WEATHER HISTORY FOR 1ST - 10TH
Charlie Wilson Wilmington Weather ExaminerSubscribeSponsor an Examiner A member of the American Meteorological Society,
Charlie Wilson has combined his knowledge of Meteorology & Weather History with his Education background in Communications.
(Ref. Charlie Wilson Weather History)
A heavy snowstorm in the Northeast dumped a foot of snow from New Jersey to New Hampshire. Five piers of the Charles Bridge were destroyed at Boston, MA by gale force winds and high tides.
30 inches of snow fell at Danville, VT with total snow depth of 60 inches on the ground. Heavy coastal damage occurred from huge waves.
The first commercial telegraph line was opened on this date. This made the science of weather forecasting possible as observations could be gathered in real time, plotted on a map and forecasts drawn from the data. Communities could also be warned about approaching severe storms and tornadoes.
The first daily newspaper weather map was published by the London Times. The first American newspaper weather map would be published on 5/12/1876 in the New York Herald. Weather maps would first appear on a regular basis beginning on 5/9/1879 in the New York Daily Graphic.
The ship "India" was abandoned off the Delaware coast after being caught between two waterspouts while well off shore.
31.56 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia
A tornado with incredible velocity ripped into downtown Houston, TX breaking the water table and giving the city its first natural waterspout.
Weather reports from ships at sea began to be received by the Weather Bureau (today, the National Weather Service) on a regular basis.
A strong cold front moved through the upper Midwest. Temperatures ahead of the front climbed into the 60s and 70s. Meanwhile, temperatures fell into the 20s by the end of the day behind the front. Fayette, IA had a high temperature of 79° and a low temperature of 23°. This 56 degree diurnal temperature change is the greatest ever recorded there.
Residents in the eastern U.S. awoke on "April Fool's Day" to bitterly cold temperatures. The mercury plunged to -34°at Bergland, MI and dropped as low as the mid teens in parts of Georgia.
Record low maximum temperatures were set at Billings, MT, 15° and Sheridan, WY, 10°.
Snow fell across Denver and northern Colorado for 51 consecutive hours on this date through April 3rd. While the storm was did not produce excessive snow, the long duration made the event a heavy snow producer. Downtown Denver reported 10.7 inches while 9.5 inches was reported at Stapleton Airport. This was an unusually cold air mass for this time of year. The high temperature of 26° on April 2nd and 17° on April 3rd were low maximums for the dates. The high of 17° on April 3rd was a record low maximum for April.
Two earthquakes rocked the Scotch Cap Lighthouse on Unimak Island, AK within 27 minutes. The tremors caused a massive tsunami which washed away the lighthouse. The lighthouse's antenna was located 105 feet above sea level and it was washed away. Debris was found at levels 115 feet above sea level. A Pacific-wide tsunami was generated, and one of the hardest hit locations was Hawaii where 96 people died. As a result of the disaster, the Seismic Sea Wave Warning System was established in 1948. This would later become known as the Pacific Tsunami Warning System.
“One of the worst dust and windstorms in recent years” according to the California State Climatologist caused “widespread” damage in the San Joaquin Valley knocking down large numbers of trees, twisting TV antennas and knocking out power. Crops suffered damage as well with many cotton seeds blown away by the wind. Northwest winds sustained at 40-50 mph with gusts as high as 80 mph were observed in southeastern Tulare County. In Bakersfield near zero visibility was reported. Damage was most severe in Kern and Tulare Counties.
The first weather satellite, TIROS 1 (Television and Infra Red Observation Satellite,) began sending pictures back to earth. The TIROS series would have little benefit to operational weather forecasters because the image quality was low and inconsistent. The most important understanding achieved from the new technology was the discovery of the high degree of organization of large-scale weather systems, a fact never apparent from ground and aircraft observations.
Torrential rains fell at Alma, New Brunswick Canada measuring 7.05 inches and a 48 hour total of 9.00 inches.
11 inches of snow fell at O'Hara Airport, Chicago closing the airport. This is the biggest snowstorm for so late in the season.
A tornado hit Fairfax, VA injuring 37 people and causing $14 million dollars in damage.
A wind gust of 82 mph was recorded at Nashville, TN, the fastest known wind gust ever recorded in the city.
13 inches of snow fell at Big Bear Lake, CA. This is their greatest April snowfall on record.
Fresno, CA only hit 49°; their chilliest April maximum temperature on record. This was tied on 4/7/1999.
High winds behind a cold front brought widespread damage in parts of central and southern Oklahoma. Winds measured at 65 to 85 mph, blew down power lines and trees, and blew the roofs off several homes. One man drowned in Arbuckle Reservoir when his boat capsized. The wind destroyed a commuter airplane at Lawton worth more than $1 million dollars, while blowing cars, trucks, and motor homes off area roadways.
Many cities across the southeastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Monthly records included 37°at Apalachicola, FL, 34°at Jacksonville, FL, 30°at Macon, GA, and 22°at Knoxville, TN.
A tornado touched down briefly during a snow squall on the south shore of White Fish Bay; located 6 miles northwest of Bay Mills, WI. A mobile home was unroofed and insulation was sucked from its walls.
A powerful spring storm produced 34 inches of snow at Rye, CO, 22 inches at Timpas, OK, 19 inches at Sharon Springs, KS, up to 17 inches fell in the Oklahoma Panhandleand up to 35 inches in parts of New Mexico.
Severe thunderstorms associated with the same storm spawned a tornado which caused $2.5 million dollars damage at East Mountain, TX.
Up to 6 inches of snow blanketed the Adirondacks of eastern New York State and the St. Lawrence Valley of Vermont. Up to a foot of snow blanketed the Colorado Rockies.
Thunderstorms produced severe weather in Texas, from southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana to southern Georgia, and from northern South Carolina to the Upper Ohio Valley during the day and evening. Thunderstorms spawned a tornado at Evergreen, AL, and there were more than 80 reports of large hail and damaging winds. Thunderstorms produced baseball size hail north of Bastrop, LA, and produced damaging winds which injured one person west of Meridian, MS.
Above normal rainfall and snowmelt contributed to extensive flooding along the Mississippi River over almost the entire month at St. Louis, MO. While most locations reached 3 to 4 feet above flood stage, some gauges were twice that high.
An F0 tornado touched down near Merced, CA; another F0 tornado touched down near Tulare, CA. At Los Banos, CA thunderstorm wind gusts of 50 to 80 mph lifted a hay storage shed, flattened two wood barns and an historical slate rock building as well as overturning a tractor trailer truck.
Mother Nature played a cruel springtime joke on the northeast. After the area had basked in 70 degree warmth for several days, a strong nor'easter moved up the coast, dumping up to 3 feet of snow in some areas. The storm began on March 31st, and winded down by midday on this date. A 978 millibar low cutoff just south of New England spun a tremendous amount of moisture in from the Atlantic with southern New England and eastern New York bearing the full brunt of the storm. 500,000 people lost power because of the heavy, wet snow and high winds. Five people were killed. At its peak, the storm knocked out power to nearly 13% of New England or 750,000 people. Boston, MA recorded 25.4 inches of snow for the storm, all in 24 hours for its greatest 24 snowfall on record, its third biggest snowstorm overall and their snowiest April ever. At the height, snow was falling at an incredible rate of 3 inches an hour accompanied by thunder and lightning. The city was paralyzed for two days. Worcester, MA recorded 33 inches for its greatest snowstorm ever. The Blue Hill Observatory at Milton, MA was buried under 30 inches and had wind gusts as high as 72 mph. Other big snowfall totals included 37 inches at East Jewitt, NY, 36 inches at Milford, MA, 30.5 inches at Burrillville, RI, 23 inches at West Wardsboro, VT, and 21 inches at Putnam, CT.
The Baltimore Orioles postponed their opening day-game against the Kansas City Royals because of cold weather and high winds. The Orioles opening day had only been canceled one other time, in 1972, at the old Memorial Stadium.
A spring snowstorm brought up to three feet of powdery snow to the ski resorts in southern California. 18 inches was reported at Pine Cove. At lower elevations, grapefruit sized hail was reported at Laguna Niguel. Beginning the previous day through this date, numerous funnel clouds were reported near the Orange and San Diego County coasts; two off Orange County. One briefly hit the coast as a tornado south of the Huntington Beach Pier.
A late winter storm ending the next day brought snow to parts of southern California’s high country. 7 to 9 inches fell at Pine Valley and Descanso, 2 inches at Boulevard, heavy snow was reported at Cherry Valley (elevation 3,000 feet) and 1 inch at Homeland (elevation 1,700 feet). A waterspout was observed six miles off Newport Beach. Eight people died.
La Paz, Bolivia South America received 1.2 inches of rain in 24 hours, nearly their total April average rainfall of 1.3 inches.
A rare tornado blasted through Solid Energy's Stockton coalmine at Westport, New Zealand causing workers to run for cover. The twister struck about 5.10pm local time, tearing the roof off a workshop, blowing-in windows and snapping a power pole. It tore about two-thirds of the 230 foot roof off the building, engulfing workers in a whirlwind of broken glass and dust.
A heavy April snow fell over St. Louis, MO and the surrounding area. 17 inches fell in the city and 24 inches piled up in the suburbs.
11 inches of snow fell at Boston, MA beginning on April 1st ending on this date.
10 inches of snow fell at Raleigh NC; a record for the month of April.
An F4 tornado cut a 15-mile path through Crisp County, GA. Hardest hit was the town of Cordele, where 276 homes were destroyed in a five block swath through the town. The storm was on a course that would have missed the center of town, but it made a left turn towards the end of its path. 23 people were killed and 500 injured. Total damage was $3 million dollars.
Oklahoma City's morning low temperature of 20° set the all-time coldest April temperature recorded in the city. This record was later tied on 4/13/1957.
Billings, MT fell to -5° which seta record low for April and is the only day the temperature has fallen below zero in April. Sheridan, WY fell to -14°. Dodge City, KS established their record low for April when they dropped to 9°.
An F3 tornado tore through Dallas, TX. 10 people were killed and 216 were injured. Total damage was $1.5 million dollars. This tornado was among the most photographed and studied in history.
A spring storm dumped 17.3 inches of snow at Stapleton Airport in Denver, CO. Gusty winds over 30 mph created blizzard conditions which reduced visibilities to 1/8 mile at times. The 24-hour snowfall had been exceeded only twice in previous years and the 24-hour precipitation of 2.05 inches was the third heaviest in April.
