This Date in Weather History

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In this daily podcast, you’ll learn something new each day. AccuWeather Meteorologist, Evan Myers takes a look back on weather events that impacted this date in the past, uncovering history that were shaped by unbelievable weather conditions.


    • Jun 17, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
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    This Date in Weather History Update

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 1:10

    This Date in Weather History podcast update from AccuWeather. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    2014: Hail storm causes $400 million in damage in Abilene, TX

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 12, 2022 1:25

    On June 12, 2014 a hail storm that hit Abilene produced more than $400 million in insured losses to vehicles, homes and commercial property. "This is the worst storm damage I've seen in my 41 years in the insurance business," Leroy Perkins of the Perkins Insurance Agency in Abilene, told the largest state insurance trade association in the United States. the storm, packing baseball-sized hail, moved directly south across Abilene pounding the city's north side and downtown area. Commercial buildings downtown received millions of dollars in damage to roofs, windows and structures. Total uninsured losses are also expected to be high, Perkins adds. "Downtown looks like autumn because all of the trees have been stripped of their leaves and many limbs down in the street," Karla Martin with the Taylor County Sheriff's Office said the day after the storm. Hundreds of vehicles, many of them new cars, were declared totaled from the beating they took. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) notes that hail causes approximately 1$ billion in damage to crops and property each year. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    2008: F3 tornado strikes Scout camp near Little Sioux, IA

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 11, 2022 1:49

    June 11, 2008 marks the tragic loss of 4 teenagers at a Boy Scout camp near Little Sioux, Iowa; 48 more were injured. The tragedy struck at the 1,800-acre camp about an hour north of downtown Omaha. An EF3 tornado, with 145 mph winds, descended on the remote camp, striking and leveling a cabin where campers had sought shelter as warnings of the storm circulated through the camp. A chimney at the cabin collapsed, sending heavy concrete blocks onto the Scouts. This was the worst of the storms that hit the Northern Plains that day. There were also two farms damaged from two different tornadoes, one near Spencer, Iowa and the other near Springfield, Minnesota. A nursing home was also damaged by a tornado in southern Salina, Kansas. There were over 300 reports of severe weather across the nation with 64 of those reports from tornado activity. There had been no basement or in-ground shelter at the camp when the tornado hit. The following year, the Boy Scouts Mid-America Council launched a major fundraising campaign to build emergency shelters at all of its camps. By 2013, two tornado shelters had been built at the camp, and a siren was added. The new structures have concrete walls, steel shutters and doors and emergency power backup, and were built to withstand an EF5 tornado.' See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1752: Benjamin Franklin famously flies kite in thunderstorm

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2022 3:13

    Benjamin Franklin, inventor of bifocal glasses, the Franklin stove, one of those that wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, ambassador, Governor of Pennsylvania, on June 10 1752 in Philadelphia, flew a kite during a thunderstorm and collected an ambient electrical charge in a Leyden jar, enabling him to demonstrate the connection between lightning and electricity. According to the Franklin Institute, Franklin had been waiting for an opportunity like this. He wanted to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning, and to do so, he needed a thunderstorm. He had his materials at the ready: a simple kite made with a large silk handkerchief, a hemp string, and a silk string. He also had a house key, a Leyden jar (a device that could store an electrical charge for later use), and a sharp length of wire. His son William assisted him. Franklin had originally planned to conduct the experiment atop a Philadelphia church spire, according to his contemporary, British scientist Joseph Priestley (who, incidentally, is credited with discovering oxygen), but he changed his plans when he realized he could achieve the same goal by using a kite. Franklin and his son “took the opportunity of the first approaching thunder storm to take a walk into a field,” Priestley wrote in his account. “To demonstrate, in the completest manner possible, the sameness of the electric fluid with the matter of lightning, Dr. Franklin, astonishing as it must have appeared, contrived actually to bring lightning from the heavens, by means of an electrical kite, which he raised when a storm of thunder was perceived to be coming on.” Despite a common misconception, Benjamin Franklin did not discover electricity during this experiment—or at all, for that matter. Electrical forces had been recognized for more than a thousand years, and scientists had worked extensively with static electricity. Franklin's experiment demonstrated the connection between lightning and electricity. To dispel another myth, Franklin's kite was not struck by lightning. If it had been, he probably would have been electrocuted. Franklin became interested in electricity in the mid-1740s, a time when much was still unknown on the topic, and spent almost a decade conducting electrical experiments. He coined a number of terms used today, including battery, conductor and electrician. He also invented the lightning rod, used to protect buildings and ships. By the time he died in 1790 he was arguably the most famous man in the world. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1984: Violent tornado outbreak in Russia

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2022 2:19

    The tornado outbreak of 9 June 1984 is among the most important tornado events in Russia's history because it was associated with substantial loss of life with 400 deaths, and contained one of two F4 tornadoes ever recorded for in that country. Very little information is available on a violent tornado outbreak that swept through areas north of Moscow in the summer of 1984. The Soviet Union had not yet disbanded and few details were leaked to the international media. The outbreak was the result of a series of violent supercell thunderstorms that travelled north-northeast at speeds greater than 50mph. Local newspapers reported that massive hailstones, some over 2lbs in weight, fell over the affected areas. 400 people were killed, with most of the fatalities likely the result of a single tornado that tore through the town of Ivanovo. A French research article describes how the tornado threw cars long distances, lifted a 350-ton operating crane and leveled “steel-reinforced” buildings. According to the same article, the Russians unofficially awarded the tornado an F4 rating, although some of the damage was indicative of F5 strength. Reports describe how the tornado scoured pavement from a highway and hurled a 120,000lb water tank several blocks. Satellite images at the time showed an strong severe weather set up reminiscent of large outbreaks in tornado alley in the US. If the reports are all true, then the outbreak was an unprecedented event and astoundingly violent for an area generally accustomed to tornadoes only capable of inflicting F1 and F2 damage. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    The 1953 Flint–Worcester tornado outbreak

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 1:58

    The 1953 Flint–Worcester tornado outbreak was a devastating tornado outbreak sequence spanning three days, two that featured tornadoes each causing at least 90 deaths—an F5 occurring in Flint, Michigan on June 8, 1953, and an F4 in Worcester, Massachusetts the next day. The Worcester storm stayed on the ground for nearly 90 minutes, traveling 48 miles across Central Massachusetts. In total, 94 people were killed, making it the 21st deadliest tornado in the history of the US. In addition to the fatalities, over 1,000 people were injured and 4,000 buildings were damaged. The tornado caused $52 million in damage, which translates to more than $350 million in today's dollars. These tornadoes are among the deadliest in U S history and were caused by the same storm system that moved eastward across the nation. The tornadoes are also related together in the public mind because, for a brief period following the Worchester tornado, it was debated in the U.S. Congress whether recent atomic bomb testing in the upper atmosphere had caused the tornadoes. Congressman James Van Zandt (R-Penn.) was among several members of Congress who expressed their belief that the June 4th bomb testing created the tornadoes, which occurred far outside the traditional tornado alley. They demanded a response from the government. Meteorologists quickly dispelled such an assertion, and Congressman Van Zandt later retracted his statement. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1984: F5 tornado destroys 90% of Barneveld, WI

