WX History: June 6th

1816: The temperature reached 92 degrees at Salem, Massachusetts during an early heat wave, but then plunged 49 degrees in 24 hours to commence the famous “year without a summer.” Snow fell near Quebec City, Quebec Canada from the 6th through the 10th and accumulated up to a foot with “drifts reaching the axle trees of carriages.” 

1894: One of the greatest floods in U.S. history occurred as the Willamette River overflowed to inundate half of the business district of Portland, Oregon. The river crested at 33.5 feet, the worst flood ever recorded in the city.

3rd St., Portland, between Washington and Burnside streets durin
The image above is 3rd St. Portland, between Washington and Burnside during the Willamette flood. 

Source: The Oregon Encylopedia.

1897: Light to heavy frost, and in some localities, killing frost occurred on the 6th and 7th in South Dakota. These cold temperatures along with last season frost in May and wet conditions several hampered the planting season.



WX History: June 1st

1903: During the early afternoon, one of the most destructive tornadoes in the history of Georgia up to this time, struck the outskirts of Gainesville. The track of the storm was about four miles in length and varied between 100 to 200 feet in width. The tornado touched down about one mile southwest of Gainesville, striking a large cotton mill at 12:45 pm, Eastern Time, just 10 minutes after 750 employees filed into the great structure from dinner. On the top floor of the mill were employed 250 children, and it was here that the greatest loss of life occurred.

June 1, 1903 Gaineville Tornado Path
The dotted lines in the image above contain the estimated tornado track. The image is courtesy of the Monthly Weather Review.
June 1, 1903 Gaineville Tornado Damage
Above is the cotton mill where most of the deaths occurred. This estimated F4 tornado killed 98 people and injured at least 200 others.

Source(s): The Monthly Weather Review and GenDisasters.com

1919: Snowfall of almost a half-inch fell at Denver, Colorado. This storm produced their greatest 24-hour snowfall recorded in the month of June. Two temperature records were set: The low temperature of 32 degrees was a record low for the date, and the high of only 40 degrees was a record low maximum. Cheyenne, Wyoming recorded 1.6 inches of snow, which is one of only six times that at least one inch of snow has fallen at Cheyenne in June.


1934: June started off on a warm note as high temperatures surpassed the century mark across parts of the Midwest. Several locations tied or set a record high temperatures for June including Rockford, IL: 106°, Mather, WI: 105°, Hatfield, WI: 103°, Mondovi, WI: 102°, Chicago, IL: 102° and Grand Rapids, MI tied their June record high with 102°.June 1, 1934 June warmth.jpg

1999: A tornado with an intermittent damage path destroyed 200 homes, businesses, and other buildings in the southern portion of St. James, Missouri. Of these, 33 homes were destroyed along with the St. James Golf Course clubhouse and two Missouri Department of Transportation buildings. The tornado then moved east, south of the downtown St. James area and intensified. F2 to F3 damage occurred with a 200 to 300-yard damage path. Several homes and farm buildings were severely damaged or destroyed. Further north, severe thunderstorms produced many tornadoes around central Illinois. The most intense tornado touched down in Montgomery County south of Farmersville and moved into southwest Christian County. One person was killed when a semi-trailer overturned at a rest area on I-55. Across eastern parts of the state, high winds up to 70 mph caused damage to trees, power lines, and some buildings. The Mattoon area also reported flooding from these storms, producing $3 million dollars damage. 



WX History: May 30th

1879: A major outbreak of severe weather occurred in Kansas and western Missouri. In Kansas, tornadoes killed eighteen people at Delphos and thirty persons at Irving. Two tornadoes struck the town of Irving within a few minutes time virtually wiping the small Kansas community off the map. The second tornado was perhaps two miles wide and exhibited multiple vortices.

*Additional research about this event. Many believe this tornado was the inspiration for the Wizard of Oz. This is likely incorrect.

1927: The Kentucky River peaks during a massive flood that killed 89 people and left thousands homeless. Torrential rains caused this unprecedented flood.

Source: History.com


1988: Memorial Day heralded heavy snow in some of the mountains and higher passes of Wyoming, closing roads in Yellowstone Park. McDonald Pass, Montana was blanketed with eight inches of snow, while the temperature at Miles City, Montana soared to 94 degrees.

1998: An F4 tornado moved through southeast South Dakota, killing six people and injuring another 150. The tornado crossed into McCook County at approximately 7:38 pm, CST and moved through downtown Spencer at about 7:39 pm, CST. The total cost of damage was more than $18 million with an additional half million in crop damage.