Big Bear Lake, CA dropped to 3°; their lowest April temperature on record.
The sea level pressure of 28.86 inHg at the airport in Baltimore, MD is the lowest in history in the month of April in Maryland.
An early spring snow storm gave parts of Illinois a wintery blast. The storm dumped snow across west central through northeast Illinois; further south, freezing rain fell as far south as Peoria. 50 deaths were reported; most were from heart attacks, overexertion while shoveling snow and abandoning stalled vehicles. Chicago received 9.4 inches; their greatest snowfall ever recorded for this date. Up to 20 inches fell in extreme northeastern Illinois. The snow did not completely melt away until 11 days later.
Garden City, KS tied their record low for the month of April with 13°. The low of 12° established the record low for the month of April at Liberal, KS. Denver, CO also recorded their record low for the month of April when they dropped to -2°. This is also the latest below zero reading for the season.
An outbreak of tornadoes killed 900 and injured 6,000 in Bangladesh's Madaripur district.
A vigorous cold front swept across the Plains causing widespread damage in both severe weather and winter weather. Blizzard conditions existed in much of eastern Nebraska and the western half of Iowa. Peak wind gusts were measured to 77 mph at Omaha, NE and 74 mph in Fremont, NE. An 80 mph wind gust occurred at Ponca, NE where a store front was blown off a building. In addition, a camper was blown over in South Sioux City, IA. I-35 north of Des Moines, IA was closed due to blowing snow.
After reaching afternoon highs in the 70s temperatures plunged into the 30s during the evening. The rapid drop in temperature turned areas of rain into areas of freezing rain and snow. Heavy ice accumulations snapped power poles in McCook County in southeast South Dakota leading to extensive power outages. 2 to 4 inches of snow fell in western and southern South Dakota although amounts were light in northwestern Iowa and southwestern Minnesota. Sustained winds 20 to 40 mph caused drifts to 4 feet deep and blizzard conditions in rural areas.
That evening temperatures plunged rapidly with the frontal passage leading to a snowstorm across much of South Dakota. During the afternoon severe thunderstorms produced hail up to 1 inch in diameter at Harrisburg in Lincoln County, South Dakota and portions of northwest Iowa. Strong sustained winds at 50 mph moved across South Dakota and into southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa, with a peak wind of 72 mph at Yankton, SD.
56 tornadoes struck the central U.S. during a major severe weather outbreak. 17 twisters struck the Red River region of Texas and Oklahoma. 30 people were killed and 383 injured. A violent tornado near Messer, OK left only the carpet tack strips on the slab of a house it destroyed and took the Tri-Night Motel sign and blew it 30 miles to where it was found in Arkansas. One family of five at Hope, AR was crushed under the mattress they were using for cover when a massive oak tree was blown onto their house. Paris, TX was hit by an F4 tornado that killed 10 people and injured 170 others. An F5 tornado stayed on the ground for 53 miles through Choctaw and McCurtain Counties in Oklahoma with a damage path that was 1.5 miles wide at times.
A strong windstorm struck northern Colorado causing minor damage at Denver. Wind gusts of 127 mph were recorded at Rocky Flats south of Boulder, 116 mph at Wondervu, 100 mph at the Jefferson County airport in Broomfield and 56 mph at Stapleton International Airport in Denver. The strong winds whipped up blowing dust briefly reducing the visibility to ¾ mile.
A late season winter storm blasted Nebraska, northeastern Colorado, and southern South Dakota. 24 inches of snow was recorded at Mullen, NE. Winds gusting to 50 mph created 3 to 6 foot drifts. 22 inches of snow fell in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Interstates 70 and 76 were closed east of the Denver, CO stranding over 1,000 travelers in Limon, CO.
On this date through April 3rd, the worst snowstorm of the season struck northern Colorado including the Denver metro area. Heavy snow and high winds combined to close roads, schools and airports. Portions of all interstate highways out of Denver were closed at times. The snow came after an exceptionally mild late winter and early spring. Trees and bushes had already bloomed. The snow and wind snapped many of those causing power outages. Total snowfall amounts in metro Denver ranged from 1 to 2 feet with 2 to 3 feet in the foothills. Snowfall totaled 12.6 inches at Stapleton Airport where winds gusted close to 40 mph reducing visibilities to 1/8 mile in blowing snow. Most of the snow fell on April 3rd when temperatures remained below freezing most of the day. Traffic was halted and businesses were closed. A 100,000 square foot section of a greenhouse roof collapsed in Golden, CO destroying over $1 million dollars worth of plants.
A late season snowfall began on this date from Ohio into the Deep South. When it was all over, 60 inches of snow fell at Newfound Gap, NC to establish a new state snowfall record from a single storm.
Early spring record cold occurred over Florida. Several cities in Florida reported record low temperatures for the date, including Tallahassee with a reading of 31°. The low of 48° at Key West smashed their previous record for the date by 13 degrees.
Thunderstorms produced up to 9 inches of rain around New Orleans, LA causing $18 million dollars damage. A tornado caused $3 million dollars damage at Slidell, LA.
Strong and gusty winds prevailed from California to Colorado and Wyoming. Winds gusted to 50 mph at Lancaster, CA, and reached 85 mph at Berthoud Pass, CO. Snow and high winds created blizzard conditions in the Colorado Rockies.
Thunderstorms produced severe weather in North Carolina and Virginia during the afternoon and evening. Thunderstorms produced golf ball size hail, and spawned a tornado near Chester, VA which caused $500,000 damage. 2.53 inches of rain fell in just 30 minutes in Prince Edward County, Virginia.
A storm system produced snow and gale force winds across northern Michigan, with 8.3 inches of snow reported at Marquette. Temperatures in the north central U.S. soared from morning lows in the 20s and 30s to afternoon highs in the 60s and 70s. Several cities reported record highs for the date, including Havre, MT with a reading of 77°.
Flagstaff, AZ was buried under 28 inches of snow for its second largest one day snowfall total ever. The city ended up with 44.3 inches of snow for the storm.
An intense winter storm slammed the Canadian Maritimes. Freezing rain knocked out power to more than 4,000 homes on Prince Edward Island.
A major spring storm brought heavy snow to Denver and the foothills of northern Colorado. Snowfall totals of 12 to 22 inches fell in the foothills with 4 to 12 inches across the Denver metro area. Other snowfall totals included: 22.5 inches near Conifer, 13 inches in Cola Creek Canyon, 12 inches near Blackhawk, Eldora and Genesee, 10 inches near Evergreen and Nederland, 9 inches in Lakewood, 8 inches at Broomfield and northwest Denver and 7 inches at the site of the former Stapleton Airport.
Many areas of the west received heavy amounts of snow from a big storm system. 36 inches of snow fell in Forest Lakes, AZ and 20 inches fell at the Flagstaff Airport. Snow at Phoenix forced cancellation of the second round of The Tradition on the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale. The storm was the first “snow-out” in PGA Senior Tour history.
Heavy rainfall in the northeast produced flooding in parts of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Severe flooding along the Delaware River forced the evacuation of 6,000 residents in New Jersey and over 5,700 in Pennsylvania through April 3rd. Approximately 3,200 homes in New Jersey were damaged, while one fatality was reported in New York.
Cleveland, OH received 6.4 inches of snow to raise its seasonal snowfall total to 105.3 inches: a new record for the city. The old record was 101.1 inches set back in 1995-96. More snow occurred later in the month and the final 2004-2005 seasonal total ended up at 117.9 inches.
Widespread severe weather produced a major tornado outbreak from the Midwest to the Tennessee Valley. As many as 86 tornadoes were reported across Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee with at least 23 deaths reported.
25 tornadoes occurred across central and southeast Illinois. While most of these were of F0 or F1 intensity, one strong tornado tracked across Macon County southwest of Decatur. Several homes and businesses were damaged in Taylorville and Pana; two tornadoes moved across southern parts of Springfield, affecting nearly the same locations as tornadoes from two weeks earlier.
A snowslide near Chilkoot Pass, AK in the Yukon during the Gold Rush buried 142 people and killed 43 others.
A heavy Easter weekend snowstorm produced 10 to 20 inches from the Mid Atlantic to southern New England. 19.4 inches fell at Philadelphia, PA accompanied by winds gusting to 60 mph, 17 inches at Trenton, NJ, 15 inches at Dover, DE, and 10.2 inches at New York City. Richmond, VA reported 10 inches; their heaviest snow in April.
Fresno, CA began a 214 day stretch without measurable rain, their longest such streak on record.
19 inches of snow fell at State College in Centre County, PA.
St. Louis, MO dropped to 20°; their lowest April temperature on record. Sioux Falls, SD dropped to 4°; their coldest temperature ever recorded for the month of April.
Record snows fell in north central Wyoming and south central Montana. Billings, MT received a storm total of 42.3 inches, and on April 4th reported a record snow depth of 35 inches. Sheridan, WY established a 24 hour snowfall record of 26.7 inches.
An F5 tornado hit Hudsonville, Standale, and Grand Rapids, MI. 18 people were killed and 340 were injured.
Riverside, CA soared to 103°, the earliest date in the season on record to hit the century mark or higher. It was 85° at Idyllwild, CA, their highest April temperature on record. This was tied on April 27 & 28, 2004.
KAUZ in Wichita Falls, TX broadcasted the first live television pictures of an F5 tornado moving through the city. Seven people were killed, 111 injured and 225 homes were destroyed during the twisters 5 to 6 mile path. Extensive damage was done at Sheppard Air Force Base where three tanker planes, a hanger, the power plant, and the chapel were all destroyed. Damage estimates exceeded $15 million dollars. Severe thunderstorms produced hail up to 3 inches in diameter and at least eight other tornadoes across central and southern Oklahoma on this same day, including one that struck Catfish Bay Marina and Lake Texoma State Park during the early morning.
A snow storm of unusual severity for so late in the season caused blizzard conditions with near zero visibility at times with severe drifting over parts of northeastern Colorado; including the Denver metropolitan area. Highways were blocked to the north of Denver and south to Colorado Springs. Rain at the start of the storm contributed to power and communication outages. Officially 7 inches fell at Stapleton Airport in Denver where winds gusted to 45 mph.
