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: 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 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



WX History: June 10th

1752: It is believed that this was the day Benjamin Franklin narrowly missed electrocution while flying a kite during a thunderstorm to determine if lightning is related to electricity.

Source: History.com

1938: The community of Clyde, Texas was struck by a slow-moving tornado shortly after dusk. Many saw it coming and scrambled to safety inside storm cellars. The estimated F5 tornado killed 14 people. A five-year-old boy carried his little brother to safety.

June 10th, 1938 - Clyde, Texas TornadoJune 10th, 1938 – Clyde, Texas Tornado Thu, Jun 16, 1938 – Page 9 · The Times (Shreveport, Louisiana) · Newspapers.com

1997: Flash Flooding occurred in many locations in Mississippi. Highway 80 and many other streets were flooded in and around Vicksburg. Water engulfed one person’s car, but the person was rescued. Over 6 inches of rain fell in Lexington in a little over 3 hours. The torrential rains caused Bear Creek to overflow and flood much of the town of Lexington. 45 businesses were affected by the flooding, and 30 of these suffered significant losses. As many as 300 homes had water damage.

WX History: May 26th

1771: Thomas Jefferson recorded the greatest flood ever known in Virginia. The great Virginia flood occurred as torrential rains in the mountains brought all rivers in the state to record high levels. Click HERE to read Jefferson’s entry in his Garden Book.

1917: A major tornadic thunderstorm took a 293-mile track across parts of central Illinois and Indiana. Once believed to be a single tornado, the later study indicated it was likely at least eight separate tornadoes. The first touchdown was about 50 miles south-southeast of Quincy, Illinois. The tornadic storm tracked due east, before beginning a northeast curve near Charleston; separate tornadic storms then curved southeast from Charleston. The towns of Mattoon and Charleston bore the brunt of the tornado. Damage from this severe tornado in Mattoon was about 2.5 blocks wide and 2.5 miles long, with over 700 houses destroyed, while the Charleston portion was 600 yards wide and 1.5 miles long, with 220 homes damaged. Damage in the two towns amounted to about 2 million dollars 1917 dollars. Dozens of farms were hit along the path, and at least three farm homes were swept away between Manhattan and Monee. Another estimated F4 tornado touched down 6 miles south of Crown Point and devastated a dozen farms. A total of 7 people died, and 120 were injured. 53 people were killed in Mattoon, and 38 were killed in Charleston. Overall, 101 people in Illinois were killed during the tornado outbreak, with 638 injured. Click HERE for more information from the NWS Office in Lincoln, Illinois.

2003: A BMI Airbus bound for Cyprus from Manchester, England encountered a violent thunderstorm over Germany. The plane bounced and twisted violently as it ran into severe turbulence with huge hailstones pounding the exterior. A football-sized hole was punched in the aircraft’s exterior. None of the 213 passengers or eight crew members was seriously hurt.


May 26, 2003 Airplane
The picture above is from the AERO News Network.

2009: Northeast of Anchorage, Alaska, two hikers climbed a ridge to see a developing storm better. Lightning knocked the couple unconscious. Regaining consciousness, they called emergency services as the woman was unable to walk. The man’s shoes looked as though they had melted.

May 26, 2009 Anchorage lightning

Source: May 2009 Storm Data.

WX History: April 7th

1926: Lightning started a disastrous oil fire at San Luis Obispo, California, which lasted for five days, spread over 900 acres, and burned over six million barrels of oil. Flames reached 1000 feet, and the temperature of the fire was estimated at 2,500 degrees. The fire spawned thousands of whirlwinds with hundreds the size of small tornadoes. One vortex traveled one mile to the east-northeast of the blaze, destroying a small farmhouse and killing two people. Damage totaled $15 million.

April 7, 1926 Tank Farm Fire
This is the San Luis Obispo fire.

Source: SanLuisObispo.com

1948: Illinois and Indian saw six tornadoes on this day, with three occurring near Chicago. The strongest tornado, an estimated F4, ripped through Kankakee County in Illinois, and Lake, Porter, and Jasper County in Indiana. According to Thomas Grazulis book, Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991, this tornado was “perhaps the first photograph that clearly showed a distant multiple-suction-vortex structure.”

April 7, 1948 Peotone, IL Tornado 2
The clipping above is from Thomas Grazulis book, Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991. This picture can be found on page 937.

Sources: Chicago Tribune Archives.  The Tornado Project.

1980: Severe thunderstorms spawned tornadoes that ripped through central Arkansas. The severe thunderstorms also produce high winds and baseball size hail. Five counties were declared disaster areas by President Carter. A tornado causing F3 damage also affected St. Louis and St. Charles counties in Missouri producing $2.5 million in damage. *More research is needed on this event*

2006: Nine tornadoes traveled across the Mid-Tennessee causing 10 fatalities. 

2010: The record heat that affected the region on April 6-7 included 93 degrees at the Washington-Dulles Airport on April 6, the earliest 90-degree reading on record. On April 7, Newark, New Jersey, shattered its daily record by seven degrees when the maximum temperature rose to 92 degrees. The Northeast ended up with its second warmest April in 116 years.