WX History: July 16th

1916: The “Great Flood of 1916,” as many people call it, swept through on July 16, 1916, when the normally shallow French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers in North Carolina jumped their banks after heavy rain fell over the area. We will never know precisely how many people died that fateful day. But, experts estimate that at least several dozen citizens lost their lives in Asheville alone. Click HERE for more information from NCDC.

1979: The most damaging tornado in Wyoming history touched down 3 miles west-northwest of the Cheyenne airport. This strong tornado moved east or east-southeast across the northern part of Cheyenne, causing $22 million in damage and one fatality. 140 houses and 17 trailers were destroyed. 325 other homes were damaged.  Four C-130 aircraft and National Guard equipment sustained $12 million in damage. Municipal hangars and buildings suffered $10 million in losses.

July 16, 1979 Wyoming Tornado

2009: A hailstone, 3.3 inches in diameter, 6.8 inches circumference, and weighing 2.1 ounces fell in Westford, Vermont. This hailstone is the largest ever found in Vermont. The image of the hailstone above is courtesy of the NWS Office in Burlington, Vermont. Click HERE for more information.

July 16, 2009 Vermont Hailstone


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 13th

1895: A tornado that began in Cherry Hill, New Jersey made its way to Woodhaven, Long Island in New York. The image below is a hand-colored lantern slide in the Museum Library’s Lantern Slide Collection.

July 13, 1895 Cherry Hill Tornado

1951: Rivers across eastern Kansas crest well above flood stage, causing the greatest destruction from flooding in the Midwestern United States to that time. Five-hundred-thousand people were left homeless, and 24 people died in the disaster. Click HERE for more information from the History Channel. Click HERE for additional photos from the NWS Office in Topeka.

July 13, 1951 Kansas Flooding
The cloverleaf in North Topeka at the junction of U.S. Hwys. 24 and 75. The recently opened Jayhawk Junior Motel was underwater on its roof. The photo was looking southeast (photo courtesy of G.L. Sardou, Topeka, Kansas).


WX History: July 9th

1938: A deadly, estimated F4 tornado moved ESE across the eastern edge of Andover to the north of Bristol, South Dakota. Seventeen buildings were destroyed at Andover, and at least one home was completely swept away. Seven homes and a church also suffered damage. An elderly person was killed at the western edge of Andover, and a couple died in a home at the southern side of town. About two hours later, another estimated F4 tornado moved ENE from 2 miles northeast of White, South Dakota in Brookings County to Hendricks, Minnesota.  Only one person was injured from this storm.
July 9, 1938 - Andover, SD TornadoJuly 9, 1938 – Andover, SD Tornado · Sun, Jul 10, 1938 – 1 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.com

1979: Hurricane Bob was born in the Gulf of Mexico, becoming the first Atlantic Hurricane to be given a male name.

July 9, 1979 Hurricane Bob
The image above is Hurricane Bob on July 10, 1979.

1997: Torrential rains in the Carpathian Mountains caused severe flooding in the Czech Republic, Poland, and German. In all, 104 people died as a result of the deluge. In the aftermath, authorities from each country blamed the others for the extent of the disaster. Click HERE for more information from the History Channel.

2007: The Argentine capital experiences its first major snowfall since June 22, 1918, as wet snow spreads a thin white mantle over the area. The storm hits on Argentina’s Independence Day holiday thus adding to a festive air. Thousands of Argentines cheer the event, throwing snowballs in the streets. Local radio stations dust off an old tango song inspired by the 1918 snowfall: What a night! Click HERE for more information from the Guardian.com

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 6th

1893: A violent tornado killed 71 persons on its forty-mile track across northwestern Iowa. Forty-nine persons were killed around Pomeroy, where eighty percent of the buildings were destroyed, with most leveled to the ground. Click HERE for more information.

1928: A seven-inch hailstone weighing 1.5 pounds fell in Potter Nebraska. With a circumference of 17 inches, this appeared to be the largest hailstone in the world at that time. Click HERE for more information from the Monthly Weather Review published in August 1928.

July 6, 1928 Potter NE Hailstones
The image above is courtesy of the Monthly Weather Review.

1963: A farmer was fatally injured near Waubay, in Day County South Dakota, when the barn was destroyed while he was inside. Winds of 110 mph were recorded at FAA in Watertown, South Dakota before the roof and wind instruments were blown away.