The worst tornado outbreak of the 20th century known as the infamous "Super-Outbreak" ravaged the Midwest, Ohio Valley and southeast. Severe thunderstorms spawned 148 tornadoes in 13 U.S. States, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and New York; and the Canadian province of Ontario; most occurred between 1pm ET on this date to 1pm ET on April 4th. The combined path length of all tornadoes during this period was approximately 2,500 miles with as many as 335 fatalities, 5,484 injuries, and an estimated $600+ million loss (in 1974 dollars). Not only was the eastern U.S. devastated by the twisters, but high winds and large hail accompanied many thunderstorms that day. Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio were especially hard hit. An F5 tornado destroyed half of the town of Xenia, OH killing 34 people and injuring about 1,150 others. About 1,400 structures were heavily damaged or destroyed. Damage in Xenia alone was estimated at $100 million (1974) dollars. Famed tornado researcher Dr. Theodore Fujita said that the closest he ever saw to F6 damage was in the Xenia, OH tornado. The longest path of any tornado during the outbreak was the F4 Monticello, IN tornado. Originally having a 121 mile path, further analysis and research by Dr. Ted Fujita indicated it was two separate tornadoes. The reclassification still documents the Monticello tornado as having a 109 mile path with a width of ½ mile. The same supercell that spawned the Monticello twister produced nine tornadoes across Illinois and Indiana. Another tornado, near the town of Stamping Ground, KY, produced a path of destruction a record 5 miles in width. Brandenburg, KY was devastated by an F5 tornado with 31 people killed; including 18 on the single block of Green Street in downtown Brandenburg. The Cincinnati/Sayler Park tornado is only one of two F5’s in history to have traveled through three states (parts of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio); the other being the Tri-State Tornado on March 18, 1925. At one point, 15 tornadoes were on the ground simultaneously in Indiana. Two powerful tornadoes roared across northern Alabama during the early evening hours, killing 50 people and injured 500 others. Some rescue vehicles responding to the first tornado were struck by the second. An F5 tornado raced through Guin, AL at a speed of 75 mph demolishing almost the entire town. Beginning at around 8:50pm CT near the Mississippi-Alabama border, this was the longest duration F5 recorded during the outbreak traveling over 100 miles to just west of Huntsville, AL lifting at around 10:30pm CT. 23 people were killed in Guin, 5 in the nearby community of Delmar, AL with about 300 injured.
Further north, the outbreak also spawned one of the worst tornadoes in Canadian history. An F3 tornado affected Windsor, Ontario Canada and surrounding areas killing 9 people and injured 30 others. Total damage exceeded $1.5 million (1974) dollars.
A severe early spring storm over the northeastern U.S. began on this date and blasted the area for the next three days. Wind gusts reached 87 mph at West Harpswell, ME and Boston, MA recorded its lowest April pressure on record with 28.68 inHg. Hurricane force winds along the coast produced tides 2 to 4 feet above normal flooding. Winds atop Mount Washington, NH gusted to 140 mph. 1 to 4 feet of snow fell from western New York to northern Maine with the higher elevations receiving the most.
Sioux City, IA plunged to -2°; their coldest April temperature on record.
An early spring snowstorm hit parts of the Rockies dumping 6 to 12 inches of snow in the foothills of northeastern Colorado and 4 to 8 inches north of Denver. Only 2 inches fell at Stapleton Airport in Denver.
St. Louis, MO had a wind gust of 83 mph; their highest reported gust on record.
That same day, a tornado causing F4 damage was responsible for 32 injuries and $25 million dollars damage in Madison County, Illinois.
A prolonged heavy snowstorm blanketed parts of Colorado along with very cold temperatures. The greatest amounts of snow fell in the foothills where 24 to 42 inches fell. A foot of snow fell at Boulder, CO. Snow fell for 50 consecutive hours at Stapleton Airport in Denver, CO. with a total of just 8.8 inches that compacted to 6 inches on April 5th. The mercury failed to rise above freezing at Denver for three straight days from April 4th through April 6th; a record for the month. Five daily temperature records were set from the 4th through the 6th, record low temperatures of 12° occurred on the 5th and 7° on the 6th. Record low maximum temperatures of 25° occurred on the 4th, 27° on the 5th and 28° on the 6th.
A large, slow moving low pressure system produced very heavy snows over the Appalachian Region lasting through April 5th. 60 inches fell at Newfound Gap in western North Carolina, the largest single storm snowfall in the state's history. Up to 36 inches was reported in southeastern Kentucky. The total of 25 inches at Charleston, WV easily surpassed its previous record for the entire month of April of 5.9 inches. The 20.6 inch total at Akron, OH established an all-time record for that location. Interstate 40 was closed by snow for the first time since it was opened in 1967. Meridian, MS reported 2 inches of snow and an inch fell at Jackson, MS; both records for the latest snowfall at those locations. This storm also dumped heavy snow in central and northeastern Alabama. Never before had a snowfall blanketed Alabama in April. 10 inches fell at Valley Head, 9 inches piled up at Fort Payne, and Birmingham recorded as much as 7 inches. Lightning and thunder accompanied the snow in some areas while a trace fell as far south as Mobile. This was the first snow ever reported in the month of April in Mobile since records began in 1872. The storm became known unofficially as the "Dogwood Snowstorm" as many trees had fully bloomed.
Thunderstorms in Michigan and Indiana spawned five tornadoes and produced golf ball size hail. A wind gust to 114 mph was clocked at Ann Arbor, MI during a severe thunderstorm.
Thunderstorms produced severe weather from the Southern Plains to the southern and central Appalachians. The storms spawned 20 tornadoes, including one which caused $8 million dollars damage at Fort Branch, IN. A severe thunderstorm produced baseball size hail along an almost continuous 130 mile path through southern Illinois and Indiana.
Rain and snow prevailed in the northeastern U.S., with snow reported in New York State. Boston, MA was soaked with 2.91 inches of rain, and up to half a foot of snow blanketed the hills of Steuben County, New York during the night.
Powerful winds generated by strong synoptic-scale winds convectively enhanced by a series of dry microbursts were associated with a strong cold front in parts of Wisconsin. Numerous trees and limbs were blown down with power outages. Grass fires occurred north of Onalaska and across Juneau County. The high winds blew part of a roof off a home in south La Crosse, WI. Some peak wind gusts reported in Wisconsin: La Crosse: 69 mph, Mauston: 61 mph, Coon Valley: 60 mph and Black River Falls: 59 mph.
Marquette, MI recorded 12.6 inches of snow on this day to raise its seasonal snowfall to 250.8 inches, the city's snowiest winter ever until 1997. The old record was 243.8 inches set back in 1981-82. The snowfall for the month now stood at 43.4 inches, the snowiest April on record for the city as well.
On this date through April 4th, 2.6 inches of rain drenched Barcelona, Spain. At the Costa Brava, as much as 13 inches fell in just 12 hours.
Nine people were killed, 50 injured and 500 homes were destroyed by a tornado that touched down just north of Calcutta, India. The tornado was on the ground for close to 20 minutes.
On this date through April 4th, a rare mid-spring ice storm covered southern Ontario Canada causing nightmares on the regional highways. The Ontario Provincial Police fielded over 900 calls in the Toronto-area alone. Adding to the misery, most private snow-clearing contracts had expired on April 1st. At Pearson International Airport, ice-caked wings grounded aircraft for hours.
Heavy snow from a slow moving cut off low began to wind down over Ohio, northwestern Pennsylvania, and western New York. Two day snowfall totals included 29 inches at Colt Station, PA, 26.5 inches at Stockton, NY, 24.8 inches at Thompson, OH, and 18 inches at Erie, PA.
A tornado hit parts of Little Rock, AR and its suburbs passing directly over the National Weather Service office. The tornado, rated an EF1, knocked down numerous trees, power lines and destroyed homes in Leawood and Cammack Village. A total of six tornadoes rake central Arkansas this day, fortunately there were no fatalities.
A group of tornadoes slashed a 120 mile path across seven counties in Georgia and one county in South Carolina killing 11 people near Augusta, GA. The tornado's path through heavy timber was still visible some 71 years later as noted in an Army Signal Corps survey.
The first week of April back in 1893, was one of the warmest weeks ever during April at Oklahoma City, OK. From the 3rd through the 7th, the high temperature averaged an incredible 94°. In fact, each of the daily high temperatures over that five day period remains a record more than 100 years later. Despite the week of heat, April 1893 does not rank as one of the top ten warmest Aprils on record in Oklahoma City.
An F4 tornado killed 15 people and injured 150 at Alexandria and Pineville, LA. 142 homes and businesses in Pineville were destroyed.
1.97 inches of rain fell in Palm Springs, CA, their greatest daily amount on record for April.
An unseasonably warm air mass settled over the upper Midwest starting on the 3rd and continuing through the 7th. On this date, the high temperature climbed to 79° at Chicago, IL which tied 1921 for the daily record high. The mercury soared to 84° at Rockford, IL setting a daily record high.
The Airship U.S. Akron crashed in a storm 20 miles SSE of Barnegat Light in California.
On this date through April 5th, Pigeon River Bridge, MN reported 28 inches of snow, which established the state’s 24 hour snowfall record.
Snow began falling during the morning on the 3rd and continued through the evening on this date. Considerable glazing and wire trouble was reported to the south of La Crosse, WI, Viroqua, WI and as far south as Decorah, IA. Grand Meadow, MN recorded 17" of snow while Winona, MN checked in with 10" and La Crosse, WI had 7" of snow.
The largest group of sunspots ever recorded was discovered.
A severe three-day spring snowstorm came to an end over north-central Wyoming and south-central Montana. Sheridan, WY had near blizzard conditions for 43 hours and recorded 22.7 inches of snow in 24 hours on the 3rd to set a new 24 hour snowfall record. Billings, MT set their all-time record greatest daily snowfall with 23.7 inches and 39 inches of snow in two days. The water equivalent was four inches.
It was 83° in Palomar Mountain, CA, their highest temperature on record for April.
One of the strongest tornadoes in Florida's history moved in from the Gulf of Mexico and ripped through Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, and Osceola Counties. Damage was very severe in the towns of Gibsonia and Galloway in Polk County. 11 people were killed and 350 were injured. The tornado was classified as F4.
Sandia Crest, NM reported a snow depth of 95 inches, a record for the state of New Mexico.
The worst tornado outbreak of the 20th century known as the infamous "Super-Outbreak" ended early on this date. Severe thunderstorms spawned 148 tornadoes in 13 U.S. States, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and New York; and the Canadian province of Ontario. The combined path length of all tornadoes during this period was approximately 2,500 miles with as many as 335 fatalities, 5,484 injuries, and an estimated $600+ million loss (in 1974 dollars).
