WEATHER HISTORY FOR MARCH 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)
The first regularly scheduled 48-hour forecast occurred on this date. Up to this time, forecasts only covered the following 36 hours.
The deadliest avalanche on record in the U.S. thundered down the mountains near Wellington Station, WA sweeping three huge locomotive train engines and some passenger cars, snowbound on the grade leading to Stevens Pass, over the side and into a canyon, and burying them under tons of snow. The avalanche claimed the lives of more than 100 people. The station house at Wellington was also swept away.
A major winter storm brought high winds and heavy wet snow to New York and New Jersey. The crack passenger train, The Congressional Limited, was actually lost in the snow. Twenty four inches of snow fell at Asbury Park, NJ. New York City set a record low barometric pressure reading with 28.38 inHg.
It was 14° in Victorville, the lowest temperature on record for March. This also occurred on 3/2/1939.
A 46-hour ice storm, Newfoundland's worst in 30 years, coated tree branches and power lines with up to 2.5 inches of ice.
Arctic high pressure was responsible for extreme morning cold in the Plains. Morning temperatures were in the teens and 20s below zero across the northern Plains with International Falls, MN dropping to -38°. Morning lows dropped to near zero as far south as central Kansas & Missouri, the single digits to northern Oklahoma and Arkansas, teens and 20s to Central Texas and northern Louisiana and the 30s along the Texas coast to Brownsville.
A strong F3 tornado, 500 yards in width at times cut a six mile path near Ft. Lauderdale, FL before moving offshore into the Atlantic Ocean. One lady was killed when she was blown from her sixth floor balcony. Damage totaled $6 million dollars.
A major winter storm brought blizzard conditions to eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. 25 inches of snow fell at Elizabeth City, NC. The 13.7 inches that fell at Norfolk, VA was enough to establish a new single season snowfall record with 41.99 inches. This exceeded their previous record by more than 4 inches.
A series of El Niño storms battered Southern California, which began on this day and ended on 3/3. The storm produced heavy rain, gale force winds and waves up to 20 feet resulting in flooding and beach erosion, and in the mountains produced up to 7 feet of snow in five days. In a four-day period ending March 3, up to 18 inches of rain drenched the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara areas. Severe thunderstorms spawn two tornadoes which moved through the Los Angeles area. During the evening, an F2 tornado damaged seven businesses and 50 homes cutting a 3.5 mile path in South Central Los Angeles, caused 30 injuries and lifted about one mile before reaching the civic center. An F0 tornado injured a motorist when his Cadillac was lifted 15 feet and carried across a highway in San Marino. Also on this day 0.33 inch fell in five minutes in San Diego, their greatest five minute rainfall on record.
A storm crossing the Great Lakes Region produced heavy snow and gale force winds from Wisconsin to northern New England, with 8 inches of snow reported at Ironwood MI.
Thunderstorms produced large hail and damaging winds in north central Texas. Baseball size hail was reported at Lake Kickapoo. Hail fell continuously for thirty minutes in the Iowa Park area of Wichita Falls.
March came in like a lion, with snow and high winds, in the northwestern U.S. Winds gusted to 86 mph in the Rosario Strait of western Washington State.
Much of Europe was under the gun from a major storm system. The barometer dropped to 940 millibars or 27.75 inHg in Finland to set a record for that country. This single storm felled as much timber in Germany as would normally be cut there in an entire year.
A series of low pressure systems moving out of the Gulf of Alaska spread high winds and heavy snow across western Alaska. Winds in the Anchorage area gusted to 69 mph at Glen Alps, and Talkeetna was buried under three feet of snow in two days. Valdez received 21.4 inches of snow, raising their total for the winter season to 482.4 inches.
