WX History: August 4th

1609: Sir Thomas Gates, future governor of Virginia, was on his way to England from Jamestown. On Saint James Day, while between Cuba and the Bahamas, a “most terrible and vehement storm” raged for 44 hours. One of the small vessels in the fleet sank to the bottom of the Florida Straits. Four of the remaining vessels reached Virginia soon after the storm…followed a few days later by three other ships. The flagship, known as Sea Adventure, disappeared and was presumed lost. A small bit of fortune befell the ship and her crew when they made landfall on Bermuda. Although the vessel was damaged on a surrounding coral reef, all survived and spent ten months on the unsettled isle. The Spaniards, though shipwrecked on the island many times, had failed to colonize there. The British claimed the island and quickly settled the subtropical isle. In May 1610, they set forth for Jamestown, this time arriving at their destination. This near catastrophe likely provided the inspiration and background for William Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest.

Source(s): BBC.CO.UK and Virginia Hurricane History from the Weather Prediction Center.

1882: A vivid aurora was visible from Oregon to Maine, down the east coast as far as Mayport, FL, and inland as far as Wellington, KS. Observers at Louisville, KY noted “merry dancers” across the sky, and observers at Saint Vincent, MN noted it was probably the most brilliant ever seen at that location.

Aug 4, 1882 Auroras

Source: Monthly Weather Review.

2008: Severe storms moved across northern Illinois and Indiana with tornadoes and stiff winds reported. With tornado sirens blaring, the game at Wrigley Field between Cubs and Astros was stopped as fans were told to evacuate to the lower concourse. Passengers at O’Hare International Airport were evacuated to lower levels of buildings as well. An estimated 350 flights were canceled.

Source: NWS Office in Chicago, Illinois.

2009: The strongest tornado to hit Quebec since the same date in 1994 ripped through Mont-Laurier. The F2 tornado tore through the small western Quebec town severely damaging about 40 homes. Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Source: Tornado slams Quebec’s Mont-Laurier – CBCNEWS

2017

WX History: August 3rd

1874: The crew of a Union fleet witnessed a waterspout move right past their ship, causing no damage, in Albemarle Sound, North Carolina.

Aug 3, 1864 Albemarle Sound Waterspout
Grand Water-Spout in Albemarle Sound, August 3, 1864. Harper’s Weekly.

Source: Civil War Harper’s Weekly, Published on September 10, 1864.

1885: A tornado causing estimated F3 damage hit Philadelphia and Camden along its eight-mile path.Aug 3, 1885 Philadelphia Tornado

Source: Millheim Journal. volume (Millheim, Pa.), 06 Aug. 1885. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress

1970: Hurricane Celia was the costliest tropical cyclone in Texas history until Hurricane Alicia in 1983. Hurricane Celia made landfall near Port Aransas as a major Hurricane, Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale with sustained winds of 130 mph.

Source: NWS Office in Corpus Christi, Texas.

1997

2017

2017

WX History: August 2nd

1896

 

1985: An aircraft accident occurred at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport at approximately 6:00 p.m. Neither the crew nor air traffic control was aware that below what appeared to be a rather insignificant thunderstorm existed a strong downdraft of cold, dense air. Upon final approach, the pilot of the Lockheed L-1011 ran into the microburst and was unable to lift out of it. He lost control of the aircraft, hitting several objects on the ground before finally crashing into a water tank near the runway. 133 people were killed, and 31 were injured.

Source: WFAA.com

1995

 

2006: Johannesburg, South Africa residents see snow flurries for the first time in at least eight years.

August 2, 2006 South Africa Snow Source: NASA’s Earth Observatory.

2006

2015

The same storms that wrecked havoc in Michigan, also impacted southern Ontario. The intense storms caused nearly 50,000 customers to lose power.

Aug 2, 2015 Toronto Storm
The picture from CBCNEWS and was taken by Mike Talmage.

Source: CBCNEWS.

 

2017

WX History: June 29th

1904: Tornado hits Karacharov Village area of Moscow killing about 24 people.

June 29, 1904 Russia Tornado

Source: Englishrussia.com

1998: A derecho which originated in far southeast South Dakota moved across Illinois during the afternoon and evening and continued as far east as Ohio the next morning. Every county in central Illinois sustained some damage, as these severe thunderstorms passed. Winds gusted in the 60 to 80 mph range, with some localized microbursts producing winds more than 100 mph. Significant damage occurred in the microburst areas, including the towns of Morton, McLean, LeRoy, and Tolono. In Tolono, 22 cars of a southbound 101-car Illinois Central freight train were blown off the tracks. It was unknown how many cars were picked up by the wind, but 16 cars were turned over, and another six derailed but remained upright. The train was en route to Centralia from Chicago with a load of mixed freight, including plastic pellets and meal. The freight cars empty weighed about 60,000 pounds, while a full one weighs about 260,000 pounds. Overall, 12 people were injured, and damage was estimated around $16 million dollars.

June 29, 1998 Corn Belt Derecho

Source: Storm Prediction Center.

2012

2017

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 25th

1957: Hurricane Audrey moved northward, slowly strengthening until the 26th. At that time, a strong upper-level trough led to its acceleration and the hurricane deepened rapidly on its final approach to the Texas/Louisiana border. Audrey became the strongest hurricane on record for the month of June upon landfall, as it reached category four strength. Its acceleration was unanticipated, and despite hurricane warnings in place, 418 people perished in the storm, mainly across southwest Louisiana.

 

June 25, 1957 Hurricane Audrey
Radar image of Hurricane Audrey on June 27, 1957, shortly before landfall.