Of the 148 tornadoes, at least 118 had paths of a mile or more.
The average path was 18.7 miles. Ten states were declared federal disaster areas.
The intensity of the 148 tornadoes:
F5 – 6, F4 – 24, F3 – 34, F2 – 32, F1 – 33, F0 – 19
A severe early spring storm over the northeastern U.S. began on this date and blasted the area for the next three days. Wind gusts reached 87 mph at West Harpswell, ME and Boston, MA recorded its lowest April pressure on record with 28.68 inHg. Hurricane force winds along the coast produced tides 2 to 4 feet above normal flooding. Winds atop Mount Washington, NH gusted to 140 mph. 1 to 4 feet of snow fell from western New York to northern Maine with the higher elevations receiving the most.
A massive F5 tornado moved across northern Birmingham, AL, killing 22 people and injuring 130. The tornado cut a 15-mile path from just northwest of Birmingham to the town of Tarrant. 167 homes were destroyed, primarily in the Smithfield Estates subdivision. Daniel Payne College sustained heavy damage. At one point, the tornado was three-quarters of a mile wide. The tornado crossed busy I-65, tossing cars and trucks like they were toys. Other tornadoes killed 1 other person in Alabama and 1 person in Georgia that day.
Southern Airways Flight 242 crash landed in the small northwest Georgia community of New Hope just after 4pm. 63 passengers and crew members died, along with 9 people on the ground. The DC-9 aircraft, enroute from Huntsville, AL to Atlanta, GA ran into a severe thunderstorm near Rome, GA at about 17,000 feet. Power was lost in both engines after tremendous amounts of hail and rain were ingested into the engines. The engines could not be restarted after being severely damaged and the crew had to attempt an emergency landing on a highway.
A snowstorm in the Midwest left 11 inches of snow on the ground at Liberal, KS and 14 inches at Trousdale, KS. Further to the west in Colorado, the storm was in its second day and by the time it was all over on the 5th, 21 inches of new snow was recorded at Fort Collins and Buckhorn Mountain was buried under 64.4 inches.
A severe canyon wind with gusts of 60-80 mph with a peak gust of 104 mph overturned 12 flatbed railroad cars with loaded trailers on the Union Pacific line near Farmington, UT in the Wasatch Mountains.
Five to eight inches of rain fell across eastern New York as the Northeast was in the middle of its second heavy rainstorm in five days. Record flooding resulted from the rainfall and snowmelt. 2,300 homes were flooded in Maine and 215 others were totally destroyed. Damage in Maine alone exceeded $100 million dollars.
Thunderstorms produced severe weather from the Lower Mississippi Valley to the Southern Appalachians. Severe thunderstorms spawned 17 tornadoes, including one which caused $2 million dollars damage at Baldwin, AL. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 90 mph at Bremen, GA.
Daily high temperature records were broken at all recording stations in Southern California on this date and more fell on the 5th through the 8th. Daily records included Los Angeles, CA with 100° and Santa Barbara, CA with 94°.
This was part of major heat wave from late March into mid April.
A deep low pressure system in northern New York State brought heavy snow to parts of western and central New York. The snowfall total of 5.8 inches at Buffalo was a record for the date, and 9.5 inches was reported at Rochester. Snowfall totals ranged up to 11 inches at Warsaw.
A strong arctic cold front moved south through the upper Midwest bringing dramatic temperature drops. The temperatures ahead of the cold front were in the 50s and 60s. However, once the cold front moved through the temperatures fell throughout the remainder of the day. In Gays Mills, WI, the temperature fell from 65° to 12°. In Sparta, WI, the temperature fell from 65° to 9°. In Cresco, IA, the temperature fell from 64° to 7°. In Waukon, IA, the temperature fell from 66° to 10°. In Caledonia, MN, the temperature fell from 64° to 8°. In Grand Meadow, MN, the temperature fell from 62° to 1°. This was the greatest diurnal temperature change at all six locations. In addition, both Grand Meadow, MN with 1°and Alma, WI with 7° had their coldest April temperature on record.
A whitish-colored haze engulfed the Denver, CO metro area through the 5th. The haze was the result of a huge wind storm that kicked up dust and sand from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and China during the latter half of March. Westerly winds aloft transported the dust cloud across the Pacific Ocean and over the western U.S.
4.29 inches of rain fell in Perpignan, southern France. The average April rainfall there is 1.90 inches. 2.60 inches of rain fell in Barcelona while locally as much as 13 inches fell in 12 hours on the Costa Brava in Spain.
Eight to twelve inches of rainfall resulted in the failure of a protective levee near Toyah, TX. With the failure of this dike, three to four feet of water inundated the town of Toyah and prompted the evacuation of the town's residents. While 19 people in the town of 103 elected to stay through the flood event, the remainder of the town's residents were moved to a Red Cross shelter in the nearby community of Pecos. The extensive flooding in Toyah left virtually every home with flood damage. One home was completely destroyed. Also, a bridge along Interstate 20 just east-northeast of Toyah over the normally dry Salt Draw failed.
Four consecutive days of rain from April 2nd to April 5th resulted in the Black Rascal Creek swelling and flooding 300 homes in North Merced, CA and evacuations.
The San Diego Padres’ home game; only the second game of the season against the San Francisco Giants was rained out at Petco Park, the first rainout to ever occur at there. It opened 4/8/2003. It was the first rainout in nearly eight years (since 5/12/1998 at Qualcomm Stadium) and only the second rainout in nearly 23 years (4/20/1983 at then Jack Murphy Stadium).
Severe storms raked the Western Galilee region of Nahariya, Israel and injured at least 70 people. A rare tornado and golf ball sized hail accompany the storms.
The Tambora Volcano in Java erupted. Ash from the eruption would circle the globe, blocking sunlight and leading to the unusually cold summer in 1816. On 6/6/1816, snow would fall as far south of Connecticut with some places in New England picking up 10 inches. On July 4th, the temperature at Savannah GA plunged to 46°. Eastern North America and Europe had freezing nighttime temperatures in August.
Three inches of snow at Columbia, SC fell two weeks later than any previous record late freeze.
The temperature at Boston, MA plunged to 11° to establish the April low temperature record for that city.
A tornado moved north-northeast from four miles east of Iuka, KS, passing through the town of Stafford. Many homes were unroofed or blown down in Stafford. Two mills were destroyed and a 700 pound millstone was moved 150 feet. One person was killed and 14 injured.
Fort Wayne, IN reported their coldest April high temperature on record of 28°. Columbia, MO and Quincy, IL recorded their coldest April low temperatures on record of 14° and 15° respectively.
San Diego, CA had it wettest day on record with 3.23 inches falling. Escondido, CA recorded their greatest April rainfall on record with 2.63 inches. 0.65 inches fell in one minute at Opids Camp, CA in the San Gabriel Mountains, the state’s one minute rainfall record.
446 people were killed in the second deadliest tornado outbreak ever in U.S. 17 twisters struck from Mississippi to the Carolinas. An F5 tornado cut a path 400 yards wide through the residential section of Tupelo, MS. 216 people were killed and 700 were injured. The tornado had a 15 mile long path and did $3 million dollars in damage. One of the survivors in Tupelo was a baby named Elvis Presley. Luckily, Elvis had left the building. Gainesville, GA had 203 fatalities and 934 injuries from a tornado that occurred early the following morning.
Bakersfield, CA received one inch of rain, their wettest April day on record.
The temperature at Eagles Nest, NM plunged to -45°to establish an April record for the United States.
The Northern Rockies and the Northern Plains were in the midst of a four-day storm which produced 52 inches of snow at Lead, SD.
Billings, MT reported their all-time record snow depth at 33 inches.
Operators at Texas A&M turned on their weather radar after a tornado watch was issued. Looking for the characteristic hook echo, the local police and radio stations were warned when one was indicated on radar moving toward the Bryan/College Station area. It was the first tornado warning based on radar indications.
Idyllwild, CA set their all-time record low for April when they fell to 14°.
The deadliest tornado of 1972 occurred in an unlikely location: Washington State. The F2 tornado, 500 yards wide at times,touched down along the Columbia River near Portland, OR and moved NNE along a 9-mile path. The storm caused $6 million dollars in damage at Vancouver, WA. The storm caused six fatalities and 304 injuries. 150 of the injuries occurred at the Ogden Elementary School. It was the deadliest tornado of the year and the worst on record for Washington.
Three tornadoes touched down in southwestern Oklahoma. The strongest began southwest of Pumpkin Center, and moved northeast for 10 miles, damaging or destroying 21 homes, five mobile homes, and 21 barns and outbuildings. The storm was accompanied by hail up to three inches in diameter. The only injury was to a boy, who was slightly injured, when a hailstone hit him on the head.
An F2 tornado touched down just east of Hanford, CA damaging a chicken coup and three homes with one house losing its roof. Another F2 tornado touched down west of Visalia destroying a barn.
An unprecedented April blizzard began in the northeastern U.S. late on this date. When it was over, one to two feet of snow fell across Massachusetts and Connecticut, and up to 26 inches was reported in parts of Maine. New York City received a foot of snow. Winds reached 70 to 80 mph and also produced numerous thunderstorms, which contributed to the heavy snow.
A severe canyon wind in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah produced wind gusts 60 to 80 mph with a peak gust of 104 mph which overturned 12 flatbed railroad cars with loaded trailers on the Union Pacific line near Farmington.
A storm produced unprecedented April snows in the central Appalachians. Mount Mitchell, NC received 35 inches of snow, and up to 60 inches of snow was reported in the mountains along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. The total of 25 inches at Charleston, WV easily surpassed their previous record for the entire month of April of 5.9 inches. The 20.6 inch total at Akron, OH established an all-time record for that location.
After days of heavy rain, a New York State Thruway bridge collapsed over Schoharie Creek in upstate New York, west of Amsterdam, killing 10 people.
Severe thunderstorms moved across the northern 2/3 of Illinois. Baseball size hail at Galesburg caused $10 million dollars damage to 700 cars and many homes. In East St. Louis, MO a wind gust of 77 mph and golf ball-size hail was reported. Winds at the airport in Bloomington, IL gusted to 75 mph, causing the control tower to be evacuated. Other strong winds included 70 mph at Taylorville, IL and 69 mph at Decatur, IL. Extensive damage was reported due to the storms.