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 2:16

    On June 7 1984, nine people died and 200 were injured when a tornado slammed into the Iowa County, Wisconsin community of Barneveld. The F5 twister destroyed 90% of the town of 580 residents. What made Barneveld's tornado rare is it hit overnight. A majority of tornadoes occur between 3 and 9 p.m., and violent tornadoes almost never happen late at night. Many tornadoes show a telltale “hook” shape on radar, but Barneveld's tornado did not. Meteorologists could see fast-moving storms on radar heading northeast through Grant and Lafayette counties but without the hook, they did not know a tornado was forming. Most people in Barneveld were in bed and didn't know about the warning unless they happened to be watching television and saw the scrawl on their TV screens. Because power went out a few minutes before the twister hit, Barneveld's tornado siren never sounded. Lightning flashed so often — more than 200 strikes per minute — that the sky looked like a strobe light, according to the National Weather Service in Madison. The tornado traveled 36 miles for 59 minutes. At its peak, it was nearly a quarter-mile wide. Destroyed were all three of Barneveld's churches, 93 homes, 17 of the community's 18 businesses including the library, fire station, bank, post office and municipal building. Barneveld's water tower was marked by blue paint about halfway up, possibly from a twirling car. A couple sleeping on the upper floor of their house ended up in the basement with their truck on top; they survived. Paper debris including checks, letters, bills and invoices in an area 23 miles wide and 110 miles away. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1944: How weather forecasting impacted D-Day

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 4:44

    The story of how weather forecasting impacted the Allies invasion of Normandy on D-Day in 1944. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1925: Temperature reaches 100 degrees in Washington DC

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 5, 2022 1:41

    Rainfall totals in the northeastern United States from January through the end of May 1925 had only reached half the normal total in most cities. This meant, at least for the first 5 months of the year the climate was more like patched central Texas than the lush and green landscape of the eastern seaboard. Heating of the lower atmosphere takes place when the ground is heated and transfers that heat to the air closest to the ground. When the ground is moist some of the sun's energy goes into evaporating the moisture rather than heating the ground. When the ground is dry that doesn't happen and the ground heats up quickly. It's one reason why it's so much hotter in Texas and New Mexico and Arizona then the East. An unusual warm air mass moved over the eastern part of the nation in the first week of June 1925 and that coupled with the already dry ground lead to extraordinary early summertime heat. On June 5 the mercury reached 100 in Washington DC – the earliest on record in fact that was in the middle on a string of high temperatures in DC that reached 97 or higher for 5 consecutive days.. On June 5 1925 Philadelphia also reach 100 for the earliest ever there as well. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1976: Strong tropical cyclone and 40' storm surge hits India

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 4, 2022 1:43

    On June 4, 1976 a strong Tropical Cyclone, known in the US as a Hurricane, hit the port cities just north of Mumba on the west coast of India. In the decades prior to the storm, massive Tropical Cyclones has battered both the west and east coasts of India with huge waves and heavy rains resulting in massive flooding and tremendous loss of life. Along the Indian east coast, especially in the northern part of the Bay of Bengal, the area is flat, almost at sea level for hundreds of square miles and ocean water is often pushed far inland because of the flat land. Significant warning times are needed to evacuate people out of harm's way. Prior to the late 1960s and early 1970's and the advent of satellite coverage very little warning lead time occurred. But by 1976 new technology had allowed for enough notice, in certain situations, for people to get out of the way. On June 4, 1976 despite a 40-foot storm surge ample notice was given and most people were able to evacuate, despite this 70 people still perished. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1921: Cloudburst causes 10' of flooding in Pueblo, CO

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2022 2:14

    What started out as just another day in June in Colorado in 1921, rapidly turned into one that would never be forgotten in the town of Pueblo, Colorado. A cloudburst enveloped the town the afternoon of June 3, 1921. During a typical cloudburst, over half an inch of rain may fall in a matter of minutes, and that is exactly what happened in Pueblo, creating devastating consequences for the heart of the town where the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek meet. At about the same time the rains were drenching the downtown area, there was another downpour about 30 miles north over Fountain Creek. As the torrential rains fell, the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek quickly began to swell, reaching over 15 feet in some areas before they began to recede. Within two hours from the start of the storm, the business district of Pueblo was flooded with water 10 feet deep. The entire Arkansas Valley, from 30 miles west of Pueblo to the Colorado–Kansas state line, was severely impacted. Hundreds of people died, with some death toll estimates as high as 1,500. The flood destroyed almost all of the downtown Pueblo area and decimated the city. Once the floodwaters receded, the immense damage became all the more visible. The flood, which covered over 300 square miles, carried away over 600 homes and caused upward of $25 million $350 million in 2021 dollars. Railroad passenger coaches and freight cars were swept away in every direction or smashed. A fire broke out in a lumberyard and burning lumber was carried throughout the city's streets by the flood. The floodwaters also carried away entire buildings and businesses. Many of the dead were likely carried far down river and never recovered. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1889: Flooding of the Potomac River

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 1:12

    On June 2, 1889, the same heavy rains caused that had helped cause massive flooding in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, overwhelmed the South Fork Dam several days before, hit the Washington, DC, area. Most of the roads in DC at the time where unpaved and unlike some other major cities of the time not even covered in cobblestones, their surface consisted mainly of dirt. As a result, when the Potomac River flooded and areas around Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House the whole region was under several feet of water the flooding was made worse by sewers that became clogged with dirt from unpaved roads and began overflowing, causing the water to rise faster than expected. The water on city streets because so deep that the only access between the east and west of the city was by boat. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1965: Tropical system causes 30k fatalities in Bangladesh

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 1:44

    The World Health Organization reports that nation of Bangladesh is especially vulnerable to tropical cyclones, known as hurricanes near the United States, because of its location at the triangular shaped head of the Bay of Bengal, the sea-level geography of its coastal area, its high population density and the lack of coastal protection systems. During the pre-monsoon season in April and May or post-monsoon season in October and November, cyclones frequently hit the coastal regions of Bangladesh. About 40% of the total global storm surges are recorded in Bangladesh, and the deadliest cyclones in the past 50 years, in terms of deaths and casualties, are those that have struck Bangladesh. In 1965, just as the pre-monsoon season was winding down disaster struck the region. A tropical cyclone blasted northward and pushed a wall of water storm surge across the flat low lands of the region. Because the land only rises a few feet above sea levels for scores of miles inland, flood waters quickly inundate the region, sweeping away everything in their path and giving no quarter for people to escape, the result can be and has been a massive loss of life. On June 1, 1965 such a tropical system struck the region with a death toll estimated near 30,000. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1889: The Johnstown Flood

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 4:06

    Johnstown, Pennsylvania, lies hard against the Conemaugh River in its deep valley in the western part of the state. Founded in 1770, it grew quickly as the Civil War approached, fortunes were made in iron, coal and steel. By 1860, the Cambria Iron Company of Johnstown was the leading steel producer in the United States, outproducing steel giants in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. After the war it became the center of America's growing industrial might and the site of many struggles by workers for recognition. High above the city, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania built a dam between 1838 and 1853, as part of a cross-state canal system, creating Lake Conemaugh, the reservoir behind the dam. As railroads superseded canal barge transport, the Commonwealth abandoned the canal and sold it to the Pennsylvania Railroad. The dam and lake were part of the purchase, and the railroad sold them to private interests. A group of speculators, from Pittsburgh purchased the abandoned reservoir, modified it, and converted it into a private resort club for some of those that had made their fortunes in local industry. Development included lowering the dam to make its top wide enough to hold a road, and putting a fish screen in the spillway that also trapped debris. These alterations are thought to have increased the vulnerability of the dam. Moreover, a system of relief pipes and valves, a feature of the original dam, previously sold off for scrap, was not replaced, so the club had no way of lowering the water level in the lake in case of an emergency. Floods were almost a yearly event in the Conemaugh valley during the 1880s. On the afternoon of May 30, 1889, following a quiet Memorial Day, it began raining in the valley. The next day May 31, 1889 water filled the streets, and rumors began that a dam holding an artificial lake in the mountains to the northeast might give way. It did, and an estimated 20 million tons of water began spilling into the Conemaugh River valley that led to Johnstown 14 miles away. The destruction in Johnstown occurred in only about 10 minutes. What had been a thriving steel town with homes, churches, saloons, a library, a railroad station, electric street lights, was buried under mud and debris. Out of a population of approximately 30,000 at the time, at least 2,209 people are known to have perished in the disaster. Compounding the disaster and contributing to the death toll was a major fire that burned much of what was left of the city. The flood established the American Red Cross as the pre-eminent emergency relief organization in the United States. Founder Clara Barton, came to Johnstown with 50 doctors and nurses and set up tent hospitals as well as temporary "hotels" for the homeless, and stayed on for five months to coordinate relief efforts. The people of Johnston were resilient and the town came back from the brink. The people never forgot the aid the nation gave to them and when the great Galveston Hurricane hit Texas and killed more than 6,000 people in 1900 the people of the city of Johnston contributed more money than any other city in the United States despite not even ranking in the top 100 cities in population. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1879: The Real-life inspiration for "The Wizard of Oz"