A series of storms that started on 2/27 and ended on this day produced three to 6 inches of rainfall at lower elevations, with 11 to 14 inches of precipitation in the mountains. 9.58 inches fell at Palomar Mountain on this day, the greatest daily rainfall on record. From 2.28 to 3.2, Palomar Mountain recorded a whopping three-day total of 17.48 inches! 6.09 inches fell in Idyllwild on this day, the greatest daily amount for March and the second greatest daily amount on record. This makes the two day total from 2.28 to this day an incredible 10.54 inches. 1.93 inches fell in Palm Springs on this day, the greatest daily amount for March on record. Two died and six were injured. Hazards included urban flooding, mudslides, and road washouts. Flood waters were five feet deep at Desert Hot Springs. Two to three feet of snow were dumped on the Big Bear area and up to two feet fell elsewhere in the mountains. Highways were closed.
Heavy snows occurred over northern Arizona. 50 inches fell at the Fairfield Snowbowl and Flagstaff picked up 31.5 inches.
Dodge City, KS broke their all-time snowfall record for a single season when 4.5 inches fell on this date bringing their seasonal total to 58.8 inches. This surpassed the 1911-12 record of 57.5 inches.
March roared in like a lion across parts of the Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys as thunderstorms and tornadoes killed as many as 30 people across five states. Hardest hit was Arkansas, where at least 23 people died in the storms. The downtown section of Arkadelphia, AR received very heavy damage. The Little Rock area was also hard-hit. As many as five people were killed by storms in Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio. All time 24 hour record rainfall at Louisville, KY with 10.48 inches. The unbelievable rains would cause record flooding on the Ohio River and its tributaries.
Many cities in Tennessee set record high temperatures for the date including Bristol with 81°.
73 inches of snow fell from a single storm at Lead, SD accompanied by huge drifts and winds of 60-65 mph.
TexasHeat:The day's high temperature of 93° at the Dallas/Forth Worth Airport in Texas broke a 107-year-old record. Other hot North Texas cities included Wichita Falls: 96° and Fort Worth Meacham Airport with 90°.
A great snowstorm in Virginia and the Carolinas pushed the tide 5 feet above normal at Norfolk. $500,000 damage resulted with 50 families and 1,000 head of cattle drowned on Nott's Island, North Carolina.
Raleigh, NCwas buried under 17.8 inches of snow in 24 hours, a record for that location. Nashville, NC received 31 inches of snow. Goldsboro and Edenton received 26 inches. The average snow depth in North Carolina was 14 inches.
Cedartown, GA was buried under 19.3 inches of snow, the 24-hour snowfall record for the state of Georgia.
The March one-day record snowfall of 16 inches buried Ottawa, Ontario Canada. The storm left 28.7 inches of snow covering the Ottawa region.
The "Governor's Tornado" in Atlanta, GA did considerable damage to the governor's mansion and surrounding areas resulting in 3 deaths and $56.5 million dollars in damage.
Half of the island of Tonga in the South Pacific was rendered homeless by Tropical Cyclone Issac after winds of 112 mph caused heavy damage.
A series of El Niño storms battered Southern California, which began the previous day and ended on the 3rd. Rain measured up to 18 inches from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. 2.68 inches of rain fell on this day at Victorville and 2.46 inches fell at Borrego Springs. Both represent the greatest daily amount on record for March and the second greatest daily amount on record. Waves of 15 to 20 feet hit the coast around Los Angeles on this day and on the 3rd.
An unusual warning to residents of Lake Tahoe, CA: they were advised not to go out cross country skiing as they might ski into power lines. The snow depth was an amazing 215 inches. A major coastal storm ripped out several hundred feet of the Santa Monica pier.
A massive winter storm struck the Northern Plains. 33 inches of snow fell at Summit and Milbank, SD. High winds produced massive 20 foot snow drifts. Houses and telephone poles were covered in the deep drifts. Many highways were closed in parts of South Dakota and Minnesota.
Snow fell briefly at Escondido, CA. Ice pellets fell atPoway, Coronado, La Mesa, and Escondido, CA, with hail at Linda Vista and downtown San Diego. Strong storm winds struck San Diego County. Trees and antennas were toppled, causing numerous power outages.
A storm in the northeastern U.S. produced heavy snow in Maine, with 16 inches reported at West Grand Lake and Guilford.
