WX History: March 5th

1894: The low temperature of 36 degrees at San Diego, California on this day was their lowest on record for March.

March 5, 1894 Low in San Diego

1959: Near blizzard conditions occurred over northern and central Oklahoma during a winter storm on March 5, 1959. Up to 7 inches of snow accumulated and winds up to 50 mph created snow drifts four to eight feet deep. In Edmond, a bus slid off the road into a ditch and overturned, injuring 16 people. 

In Iowa, the record-breaking snowstorm on March 4-6 began with light snow in western Iowa on the morning of the 4th then spread across the state and intensified with heavy snow falling from the night of the 4th, through the 5th, and into early morning on the 6th in eastern Iowa. The amount of snowfall and its subsequent effects were less severe in western Iowa and grew progressively worse moving eastward. In central Iowa, snowfall amounts were generally 6 to 10 inches, while in eastern Iowa a swath of about 12 to 20 inches of snow fell roughly from Appanoose County through Tama County and northeast to Allamakee County. Reported storm total snowfall amounts included 12.9 inches at Waterloo, 14.5 inches at Decorah, 16.0 inches at Oelwein, 17.0 inches at Oskaloosa, 17.6 inches at Dubuque, 19.8 inches at Marshalltown where 17.8 inches fell in just 24 hours, and 22.0 inches at Fayette where 21.0 inches fell in 24 hours. Winds strengthened steadily during the storm with speeds reaching 30 to 50 mph at times and causing extensive blowing and drifting of snow. Drifts 6 to 10 feet deep were common and in northeastern Iowa, a few locations reported drifts 15 to 20 feet deep.

March 3-5, 1959 Snow Storm
A general snowfall map courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.


1966: A plane crashes near Mount Fuji in Japan after encountering severe turbulence. The pilot veered a few miles off course to give the passengers a better view of Mount Fuji when it tremendous wind gusts. All 124 people on board the aircraft were killed. Click HERE for more information from BBC.

March 5, 1966 Mount Fiji Plane Crash
The image above shows the crash of the Boeing 707. The image is courtesy of BBC.

1989: A F2 tornado killed one person and injured six others in Heard County, Georgia. A stronger, F3 tornado injured 23 persons and caused more than 5 million dollars damage around Grantville, Georgia.

March 5, 1989 Georgia Tornado Tracks
The image above is courtesy of Storm Data.





Weather History Links Introduction

After researching historical weather and disaster events for the past several years, I found it tiresome looking and remembering credible information. The goal of this blog is to provide useful links in an easy to use format. Please feel free to comment if you have any questions, suggestions, or links to add. Thanks!

This Date in Weather/Climate History:

The Southeast Regional Climate Center publishes a daily weather history story on Facebook and Twiter. They post one event per day during the morning hours(~7 am central time), with an occasional post in the afternoon. Click HERE for their webpage.

Several National Weather Service Forecast Offices have weather history and significant events on their webpage. The National Weather Service Office in Aberdeen, South Dakota has an excellent, daily weather history archive page that contains local and regional weather events, as well as global events from 1500’s to the present day. Click HERE for their archive page.

Another useful site is the Weather Doctor by Keith C Heidorn, Ph.D. This page contains a wealth of information about daily events for Canada, the United States, and the world. Unfortunately, the webpage has not been updated since November 2013. The easiest way to change from one month to the next is by changing the URL address. 2016-05-20_10-36-55 January noted in yellow as jan, can easily be modified to September by simply typing sep.htm

The website, http://www.glenallenweather.com/ also has daily weather history archive page. While this site contains excellent information with references, some of the events are listed on a wrong day.

U.S. Daily Weather Maps:

The NOAA Central Library has daily weather maps for the United States from January 1st, 1871 to the present day. These maps can be found by clicking HERE.

National High and Low Temperature by Day:

The Weather Prediction Center issues a daily National High and Low Temperature for the contiguous US. The archive begins on November 22, 2011. 



WX History: March 3rd

1896: The temperature in downtown San Francisco, California fell to 33 degrees, which was the lowest ever for the city in March. 