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 2:13

    On May 30, 1879 the town of Irving, Kansas in the northeastern part of the state was a growing farm community with several hundred residents. Today, though Irving is a ghost town. On May 30, 1879, two tornados destroyed most of the town, leaving 19 dead and many more injured. Some residents left Irving, but the town was rebuilt, and new businesses arrived, allowing Irving to regain its prominence as a local agricultural center. During the summer of 1903, the Big Blue River flooded and destroyed homes, crops and bridges. The river threatened to do it again in 1908 but the townspeople were prepared and were able to keep the river within its banks. In 1910 the population was estimated at 403 and boasted "good banking facilities, a weekly newspaper, telegraph and express offices, grade schools, a public library, and churches. After plans for the construction of the Tuttle Creek Dam were announced, the population declined and many businesses, including the post office, closed. The townsite was abandoned in 1960 after the dam was constructed. The town fell victim to the ways of the weather on the great plans and what some would term – progress. Still the town lives on. It turns out that one of those who unfortunately died in the 1879 tornado was a young woman named Dorothy Gale, who was found without her shoes. Passing through the region just after the tornado was traveling salesman-turned-author Frank Baum. He would use the story to inspire him to write a book and the name of Dorothy would live on in his famous work, The Wizard of Oz. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1914: Empress of Ireland and Storstad ships collide

    Play Episode Listen Later May 29, 2022 3:08

    From 1900 until 1914 almost 100,000 passengers in ocean liners, crossed the Atlantic to Canada, mainly from Great Britain. The main port of entry and embarkation to and from Canada was Quebec City, on the St Lawrence River. Many of the ocean-going passenger ship were huge, not quite rivaling the Titanic, but able to transport almost 1,500 passengers back and forth across the Atlantic. On the morning of May 29, 1914, a thick river fog formed quickly on the surface of the St Lawrence and extending almost 100 feet in the air. River fog can form when the sun heats the air just above the surface of the river all day long. The air near the river becomes much cooler on clear nights especially in the spring because the water is still rather chilly from the winter season, so it condenses into a fog cloud. That happened on the morning of May 29 just as the Ocean Liner, Empress of Ireland steamed on the river. Visibility had rapidly decreased and it was hard to see other river traffic as it headed for the open sea. In short order it was struck another ship The Storstad. In this horrific maritime disaster, over a thousand passengers on route from Quebec to Liverpool were lost in just fifteen minutes—the length of time it took for the ocean liner to sink to the bottom of the Saint Lawrence River. There was a misunderstanding between the two captains about their respective ships' positioning and direction, leading to the fatal collision. The Storstad hit The Empress of Ireland broadside, tearing a 350 square foot hole in her hull. With water pouring in at 60 gallons per second, the ship sank rapidly. Hundreds of sleeping passengers were trapped, and the second- and third-class passengers had much less of a chance at survival than the first-class passengers, as first class was higher up on the ship. Out of 1,477 passengers, only 465 survived. And out of 138 children that were on board, only four survived. Overshadowed by the breakout of World War I two months later, known as Canada's Titanic, the tragedy of The Empress was almost swept under the rug. Today, The Empress of Ireland is accessible to divers, at only 130 feet below the surface. It has been visited by those experienced enough to dive in such cold temperatures hundreds of times since the ship's rediscovery in the mid-1980s. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1880: 1' of rain falls in less than 2 hours in Brackettville, TX

    Play Episode Listen Later May 28, 2022 2:24

    Brackettville, the county seat of Kinney County in Texas, is on U.S. Highway 90 twenty-two miles northeast of the Rio Grande and 125 miles west of San Antonio. It is named after Oscar Brackett, who established the first general dry goods store near the site of Forth Clark in 1852. Brackett, as it was called originally, was established on the San Antonio-El Paso Road, and by 1857 its Sargent Hotel and small restaurant were a regular stop for the San Antonio-San Diego stage line. The Texas State Historical Association reports that the community experienced a period of steady growth after the Civil War, attracting cattle rustlers, buffalo hunters and gamblers a true town of the wild west. In 1868 Brackett had ten homes and a population of fifty. It was designated the county seat of Kinney County when the county was established in 1876. Brackettville enjoyed a period of exceptional prosperity during the period by 1878, as nearby Fort Clark swelled with thousands of soldiers. The town grew rapidly, and many businesses, constructed of limestone blocks quarried nearby, were established. The population soared to near 1,500 and seemed on the way to prosperity. But on May 28, 1880 dry air sweeping in from New Mexico met up with moisture streaming out of the Gulf of Mexico. The dynamics of the weather system produced a cloudburst that dumped more than a foot of rain in less than 2 hours devastating the town. Much of the town was rebuilt on higher ground nearby , but it would never be the same again. Despite the population of Texas increasing from 1.5M in 1880 to almost 30M today, 20 times increase, Brackettville's population remains close to its total from 140 years ago. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1896: The third most deadly tornado in U.S. history strikes St. Louis

    Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 2:45

    In 1896 St. Louis was listed as the 5th largest city in the United States, trailing only New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and what was then the separate city of Brooklyn. More than half a million people lived there on the banks of the Mississippi River. The morning of May 27, 1896 dawned calm and steamy and belied what was coming that afternoon. One of the greatest natural disasters to strike one of the largest US cities was awaiting residents in the afternoon. In what remains the third most deadly tornado in U.S. history struck St. Louis, on the afternoon of May 27, 1896. According to the National Centers for Environmental Education; shortly before five o'clock that Wednesday afternoon, May 27, the devastating tornado struck the city from the southwest, near the Compton Heights district. From there, the tornado made its way down the Mill Creek Valley, destroying countless homes as it headed toward the Mississippi River. Once the tornado made it to the Mississippi, it decimated the steamboats and other vessels in the harbor, breaking them to pieces and scattering them from the Missouri shore to the Illinois shore. Even the Eads Bridge, which was considered “tornado proof” as the first major bridge constructed by making use of true steel, was damaged by the powerful tornado, with nearly 300 feet of its eastern approach torn away. Much of the central portion of St. Louis was also destroyed, as were factories, saloons, hospitals, mills, railroad yards, and churches throughout the city. Across St. Louis, the tornado completely destroyed block after block of residential housing. Hundreds of miles of electric wires and thousands of telephone and telegraph poles were torn down by the fierce winds. The tornado also uprooted trees more than half a century old and hurled them a distance of several blocks. Heavy iron fences, like the one that surrounded Lafayette Park, were twisted and tangled until they were nearly unrecognizable. During the less than half an hour that the tornado was on the ground, it tracked a three-mile-wide path of destruction across St. Louis, killing 255 people, injuring 1,000, and rendering countless families homeless. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    2008: "Pneumonia Front" causes big temperature drops in Chicago