Thunderstorms produced severe weather in the south central U.S. A tornado at Baton Rouge, LA injured two people, and another tornado caused $5 million dollars damage at the airport in Lafayette, LA.
Snow and high winds plagued the western U.S. Up to 16 inches was reported south of Seattle WA, and more than two feet blanketed the Sierra Nevada Range of California. Winds gusted to 89 mph at Hidden Peak, UT, and reached 92 mph at Peavine, CA.
Mild weather continued across the northern tier of states. Highs of 52° at Saint Johnsbury, VT, 63° at Olympia, WA, and 64°at Seattle, WA were records for the date.
22 ships were trapped by ice in the worst ice jam in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 10 years. The ice was 23 feet thick.
Another East Coast snowstorm deposited 4.6 inches of snow at Central Park in New York City to bring its seasonal snowfall total to 66.3 inches, breaking the old season snowfall record of 63.2 inches set in 1947-48.
Lead, SD set a record with a 9-day snowstorm total of 103 inches.
Both Caribou and Bangor, ME set a new all-time March record low temperatures with
-28° and -16°, respectively.
The first snowfall in over 15 years hit the mountains of the Ardeche region of the French Riveria dropping up to 20 inches. The storm was responsible for power outages to more than 100,000 homes.
The high temperature in Las Palmas, the capital of Grand Canaria, Canary Islands, reached 87°, their highest March temperature in 45 years.
The temperature plummeted to -24° at Kitchner, Ontario Canada, breaking the day's former record by more than 18 degrees. The wind chill dropped as low as -44°.
The temperature in downtown San Francisco, CA fell to 33°, which was the lowest ever for the city in March.
It was 26° at Escondido, CA their lowest temperature on record for March.
Thunderstorms developed each day starting on 2/28 and ending on 3/4. One person was killed by lightning in Corona. At Riverside 2.56 inches of rain fell, their greatest daily rainfall on record for March. 3.59 inches fell at Escondido, their greatest daily amount on record for March, and the storm total was 6.95 inches. For the storm 210 people were reported dead or missing in flooding across Southern California, 45 in Orange County, of which 43 perished in Mexican-American Atwood from an eight-foot wall of water. Hundreds more were injured. The Santa Ana River flooded, inundating nearly all of northern Orange County. Catastrophic damage hit more than 1,500 residences. 400 cabins and buildings were washed away in and around San Antonio Canyon. The Whitewater River flooded, isolating Palm Springs.
Asheville, NC picked up 15.8 inches of snow to establish their 24-hour snowfall record.
Vermont and northwestern Massachusetts had their biggest snowstorm in this century when Readsboro, in southern Vermont, received 50 inches in 3 days, and Peru, in northwestern Massachusetts, received 47 inches in 3 days.
Snow dusted the higher elevations on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
Eastern Massachusetts' greatest March snowstorm occurred from this date through the 5th. The storm produced record 24-hour snowfall totals of 27.2 inches at Blue Hill Observatory, 17.7 inches at Worcester, and 16.6 inches at Boston. Winds gusted to 70 mph.
An extremely violent F5 tornado ripped through the southern part of Jackson, MS during the late afternoon. The Candlestick Park Shopping Center was virtually destroyed. 1,000 homes were damaged and 19 killed in Hinds County, mostly in Jackson. Total storm related fatalities were as high as 57 with 504 injured along the 75-mile path. This makes the tornado the sixth deadliest in Mississippi history. Damage was set at $18 million dollars.
It was 3° at Idyllwild, their lowest temperature on record for March and the third lowest on record. The low of 16° in Palomar Mountain also was their lowest temperature on record for March.
An extremely intense coastal storm blasted the northeastern U.S. and continued into the 4th. The barometric pressure dropped to 960 millibars or 28.36 inHg at Worcester, MA for the lowest pressure ever recorded at the location. The same record was set at Concord, NH with a reading of 963 millibars or 28.44 inHg. Wind gusts 70 to 100 mph lashed eastern New England with major wind damage. Tides ran 4 to 5 feet above normal resulting in extensive coastal flooding.
