastal strip from South Carolina to Maine. Overall, as many as 12 deaths resulted with 8 in the U.S. and territories. Click HERE for more information from the NWS Office in Morehead, North Carolina.Hurricane Bertha, 1996 2

WX History: July 10th

1887: A dam breaks in Zug, Switzerland, killing 70 people in their homes and destroying a large section of the town. Click HERE for more information from the History Channel.

1911: The mercury hit 105 degrees at North Bridgton, Maine the hottest reading of record for Maine. North Bridgton also reached 105 degrees a few days earlier on July 4th, 1911.

1913: The mercury hit 134 degrees at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, California, the hottest reading of record for the World. Sandstorm conditions accompanied the heat. Click HERE for more information from the World Meteorological Organization. 

July 10, 1913 World highest thermomter
Will Herron, a business person, dreamed of a large thermometer for 25 years before he made it a reality in California’s high desert. The World’s Largest Thermometer is 134-ft.-tall, symbolic of the record high temperature in the US, in Death Valley. The thermometer is located in Baker, California.

1926: At the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, lightning struck one of the explosives storage structures during a thunderstorm and started a fire. As a result, several million pounds of explosives detonated over a period of 2–3 days. This explosion not only structural devastation, 187 of 200 buildings destroyed but military and civilian casualties as well. Close to one hundred are injured as explosion spreads havoc within a radius of 15 miles in New Jersey. Otto Dowling was in charge at the time and received a Distinguished Service Cross for his handling of the situation. Click HERE for more information from the Vane.


WX History: July 8th

1680: The first confirmed tornado death in the United States occurred in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The funnel was filled with, stones, bushes, and other things. The tornado also unroofed a barn and snapped many large trees.

2003: What may be the world’s highest dew point temperature was recorded at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in the Persian Gulf. A dew point of 95 degrees was recorded at 1 PM while the air temperature was 108 degrees. The apparent temperature at that time would have been 176 degrees. 

2009: An intense cold front brings heavy snow, hail, high winds and unusually cold temperatures to southern Peru. The severe conditions were blamed for the deaths of more than 246 children due to cold-related illnesses. Click HERE for more information from BBC.

2009: A tornado passed through the city of Dickinson, ND, on the far south side, mainly just south of the Heart River. From their eyewitness accounts, and from video obtained from the Dickinson Police Department, it is likely that this was a rain-wrapped tornado, and very difficult if not impossible to see. The tornado occurred before sunset, yet it was described as being as dark as night during the event. Over 450 structures were damaged, of which nearly 100 were declared destroyed or beyond repair. Numerous vehicles were damaged or destroyed; some were on their roofs. From that, it was determined that peak wind speeds in the tornado were on the order of 150 mph. Click HERE for more information from the Dickinson Police Department.

July 8, 2009 Dickson Tornado
The picture above is courtesy of the Dickinson Police.

2015: A violent F4 tornado hit Dolo and Mira, just west of Venice on July 8, 2015. This tornado is one of the most violent tornadoes on record in Europe: it caused 1 fatality and 72 injuries, along with a damage path 12 km long. Click HERE for more information from Severe Weather Europe.

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 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

WX History: June 20th

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. Click HERE for a detailed analysis of the Fargo Tornadoes. 

1970: Nesbyen, Norway reached 96 degrees on this day, becoming the warmest temperature recorded in Norway.

1989: A meteorological “hot flash” hit Pierre, South Dakota. Descending air from collapsing thunderstorms caused the temperature to warm from 86 degrees at midnight to 96 at 1 a.m. and to 104 at 2 a.m. Pierre’s record high for the date of 105 degrees in 1974.

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. 

WX History: June 9th

1953: an F4 tornado touched down NW of Worcester, MA leaving a 46-mile path of destruction.

1956: A heat wave impacted the intermountain area to the northern Great Lakes from June 9-13, 1956.

1966: Hurricane Alma made landfall over the eastern Florida panhandle becoming the earliest hurricane to make landfall on the United States mainland.

Hurricane Alma 1966 part2

1972: A steady flow of warm moist air near the surface fed storms and anchored them against the Black Hills for six to eight hours. A flash flood killed 238 people in the Rapid City area after as much as fifteen inches of rain fell over the eastern Black Hills.

June 9, 1972 Rapid City Flood
Flood damage on East Blvd. at Omaha St. in Rapid City, June 10, 1972. The photo is courtesy of the Rapid City Journal.

Source(s): NWS Office in Rapid City, South Dakota and History.com

2015: The Red River reached a crest of just over 37 feet in Shreveport, Louisiana.

2017: Fairbanks, Alaska reached 90 degrees. The last time they saw 90 degrees was back in 2013.