 

Source(s): History.com and Weather Underground.

1967: Three, F3 tornadoes crossed the Netherlands on this day. The first tornado touched down at 4:17 PM in Oostmalle. This storm destroyed the church and the center of the village. More than half of the 900 homes in the community were damaged with 135 completely gone. The second tornado touched down near Ulicoten and tracked northward through woodlands area. This storm killed two people at a camping site near Chaam, Netherlands. The third tornado destroyed 50 houses in Tricht, killing five and injuring 32 others.

 

June 25, 1967 Tornado in the Netherlands
Tornado near Deil, Netherlands.

 

 

June 25, 1967 Tornado in the Netherlands2
The village of Tricht following the F3 tornado.

 

Source: Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut.

WX History: June 24th

1929: In Durban, South Africa, a storm drops hailstones the size of baseballs. The rattle produced by the storm is described as sounding like “machine gun fire.”

June 24, 1929 Durban, South Africa Hail

Source: NOAA Photo Library.

1975:  An Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 crashed at JFK airport in New York City. 113 of the 124 people on board the aircraft died. Researcher Theodore Fujita studied the incident and discovered that a microburst caused the crash. His research led to improved air safety. The tower never experienced the microburst, which was held back by a sea-breeze front. The plane crashed 2,400 feet short of the runway.

Source: History.com

2003: An F4 tornado destroyed or heavily damaged all buildings, other structures, and vehicles in the small town of Manchester, in Kingsbury County. Many homes were stripped to the foundation. Of the six residents of the town, four were injured and were transported to hospitals. Three were deemed to be severely injured, but none of the injuries were listed as life-threatening. Throughout the path, the tornado was observed to have multiple vortices. The tornado was seen and videotaped by many storm chasers and researchers. Researchers also deployed weather sensors around the town of Manchester. One of these sensors recorded a 100 millibar pressure drop as the tornado passed. This tornado was part of a larger outbreak in eastern South Dakota, which experienced a record 67 tornadoes within an eight-hour time frame.

Source: NWS Office in Sioux Falls. Video from Reed Timmer.

WX History: June 23rd

1944: The deadliest and strongest tornado for the state of West Virginia occurred on this day. The Shinnston Tornado that ravaged a path of destruction from Shinnston to Cheat Mountain, then on to Maryland and ending in Pennsylvania in the Allegheny Mountains, is the only twister to produce F4 damage in West Virginia. This tornado killed 103 people.

Source(s): History Channel and West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

2002: A powerful supercell thunderstorm produced six tornadoes from eastern McPherson County and across northern Brown County in South Dakota during the evening hours. The fifth tornado developed 5 miles southeast of Barnard and became a violent F4 tornado. This tornado caused damage to one farmhouse, several outbuildings, trees, and equipment as it moved northeast and strengthened.

Source: Silver Lining Tours.com

2010: An F2 tornado destroyed approximately 50 homes and caused damages estimated to be $15 million in Midland, Ontario. 12 people were reported to be injured.

Source: CTV News.

WX History: June 22nd

1919: The second deadliest tornado in Minnesota’s history occurred on this day. 59 people were killed as an estimated F5 tornado ripped through the town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. 400 buildings were destroyed. A blank check was found over 60 miles away, and lumber was carried 10 miles. Of the 59 victims, 35 were guests of the Grand Hotel.

June 22, 1916 Fergus Falls Tornado
Digging through the debris of the Grand Hotel. 

Source: GenDisaster.com

1928: A farmer near Greensburg, KS looked up into the heart of a tornado. He described its walls as “rotating clouds lit with constant flashes of lightning and a strong gassy odor with a screaming, hissing sound.”

Source: Seeing the Inside of a Tornado – NOAA History.

2003: A hailstone measuring 7.0 inches in diameter with a circumference of 18.75 inches and weighing 1.33 pounds falls in Aurora, Nebraska. The National Weather Service reports this is the second largest hailstone ever documented in the U.S. by weight, and the largest by size at that time. The world’s largest hailstone NOW was produced from storms in South Dakota; 8″ in diameter and 1.9375 lbs. on July 23, 2010.

June 22, 2003 Aurora Hailstone
The image above is courtesy of the National Center for Environmental Information.

2007: The first officially documented F5 tornado in Canada struck the town of Elie, Manitoba population 500 people. Video of the storm showed a heavy van being whirled through the air. The storm also tossed an almost entire house several hundred yards through the air before it disintegrated. The tornado traveled across the landscape for about 35 minutes covering 3.4 miles and leaving a damage path 984 feet wide. Wind speeds in the tornado were later estimated at 260-316 mph. Fortunately, no fatalities or serious injuries were reported.

Source: Capital Weather Gang.

WX History: June 21st

1902: Light to heavy frost occurred over most of South Dakota with low temperatures ranging from the mid-20s to the lower 30s.

1987: A tornado destroyed 57 mobile homes at the Chateau Estates trailer park northwest of Detroit, Michigan killing one person and injuring six others. Total damage was estimated at 1.7 million dollars. Thunderstorms over Lower Michigan also drenched the Saginaw Valley with up to 4.5 inches of rain in less than six hours.

Source: Chicago Tribune.

1988: The first full day of summer was a hot one, with afternoon highs of 100 degrees or above reported from the Northern and Central Plains to the Ohio Valley. Sixty-nine cities in the north central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. The high of 110 degrees at Sioux Falls, SD was an all-time record for that location.

June 21, 1988 Summer Heat2