July 6, 1963, Watertown, SD WindJuly 6, 1963, Watertown, SD Wind · Mon, Jul 8, 1963 – Page 1 · Lead Daily Call (Lead, South Dakota) · Newspapers.com

1986: Thunderstorms during the mid-morning hours, and again during the evening, produced major flash flooding at Leavenworth, Kansas. The official rainfall total was 10.37 inches, but unofficial totals exceeded twelve inches. At nearby Kansas City, the rainfall total of 5.08 inches was a daily record for July.

WX History: July 3rd

1873: A tornado in Hancock County, in far west central Illinois, destroyed several farms. From a distance, witnesses initially thought the tornado was smoke from a fire. A child was killed after being carried 500 yards; 10 other people were injured. Click HERE for more information from Illinois Genealogy Trails.

1975: Up to 3 inches of rain caused flash flooding throughout Las Vegas, NV. The main damage occurred to vehicles at Caesars Palace with approximately 700 damaged or destroyed with several cars found miles away. North Las Vegas was hardest hit with $3.5 million in damage. Two people drowned in the flood waters.

July 3, 1975 Las Vegas Flood
Above is the parking lot for Caesars Palace on July 4th, 1975.

2000:  There is a certain irony about one of the driest places getting the greatest rainfall, and yet that is what happened at usually rain-sparse Vanguard, Saskatchewan on July 3 when a carwash-like downpour flooded the community of 200 people, some 65 km southeast of Swift Current. As much as 375 mm (14.76”) of rain fell in eight hours, the greatest storm for that duration on the Canadian Prairies and one of the largest rainfall intensities ever recorded in Canada.

The spectacular thunderstorm produced more cloud-to-ground lightning strikes than that part of southern Saskatchewan would expect in two years. A year’s amount of rain left crops in the field drowning and rotting, and roads and rail lines under water. The force of the water crushed cars and farm implements swept away grain bins and soaked large bales. Stranded residents had to be rescued by boat, which rapidly became the carrier of choice on the main street in Vanguard. The flash flood also carried away herds of cattle and drowned dozens of deer and antelope. Some further irony, when millions of liters of contaminated water submerged the water-treatment plant and backed up into homes and businesses, officials had to ship in bottled water from Swift Current. Click HERE for more information from CBC.CA news.

WX History: July 2nd

1833: The following is from the “History and Description of New England” published in 1860: “On the 2nd of July, 1833, this town (Holland, Vermont) was visited by a violent tornado, which commenced on Salem Pond in Salem, and passed over this place in a northeasterly direction. It was from half to three-quarters of a mile wide and prostrated and scattered nearly all the trees, fences, and buildings in its course. It crossed the outlet of Norton Pond and passed into Canada, and its path could be traced through the forests nearly to Connecticut River.”

July 2, 1833 New Holland tornado

1843: An alligator reportedly fell from the sky onto Anson Street in Charleston, SC during a thunderstorm.

July 2, 1843 Alligator Report 2
Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), Tuesday, July 11, 1843, page 2. Image courtesy of Newspapers.com

2001: In Michigan, frost and freezing temperatures were observed in some locations with Grant dropping to 29 degrees. Muskegon reported their coldest July temperature on record with 39 degrees. Other daily record lows included: Lansing: 38, Muskegon: 39, Flint: 40, Youngstown, Ohio: 40, and Grand Rapids, Michigan: 43 degrees.

WX History: July 1st

1861: Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, India measured 366 inches of rain during the month of July 1861. From August 1, 1860, to July 31, 1861, Cherrapunji received a record-breaking 1,041.75 inches of precipitation.

July 1, 1861 Cherrapunji Rainfall

1879: The Little Rock, Arkansas weather office opened. The first telegraphic report was sent at 700 am local time. 

1928: A powerful, estimated F4 tornado moved southeast from 6 miles west of Miller, South Dakota, destroying farms near the start of the path. All buildings were leveled to the ground, including two homes. A checkbook from one home was found 10 miles away.

1955: An estimated F2 tornado moved northeast near Bowdle, South Dakota. Two barns were destroyed. A small girl and a pony were reportedly carried a quarter mile without injury.

2002: San Antonio, Texas recorded 9.52 inches of rain on this day to set a new record for its greatest rainfall for the entire month of July. Click HERE for more information from the NWS Office in San Antonio.

July 1, 2002 San Antonio Flood

July 1, 2002 San Antonio Flood 2