WX History: June 7th

1692: A massive earthquake strikes Port Royal in Jamaica, killing some 3,000 people.

Source: History.com

1816: The following is found on page 31, from the book, “History of the American Clock Business for the Past Sixty Years, and Life of Chauncey Jerome,” written by Chauncey Jerome. The book was published in 1860. “The next summer was a cold one of 1816, which none of the old people will ever forget, and which many of the young have heard a great deal about. There was ice and snow in every month in the year. I well remember on the seventh of June, while on my way to work, about a mile from home, dressed throughout with thick woolen clothes and an overcoat on, my hands got so cold that I was obliged to lay down my tools and put on a pair of mittens which I had in my pocket. It snowed about an hour that day.” This bitter cold event occurred in Plymouth, Connecticut.

June 7, 1816 Bitter Cold and Snow

Source: History of the American Clock Business for the Past Sixty Years.

1964

2013

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.

1947

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. 

2011

2014

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

1948

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.

2004

2012

2013

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.

2012

2017

WX History: May 28th

1880: An estimated F4 tornado hit Savoy, Texas. The storm killed 14 people, and 60 others were injured. It leveled the entire business and northeast residential sections. The tornado was described as “a funnel blazing with balls of fire.” 

1973: An F3 tornado moved east and struck the northern portion of Athens, Georgia. Destruction was massive near Athens, with losses estimated at ten million dollars. Damage from the storm included 545 homes and 17 businesses. Hundreds of large trees more than 100 years old were destroyed.

1982

1998

2015: Some parts of Oklahoma have seen more than a foot of rain during the month of May 2015. Storms killed at least 17 people in Texas and Oklahoma, and more than a dozen are still missing. State climatologist Gary McManus from the Oklahoma Climatological Survey calculated the May rainfall total averaged over all Sooner State reporting stations through midday May 29 – 14.18 inches – was easily outpacing the previous record wet month, set in October 1941 (10.75 inches).

May 28, 2015 Oklahoma precipitation 2
The image above contains a radar-derived precipitation amount over the last 30 days, ending on May 27th, 2015.

WX History: May 24th

1896: An estimated F4 tornado passed ten miles north of Des Moines, Iowa during the late evening. As many as seven members of one family, the at the north edge of Valeria, Iowa, died as they ran to the storm cellar. Five others died in a nearby home. A steel railroad rail was reportedly driven 15 feet into the ground. The death toll was at least 21.

1973: An F4 tornado tore through the small town of Union City, Oklahoma, killing two and injuring four others. This tornado was the first storm to be studied in detail by the National Severe Storms Laboratory Doppler Radar Unit at Norman, OK and an armada of researchers in the field. Research of the radar data from the storm would lead to the discovery of a “TVS,” or Tornado Vortex Signature. The presence of a TVS on Doppler radar data is a very strong indication of tornadic potential in a severe thunderstorm.

May 24, 1973 Union City Tornado
The first tornado captured by the NSSL Doppler radar and NSSL chase personnel.

Source: Union City Tornado Makes History – NSSL

2002: The last measurable snow of the season fell in Marquette, Michigan. This snowfall brought the city’s seasonal snowfall to 319.8 inches, by far the city’s snowiest winter ever.

2017

2017

WX History: May 20th

1894: A record late snow of two to eight inches whitened parts of central and eastern Kentucky. Lexington received six inches of snow, and Springfield Kentucky received 5 inches.

1916: In three consecutive years, a tornado passed near or through the town of Codell, Kansas. The tornado on this day was an estimated F2. The estimated F3 tornado in 1917 moved two miles west of town. Finally, an estimated F4 tornado moved through Codell on May 20th, 1918. This tornado killed 9 and injured at least 65 others.

May 20, 1916 Codell, Kansas Tornado X3

Source: The Weather Doctor.

1957: A tornado touched down to the southwest of Kansas City and traveled a distance of seventy-one miles cutting a swath of near destruction through the southeastern suburbs of Ruskin Heights and Hickman Mills. The tornado claimed the lives of forty-five persons and left hundreds homeless. It was the worst weather disaster of record for Kansas City. About all that remained of one house were a small table and a fish bowl atop, with the fish still swimming about inside the bowl. A canceled check from Hickman Hills was found in Ottumwa, Iowa, 165 miles away. Pilots reported debris at an altitude of 30,000 feet.

May 20, 1957 RUSKIN TORNADO JANICKE KCSTAR
This tornado was near Spring Hill, Kansas. The original photograph was taken from the north porch of the Methodist Church. The photograph has been cosmetically enhanced.

Source: NWS Office in Kansas City.