March 3, 1896 San Fran Cold

1966: One of the most devastating tornadoes in Mississippi history occurred on this day. This tornado would come to be known as the “Candlestick Park” tornado, named after a shopping center in south Jackson which was totally destroyed by the tornado. One of only two documented F5 tornadoes to strike Mississippi in the 20th century. The worst damage occurred in parts of Hinds, Rankin, Scott, and Leake counties, where a total of 57 people were killed and over 500 were injured.

1991: A major ice storm coated parts of central and northwestern New York State with up to two inches of ice. Damage was totaled at $375 million. It was the most costly natural disaster ever in the state up until that time. Nearly half a million people were without power at the height of the storm and many would not see their power restored until the 16th.


WX History: March 2nd

1927: Raleigh, North Carolina was buried under 17.8 inches of snow in 24 hours, a record for that location until 2000. On January 25, 2000, Raleigh saw 17.9 inches of snow in 24 hours.

1988: Thunderstorms produced severe weather in the south-central U.S. A tornado in Baton Rouge, Louisiana injured two persons, and another tornado caused $5 million in damages at the airport in Lafayette, Louisiana.

March 2, 1988 Lafayette Tornado
The barograph trace above is from the airport at Lafayette, LA. It shows an instantaneous pressure drop of 0.24 inches as the tornado passed. An 83 mph wind gust was also observed. The F1 tornado traveled 0.8 miles.

1990: Twenty-two ships were trapped by ice in the worst ice jam in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 10 years. The ice was 23 feet thick.

2012: A violent tornado approaches Henryville, Indiana.


WX History: January 1st

1864: A historic cold blast of air charged southeast from the Northern Plains to Ohio Valley. Chicago had a high temperature 16 degrees below zero and Minneapolis had a high of 25 below zero. A farmer near Huntertown, Indiana, reported the same high temperature as Chicago, with a low of 21 degrees below zero. In his weather diary, he made the remark “rough day.” Minneapolis had a temperature of 25 degrees below zero at 2 PM. St. Louis Missouri saw an overnight low of 24 degrees below zero. The Mississippi was frozen solid with people able to cross it.

Source: David Ludlum

1886: Norway’s coldest night on record occurred as the low temperature dropped to -60.5ºF at Karasjok. Meteorologisk Institutt.

1935: The Associated Press Wire Photo Service made its debut, delivering the great weather maps, twice each day to newspapers across the country. The first photo transmitted was a plane crash in the Adirondack of New York on this day. The plane crashed during the evening hours on December 28, but the rescue did not occur until New Year’s Day.  New York History Blog.

Associated Press Domestic News New York United States FIRST AP WIREPHOTO
The wreckage of a small plane lies in a wooded area near Morehousville, N.Y., Dec. 31, 1934, after a crash landing three days earlier. The four people aboard were reportedly not seriously injured. This photo is believed to be the first photo transmitted to Associated Press members on the AP wirephoto network, Jan. 1, 1935. (AP Photo)

1964: A snowstorm struck the Deep South on December 31st, 1963 through January 1st, 1964. Meridian MS received 15 inches of snow, 10.5 inches blanketed Bay St Louis MS, and 4.5 inches fell at New Orleans, LA. The University of Alabama Head Football Coach “Bear” Bryant said that the only thing that could have messed up his team’s chances in the Sugar Bowl against Ole Miss in New Orleans, LA was a freak snow. Well, much to his chagrin, 4.5 inches of snow fell the night before the big game. Alabama won the game 12-7 anyway. Freezing temperatures then prevailed for New Year’s Day.  NWS Nashville and NWS Huntsville.

Snowfall amounts across the southeast U.S.
Snowfall aftermath at the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee. The photo is courtesy of the University of the South.

1999: Sydney, Australia records a high of 111.6 degrees, the second hottest day on record here. Their highest maximum temperature on record is 113.5 degrees recorded in 1939. Records date back to 1859. Meanwhile, Sydney Airport recorded its hottest day on record reaching 113.4 degrees.