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022 1:59

    The term Pneumonia front, first coined by Milwaukee Weather Bureau Office in the 1960s, is used to describe a rare meteorological phenomenon observed on the western Lake Michigan shoreline during the warm season. These fronts are defined as lake-modified small scale cold fronts that result in one-hour temperature drops of 16 °F or greater. They do not necessarily have to be large scale, cold fronts to bring weather changes to an entire region. Very often in the spring to early summer the temperature difference between the cold lake waters and the warmer air over land can be as much as 35–40 °F . Under weak prevailing winds, an air current can often develop in the form of a lake breeze that moves from that water to the adjacent shoreline to as much as several miles inland. This "lake-breeze cold front" can drop temperature in places like Chicago, Milwaukee and Green Bay significantly as they cross the area. There has been many a spring day at Wrigley Field that surprises Cub fans who may have travelled from an inland location toward the shore to take in an afternoon game at Wrigley just a few blocks from the lakeshore, only to feel the effects of the "pneumonia front" as that cold blast of air comes through. On May 26, 2008 such a front caused temperatures to drop in Chicago from 72 at 10 pm to 55 an hour later. Winds had gone from light and westerly to northeasterly with gusts up to 40 mph along the lake. Other areas along the lake dropped from the mid 76 to the upper 40s See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1987: A fisherman is struck and killed by lightning

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 1:51

    The number of people killed by lightning in recent years is a far cry from annual lightning deaths decades ago. In the 1940s, for instance, hundreds of people were killed each year by lightning. In 1943 alone, 432 people died. The sharp drop in lightning deaths over the past 75 years " coincides with a shift in population from rural to urban regions," wrote meteorologist Ronald Holle in an article in the Journal of Applied Meteorology. In the 1940s, "there were many, many more small farmers who were out working in fields," which meant many more chances to be struck by lightning. In addition to better lightning safety awareness and medical advances, all phones were corded decades ago, leading to quite a few deaths due to people speaking on the phone. Additionally, there has been better lightning protection, suppression and grounding in electrical and phone lines. But on May 25, 1987 as a line of heavy thunderstorms crossed Louisiana a group of men fishing in Lake struggled to get to shore out of harm's way as they approached the shore a man standing in a ski boat was struck and killed by lightning. News reports claim the man had said, "Here I am, come get me" when he was suddenly struck. 4 companions were not injured. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1986: Severe and destructive storm strikes Texas

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 1:26

    Another Spring Day and another round of wild weather in the state of Texas. Severe weather is most prevalent in Texas in the Spring and May 24, 1986 was no different, severe thunderstorms blasted the area. Damage was heaviest from just north of Downtown Fort Worth and across the east side of town to southwest of Arlington where a roof collapsed over portions of a bowling alley injuring seven people. Windows were blown in with roof damage at motel across the street. Hail as large as golf balls blew in drifts two feet deep in spots. 3-5“ of rain fell in one hour, flooding many city streets in Arlington. A 29-year-old woman and her 6-year-old daughter drowned in their car, which was found submerged in an underpass. Other reports indicated that more than 3” of rain fell in one hour at Newark in Wise County. 95 mph winds were reported at WBAP Radio, Tarrant County. Baseball size hail fell near Ivan, Stephens County. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1908: Record flooding impacts north and central Texas

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 1:16

    By May 23, 1908 4-8" of rain fallen across much of northern and central Texas in the preceding days on already saturated land especially on the upper Trinity and Brazos River Basins. The rise in the rivers continued for several days toward the end of the month. Large crowds of onlookers gathered on bridges all over Texas the view the unusual site of rising rivers. Most times the rivers were almost dry trickles or brief raging white water torrents spurred on by brief cloudbursts from thunderstorms. But the days and days of steady rains in the part of the state brought something unusual in the form of broad rising rivers not seen by most of the growing populace of Texas. Record floods resulted from the rain at Grand Prairie, Dallas and Rosser (38.0'). 3 people drowned in Fort Worth and 8 in Dallas. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    The May 1957 Tornado Outbreak

    Play Episode Listen Later May 21, 2022 2:16

    The May 1957 tornado outbreak took place across the US Central Plains from May 19 to May 21, 1957. An F5 tornado, the strongest on the tornado intensity scale, on May 21 was the most significant in the outbreak and is known as the the Ruskin Heights Tornado where the area where the worst of the damage occurred, a suburb and housing development south of Kansas City. 57 tornadoes were reported from Colorado to the Mississippi Valley and 59 people were killed during the outbreak. But in the Kansas City area and specifically Ruskin Heights the impact was devastating. The Kansas City Star reported in its story from the next day that “At least 31 persons were reported killed, at least 200 persons were injured and many were made homeless by a tornado which struck the southern part of the metropolitan area shortly after 7pm. Everywhere there were scenes of jumbled debris, death and chaos as rescue workers struggled in the darkness to rescue the injured and maintain some semblance of emergency aid. Observers at the disaster scene in Ruskin Heights said there could be no count of the number killed, missing or injured until daylight. Rescue workers had only flashlights and motor car lights to search through the wreckage. With roads blocked with debris and cars, workers were doing well to get ambulances out of the disaster area. Glenn Rapp, director of the American Red Cross disaster unit in Jackson County, said hospitals in the metropolitan area had reported more than 200 injured, and efforts were being made to compile the names as rapidly as possible. Witnesses told of cowering in what shelter they could find as the winds ripped away houses and buildings. Cars were piled in tangled masses of metal in streets, in parking lots and in used car lots.” See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1918: Tornadoes strike Kansas town for 3 consecutive years

    Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022 2:11

    This Date in Weather History - May 20th See for privacy and opt-out information.

    2007: Temperature reaches 115°F in Sibi, Pakistan

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022 2:32

    Extreme heat can be rather uncomfortable. But what actually happens to the human body as the mercury rises? On humid days, when the air is already saturated with water, sweat evaporates more slowly. This explains why it feels so much hotter in high humidity. When relative humidity reaches a high enough level, the body's natural cooling system simply can't work. Sweat evaporates very slowly, if at all, and the body heats up. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most serious level of this breakdown is heat stroke, and it occurs when the body's temperature reaches an excess of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. During heat stroke, body functions grind to a halt, the brain shuts down the body's natural coolant system, perspiration. Without sweat, the body can no longer keep its temperature in check, heat stroke causes the brain to swell, leading to headaches and even seizures in more extreme cases. Victims also experience an altered level of consciousness. The cardiovascular system is affected as well. Heat stroke causes blood pressure to drop and the heart to beat faster and more irregularly, heightening the risk for high-output cardiac failure. Heat-related deaths are one of the deadliest weather-related health outcomes in the world, in the United States an average of 658 people a year die due to extreme heat. AccuWeather's patented RealFeel temperature is a measure that combines the effect of temperature, humidity and other factors. On May 19, 2007 in Pakistan, severe heat and humidity created deadly RealFeel temperatures. In Sibi, northwest Pakistan, the temperature reached 115 degrees with a dew point of 90; the RealFeel was 150 degrees, one of the highest ever recorded. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1894: Severe storms and wind sinks 9 ships on Lake Michigan

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 1:35

    Ever since people have traveled the Great Lakes, storms have sunk ships and taken lives. In fact, the very first recorded sailing vessel on the upper lakes, was lost in 1679. Since that time, massive and historical storms have swept the lakes, most numerous in the month of November. With the coming of modern technology and stronger vessels, fewer such losses have occurred. The large surface of the lakes allows waves to build to giant heights out in the open. Strong winds can cause storm surges that lower lake levels several feet on one side while raising it even higher on the other. The shallowest lake, Lake Erie, sometimes sees storm surge rises of 8 or 10 feet. On May 18, 1894 one such storm and wind event struck the Lakes. On lake Michigan off of Chicago 9 vessels were sunk with an uncounted loss of life. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1814: Logs in swollen Maine rivers cause destruction