Many cities across the eastern half of the country reported record high temperatures for the date, including St. Louis, MO with a reading of 91°. Laredo, TX was the hot spot in the nation with an afternoon high of 100°.
Unseasonably hot weather prevailed in the southwestern U.S. Afternoon highs of 100°at Santa Maria, CA and 105°in Downtown Los Angeles, CA established records for the month of April.
Afternoon and evening thunderstorms developing along a cold front produced severe weather in southern Oklahoma, southern Arkansas, and north central and northeastern Texas. Thunderstorms spawned a dozen tornadoes in Texas, including one at Fort Worth, TX which caused a million dollars damage. There were nearly 100 reports of large hail and damaging winds. Thunderstorms in Texas produced hail 3½ inches in diameter west of Fort Worth, and produced wind gusts to 80 mph at Cross Plains.
Spring cold set many records across the northeastern U.S. and Great Lakes including Chicago, IL with 18°, Rockford, IL: 15°, Green Bay, WI: 13°, Toledo, OH: 12°, Madison, WI: 14° and Caribou, ME dropped to 1°; their coldest ever for so late in season.
A small area of west-central Texas was buried under record late season snows. Abilene recorded 9.3 inches in 24 hours for its greatest 24 hour snowfall ever. Sweetwater measured 18 inches. The 2 inches at Midland was its greatest April snowfall on record.
Heavy rains and melting snows pushed rivers in the Dakotas and Minnesota over their banks and left hundreds of people homeless while just to the west, a blizzard dumped as much as 10 inches of snow in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Bismarck, ND reported 17.3 inches to raise its seasonal snowfall to 101.4 inches; the city's snowiest winter on record.
A strong, late-winter storm battered St. John’s, Newfoundland Canada with 27.2 inches of snow with a peak wind gust to 56 mph.
A wildfire, fanned by strong northwest winds gusting to around 55 mph, caused nearly 800 acres to be burned in the Burr Oak area in Wisconsin from late evening to early morning on the 6th. Homes were evacuated, but none of the structures received damage as fire fighters contained the blaze.
An unusually strong dust devil formed in Suffolk County, NY on Long Island and moved across the Brookhaven Calabro Airport at Shirley, NY. The vortex lifted a Piper Cherokee Airplace 25 feet in the air and threw it. The 75 foot column of whirling dust formed under clear skies along a sea breeze front.
A single supercell thunderstorm dumped an enormous amount of large hail, up to 4 inches in diameter, across North Texas. A swath of damage extended for nearly 200 miles from Young to Hopkins Counties. This ranks as one of the costliest storms on record to hit North Texas with damage estimated at $885 million dollars.
A flash flood swept through the northern Mexico communities of Piedras Negras and Villa de Fuente during the early hours, washing away homes and killing at least 50 people. Pounding rains at dawn forced the Escondido River to rise 25 feet in 15 minutes.
A surface low pressure deepened over eastern Colorado and produced damaging high winds across northern Colorado. Across Denver, winds gusts between 50 and 70 mph damaged roofs and fences. Cross-winds blew several semi-trailers on the sides along I-70 and I-76 east of Denver. Peak wind gusts included: 60 mph near Bennett and Keenesburg, 59 mph near Brighton and 53 mph at Denver International Airport. Over the Palmer Divide south of Denver, the high winds combined with heavy snow produced blizzard conditions. Snowfall accumulations ranged from 3 to 8 inches over eastern Douglas and western Elbert counties. Snowfall totals included: 8 inches near Sedalia, 4 inches near Castle Rock and 3.5 inches near Franktown.
A waterspout came ashore at National City, CA resulting in the most damaging tornado on record in San Diego County. Eight people were injured and roofs were torn off homes. In Santa Ana, CA 3.52 inches of rain fell and in Riverside, CA 2.34 inches of rain fell, each the greatest daily amount on record for April.
On this date through the 7th, in Oklahoma, heavy rain added to already high stream flows, producing a devastating flood along the Arkansas River, below the mouth of the Neosho River. The flooding lasted through the 19th, inundating 165,000 acres of land, with losses totaling $4 million (1927) dollars.
High pressure off the southeast coast provided the beginning of three straight days of record high temperatures across parts of the Mid-Atlantic and southeast. Record highs on this date included Charleston, WV: 92°, Norfolk, VA: 92°, Charlotte, NC: 90°, Baltimore, MD: 90°, Salisbury, MD: 88°, Huntington, WV: 88°, Parkersburg, WV: 87°, Williamsport, PA: 86°, Greenville, SC: 86°, Wilmington, DE: 85°, Harrisburg, PA: 85°(this would be tied in 1942), Allentown, PA: 84°and Pittsburgh, PA: 83°.
A tornado outbreak in the Deep South resulted in a total of 446 deaths and $18 million dollars damage. During the evening of the 5th, a tornado hit Tupelo, MS killing 216 people, injuring 700 others, and causing $3 million dollars damage. The next morning the town of Gainesville, GA was devastated by a massive pair of F4 tornadoes that struck around 8:30am. The double-barreled twister scored a direct hit on the downtown area, leaving incredible destruction. 750 homes were destroyed and another 250 were heavily damaged.203 people lost their lives with 934 others were injured. 8 to 10 feet of debris filled the streets following the storm. At least 70 people died in the Cooper Pants Factory, the greatest tornado toll of record for a single building. 20 people were killed when Newnan's Department Store was flattened.
High pressure off the southeast coast provided an unseasonably warm south to southwesterly flow across the Mid-Atlantic into the southeast. Many high temperature records were set including Richmond, VA: 92°, Washington, D.C.: 92°, Elizabeth City, NC: 91°, Philadelphia, PA: 87°, Reading, PA: 86°, Trenton, NJ: 86° and Mt. Pocono, PA: 80°.
Minor damage was reported as strong Chinook winds gusted to 68 mph at the Bureau of Standards in Boulder, CO, 54 mph in downtown Boulder, CO. Wind gusts of 44 mph warmed the temperature to 80° at Denver, CO equaling a daily high temperature record.
On this date through the 8th, a major spring snowstorm dumped 11.6 inches of snow across Denver, CO. Most of the heavy wet snow of 10.1 inches fell on the 7th when temperatures remained in the 20s. The low temperature of 5° on the 8th was a new record low for the date and the lowest for so late in the season.
The Black Hills of South Dakota experienced the fury of the thunderstorm and a bit of an unusual snow. During the afternoon hail piled up to 3" deep in Hot Springs, SD while elevations above 5,000 feet in the Hills received over an inch of snow from the storm.
Wind gusts reached 67 mph across southern Saskatchewan, Canada closing down schools, knocking down power lines, and stripping topsoil from farmlands.
A huge blizzard dumped one to two feet of snow across parts of Pennsylvania, New York and New England. Many areas reported thunder and lightning with heavy snow. Winds gusted in some places to 80 mph. For many places, it was their worst April snowstorm on record. The Yankees home opener with the Texas Rangers was cancelled. The New York Mets could not make their opening game in Philadelphia because the bus was snowed in.
Behind the storm in the upper Midwest, unseasonably cold temperatures and snow prevailed. The low temperature was 5° at Rochester, MN and 7° at LaCrosse, WI (tied on 4/6/1946) are the coldest April readings for both locations. Other record low April temperatures set this day: Preston, MN: -8°, Theilman, MN: 0°, Caledonia, MN: 2°), Fayette, IA: -2°, Cresco, IA: -1°, Charles City, IA: 3°, Decorah, IA: 5°, Osage, IA: 6°, Guttenberg, IA: 7°, Viroqua, WI: -8°, Blair, WI: -4°, Sparta, WI: -1°, Richland Center, WI: 0°, Genoa, WI: 6°, Lancaster, WI: 6°, Trempealeau, WI: 8°. Snowfall totals included: Prairie du Chien, WI: 8 inches, Fayette, IA: 6 inches, and Richland Center, WI 6 inches.
The temperature at Denver, CO dipped to a record cold reading of 7°.
Phoenix, AZ recorded their first measurable rainfall after 91 straight rain free days.
Rain and melting snow caused flooding from New England to Ohio. Flooding in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts was the worst in 50 years, causing $42 million dollars damage.
A powerful storm with associated cold front produced high winds across parts of the Midwest. 97 windows were blown out of the Sears Tower and the state’s oldest tree estimated to be 700 years old was blown over by wind gusts as high as 75 mph. The strong winds were responsible for downed trees and power lines. In Chicago, wind gusts reached 58 mph at O’Hare Airport and 75 mph along the lakefront. The high winds created 25 foot waves on Lake Michigan. Elsewhere, South Bend, IN reported a gust to 59 mph while Rockford, IL reported a gust to 47 mph.
Unseasonably hot weather prevailed in parts of California. Afternoon highs of 91°in Downtown San Francisco, 93°at San Jose, 98°at San Diego, 103°at Santa Maria, 104°at Riverside, and 106°in Downtown Los Angeles established records for the month of April.
Snow developed in the northeastern U.S. for the second time in the month. In Virginia, a heavy wet snow blanketed northern and central sections of the Shenandoah Valley, and eastern foothills, with up to 12 inches reported around Harrisonburg. Heavy snow also blanketed the high elevations of West Virginia, with 10 inches reported at Snowshoe. An inch of snow at Syracuse, NY raised their total for the winter season to a record-tying 161.3 inches. One to four inches fell north and west of Washington, D.C. Dulles Airport received a record daily and April snowfall total of 2.7 inches.
A three day blizzard in parts of central and eastern Montana ended on this date. Melville, MT picked up 18 inches of snow while Ashland, MT reported 15 inches. Drifts up to six feet were reported in Powder River County. 50,000 head of cattle and sheep were lost in southeastern Montana.
An early spring snowstorm blanketed the mountains of Central California through the 7th. 20 inches of snow fell at Hume Lake, CA while Lodgepole, CA picked up 23 inches.
In the south-central Plains, severe thunderstorms associated with an intense area of low pressure created very strong winds. Sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph, with some gusts to 60 mph, affected much of western Oklahoma and western north Texas.
The city of Jackson, MS had its storm sewers tested as a record daily rainfall of 7.38 inches fell.
Thunderstorms erupted and produced severe weather including 32 reports of tornadoes, most of which touched down in Mississippi and Louisiana. As many as 25 homes were destroyed and 7 people were injured. Mississippi governor Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency.