2011: A severe weather event which began on the 31st, continued during the early morning hours over Mississippi. One storm produced an EF3 tornado which touched down at 12:02 AM on the 1st.


WX History: December 31st


Local and Regional Events:

2010: An area of low pressure moved across the Northern Plains on New Year’s Eve bringing widespread heavy snowfall along with blizzard conditions. Bitter cold northwest winds of 25 to 40 mph combined with additional snowfall of 6 to 10 inches brought reduced visibility to near zero across much of the region. This storm was the second blizzard in two days across the area. The blizzard conditions continued into early New Year’s Day. Both Interstates 29 and 90 were closed from the 31st until Sunday, January 2nd. There were several stranded motorists along Highway 83 with five people being rescued. The total snowfall amounts from the two storms ranged from 6 to 15 inches across the region.

Dec 31 Jan 1, 2010 SD Blizzard

The two-day snowfall amounts included 6 inches at Eagle Butte; 7 inches at Doland; 8 inches at Mobridge and Gann Valley; 9 inches at Castlewood; 10 inches at Murdo, Clark, Ipswich, Kennebec, and Watertown and 11 inches at Clear Lake and Bryant. Locations with a foot or more of snow included 12 inches at Aberdeen, Gettysburg, Highmore, Milbank, Mission Ridge, and Bowdle; 13 inches at Eureka, Pierre, Onida, and Blunt; 14 inches at Mellette, Sisseton, Victor, and Roscoe with 15 inches at Britton, Webster, and Redfield. The snowfall began between 6 am and noon CST on the 31st and ended between 4 am and 11 am CST on January 1st.

USA and World Events for December 31st:

1876: A heavy snowstorm hit southern Arkansas, with amounts well over 20 inches in places. 28 inches was reported near Warren, and 24–28 inches was reported at Arkansas City.

1882: Downtown San Francisco saw 3.5 inches of snow.

Dec 31, 1882 SF Snow

Click HERE for more information from thestormking.com

1890: According to the National Meteorological Library and Archive from the United Kingdom, during December 1890, Westminster, England saw zero hours of sunshine. Click HERE to read a pdf with more Weather Extremes from the National Meteorological Library and Archive.

Dec 31, 1890 No Sun in England

1933: During the last week of December, a series of winter storms pounded the mountainside with 12 inches of rain near Los Angeles. More rain occurred on New Year’s Eve, including 4.86 inches in downtown Los Angeles. The 4.86 inches is currently the fourth most rainfall to occur in one day in downtown Los Angeles since 1877. Around midnight, hillsides in at least three mountain locations collapsed sending millions of tons of mud and debris into the Crescenta Valley neighborhoods below. Crescenta Valley is a few miles north of Los Angeles. This mudslide destroyed more than 400 homes. Following the disaster, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the County of Los Angeles built a flood control system of catch basins and concrete storm drains, designed to prevent a repeat of the 1934 disaster. The Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley has a few “Then and Now” photos from this event.

Dec 31, 1933 LA Flood
View north from Mayfield Avenue showing a covered section in the foreground to be used as a street crossing. Crane from the mixer moves concrete for the wall sections to the top of the walls. The image is courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

1967: The kickoff temperature for the NFL Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers was -13°F with a wind chill of -36°F. This game is known as the “Ice Bowl.” Click HERE for more information from NWS Green Bay.

2000: The “Snow Bowl” was played between Mississippi St and Texas A&M at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. Snow began about a half hour before kickoff and didn’t stop until well after the bowl game.


WX History: August 18th

1925: During the late morning hours a severe hailstorm struck southeastern Iowa completely destroying crops along a path six to ten miles wide and 75 miles long. The hail also injured and killed poultry and livestock, and caused a total of 2.5 million dollars damage. The hailstorm flattened fields of corn to such an extent that many had to leave their farms in search of other work.

1931: The Yangtze River in China crests during a horrible flood that kills 3.7 million people directly and indirectly over the next several months. This flood was perhaps the worst natural disaster of the 20th century.

Source: History Channel.