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2022 2:24

    The state of Maine is known for many things, including my favorite, Maine lobsters. But one of the longest running industries in North America, dating back until the early 1600s is logging. The British Royal Navy quickly claimed the best stands of light and strong Eastern White Pine for the masts, spars, and planking for their fast and maneuverable ships. England's competitors, the French, the Dutch, and the Spanish, were left to build from the heavier Baltic Fir. It was Revolutionary War debt which boosted the first large scale harvests. To raise money, Massachusetts sold land to the District of Maine. Logging operations grew in proportion to the national demand for lumber products, which grew in proportion to the expansion of the nation itself over the 19th and well into the 20th centuries. The industry became extensive and complex employing surveyors to identify likely stands of trees, lumbermen to cut timber, teamsters and their draft animals to haul logs, scalers to measure the timber's worth, and river drivers to float logs to the mills. Most trees were felled in the late fall and winter and then floated downstream on Maine's rivers to ports at the coast. These golden rivers, as they were called, because of their color appearance because of the logs and the money the wood would represent on delivery were covered from bank to bank with floating timber. Most of the time they were controlled by crews working the river. But as they floated downstream in the spring they would sometimes get loose and out of control. The result could be, and often times was disaster as the timber acted like a battering ram destroying anything in its path. On May 17, 1814 after a soggy April and early May the rivers were all swollen and the logs did their work wiping out anything in their path, destroying bridges and docks and any structures near the shore. It would take years to recover. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1874: The Mill River Flood

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 1:43

    In 1865, a group of mill owners from the Northampton area of Massachusetts constructed a dam on the Mill River north of the town of Williamsburg, it was constructed by using a design drawn by one of the owners, a man with no training in engineering. The dam was poorly constructed and leaked as soon as it was filled, still it was in place for 9 years. But on May 16, 1874 after several days of heavy rain, the dam completely failed. Almost all off of the water held behind the earthen dam burst out like a wall of water. 139 people died in the towns downstream to the south. The flood destroyed much of the villages of Williamsburg, Skinnerville and Northampton itself. Even though so many died, the death toll might had been much higher, but the dam keeper George Cheney, rode his horse at a gallop to Williamsburg to raise the alarm as the dam began to fail. Other riders took off from Williamsburg and were able to warn residents in towns to the south. Despite an inquest and the negligence of the mill owners, no one was punished for the disaster. Even today, people still visit the site of the tragedy by hiking on a public trail to the former site of the Williamsburg Reservoir. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1968: Five tornadoes strike Iowa

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2022 1:50

    During the late afternoon and early evening of May 15, 1968, five tornadoes, two F1s, one F2, and two F5s occurred in Iowa. These tornadoes were part of the May 15-16, 1968 outbreak with a total of 39 tornadoes which affected ten states; Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee. The tornadoes in Iowa caused 18 fatalities and 619 injuries of which 450 occurred in Charles City alone. The huge tornado, approximately a half mile wide passed directly through Charles City from south to north. The tornado destroyed, 372 homes and 58 businesses, 188 homes and 90 businesses sustained major damage, and 356 homes and 46 businesses sustained minor damage. Eight churches, 3 schools were damaged or destroyed, the police station was heavily damaged, and 1,250 vehicles were destroyed. About 60 percent of the city was damaged by the tornado. The, Iowa Governor requested federal assistance to repair damage to public facilities resulting from the and on May 29, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the state of Iowa as a disaster area. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1834: Late-season storm brings snow from Ohio to New England

    Play Episode Listen Later May 14, 2022 1:50

    Late season snowstorms, like those in the autumn can cause havoc in a different way than those in the middle of winter. Many trees in both seasons are in full or partial leaf, as are bushes and other shrubby. In the middle of winter, snow's greatest impact is on the inability to travel due to impassible roads or severe drifting that blocks doorways and even makes walking difficult. In the fall and spring, because of more sunlight it is hard for the snow to accumulate on the warmer streets and sidewalks so that usually isn't much of a problem. The bigger issue is falling tree limbs caused by the weight of the snow on those limbs as the snow plasters itself on all those leaves. In modern times those limbs not only are hazardous to those that might be walking underneath them but they also take down powerlines. It is a rare storm in the late spring that combines both. This usually happens when the snow falls so hard and fast it piles up on everything. One such a storm happened on May 14, 1834. A Northeast coastal storm spread snow from Ohio to New England. 6" fell at Erie, 10" at Bradford, 4" at Rochester, 12" at Burlington, VT. Marshfield, in Washington County northeast of Montpelier, picked up more than 2 feet and Haverhill, NH had 36" See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1930: One of the few hail deaths in the US occurs

    Play Episode Listen Later May 13, 2022 2:42

    Hailstorms are notorious for inflicting costly damage upon property and crops every year in the United States. Annually, the destruction from these frozen rain pellets that travel dozens of miles per hour through the atmosphere results in $1 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration – NOAA. Hail also poses a safety threat to both humans and animals. NOAA estimates that 24 people in the U.S. are injured each year, with some injuries significant enough to land them in the hospital. In May , 1995, severe storms brewing over the Dallas-Fort Worth metro-plex in Texas produced damaging winds, heavy rain and extremely large hail. The storms, which remain some of the costliest in history, also impacted an outdoor festival called Mayfest, where over 10,000 people were caught out in the open with little to no shelter from the hail. More than 400 people were hurt after being pelted with hail up to the size of a softball. Although no one was killed, about 60 people were seriously injured. “What injuries we do see are to people who are out in the open, like farmers, golfers, landscapers – anyone that's doing outside work that doesn't have any means to find shelter right away in a storm,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski. However, how likely is it that a hailstorm can actually kill you? The odds are low, but it can happen, experts say. The World Meteorological Organization reported that the highest mortality associated with a hailstorm happened in India, on April 30, 1888. The deadly storm killed 246 people with pieces of hail as large as “goose eggs, oranges and cricket balls.” In the U.S., hailstorms resulting in loss of human life are quite rare. “Hail has to be really large to cause serious injury to people, or even death,” Kottlowski said. But on May 13, 1930 one of the few deaths by hail in the US. 36 miles NW of Lubbock, TX a farmer was caught in an open field and he died from his hail caused injuries. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1934: Massive dust storm strikes Eastern US cities

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2022 3:02

    Newspapers and radio stations East of the Mississippi on the morning of May 12, 1934 carried ominous messages and headlines of a thickening black cloud of chocking dust and dirt moving out of the Great Plains states. The cloud would envelope the Mid-west and then Eastern states on May 12, turning mid-day sunlight into an eerie darkness, that seemed like night in many major cities. What happened? Actually, the causes can be traced back decades. Favorable weather conditions in the from 1900 to the 1920s with significant rainfall and relatively moderate winters, encouraged increased population and farming in the Great Plains. But the region entered an unusually dry period in the summer of 1930. During the next decade, the Northern Plains suffered four of their driest years in almost 100 years. When this severe drought hit the Great Plains region in the 1930s, it resulted in erosion and loss of topsoil because of farming practices at the time. The drought dried the topsoil and over time it became reduced to a powdery consistency. Native high grasses that held the soil in place had been plowed under to make room for expanding crop lands, so when high winds that occur on the plains picked up the topsoil massive dust clouds and dust storms occurred, giving rise to the term Dust Bowl. The continuous dry weather caused crops to fail, leaving the plowed fields exposed to wind erosion. The fine soil of the Great Plains was easily picked up and carried east by strong winds. In November 1933, a very strong dust storm stripped topsoil from South Dakota farmlands in just one of a series of severe dust storms that year. But beginning on May 9, 1934, a strong, several days dust storm removed massive amounts of Great Plans soil in one perhaps the worst storm of the Dust Bowl. The dust clouds first blew all the way to Chicago, where they deposited 12 million pounds of dust. By May 12, 1934, the same storm reached cities to the east, such as Cleveland, Buffalo, Boston, New York City and Washington, D. C. turning day to night and chocking millions of people as dirt all the way from the plains states was deposited more than 1000 miles away on the streets and in the homes of major cities. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    2003: Record tornado outbreak impacts 25 US states