Source: NWS Sioux Falls, South Dakota.




WX History: May 29th

1947: An unprecedented late-spring snowstorm blasts portions of the Midwest from eastern Wyoming to eastern Upper Michigan. The heavy snow caused severe damage to power and telephone lines and the already-leafed-out vegetation.

May 29, 1947 Snow

Source: NWS Office in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

1982: Two major tornadoes ripped through southern Illinois. The most severe was an F4 that touched down northeast of Carbondale, Illinois then moved to Marion. The twister had multiple vortices within the main funnel. Extensive damage occurred at the Marion Airport. A total of 10 people were killed, and 181 were injured. 648 homes and 200 cars were damaged or destroyed, with total damages around $100 million dollars.

May 29 Tornado in Marion

Source: NWS Office in Paducah, Kentucky.



WX History: May 5th

1933: An estimated F4 tornado cut a 35-mile path from near Brent into Shelby County, Alabama. The town of Helena, AL was especially hard hit, as 14 people died. The tornado roared through Helena at 2:30 am.

1964: A two state, F3 tornado moved northeast from 4 miles WNW of Herreid, South Dakota to the south of Streeter, North Dakota, a distance of about 55 miles. Blacktop was ripped for 400 yards on Highway 10, five miles north of Herreid, South Dakota. Two barns were destroyed northeast of Hague, North Dakota, with a dozen cattle killed on one farm. The F3 damage occurred at one farm about midway between Wishek and Hogue. Other barns were destroyed south of Burnstad.

1987: Unseasonably hot weather prevailed in the western U.S. A dozen cities in California reported record high temperatures for the date. Afternoon highs of 93 degrees at San Francisco, 98 degrees at San Jose, 100 degrees at Sacramento, and 101 degrees at Redding were the warmest on record for so early in the season. The high of 94 degrees at Medford, Oregon was also the warmest on record for so early in the season.

1995: A supercell thunderstorms brought torrential rains and large hail up to four inches in diameter to Fort Worth, Texas. This storm also struck a local outdoor festival known as the Fort Worth Mayfest. At the time the storm was the costliest hailstorm in the history of the US, causing more than $2 billion in damage.

Source: History.com



WX History: April 29th

1910: The temperature at Kansas City MO soared to 95 degrees to establish a record for the month of April. Four days earlier the afternoon high in Kansas City was 44 degrees following a record cold morning low of 34 degrees.

1991: Southeast Bangladesh was devastated by a tropical cyclone with sustained winds of approximately 155 mph in the during the late night hours. A 20-foot storm surge inundated the offshore islands south of Chittagong and pushed water from the Bay of Bengal inland for miles. Best estimated put the loss of life from this cyclone between 135,000 and 145,000 people.

April 29, 1991 Bangladesh Cyclone
Bangladesh cyclone near peak intensity on April 29 at 0623 UTC. This image was produced from data from NOAA-11.


Source: History.com 

WX History: April 27th

1898: The first Weather Bureau kite was launched in Topeka, Kansas to report daily, early morning, atmospheric observations. By year’s end, 16 additional launch sites would be in operation.

Source: The Weather Doctor.

1912: The April 27-28, 1912 outbreak was the climax of a wild, week-long period of severe weather that occurred in Oklahoma. Strong to violent tornadoes struck portions of central and north central Oklahoma on April 20, 1912. Also, a violent tornado hit Ponca City, OK on April 25, 1912. From the 27 through the 28th, 16 tornadoes rated F2 or greater touched down in the state with 6 of them rated F4. About 40 people were killed, and 120 people were injured by the storms.

Source: NWS Office in Norman, Oklahoma. 

1931: The temperature at Pahala, located on the main island of Hawaii, soared to 100 degrees to establish a state record.


2003: For only the 11th time since records began in 1871, hail was observed in Key West Florida. A severe thunderstorm produced hail to 1.75 inches in diameter which easily broke the previous record of a half an inch in diameter which was set on May 10, 1961.

2011: April 27 was the single deadliest day for tornadoes since records began in 1950. The death toll from Wednesday’s 199 tornadoes surpassed 300. The worst day in recorded history for storm fatalities is March 18, 1925, with 747 deaths. Of the 316 deaths reported, 313 were associated with the afternoon/evening tornadoes. In all, 31 of these tornadoes were rated as EF3 or stronger. Eleven tornadoes were rated EF4, and four were rated EF5. The average EF4 and EF5 tornado path length were 66 miles.

Source: NWS Office in Birmingham, Alabama.