A coastal storm produced 25 inches of snow at Elizabeth City, NC, and 30 inches at Cape Hatteras, NC. At Miami, FL the mercury dipped to 32°.
A series of El Niño storms battered Southern California, which began on 3/1 and ended on this day. Rain measured up to 18 inches from Santa Barbara to LA. Waves of 15 to 20 feet hit the coast around Los Angeles on 3/2 and on this day. The lowest barometric pressure on record at San Diego was measured on this day: 29.37 inHg.
Des Moines, IA hit 81°, their earliest 80 degree day. Their normal high for this date is 37°.
A storm brought heavy rain and gale force winds to Washington and Oregon. Quillayute, WA received 2.67 inches of rain in 24 hours, and winds gusted to 60 mph at Astoria, OR.
A small but intense low pressure system roared across west central Mississippi at 90 mph early in the morning. A tornado in southern Mississippi picked up an automobile, carried it 150 feet, and tossed it through the brick wall of an unoccupied retirement home.
Wintry weather prevailed from the southern Rockies to the Upper Great Lakes. Neguanee, MI received 19 inches of snow, and up to 24 inches of snow blanketed parts of Colorado. Blizzard conditions were reported in Minnesota.
The high in Oklahoma City, OK on this date was 74°, but a strong cold front dropped the mercury an amazing 51° to a midnight reading of 23°. The morning low the next morning was 16°. Amazingly, no records were set in this cold wave episode that rivaled the famous 1911 Blue Northern on the Plains.
A massive dust storm lowered visibility to zero along I-10 in Cochise County, Arizona. Chain reaction accidents involved 25 cars killing two motorists.
A major ice storm coated parts of central and northwestern New York State with up to two inches of ice. Damage was totaled at $375 million dollars. It was the most costly natural disaster ever in the state up until that time. Nearly half a million people were without power at the height of the storm and many would not see their power restored until the 16th.
A major coastal storm was in progress over the mid-Atlantic and the northeast. Winds gusts hit 75 mph at Dover, DE. Big snows buried interior sections. Two day snowfall totals 33 inches at Burdett, NY, 30 inches at Frankfort Center, NY, 29 inches at Loganton, PA, 26 inches at Jay Peak, VT, and 22 inches at Frostburg, MD. The 8.7 inches of snow at Allentown, PA raised their seasonal snowfall to 69.2 inches for their snowiest winter ever. Boston's 8 inches pushed its seasonal snow to 89.5 inches for their snowiest winter as well.
Dozens of rivers, saturated with heavy rains, jumped their banks from Arkansas to West Virginia. In Louisville, KY, crews were closing all 45 gates in the city's flood wall along the Ohio and were preparing to reinforce them with 120,000 sandbags. Across the river in Indiana, waterfront communities started evacuating.
Typhoon Mitag struck Yap Main Island in the tropical Western Pacific Maximum sustained winds were 110 mph with gusts to 130 mph. The atolls of Ifalik, Woleai, and Eauripik reported major damage, but fortunately no deaths or serious injuries were reported.
The day's low temperature of -30° at Marquette, MI is the lowest March temperature ever recorded for the city.
The day's high temperature of 90° at Miami, FL was their earliest 90 degree reading since 3/5/1964.
New England's "Great Snow." occurred between 2/27 and 3/7. Four storms dumped 36 inches of snow at Boston, MA and as much as 4 feet further north. Drifts up to 25 feet were reported near Dorchester, MA. Travel was virtually impossible for nearly 3 weeks.
Cyclone Mahina, aka “The Bathurst Bay Hurricane” in Australia was credited with having produced the highest storm surge on record in the world. The cyclone, with an estimated central pressure of 911 millibars or 26.90 inHg caused a 42.6 foot surge when it came ashore on the coast of northern Australia. The storm killed as many as 400 people.