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 1:42

    The first week of May in 2003 had one of the worst tornado outbreaks on record in the United States reports indicate that 384 tornadoes occurred in 25 states, causing 42 deaths with at least 23 tornadoes on each day. Hardest hit were Missouri, where tornadoes occurred on 6 of the 7 days and 19 died; and Tennessee, where tornadoes occurred on 5 days and 11 died during the week-long outbreak that ended on May 11, 2003. The outbreak was so important that an entire paper was published on it in the American Meteorological Society magazine. There were also an incredible 723 wind reports and 1,782 hail reports that week! Oklahoma City suffered multiple twisters... from the National Weather Service report: "One day after and F4 tornado struct the southern Oklahoma City metropolitan area on May 8, 2003, a single supercell thunderstorm produced ten tornadoes in central Oklahoma, including one F3 and three F1 tornadoes in the northern Oklahoma City metropolitan area." A total of six F4 tornadoes struck during the week, including one around Kansas City and another near Memphis. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1889: Destructive tornado touches down in Reading, PA

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2022 1:36

    May of 1889 was particularly warm and humid across the eastern United States. The jet-stream that steers weather system had lifted far north into Canada and air from the steam Gulf of Mexico has surged northward into the void. By May 9th chilly weather has re-established itself across the mid-west and was heading eastward as the jet stream dipped southward to push the chilly weather along. As the cold front marking the leading edge of the change moved into the east on the afternoon of May10, 1889 a rash of violent thunderstorms erupted and brought extensive damage to a corridor in Pennsylvania through Williamsport, Shamokin, Pottsville, Reading, Pottstown, Philadelphia and to Atlantic City, New Jersey. A tornado cut a large swath through Berks County, including the city of Reading, which was the second twister to cut through the city that year. The damage was very extensive and at least of par with that of major midwestern tornadoes. Dozens narrowly escaped death. Visibility lowered to less than 10 feet at times in blinding, wind-driven rain. Temperatures reached the mid to upper 90's before the storm hit. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1977: Powerful snowstorm strikes Northeast US

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 1:38

    One of the most powerful May snowstorms to strike the Northeast hit on May 9, 1977. 13" fell at Gardiner, MA; 12.7" at Worchester, MA; 1/2 million people lost power. Officially 1/2" in Boston, but thunderstorms with snow in the suburbs dumped 10" in the Wellesley area. A foot of snow fell at Foster, RI. Bare grass did not reappear in Wellesley, MA until the afternoon of the 11th and it was the heaviest snow of the entire winter there...all the plows were activated although in many cases the plows had already been removed for the season from the trucks...schools were closed in the western suburbs of Boston, it was the latest school "snow day" ever...because of the convective nature of the storm, like hit and miss thunderstorms in the summer, some weird local variations occurred...with one town getting almost a foot of snow while just 5 miles away only a couple of inches fell. Vivid lightning accompanied the snowfall in many communities. Slide Mountain, NY had 27". Heavy snow also covered parts of New York. Cooperstown picked up 12.7" and in Connecticut 20" fell at Norfolk.One of the most powerful May snowstorms to strike the Northeast hit on May 9, 1977. 13" fell at Gardiner, MA; 12.7" at Worchester, MA; 1/2 million people lost power. Officially 1/2" in Boston, but thunderstorms with snow in the suburbs dumped 10" in the Wellesley area. A foot of snow fell at Foster, RI. Bare grass did not reappear in Wellesley, MA until the afternoon of the 11th and it was the heaviest snow of the entire winter there...all the plows were activated although in many cases the plows had already been removed for the season from the trucks...schools were closed in the western suburbs of Boston, it was the latest school "snow day" ever...because of the convective nature of the storm, like hit and miss thunderstorms in the summer, some weird local variations occurred...with one town getting almost a foot of snow while just 5 miles away only a couple of inches fell. Vivid lightning accompanied the snowfall in many communities. Slide Mountain, NY had 27". Heavy snow also covered parts of New York. Cooperstown picked up 12.7" and in Connecticut 20" fell at Norfolk. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1360: Massive storms impact outcome of Hundred Years War

    Play Episode Listen Later May 8, 2022 1:49

    The hundred Years War between England and France began in 1337; by 1359, King Edward III of England led a huge army across the English Channel to France. The French did not engage in any pitched battles and mainly stayed behind protective walls of towns and cities. Meanwhile Edward conquered the countryside. In April 1360, Edward's forces reached the Paris suburbs and began to move toward Chartres and its famous cathedral. While they were camped outside the town, now a suburb of Paris, in early May, a sudden storm hit. Lightning struck, killing a number of people, then large hailstones began falling hitting the soldiers. Two of the English generals were killed and panic set in among the troops, who had no shelter from the storm. Heavy losses were suffered by the English with more than 1000 estimated dead in the stampede caused by the storm. Some said it was a sign from God. King Edward of England was convinced to negotiate peace with the French. On May 8, 1360, a treaty was signed, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War. Edward agreed to renounce all claims to the throne of France. The hail storm and thunderstorms that produced the treaty were a direct line in the signing of the treaty. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1840: Deadly Tornado strikes Natchez, MS

    Play Episode Listen Later May 7, 2022 1:33

    Natchez, Mississippi was a bustling and booming river town hard against the Mississippi River in 1840, it was 20 years after Mississippi joined the union and 20 years before the Civil War. But on May 7, 1840 the second deadliest tornado in U S history struck the city. A large and powerful tornado went right through the center of town, flattening most of the buildings. But even worse was the damage on the Mississippi River, which was filled with boats, including 120 flatboats and steamboats carrying people and goods along the main transport system in the part of the nation – the Mississippi River. The powerful tornado wrecked many boats at the Natchez Landing in Mississippi as well and then plowed through the city. The tornado killed 317 people and injured 109 others. The only storm on record this destructive to kill more than it injured. Many bodies were never found. The storm is still as of May 7, 2022, the second deadliest tornado on record. The actual death toll could be higher as enslaved persons were not counted. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1937: The Hindenburg Disaster

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2022 3:18

    The airship Hindenburg, the largest dirigible ever built and the pride of Nazi Germany, bursts into flames upon touching its mooring mast in Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 36 passengers and crewmembers on May 6, 1937. After opening its 1937 season by completing a single round-trip passage to, Brazil earlier in the year, in late March, the Hindenburg departed from, Germany on the evening of May 3, on the first of 10 planned round trips between Europe and the United States that were scheduled for its second year of commercial service. Except for strong headwinds that slowed its progress, the Atlantic crossing of the Hindenburg was otherwise uneventful. Although carrying only half its full capacity of passengers and crew for the flight, the Hindenburg was fully booked for its return flight. The airship was hours behind schedule when it passed over Boston on the morning of May 6, and its landing at Lakehurst was expected to be further delayed because of afternoon thunderstorms. Advised of the poor weather conditions at Lakehurst, the Captain charted a course over New York City, causing a public spectacle as people rushed out into the street to catch sight of the airship. After finally being notified at 6:22 p.m. that the storms had passed, the airship headed back to Lakehurst to make its landing almost half a day late. At the time of the disaster, sabotage was commonly put forward as the cause of the fire, but in order to make up for the delay of more than 12 hours in its transatlantic flight, the Hindenburg passed through thunderstorms with high humidity and high electrical charge. Although the mooring lines were not wet when they first hit the ground and ignition took place four minutes after, it was theorized that the lines may have become wet in these four minutes. When the ropes, which were connected to the frame, became wet, they would have grounded the frame but not the skin. This would have caused a sudden potential difference between skin and frame and would have set off an electrical discharge – a spark. Seeking the quickest way to ground, the spark would have jumped from the skin onto the metal framework, igniting the leaking hydrogen, causing the explosion. The airship caught fire and was destroyed. The accident caused 35 fatalities from the 97 people on board and an additional fatality on the ground. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1761: 5" of snow falls in Ashford, CT