The opening-season series between the Indians and Minnesota Twins is wiped out by a snowstorm and a cold snap. The Indians lead 4-0 when their home opener was called because of heavy snow. The grounds crew who tried to make the field playable with backpack blowers and brooms, spent more time on the field than the players during nearly three hours of stoppages. About a foot of snow remained on the field through the 9th.
On this date through the 7th, severe storms lashed villages in northern Bangladesh, destroying more than 1,000 homes and injuring at least 45 people. A tornado battered five farming villages in Tangail district at midnight.
The heaviest spring snowstorms for almost two decades blanketed much of Great Britain. At Heathrow Airport in London as many as 144 flights were cancelled because of the snow. Sleet and snow descended on Manchester, the North East, the South and North Wales in the early hours, then spread to the Midlands and London. The last time Britain saw similar spring snowstorms was on 4/5/1989.
A late season freeze brought snow to every state in the Union. Houston, TX dropped to a low of 21°.
San Diego, CA dropped to 39°; their lowest reading for April.
According to a Times of London article, a 500 foot wide tornado killed 118 people and injured 1,200 at Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Lightning started a disastrous oil fire at San Luis Obispo, CA with lasted for five days, spreading over 900 acres, and burned nearly six million barrels of oil. Flames reached 1000 feet and the fire temperature was estimated at 2,500 degrees. The fire spawned thousands of whirlwinds with hundreds the size of small tornadoes. One vortex traveled one mile to the east-northeast of the blaze, destroying a small farm house and killing two people. Damage totaled $15 million dollars.
The Mid-Atlantic and northeast sweltered during an unusual early spring heat wave. Hartford, CT set a record high with 90° while Washington, D.C. hit 94°.
Amarillo, TXreported dust obscuring visibility for 20 hours. Blowing dust was reported 27 of 30 days in the month. On several days the visibility was reduced to near zero.
Six tornadoes ripped through Northern Illinois and Indiana; mainly across the southern and eastern suburbs of Chicago. The hardest hit was from a tornado that moved east from near Manteno, IL to near Hebron, IN. This storm left four people dead; three in Grant Park, IL and one near Hebron, IN with 67 injuries and over a million dollars damage. Other strong tornadoes in the area moved from near Coal City, IL to Braidwood, IL and from Calumet City, IL into Indiana. Further south, two strong tornadoes occurred across the northern parts of Champaign and Vermilion Counties in Illinois.
On this date through the 12th, 20 to 30 inches of snow fell in the northern Colorado Mountains. While over the Plains blizzard conditions closed schools and blocked highways. The second big storm in two weeks dumped 16.4 inches in Denver with 11.6 inches of that falling on the 8th. Temperatures dipped to 7° on the 7th and the 12th with low temperature records set on the 9th, 10th and 12th. Four deaths were reported; three from shoveling snow.
A late season snowstorm left deep snow over much of the southern Plains. While central Oklahoma received only a trace, parts of northwest Oklahoma were buried under 10 inches of wet snow. The greatest snowfall report was from Fargo, in Ellis County, where 14 inches of snow was measured. People in Fargo were still better off than many residents of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, where near blizzard conditions occurred.
Severe thunderstorms spawned tornadoes which ripped through central Arkansas. The severe thunderstorms also produce high winds and baseball size hail. Five counties were declared disaster areas by President Carter.
A tornado causing F3 damage affected St. Louis and St. Charles counties in Missouri producing $2.5 million dollars in damage.
Fort Wayne, IN recorded their all-time coldest April temperature with 7°. Platteville, WI also recorded their coldest April temperature on record as they dropped to 3°. Goshen, IN plunged to 1°.
El Paso, TX picked up 16.5 inches of snow from the 4th ending on this date to set their April snowfall record.
A windstorm produced gusts to 70 mph across Southern Ontario, Canada. High winds twisted the elevator cables on the Skylon Tower at Niagara Falls trapping seven people for a time.
The fourth consecutive day of record high temperatures was recorded at International Falls, MN. The high temperature reached 71°, breaking the old record by 11 degrees and warmer than Miami FL, where the high was a record cool 66°.
High winds along the Mid-Atlantic Coast gusted to 172 mph atop Grandfather Mountain, NC.
Many cities in the southwest and north central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date, including Yankton, SD with a reading of 91°.
Many cities in the southwestern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Afternoon highs of 92°in Downtown San Francisco, CA, 103° at Escondido, CA, 104°at Phoenix, AZ, 104° at the China Lake Naval Air Station, CAand 76° at Big Bear Lake, CA (they would tie this record the next day)established records for April. Highs of 78°at Ely, NV and 93°at San Jose, CA equaled April records. The mercury at Palm Springs, CA soared to 112°; their earliest day ever at or above 110°.
High winds occurred in the foothills of Colorado west of Denver. At Nederland west of Boulder, high winds damaged roofs, toppled trees and caused power outages. Winds estimated as high as 90 mph in Georgetown overturned campers and semi-trailers on I-70 and damaged road signs. Three trailer homes were blown off their foundations and a 50-foot tree toppled onto the roof of a home causing considerable damage. Wind gusts reached 94 mph at Rollinsville southwest of Boulder.
Low pressure brought strong winds to the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands. Winds gusted to 68 mph at Port Heiden two days in a row. Unseasonably warm weather prevailed across central Alaska. Yakutat reported a record high of 54°.
Unseasonably cold weather prevailed over central sections of the lower forty-eight. Several cities from Kansas to Indiana and Alabama reported record low temperatures for the date. Evansville, IN equaled their record for April with a morning low of 23°.
Atlantic City, NJ picked up 3.3 inches of snow, the most ever for any day in April.
Billings, MT recorded 6.8 inches of snow on this day to raise its seasonal snowfall to 95.5 inches to set a new seasonal snowfall record for the city. The previous snowfall record was 93.8 inches set in the 1954-55 season.
Snow spoiled the home openers for the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians as a spring snowstorm brought a swath of snow from the Midwest to the Northeast. Five to eight inches of snow fell in New York City. Not used to snow, the Yankees had to call neighboring football team New York Giants to borrow 200 snow shovels to help remove snow from underneath the seats.
Over a foot of snow fell in parts of South Dakota, Nebraska and southern Minnesota. When it was over, Albert Lea, MN, received 14 inches, and Greeley, NE had 12 inches. Sioux Falls, SD recorded 7 inches.
The worst spring frost in 50 years hit the French champagne countryside in France through the 11th destroying as much as half the champagne vines. Chardonnay grapes were the worst affected, with 80% of the vines lost to the extreme temperatures.
Snow at Atlantic City, NJ was deep enough to support an early spring sleigh ride.
Bakersfield, CA dropped to 28°; their lowest April temperature ever.
A big spring snowstorm buried the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia with 34 inches of snow at Wardensville, 30 inches at Moorefield, and 29 inches at Romney.
A swarm of tornadoes across North Texas killed 64 people during the evening and overnight hours.
The San Luis Obispo, CA oil fire continued to burn out of control for the second dayengulfing 900 acres. Many tornado vortices resulted from the intense heat of the fire. One such tornado traveled 1,000 yards, picked up a house and carried it 150 feet, killing the two occupants inside.
Record heat occurred across the eastern U.S. Philadelphia, PA hit 90°, New York City 85° and Washington, D.C. hit 93°. Our nation’s capital set three records in a row of 92°, 94°, 93° from the 6th - 8th.
Snow began to fall over central Oklahoma during the previous evening and continued to this day. In Oklahoma City, several snowfall records for the month soon fell to the storm, including the record for most total snowfall during the month of April. The Oklahoma City snowfall totals of 0.8 inches on the 7th, and 3.3 inches on the 8th, remain daily records. In fact, the 3.3 inch snowfall on the 8th is the most ever to fall on any single April day. The 4.1 inch total for the month continues as the greatest April monthly snowfall total.
Light to moderate snow whipped by strong winds completely blocked all streets in Dodge City, KS and all roads and railroads from the city. From the previous evening until midday of the 9th, traffic in all directions from town were completely blocked. Drifts up to eight and ten feet and perhaps even higher were piled over the streets, walks and yards.
A huge ice jam broke up on the Missouri River in North Dakota, resulting in rapid rises of up to 8 feet downstream. The river flow jumped from 75,000 cubic feet per second to over 500,000 cubic feet per second.
After daytime highs in the 60s, snow along with thunder and lightning occurred across southwest Kansas. Over 5 inches of snow fell at Dodge City with 4 inches at Garden City. Winds gusted to over 70 mph in the Texas panhandle with zero visibility and blowing dust. A strong tornado hit near Enid, OK.
The global record for most rainfall in 48 hours was set at Aurere, La Reunion Island beginning on this date from a tropical cyclone when 97.1 inches fell.
3.02 inches of rainfall deluged Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada; their wettest April day on record.
Two tornadoes struck Capistrano Beach, CA and moved inland, causing property damage and downing power lines. From eyewitness reports, the tornadoes traveled one mile along Del Obispo, and dissipated at Via Belardes.
A severe storm brought high winds and heavy snow to Iowa. Belle Plain received 20 inches of snow, and 19 inches blanketed Dubuque, record totals for both locations for so late in the season. Snow drifts up to 16 feet high closed highways.
The San Diego Padres home game against the San Francisco Giants was rained out. This also occurred the next day. The Angels’ home game against the Kansas City Royals was also rained out on this date. This was the first regular season rainout in nearly 10 years for the Angels since September 19, 1965 at Dodger Stadium.
Severe crop and property damage occurred from a major hailstorm in Seminole Co, FL.
Intense tropical cyclone Kamisy crossed and re-crossed the northern part of Madagascar. 80% of Antseranana and Mahajanga were destroyed by winds greater than 112 mph and rain totals as high as 28 inches. 82 people died and 100,000 were left homeless. Damage was greater than $150 million U.S. dollars.
A cold front crossing the Northern Plateau and the Northern Rocky Mountain Region produced high winds in northeastern Wyoming. Winds gusting to 69 mph at Sheridan, WY downed power lines and caused property damage.
Strong northerly winds ushered cold air into the north central U.S. The strong winds, gusting to 60 mph at Rapid City, SD and Williston, ND, reduced visibilities in blowing dust over the Dakotas.
Many cities in the southwestern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date. Phoenix, AZ equaled their record for April with 104°; established just the previous day. Borrego Springs, CA hit 111°setting an April record and the earliest date in the season of 110°or higher.