2017

 

WX History: May 19th

1780: The infamous “dark day” in New England tradition. At noon, it was nearly as dark as night. Chickens went to roost, and many persons were fearful of divine wrath. The “dark day” was caused by forest fires to the west of New England.

May 19, 1780 Fires

The image above is courtesy of the International Journal of Wildland Fire published in 2007. “Fire dates based on tree rings and fire scars indicate that fires occurred in 1780 at several locations, including the Algonquin Highlands of southern Ontario, western Maryland, western Virginia, the Missouri Ozark Highlands, the Boston Mountains of Arkansas, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota.” 

Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire.

1915: A spring storm came to an end after producing widespread snow. Total snowfall from the storm included: 17.6 inches in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, 8 inches at Cheyenne, Wyoming, 7 inches at Chadron and 3.9 inches in North Platte, Nebraska.

1990

2017

2017

2017

WX History: May 16th

1883: Benchmark flooding in the Black Hills occurred in 1883, with extremely high flows reported throughout the hills that resulted from heavy rainfall on top of snowmelt.

May 16, 1883 Deadwood Flooding
Deadwood, South Dakota following the 1883 flood. The photograph is courtesy of the Adams, Museum, in Deadwood, South Dakota and used by the USGS.

Source: Black Hills Area Floods – 1877 to 1890.

1874: The Mill Creek disaster occurred west of North Hampton, MA. Dam slippage resulted in a flash flood that claimed 143 lives and caused a million dollars property damage.

Source(s): New England Historical Society and In the Shadow of the Dam: The Aftermath of the Mill River Flood of 1874.

1983: An unyielding spring storm dumped heavy snow across the Front Range in Colorado. High winds of 20 to 40 mph with gusts to 55 mph produced blizzard conditions at times. The Foothills received 1 to 2 feet of snow with 4 to 12 inches along the Foothills. Blowing snow whipped the snow into drifts several feet deep closing schools and highways. Power outages occurred; with 20 square miles of Denver blacked out. Hundreds of passengers were stranded as only half of runways were open at Stapleton International Airport. The high temperature at Denver the next day of just 40° set a record low maximum. Much of the snow melted on the 18th as temperatures rebounded into the middle and upper 50s causing widespread street flooding.

1989: Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front produced severe weather in the south central U.S. Thunderstorms spawned twenty tornadoes, and there were 180 reports of large hail and damaging winds. A tornado in Cleburne, Texas caused thirty million dollars damage. A violent F4 tornado touched down near Brackettville, Texas and a strong F3 tornado killed one person and injured 28 others at Jarrell, Texas.

WX History: May 9th

1918: An F4 tornado moved across Floyd, Chickasaw, and Winneshiek Counties in northeast Iowa from two miles north of Pearl Rock to Calmar. Two people died just east of Calmar when the tornado was a mile wide. Losses in and near Calmar totaled $250,000. Overall, this tornado killed seven people and injured 15 others.

May 9, 1918 Nasha Tornado Damage
A photograph from May 15, 1918, Waverly Democrat shows the destruction the tornado left to a farm outside Nashua, Iowa.

 

Source: Waverly Newspaper.

1933: An estimated F4 tornado moved through Monroe, Cumberland, and Russell Counties in Kentucky along a 60-mile path. The town of Tompkinsville, KY was the hardest hit with 18 people killed. Overall, 36 people lost their lives.

Source: NWS Office in Louisville, Kentucky.

1966: Record snows fell in the northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, including 3.1 inches at Pittsburgh and 5.4 inches at Youngstown Ohio. Snow also extended across parts of New York State with eight inches reported in the southern Adirondacks.

1990: The 1990 Machilipatnam Cyclone was the worst disaster to affect Southern India since the 1977 Andhra Pradesh cyclone. This category four on the Saffir-Simpson scale had a severe impact on India, with over 967 people reported having been killed. Over 100,000 animals also died in the cyclone with the total cost of damages to crops estimated at over $600 million (1990 USD).

May 9, 1990 Cyclone Machilipatnam
Super Cyclone Machilipatnam on May 8, 1990.

 

1995: An F3 tornado produced $10 million in damages along its 40-mile path across central Illinois. The tornado caused significant damage in Cantrall where three homes were destroyed, 10 had major damage, and 11 had minor damage. The roof and interior of a grade school suffered extensive damage. The tornado passed about 2 miles southeast of the new NWS Office in Lincoln, Illinois.

May 9, 1995 Lincoln, IL tornado
The image above is courtesy of the NWS Office in Lincoln, Illinois. The building with the white dome is for the upper air balloon launches. The other white ball is the radar.