WX History: August 17th

1899: Hurricane San Ciriaco set many records on its path. Killing nearly 3,500 people in Puerto Rico, it was the deadliest hurricane to hit the island and the strongest at the time, until 30 years later when the island was affected by the Hurricane San Felipe Segundo, a Category 5 hurricane, in 1928. San Ciriaco is also the longest lasting Atlantic hurricane in recorded history, lasting for 28 days. On August 17, the hurricane turned back to the northwest and made landfall near Hatteras, North Carolina on the following day. San Ciriaco remains the strongest hurricane to make landfall on the Outer Banks since 1899.

1946: An estimated F4 tornado killed 11 people and injured 100 others in the Mankato, Minnesota area around 6:52 PM. The deaths and most of the injuries occurred in the complete destruction of the 26 cabins at the Green Gables tourist camp, 3 miles southwest of Mankato. A 27-ton road grader was reportedly hurled about 100 feet. Another tornado an hour later destroys downtown Wells, Minnesota.


Aug 17, 1946 Mankato Tornado Damage
Tornado destruction of Green Gables Cabin Camp showing the office. The image is courtesy of the Blue Earth County Historical Society.


Source: Blue Earth County Historical Society.

1969: The music festival, known as Woodstock, should have ended on this day. Jimi Hendrix, the last act to perform, was delayed due to rain on Sunday evening. Jimi Hendrix took the stage at 8:30 am Monday morning.

Source: History Channel.

WX History: August 16th

1777: The Battle of Bennington, delayed a day by rain, was fought. The rain-delayed British reinforcements and allowed the Vermont Militia to arrive in time, enabling the Americans to win a victory by defeating two enemy forces, one at a time.

1992: One of the most destructive United States hurricanes of record started modestly as a tropical wave that emerged from the west coast of Africa on August 14. The wave spawned a tropical depression on August 16, which became Tropical Storm Andrew the next day.


Aug 16, 1992 Hurricane Andrew
Hurricane Andrew on August 23 at 1231 UTC. This image was produced from data from NOAA-12, provided by NOAA.


Source: National Hurricane Center.


WX History: August 13th

1831: The Great Barbados Hurricane was an intense Category 4 hurricane that left cataclysmic damage across the Caribbean and Louisiana in 1831. From August 11 through the 13, Bermudians were amazed to see the sun with a decidedly blue appearance, giving off an eerie blue light when it shone into rooms and other enclosed places. Ships at sea as far west as Cape Hatteras reported that “their white sails appeared a light blue colour.” A month later it was learned that the astounding blue sunlight had coincided with a terrible hurricane that caused 1,477 people to lose their lives. It was assumed that the hurricane was intensive enough to cause an unusual disturbance in the higher atmospheric strata, and refraction, diffraction or absorption of light rays, to cause the blue reflection. Because the sun appeared bluish-green, Nat Turner took this as the final signal and began a slave rebellion a week later on August 21.

Source: NOAA Hurricane Research Division

1987: A succession of thunderstorms produced rainfall that was unprecedented in 116 years of precipitation records at Chicago, Illinois during an 18 hour period from the evening of the 13th to the early afternoon of the 14th. The resulting flash flood was the worst ever to strike the Chicago metropolitan area, causing three deaths and water damage that amounted to 221 million dollars. O’Hare International Airport received an event total of 9.35 inches of rain in 18 hours, shattering the previous 24-hour record of 6.24 inches. For about 24 hours, the airport was only accessible from the air as all roads were blocked by high water, including the Kennedy Expressway.


Source: Eyewitness to History: Record rainfall, floods in 1987 – ABC7 Chicago.

1991:  Stockton, California received 0.05 inch of rainfall on this day. Since 1949, this is the only measured rainfall in Stockton on August 13th.

2003: A string of days in Paris France with temperatures from the 4th to the 12th above 95°F ends when the day’s high drops to 90°F. During the long, hot summer which began 25 July and has registered several days above 100°F, an estimated 14,800 have died from heat-related causes, the French government admits.

Source: NASA’s Earth Observatory.

2014: An official, New York State 24 hour precipitation record was set at Islip, NY on August 12-13 when 13.57″ of rain fell.

 Source: NWS Office in New York.