Many cities reported record low temperatures for the date as readings dipped into the 20s and 30s across much of the eastern U.S. Freezing temperatures severely damaged peach and apple orchards in West Virginia, where prolonged mild weather since January had caused an early blooming of spring vegetation. State and Federal agencies estimated a 50% loss in production for peaches and "Delicious Red Apples".
The temperature reached 90° in New York City as the East sweltered through an early heat wave.
7 to 9 inches of rain fell over a 3-day period causing the Missouri River at Boonville, MO to rise 14 feet and at Hermann, MO to rise 19 feet.
The first of two late season heavy snowfalls in only three days over the Northeast dumped 12 inches of snow at Slide Mountain, NY, 10.2 inches, at Ashburnham, MA, and 7 inches at Falmouth, Massachusetts. The 6.1 inches at Binghamton, NY brought its seasonal snowfall total to 131.8 inches; their snowiest winter ever.
Incredible flooding continued on the Minnesota River in Minnesota. Thousands of people were driven from their homes by the flooding, which was complicated by blizzard conditions and record cold.
Miles City, MT only reached 5° tying their coldest April reading ever with 4/15/1986. They did not reach 30° from the 5th through the 10th.
A major F5 tornado struck western Jefferson county Alabama leveling the communities of Oak Grove, Rock Creek, Edgewater, McDonald's Chapel, Sylvan Springs and Pratt City. The tornado lifted just two miles from downtown Birmingham. The twister had a track of 20 miles with the damage path averaging between ½ and ¾ of a mile in width. 34 people were killed, 221 injured and 1,000 homes were destroyed.
A record rainfall of 2.5 inches flooded St. John’s, Newfoundland Canada forcing pedestrians to wade through knee-deep water.
A windstorm caused $20 million dollars in damage along the front range from Fort Collins, CO south to Pueblo, CO and to the east over the Plains making the storm equal to the costliest windstorm on record occurring on 1/17/1982 at Boulder, CO. In the Denver area, there was damage to homes including roofs, broken fences, awnings, doors and windows. Large pieces of a roof torn off a strip mall in Lakewood, CO damaged several nearby cars. Many automobiles suffered broken or cracked windshields and paint damage from flying debris. Multiple accidents resulted including several tractor-trailers blown on their sides. Blowing dust caused near zero visibilities at times. Highways and Interstates were closed north of Denver and between Golden and Boulder, CO. Power lines were downed causing a few small grass fires. The highest wind gusts reached 112 mph atop the Niwot Ridge near the Continental Divide west of Boulder, 102 mph at Wondervu, 100 mph at NCAR in Boulder, 98 mph at the National Wind Technology Center near Broomfield, 96 mph on Rocky Flats, 92 mph at the Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield and on the University of Colorado campus near Boulder and 90 mph at the Highlands Ranch in southwest metro Denver.
Several tornadoes touched down across central Illinois, as a complex of severe thunderstorms moved across the region. In Hancock County, the town of Hamilton had significant damage, with 144 homes destroyed or damaged by a tornado of F3 strength. Two radio and TV towers were also destroyed. Damages totaled to about $10 million. In far southeast Cass County, one person was killed in Ashland, when a tornado hit a trailer park. Damage in Ashland was estimated around $1.8 million dollars. Further east, another tornado destroyed a trailer north of Cisco, killing a second person.
Five separate tornadoes caused F2 damage in Knox, Boone, Lewis, and Pike counties in Missouri and Pike County in Illinois. Seven people were injured.
Heavy spring snows occurred across the Northeast. The heaviest snow fell in eastern New York state and Vermont, where 10 to 20 inches fell. It was the most intense spring storm in New England since the April Fools Day 1997 storm. 8 inches fell in Albany, NY, 13 inches in Summit, NY and 3 inches in New York City, where the Mets/Dodgers game was postponed.
A late season freeze caused $31.9 million dollars damage to crops across the San Joaquin Valley in California; especially grapes. Lows were as cold as 27° across parts of Madera County. Fresno, CA reported a record low of 35°.
A severe thunderstorm with wind-driven hail up to 3 inches in diameter hit Brownsville, Texas, injuring 5 people and cauing $50 million dollars in damage. It was one of the most destructive hail events ever for the city.
Oregon Inlet, NCwas widened ¾ of a mile by a powerful nor'easter.
The Great Penobscot River Flood occurred in Maine. Bangor, ME had several bridges washed out. Some areas received 6 inches of rain in two days.
Perth, Western Australia recorded its hottest April day on record, dating back to 1897 as the temperature reached 100°.
Boston, MA recorded 9.1 inches of snow, which would stand as the April record until 1982 when 13.2 inches fell.
The temperature dropped below freezing at Sioux Falls, SD. That in itself is nothing special, but the fact that the temperature at Sioux Falls did not drop below freezing again until October 23rd of this year, means that it was the longest such stretch on record. This gave the Sioux Falls area 197 days freeze free days in a row.
The deadliest tornado in Oklahoma history tore through the northwest part of the state. A vast majority of the destruction and loss of life was in Woodward, where 108 people perished, and more than 700 others were injured. In Oklahoma, the tornado killed 116 people (181 people overall) and injured more than 1,400. The tornado first touched down near the community of White Deer, in the Texas Panhandle, crossed through the northwest Oklahoma counties of Ellis, Woodward, and Woods, and finally dissipated near Saint Leo, Kansas. The tornado was up to one and one half miles wide as it clipped along at more than 40 mph, along the 221 mile long path through the three states. A man looking out his front door was swept by a tornado from his home near Higgins, TX and carried 200 feet over trees. A tornado moved from 7 miles north of Meade KS to 13 miles east-northeast of Dodge City, KS. Farms were leveled at several points along the path. Two homes were swept away. Damage locations indicated an erratic path, a family or tornadoes, or strong associated downbursts. Total damage was $225,000 dollars. The bodies of two people, thought to be together at Glazier, TX, were found three miles apart. The entire town of Glazier, TX was destroyed and never rebuilt.
A heavy thunderstorm dropped hail south of Fresno, CA that stripped canes from grape vines and damaged fruit trees. The high winds also beat down alfalfa crops.
As the Weather Bureau started a new era of tracking storms by radar, the first radar image of a tornado was detected by radar equipment at the University of Illinois Airport at Champaign, IL. Studies of the radar pictures from that day showed that a tornado of significant size and intensity could be detected.
Fresno, CA tied a record for their latest freezing temperature of 32°. This record was tied on 4/7/1932 and 4/1/1975.
A very wet 3 day period over La Reunion Island came to an end. Aurere received 97.20 inches between the 7th and 9th and between the 6th and 9th, they received a total of 123.32 inches.
A cold late-season storm that started on this day and ended on the 10th brought heavy rainfall to the region. 4.28 inches of precipitation fell in Palomar Mountain, 4.24 inches in Lytle Creek, 3.62 inches in Big Bear Lake, 2.43 inches in Idyllwild, and 1.54 inches in Riverside. More than one foot of snow fell in the mountains.
A severe late season snowstorm was in progress across Iowa, southeastern Minnesota, northern Illinois, and southern Wisconsin. Wind gusts to 70 mph whipped the snow into 16 foot drifts in parts of Iowa. 10 to 20 inches of snow was common with 20 inches falling at Grand Meadow, MN and 19.4 inches piling up at Dubuque, IA. Richland Center, WI reported 12 inches; their greatest 24-hour total. 10.3 inches fell at La Crosse, WI setting their greatest 24-hour total.
In northern Missouri it was the worst April blizzard on record. Up to a foot of snow fell and wind gusts up to 60 mph piled drifts 6 to 10 feet high, leaving many motorists stranded. The storm claimed the life of one person.
Denver, COenjoyed a record high temperature of 81°and tied a record high the next day with 80°.
A storm brought 15.5 inches of rain to Jolo, WV in 30 hours.
The second of two late-season snowstorms affected much of Illinois over a 3-day period ending on this date. The heaviest snowfall was reported from near Peoria southwest to Macomb, with up to 7 inches of snow. Snowfall in excess of 5 inches was found in a wide area extending from Quincy east to Bloomington.
The hottest day in Malaysian history occurred as the temperature reached 101° at Chuping. This record was tied nine days later.
The mercury rose to 77° at International Falls, MN as the normally cold location recorded its sixth straight record high for the date.
A sharp cold front sweeping across the upper Midwest gave Sioux City, IA two inches of snow after recording a record high the day before of 88°. Glasgow, MT recorded a wind gust of 60 mph during the frontal passage.
6 to 12 inches of snow fell across the Front Range Foothills of Colorado. Boulder received up to 8 inches and 5 inches fell at Stapleton Airport in Denver causing flight delays. I-25 south of Denver was closed for four hours due to a 100 car pileup.
Many cities in the southwestern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date. The afternoon high of 80°at Eureka, CA established a record for the month of April.
Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front produced severe weather from the Northern Plains to Arkansas and northern Texas. Severe thunderstorms spawned five tornadoes, with 70 reports of large hail and damaging winds. A tornado injured four people at Ardmore, OK, and thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 70 mph at Kellyville, OK, and hail 3 inches in diameter at Halmstead, KS.
A large portion of the eastern U.S. was battered by severe thunderstorms with 503 severe weather events reported. 38 tornadoes touched down with the most significant one beginning its 18 mile path at Guthrie, KY. This F2 tornado did over $500,000 dollars in damage. 3 inch diameter hailstones fell in Switzerland County, Indiana. Two people were killed and 86 were injured from intense straight line thunderstorm winds exceeding 100 mph in West Virginia. 45 of the 55 counties in West Virginia reported wind damage. Total damage was estimated at $16 million dollars.
A tornado touched down 3 ½ miles west-southwest of Kismet, KS and moved east northeast across highway 54 and east into Meade County. The tornado struck the southern part of Meade. It ended one mile southeast of Meade after doing extensive damage to Meade High School, power lines, and several business in southern
MeadeTownship. Damage estimates were at $1.3 million dollars. In Seward County, a tornado struck a car and mobile home two miles east of Kismet, KS. Two adults were in the car and one adult and five children were in the mobile home. All eight sustained minor injuries and the mobile home was demolished. The tornado had a maximum path width of 1,000 yards in Seward County, but expanded to a maximum width of a mile southeast of Plains in Meade County.
Glasgow, MT recorded 12.2 inches of snow in 24 hours; their greatest 24 hour snowfall on record.
An F5 tornado ripped through the suburbs of Birmingham, AL killing 32 people, injuring 160 others, destroying 100 homes and severely damaging nearly 500 others.
