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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
1957: An F5 tornado cut a swath through Fargo, North Dakota killing 10 and injuring at least 103 people. This tornado was the northernmost confirmed F5 tornado until the Elie, Manitoba tornado on June 22, 2007.
1989: A meteorological “hot flash” hit Pierre, South Dakota. Descending air from collapsing thunderstorms caused the temperature in Pierre to warm from 86 degrees at midnight to 96 at one a.m. and to 104 at 2 a.m. Pierre’s record high for the date of 105 degrees in 1974.
1970: Nesbyen, Norway reached 96 degrees on this day, becoming the warmest temperature recorded in Norway.
2001: Large hail driven by strong thunderstorm winds raked Denver International and front-range airports. Wind gusting to 54 mph along with hail as large 2 inches in diameter punched at least 14 thousand holes and cracks in the flat roofs of several buildings at Denver International Airport. Also, 93 planes and hundreds of cars were damaged. About 100 flights had to be canceled stranding 1500 travelers. The Airport was completely shut down for about 20 minutes. The storm also damaged ground avoidance radar used to track planes on the ground to prevent collisions. Damage was estimated at 10 million dollars not counting the damage to the 93 airliners. The storm moved south and struck Watkins Colorado with hail as large as 2 1/2 inches in diameter and winds gusting to 60 mph.
1794: A violent tornado commenced west of the Hudson River in New York. The tornado traveled through Poughkeepsie then crossed the border into Connecticut where it went through the towns of New Milford, Waterbury, North Haven, and Branford. It then continued into Long Island Sound. The tornado did extensive damage, and the funnel was reported by one observer to look like the “aurora borealis.”
1972: Hurricane Agnes was one of the largest June hurricanes on record. The system strengthened into a tropical storm during the night of the 15th and a hurricane on the 18th as it moved northward in the Gulf of Mexico.
1944: On this date, six estimated F2 or greater tornadoes were tracked across northeast South Dakota and west central Minnesota. The first tornado touched down at approximately 3:30 pm CST in Faulk County. This estimated F2 tornado destroyed all buildings except the house on a farm 7 miles northeast of Faulkton. The next tornado occurred at 4:00 pm CST in Codington County, where barns were destroyed. Cattle and a truck were thrown into Grass Lake, near Wallace. About the same time, in Brown County, a tornado moved northeast from just northeast of Warner and crossed the town of Bath. This storm killed two people and injured another twelve. A couple was killed in the destruction of their home. Twenty homes in Bath were damaged. A brick school had its upper story torn off. Another tornado moved through Codington County at 4:45 pm CST, killing three and injuring twenty-five. This F4 strength tornado moved northeast from two miles northeast of Henry, passing over Long Lake and ending 2 miles northwest of Florence. The funnel was described as snake-like over Long Lake and massive as it swept through five farms southwest of Florence. Over 100 head of cattle were killed, and about a dozen homes were destroyed. In Day County an estimated F2 moved due north from 4 miles south of Webster, ending 2 miles northeast of Roslyn. This storm passed two miles east of Webster where barns were destroyed, and livestock was killed on a half dozen farms. At 5:15 pm CST a monster of a storm moved northeast from 5 miles south of Summit, passing 3 miles south of Wilmot and ending about 3 miles east of Beardsley, Minnesota. This massive tornado had an estimated width of 1500 yards and traveled 30 miles. Along the path, eight people were killed, and another forty-three were injured. Farm devastation southwest and south of Wilmot was as complete as it could be with some farms reportedly left without even debris on the property. About 15 farms in South Dakota reported F3-F5 damage. From this day, the Red Cross counted 13 dead and 560 people injured across the state.
1946: The third deadliest tornado in Canadian history struck southwestern Ontario from Windsor to Tecumseh. 17 people were killed and hundreds injured. Damage was conservatively estimated at $1.5 million dollars.
2010: This day will go down as the day with the greatest single-day tornado total in Minnesota history. The three, EF4 tornadoes in Minnesota were the first tornadoes EF4 or stronger in this state since the Granite Falls tornado on July 25, 2000. This outbreak produced the greatest number of tornadoes rated EF4 or higher in one day in Minnesota since the Black Sunday tornado outbreak on April 30, 1967. This was the first EF4 tornado in Freeborn County since the Black Sunday outbreak The four total EF4 tornadoes across the Upper Midwest on June 17, 2010 (3 in MN, and 1 in ND) were the most in any outbreak in the U.S. since the “Super Tuesday Outbreak” on February 5-6, 2008. The number of tornado fatalities (4) on this day was the highest in Minnesota since July 5, 1978.
1935: An estimated F3 tornado moved east from 17 miles southwest of Onida in central South Dakota. There was near F4 damage to one farm about 9 miles SSW of Onida. The house was destroyed, 60 cattle were killed, and five people were injured. At another farm, the home shifted over the storm cellar, trapping a family.
1991: The second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th Century began as Mt. Pinatubo injected 15 to 30 million tons of sulfur dioxide 100,000 feet into the atmosphere. 343 people were killed in the Philippines as a result of the eruptions, and 200,000 were left homeless. Material from the eruption would spread around the globe, leading to climate changes worldwide as the sun’s energy was blocked out and global temperatures cooled by as much as one degree Fahrenheit. 1992 was globally one of the coldest since the 1970s.
Mt. Pinatubo 🇵🇭erupted on this day in 1991. As a result, in the 1-2 yr following the blast, the global temperature dropped about 1 degree F.pic.twitter.com/Ud1ywCPvP5