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2022 1:53

    The office of the Town Clerk is the repository for the maintenance and safekeeping of records for the Town of Ashford, Conn. The Town reports that housed in the fire-proof vault in the office of the Town Clerk are all land records, Town Meeting minutes, Town Ordinances, birth/marriage/civil union/death records, land surveys, election records, trade names, liquor permits, contracts, town reports, veterans discharge filings, Town board/commission/agency agendas and minutes, listings of Notaries Public, Justices of the Peace, election records, and other historical documents. Just about everything and anything you can think of. In addition to maintaining records, the Town Clerk's Office is the place to go for absentee ballots, copies of vital records, dog licenses, marriage licenses, voter registration forms. The Town of Ashford is not unique to New England, for centuries the Town Clerks at these hamlets great and small have dutifully recorded, not just those official papers I reported on, but other significant events. They have told the story of America, it so happens that on May 5, 1761, Ebenser Byles, Town Clerk of Ashford reported that 5" of snow fell and that it was, and I quote from his official record "A very stormy day of snow, an awful sight, the trees green and the ground white. The trees in a blow and the fields covered with snow" See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1774: 4" of snow falls in Germantown, Philadelphia

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 1:37

    The neighborhood of Germantown in Philadelphia sits at a higher elevation than most of the rest of the city. From 250-300 feet above sea level the temperature can average a degree or two colder than the city below. During weather situations that are borderline between rain and snow, often times much of the City of Philadelphia will have a slushy mixture of rain and snow, while only wet snow falls in Germantown and its adjacent elevated neighborhood of Chestnut Hill; sometimes depositing a couple inches of snow. On May 4, 1774 Germantown was a not part of the City of Philadelphia yet, it was a prosperous town of hundreds living in long established stone houses. Germantown was founded in 1683 and awaited its fate as the location of one of the most important battles of the Revolutionary War in 1777. But on May 4, 1774 as a strong storm surged up the Atlantic seaboard, temperatures held just near freezing, and while rain fell in the City of Philadelphia below 4” of heavy wet snow blanketed Germantown in one of the latest snowfalls on record in the region, before or since. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1978: 11" of rain falls on "Sun Day" in New Orleans

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2022 2:20

    Most of New Orleans, Louisiana is below the flowing water level of the Mississippi River, that also means that the city is below sea level and so both the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Pontchartrain surfaces are also above the ground level of the city. Because of that, the city does not have a natural drainage for rainwater, so pumps are required to remove rainwater from the region. On May 3, 1979 the pumping drainage system had been in operation since 1900. That system was designed to handle one inch of rain per hour for the first three hours, and one-half inch per hour thereafter. Any rainfall in excess of this limit resulted in drainage slowdown and flooding, often times during extensive thunderstorm cloudbursts or tropical systems and Hurricanes the capacity to pump out the water simply was not effective. May 3, 1978 was proclaimed 'Sun Day.' All across the United States, celebrations were planned to pay tribute to the power and potential of solar energy. No celebration occurred in New Orleans, the sun was not visible all day, in fact heavy rains fell most of the day. Almost 11” of rain fell, more and 8” of that from 8am until noon. It was more than the drainage system could handle, actually more than twice its capacity. There was severe property damage, as much of the city sat in more than 5 feet of water as a result of the heavy rains and the failure of the pumping system. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    2009: Storm collapses roof of Dallas Cowboys' practice facility

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 2:24

    Twelve people were hospitalized Saturday May 2, 2009 after the roof of the Dallas Cowboys' indoor practice facility in Frisco, Texas collapsed during a thunderstorm. The giant blue Cowboys star atop the building lay crumpled on the ground. The storm knocked out power at team headquarters and splintered trees across the property. The roof was a large air- and tension-supported canopy with aluminum frames covering a regulation 100-yard football field. Approximately 70 players, coaches, staff and media were reported inside. Some of the injuries were serious, but none were considered life-threatening. Based on the national standards for determining loads and for designing structural steel buildings, the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology researchers studying the Cowboys facility found that the May 2 wind load demands on the building's framework—a series of identical, rib-like steel frames supporting a tensioned fabric covering—were greater than the capacity of the frame to resist those loads. The researchers determined that, at the time of collapse, the wind was blowing predominantly from west to east, perpendicular to the long side of the building. Maximum wind speed gusts at the time of collapse were estimated to be in the range of 55 to 65 miles per hour—well below the design wind speed of 90 miles per hour in the national standard for wind loads. The NIST report recommended building owners, operators and designers inspect all fabric-covered, steel-frame structures, evaluating them to ensure they are designed to handle appropriate wind loads. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1854: 90 consecutive hours of rain falls in New England

    Play Episode Listen Later May 1, 2022 2:05

    The winter of 1853-1854 had been a particularly snowy one across the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire. Not record breaking, but it was a cold winter and the snows that fell during the winter months didn't melt much. The cold lingered into April and so did the snow on the ground. The weather pattern broke as the month ended, winds in the high atmosphere turned from the northwest to out of the south and ushered in warm air that had been building across the Gulf states in the early spring. At the same time copious volumes of moisture were carried along in the current of air from the Gulf of Mexico and the result was an unceasing rain that developed all across New England. Along with a soaking rain and soaring temperatures cloudbursts imbedded in thunderstorms brought hour after hour of rain. By the time the rain ended on May 1, 1854 it had been raining for 90 consecutive hours. Rainfall totaled more than 5” in Worchester, Mass and more than 7 ½ inches in Southwick, Mass, a general 3-5” rainfall fell from Philadelphia all the way to Maine. The rain coupled with the warm snow melting temperatures produced record flooding all across New England. The greatest crest on the Connecticut River was at Hartford where the river reached almost 29' above flood stage. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1887: Massive Flooding at China's "Yellow River"

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 30, 2022 2:43

    The Huang He (Wang He) or Yellow River is one of the longest rivers in China, at 3,398 miles, it loops northward from the mountains in western China, then flows east, each year bringing 1.6 billion tons of fine-grained silt from the mountains to the huge flat basin of the north China plains. That rich laden dirt and silt makes the region one of the most fertile in the world, it is China's breadbasket. The silt nourishes and replenishes the land. The Yellow River gets its name from its rich, fine-ground, golden mud. Unfortunately for the farmers, the only way the river can spread its fertilization is by flooding the fields; and the Yellow River has flooded a recorded 1,593 times in the last four thousand years, with catastrophic effects. The worst flooding occurred in 1887. For decades leading up to 1887 dikes and embankments had been built along the river to control its flooding and provide irrigation for crops. In some places, because of those levees, the river was flowing more than 20 feet higher than the surrounding countryside – a breech in the system was all that was needed for disaster. An usually snowy winter and a wet mild spring led to massive snowmelt in the mountains and heavy rains contributed more water. On April 30, 1887 the first of several massive floods erupted as the river could no longer be contained. Flooding continued off and on all summer. The flooding led to the greatest weather disaster in human history. More than 900,000 perished in the initial rounds of flooding close to the river with another estimated 1.3 million drowned from flooding away from the river as the floodwaters spread out all across northern China. A further estimated three to four million died from flood-related, waterborne diseases, with a thick deposit of muddy silt 8 ft deep, the most fertile fields in China were a desert which had to be cleared by bare hands and wheelbarrows. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1991: Tropical storm surge floods Bangladesh