Record cold temperatures across the Midwest headed south. Low temperatures dropped to the mid 20s well into the Texas panhandle, while cold records were broken in states from Vermont to Kentucky. Bismarck, N.D., broke an 1881 record by 9 degrees with a record low with 1°. Minneapolis, MN set a record low of 16° and St. Louis, MO set a record low with 25°.
A record April snowfall of 14.6 inches shut down Montreal, Quebec Canada. A bigger problem occurred as snow removal contracts ended on April 1.
Thunderstorms dumped 2.01 inches of rain in 24 hours on Marrakech, Morocco. Their average April rainfall here is 1.22 inches.
A spring storm brought heavy snow to the Colorado Rockies with the heaviest snow falling in the foothills and higher terrain. Snowfall totals included: 20 inches near Jamestown, 18 inches atop Gold Hill, 17 inches near Evergreen, 15 inches at Nederland & Eldora, 13 inches at Blackhawk, 11 inches at Aspen Springs, 9 inches at Louisville, 8 inches at Ken Caryl, 6 inches at Niwot near Sedalia and in Thornton and 5 inches at Lakewood, Lyons and Westminster. 4.4 inches fell in Denver.
An early spring snowstorm hit the Front Range Foothills in Colorado. Snowfall totals included: 12.5 inches at Aspen Springs, 11 inches four miles southwest of Conifer, 10.5 inches three miles north of Central City and six miles southwest of Evergreen. Five to nine inches fell elsewhere with just under two inches reported in Denver.
A foot of wet snow fell in Philadelphia, PA during an early spring storm.
A heavy late season snow blanketed parts of the northeastern U.S. Heavier snowfall totals included 31.5 inches at Salem Corners, PA, 30 inches at LeRoy, NY, up to 28 inches near Philadelphia, PA, 26 inches at York, PA, 14 inches at Waterbury, CT, and 9 inches at Providence, RI.
The Weather Bureau Fire Weather Service was established on this date after disastrous fires in Idaho and Montana in 1910 led to fire control efforts by the U.S. Forest Service. An important part of this effort was the issuance of fire weather forecasts. The Weather Bureau Fire Weather Service was officially established.
A rare summer-like heat wave dominated much of the Midwest through the next day. Rockford, IL set an April record with 93°. They followed that with a daily record of 88°on the 11th. Chicago, IL set consecutive daily record highs of 90°on this date and the 11th. Further south, Columbia, MO and Quincy, IL set April high temperature records with 93°and 92°respectively.
Severe dust storms struck Iowa and Kansas closing schools and highways. Dodge City, KS experienced its worst dust storm on record, with dense dust reported from the morning of the 9th until after sunset on the 11th. The sky was almost as dark as night at times during the daylight hours. The thick dust suspended traffic on highways and railroads, and also suspended most business in town.
A southwesterly flow ahead of a cold front produced early season heat across most of Texas. Some notable readings included: Waco with 98°, Dallas hit 99°, Junction hit 100° and Laredo climbed to 104°.
An outbreak of 23 tornadoes ravaged the Red River areas of Texas and Oklahoma. This day was known as "Terrible Tuesday" to the residents of Wichita Falls, TX as a tornado rated F4 on the Fujita scale ripped through the city killing 45 people and injuring at least 1,700 in a matter of minutes. The tornado’s width reached 1.5 miles as it passed through the residential section of the city. The worst tragedy was the fact that many deaths were easily preventable. 25 people were killed when they got into their cars and tried to drive out of the tornado's path. 16 of the 25 people left homes that were not even damaged. Besides the terrible human costs, 3,100 homes were destroyed, with an estimated 20,000 people left homeless. The total damage in Wichita Falls was around $400 million dollars. The Wichita Falls tornado was not the first massive tornado that day in the western parts of north Texas. An earlier tornado killed 10 people in Vernon and 1 in Lockett.
A late season cold snap in the east set record low April temperatures in the following cities: Asheville, NC: 23°; Beckley, WV: 11°; Elkins, WV: 3°. April record lows were tied in Raleigh-Durham, NC with 23° and Roanoke, VA with 20°.
Blustery northwest winds prevailed across the Northern Plains. Winds in parts of Wyoming gusted to 65 mph. Temperatures in North Dakota were only in the 20s and 30s, following afternoon highs in the 70s the previous day.
Unseasonably warm weather prevailed in the western U.S. Several cities reported new record high temperatures for the date, including Bakersfield, CA with a reading of 95°, their warmest for so early in the season. Pocatello, ID warmed from a record low of 19°to an afternoon high of 63°.
Strong northerly winds, gusting to 53 mph at Albuquerque, NM, ushered cold arctic air into the south central U.S. The temperature at Albuquerque plunged from 82°to 29°overnight. Many cities in the central U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date, including Goodland, KS with a reading of 4°.
Thunderstorms produced severe weather from the Central Gulf Coast Region to western sections of the Carolinas during the afternoon and evening. Evening thunderstorms over western South Carolina produced wind gusts to 98 mph which injured four people at Holly Springs, and wind gusts to 100 mph which injured one person and caused half a million dollars damage north of Dacusville.
A strong coastal storm gave New England its second heavy snowfall in only 3 days. North Foster, RI was buried under 21.5 inches of snow, while Jaffery, NH measured 21 inches. Other heavy totals included 27.4 inches on Mount Washington, NH, 20.1 inches at Ashburnham, MA, 17 inches at Windham, CT, and 12.6 inches at Brookhaven, NY. Tree damage was extensive due the heavy, wet nature of the snow. This storm took care of the remaining seasonal snowfall records as records were exceeded at the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, MA, Worcester, MA, Concord, NH, and Bridgeport, CT. Many locations in the northeast now exceeded 120 inches for the winter season, with a few locations over 150 inches, making the winter of 1995-96 the snowiest winter on record for a large part of the Northeast. Seasonal records included: Binghamton, NY: 131.8", Bridgeport, CT: 75.8": Worcester, MA: 128.9" and Blue Hill, MA: 140.8".
A spring snowstorm caught many residents of parts of the Missouri Valley by surprise when 2 to 6 inches of snow fell from central to northeast Missouri while over a foot fell further north in parts of central Illinois. The snow cancelled many outdoor activities, including the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. It was the first time since April 17, 1983 that a Cardinals home game was snowed out. Snowfall totals included 13.5 inches at Galesburg, IL 11.5 inches in Chillicothe, IL 11 inches in Minonk, IL and 6 inches at the Peoria, IL airport.
2.4 inches of snow fell at Billings, MT a record seventh consecutive day of at least an inch of snowfall; 23 inches of snow fell from the 4th to the 10th.
It was the second frosty morning of the month in parts of central California (after a heavy frost on the 4th) which resulted in a total of over $131 million dollars damage to crops. Hanford, CA dropped to 34°, Lemon Cove: 33° and Corcoran, CA: 32°.
A potent spring storm dumped heavy snow across the Colorado Rockies while a blizzard roared across the Plains east of Denver. Snowfall amounts ranged up to 18 inches across Denver and the foothills. Sustained winds 40 to 50 mph with gusts to 60 mph piled the snow into drifts 3 to 6 feet deep. Parts of I-25 and I-70 were closed. The combination of wet snow and damaging winds resulted in widespread power outages. Denver International Airport was shut down for the first time in its brief six year history. The power outages resulted in business and school closings over all of northeastern Colorado. 220,000 customers were without power for a time; the worst in Xcel Energy’s history. Repairs totaled $1.6 million dollars. Snowfall totals included: 18 inches in southeast Aurora, 17 inches at Genesee, 16 inches at Centennial Airport, Parker & Rollinsville, 14 inches at Broomfield & Intercanyon, 13 inches at Louisville, Coal Creek Canyon & Evergreen, 12 inches at Lakewood & Morrison, 11 inches at Ken Caryl, Thornton, Aspen Springs & Chief Hosa, 10 inches at the former Stapleton Airport, Wheat Ridge and Blackhawk, 9 inches at Westminster & atop Crow Hill and 8 inches at Littleton.
A supercell thunderstorm traversed central Missouri, producing 8 tornadoes and copious amounts large hail up to baseball size. An enormous amount of damage was done by the hail, mainly in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Total damage was estimated at $1.4 billion dollars.
In Santiago, Chile South America 1.02 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, twice their average April rainfall.
In Al Baha in the western hills of Saudi Arabia thunderstorms dumped 4.45 inches of rain in 12 hours. The average April precipitation there is just 1.34 inches. Temperatures reached just 59°, the first time the daytime high had been under 68° since late January 2002, and the coldest day there since at least February 2001.
An upper level low pressure system over the southeast brought a surprise snowstorm to parts of western North Carolina. Several inches of snow fell in just a few hours from the late morning into the afternoon. Asheville, NC picked up 4 inches of snow, while nearby Mount Pisgah picked up one foot. Parts of the Parkway leading to Mount Pisgah were closed for a time.
A strong storm system produced blizzard conditions in areas to the east of Denver and south of I-76 and near blizzard conditions across the Denver metro area. The combination of heavy snow and strong winds forced the closure of Denver International Airport standing thousands of travelers. Long stretches of I-25, I-70 and I-76 were also closed due to extensive blowing and drifting snow. Snow amounts ranged from 12 to 30 inches in and near the eastern foothills and over the Palmer Divide. Drifts were 2 to 5 feet. Storm snowfall totals included: 31 inches near Conifer, 27.5 inches at Aspen Springs, 25.5 inches at Sedalia and Blackhawk, 25 inches near Bergen Park and near Genesee, 24.5 inches at Pine Junction and Roxborough Park, 24 inches southwest of Boulder, 23.5 inches at Ken Caryl, 23 inches atop Crow Hill, near Larkspur, Evergreen and Nederland, 22.5 inches at Aurora, 22 inches at Bennett, 21 inches at Eldora Ski area, 20 inches near Arapahoe Park, Centennial, Littleton and south Denver, 18 inches at Eldorado Springs and near Castle Rock, 17 inches near Chatfield Reservoir & Perry Park and 16 inches near Jamestown and Thornton, 15 inches at Lakewood, 14.5 inches at Wheat Ridge near Englewood, 14 inches at Lone Tree and Arvada and close to 10 inches in Denver.
Unseasonably warm temperatures occurred as Fairbanks, AK soared to 56°; tying the daily record set back in 1957. In contrast, the high temperature in Atlanta, GA was only 54°.