WX History: April 26th

1884: Tornadoes were hard to capture on old cameras with their hard to use glass plate negatives. The first recorded photograph of a tornado was taken on this date by A.A. Adams near Garnett, Kansas.

The photographer, A.A. Adams took the photograph from a street corner near the United Presbyterian Church. It is reported to be the earliest known photograph of a tornado. 

Source: WeatherNation and Kansas Historical Society

1978: An unusually strong occluded front swept out of the Gulf of Alaska and produced the first April thunderstorm of record at Fairbanks. Pea-size hail fell northeast of Fairbanks from thunderstorms whose tops were less than 8000 feet.

1986: The Chernobyl nuclear power station in Kiev Ukraine suffered a massive explosion. The radioactive cloud of particles and gas carried westward and northwestward, contaminating large areas of Europe in the following week.

April 26, 1986 Chernobyl_Disaster
Chernobyl Disaster aftermath shows very extensive damage to the main reactor hall (center of image) and turbine building.

Source: History Channel.




WX History: April 24th

1880: Several tornadoes affected parts of central and southwest Illinois. One tornado of F4 intensity touched down near Jerseyville and killed one person along its 18-mile path. Another F4 tornado passed just north of Carlinville and lifted near Atwater, destroying 50 buildings. Six people died in Christian County by an F5 tornado, which tracked from 9 miles southwest of Taylorville to near Sharpsburg.

1908: Severe thunderstorms spawned eighteen tornadoes over across the Central Gulf Coast States claiming the lives of 310 persons. The state of Mississippi was hardest hit. A tornado near Hattiesburg, Mississippi killed 143 persons and caused more than half a million dollars damage. Four violent tornadoes accounted for 279 of the 310 deaths. The deadliest of the four tornadoes swelled to a width of 2.5 miles as it passed near Amite, Louisiana. The tornado also leveled most of Purvis Mississippi.

April 24, 1908 Mississippi Tornado
The home of Mrs. Mary Meigs. This photo is courtesy of Mr. Jerry Cornelius and Mr. Thomas Bodine.

Source: NWS Office Birmingham, Alabama.

2003: The temperature soared to a maximum of 70 degrees in Juneau, Alaska. This is the earliest record of 70-degree reading to occur in Juneau.

2010: April Tornado Outbreak- During a major severe weather outbreak across the South on April 22-25, 142 tornadoes raked the region, including 77 on April 24 alone. Ten died from the long-track tornado that swept across Mississippi on April 24. A long-lived twister left a trail of destruction extending over 149 miles from Louisiana through Mississippi, resulting in 10 deaths and 75 injuries. This EF4 storm, which grew to a width of 1.75 miles, sported the fourth longest track in Mississippi history. This storm destroyed part of Yazoo City, Mississippi. The Swiss Reinsurance Company estimated insured damages with this outbreak at $1.58 billion.

The tornado track map above is courtesy of the NWS Office in Jacksonville, MS.

Source: NWS Office Jacksonville, MS. and Discovery.com stormchasers.

WX History: April 20th

1912: A tornado moved north-northeast from 5 miles southeast of Rush Center, KS across the east half of Bison, KS. Farms were wiped out near Rush Center. The loss at Bison was $70,000 as half of the town, about 50 homes, were damaged or destroyed. There were 15 injuries in town. A dozen farms were nearly wiped out. Debris from the farm houses was carried for 8 miles. An elderly man who made light of the storm was killed with his granddaughter on a farm 2 miles southwest of Bison.

April 20, 1912 Bison Kansas Tornado Damage
Bison Kansas following the tornado. 

Source: GenDisaster.com

1920: Tornadoes in Mississippi and Alabama killed 219 persons. Six tornadoes of F4 intensity were reported. Aberdeen, Mississippi was hard hit by an F4 tornado that killed 22 people. This same tornado killed 20 in Marion County, Alabama. Nine people in one family died in Winston County, Alabama.

1984: A temperature of 106 degrees at Del Rio, Texas set a new record high for the month of April.


2004:  A strong F3 tornado moved across the town of Utica, near LaSalle-Peru in north central Illinois. This tornado destroyed several homes, a machinery building, and a tavern. The roof of the tavern collapsed, killing eight people inside; many of these people had come into town from nearby mobile homes, seeking sturdier shelter. The tornado dissipated on a steep bluff on the northeast side of the city. Another tornado developed shortly afterward, crossing I-80 near Ottawa. Several other tornadoes developed across north central and northeast Illinois, affecting areas around Joliet and Kankakee.