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 29, 2022 2:15

    On April 22, 1991 an area of tropical thunderstorms began to organize in the Bay of Bengal it would grow to become one of the deadliest tropical cyclones ever recorded. The storm hit, one of the most populated areas in Bangladesh. An estimated 200,000 people were killed by the storm, as many as 10 million people lost their homes, and overall property damage was in the billions of dollars. Once the weather system organized it began moving north. By April 24 the storm was designated Tropical Storm 02B, and by April 28 it was a tropical cyclone, or as they are known in the western hemisphere, a hurricane. One day later on April 29 the storm hit, with winds of up to 150 miles per hour. The damage was immediate, as a storm surge as high as 15 feet engulfed the flat, coastal plans of southeastern Bangladesh. The surge washed away entire villages and swamped farms, destroying crops and spreading fears of widespread hunger as well as economic woes. As a result of a storm in 1970, a few storm shelters had been built, but they were not enough. Though in 1991 some were saved by the shelters, many people had doubted warnings of the storm. Since the 1991 storm, the Bangladesh government has built thousands of elevated shelters in coastal areas. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1992: "Grapefruit-sized" hail devastates parts of Texas

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2022 2:11

    A hailstone begins as a water droplet that is swept upward by an updraft inside of a thundercloud. Inside the cloud, there are a large number of other supercooled water droplets already present. These supercooled particles will adhere to the water droplet's surface, forming layers of ice around it. The size the hailstone reaches depends on the amount of time it spends surrounded by supercooled water droplets, but eventually gravity causes the stone to fall to the Earth. As gravity takes over, they will fall to Earth at approximately 106 miles per hour. The exact velocity each stone falls at will vary depending on several conditions, such as weight, air friction and collisions with other suspended objects. The evening of April 28, 1992, brought with it one of the most devastating hailstorms of all time, pummeling two areas approximately 100 miles apart. For nearly five hours, residents between Waco to Fort Worth, Texas braced as hailstones the size of grapefruits 4.5 in. diameter smashed windows and decimated roofs. The worst damage was reported across Ellis, Dallas, and Tarrant counties. More than 600 pets and wild animals were killed. Damage was estimated at $750 Million or almost $1.5 Billion in 2022 dollars. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    2004: High temperatures smash records across Southern California

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 2:05

    Santa Ana Winds occur when air from an area of high pressure over the dry, desert region of the southwestern U.S. flows westward in its clockwise circulation toward the California coast. This creates dry winds that flow east to west through the mountain passages in Southern California. These winds are most common during the cooler months of the year, occurring from September through May. Santa Ana winds typically feel warm or even hot because as the cool desert air moves down the side of the mountain, it is compressed, and that causes the temperature of the air to rise at the rate of more than 5 degrees for every thousand feet in descends. These strong winds can cause major property damage. They also increase wildfire risk because of the dryness of the winds and the speed at which they can spread flames across the landscape. The winds can produce uncommon heat. On April 27, 2004 a strong Anta Ana developed causing temperatures to soar all across Southern Calif smashing records by more than 10 degrees in some places. Ontario, California, near Los Angles reached 100 degrees breaking the old record of 90, Riverside reached 101, the mercury at the beaches reached closed to 90. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1986: The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2022 2:42

    The Chernobyl, Russia nuclear disaster was the worst nuclear disaster in history and occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor Plant. A catastrophic eruption ripped through the power plant on April 26, 1986, spewing radioactive particles into the sky. The deadly blast was caused by the explosion of the RBMK reactor number 4, a result of human error and faulty equipment. More than 50,000 people from the nearby town of Pripyat were evacuated following the blast. But plumes of deadly radioactive matter were sent high into the atmosphere as the uranium core lay exposed in the days that followed. The particles were swept across Europe by winds. Officials in Sweden, almost 700 miles away were alerted of radiation levels within their atmosphere within 48 hours of the explosion. Soviet authorities initially denied the claims anything happened but were forced to reveal the mistake as the scale of the accident unfolded. The initial impacted areas were Ukraine, Belarus and western Russia, with some areas contaminated indefinitely and to this day are still wastelands. The World Nuclear Association said: “Most of the released material was deposited close by as dust and debris, but the lighter material was carried by the wind over Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and to some extent over Scandinavia and Europe. ”The weather was a big factor as rains and snow were responsible for bringing radiation down to the ground, where it would penetrate into the Earth. The World Health Organization says an estimated 7,722 square miles of land in Europe was affected by radiation. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1982: Lightning strike damages Alabama town's water supply

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2022 2:02

    Most lightning strikes occur from cloud to cloud – but about 20% go from clouds to the ground. Lightening striking the ground has caused problems with pipes and water supplies.. Some people have also experienced cloudy or discolored water after a lightning storm. Due to the strike, the vibration into the earth can shake a ground water well causing any built-up minerals to fall into the water supply. When lightning strikes near a home or other structure, sending electricity shooting through the ground, the electricity, which prefers to flow through metal rather than dirt, seeks out any buried copper pipes or the home's grounding rod. Building codes require the metal grounding rod to be connected to a home's wiring and pipes. Electricity moves through the pipes until it hits a dead end, such as when the copper pipe meets a plastic service line or some other nonmetallic fitting. Lightening has also coursed through the ground and impacted tree roots and pipes close to those roots. On April 25, 1982 in Lexington, Alabama lightning struck a tree, then reached through its roots to a PVC pipe holding drinking water. Almost 50% of the town's water supply was lost before the pipe could be repaired. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    1993: Large tornado hits Interstate 44 in Tulsa

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 24, 2022 1:39

    A large tornado slammed into a section of I-44 east of Tulsa during the early evening hours of April 24 1993. The Washington Post reported that the storm blew cars and trucks off the interstate highway and damaged dozens of homes that evening, killing at least 10 people, injuring at least 50 and leaving hundreds homeless. "This was not a storm that stayed down and then went back up. It stayed down for several minutes and totaled the area," said Jerry Griffin, an inspector for the Tulsa County Sheriff's Department. That area was about a mile wide and two miles long, he said. At least 80 mobile homes were demolished at a trailer park in a Tulsa suburb. Two major truck stops on Interstate 44 were scattered piles of rubble. Sheets of metal were wrapped around whatever poles were left standing. Families who escaped from their vehicles at one truck stop walked around dazed, clinging to pillows, blankets and other possessions. See for privacy and opt-out information.

    2013: Latest measurable snowfall on record in Wichita, Kansas

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 23, 2022 1:51

    April 23, 2013 was more than a month deep into the Spring, but Old Man winter wasn't quite done with depositing a new round of cold weather into the Great Plains. The weather during the middle of April in the mid-section of America had been mild, field work had already gotten underway. But far to the north across the arctic lands of Canada cold weather had been building for more than week. At the start of the third week of April it was unleashed southward, bringing a cold wave more typical of mid-winter. On April 23, 2013 all across Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota the mercury plunged into the single digits. Reaching down to 1 above at Big Sky Montana, 8 at Huron SD and 9 in Lander Wyoming. In Wichita, Kansas 0.2” of snow fell. This marked the latest measurable snowfall on record. The old record for the latest measurable snow was set 95 years earlier on April 20, 1918. See for privacy and opt-out information.

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