Though fair weather was forecasted, President Taft was inaugurated amidst a furious winter storm. About 10 inches of wet snow disrupted travel and communications. The head of the Washington Weather Bureau personally called Mr. Taft at midnight before and stated that the snow would soon be over. He reiterated his promise that the weather would not interfere with any of the inaugural activities. What happen was the storm rapidly intensified over southern NJ an a unusually heavy wraparound snow event occurred. The storm drew much criticism against the U.S. Weather Bureau.
An avalanche swept down Cheops Mountain and hit a work train and crew cleaning a previous slide at Rogers Pass, British Columbia Canada. All but one of the 63-man crew died.
In Riverside, CA it was 28°, their lowest temperature on record for March.
It was 29° at Palm Springs, CA; their lowest temperature on record for March. This also occurred on 3/13/1936.
A ferocious blizzard that began on the 3rd struck the mid-Atlantic and northeast. Some snowfall totals included 17 inches at Roanoke, VA and 18 inches at Scranton, PA. The storm was especially fierce in eastern New England where the winds approached hurricane force. In Massachusetts, Blue Hill in Milton, totaled 30 inches, Nantucket was buried under 31 inches, and Boston recorded 20 inches. Just offshore the storm's central pressure bottomed out at 960 millibars or 28.35 inHg; equivalent to the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935.
A severe blizzard raged across Minnesota and North Dakota. The blizzard lasted four days producing up to 35 inches of snow at Mobridge, SD, and wind gusting to 100 mph at Broken Bow, NE produced snowdrifts 30 to 40 feet high. Bismarck, ND reported zero visibility for 11 hours and had 22.4 inches of snow to set a new single storm snowfall record. Traffic was paralyzed for three days from the 2nd through the 5th. Thirteen people died as a result of the blizzard and livestock losses were heavy.
Across the border in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada the blizzard dropped 13 inches of snow with wind gusts up to 75 mph, paralyzing the city for two days.
A snowstorm struck Quebec, Canada.Montreal reported 18.5 inches with wind gusts to 70 mph creating huge drifts. Electric power was out up to a week in some areas. The snowfall at Dorval totaled 17 inches; officially the city's greatest 24 hour snow.
Brownsville, TX recorded a high of 100°, the earliest the city has ever hit the century mark.
A blizzard, which began on the 2nd, battered the Upper Midwest. 15 to 25 inches of snow was common across South Dakota with drifts up to 20 feet. 24 inches was recorded at Benson, MN and Duluth, MN had a wind gust to 71 mph. Most highways and state roads were closed for 2 days. Thunderstorms with brilliant lightning displays were also reported with the heavy snow.
Snow and freezing rain made travel hazardous in Ohio and Indiana. A 6-car pile-up resulted near Columbus, OH, with 7 injuries reported. Up to 2 inches of ice glazed parts of central Indiana while up to 10 inches of snow blanketed parts of northern Ohio.
Thunderstorms produced severe weather in the Lower Mississippi Valley. A strong F3 tornado injured 5 people and livestock near Brownsville, MS. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 90 mph at Canton, MS.
The river front area of Cincinnati, OH was under water, as the Ohio River hit 63.33 feet; more than 11 feet above flood stage.
A snowstorm dumped heavy snow from Maryland to New England. Rochester, NY set their all time 24-hour snowfall record with 24.3 inches.
A storm that began on this date and ended on the 6th brought up to 17 inches of snow in 24 hours to the mountains of southern California. 14 inches fell at Forest Falls. Strong thunderstorms produced golf ball size hail at Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Running Springs. Strong thunderstorm wind gusts measured 60 mph at Huntington Beach. Property was damaged and trees were downed along the coast from Huntington Beach to Sunset Cliffs. Three illegal immigrants died south of Mt. Laguna.
Oklahoma reported its first tornado in 292 days, a record stretch of days without a reported tornado that began 5/16/2003. An F-0 tornado touched down 2 miles north of Muldrow to break the string.
On this date through the 6th, a heavy snowstorm stranded 4,000 motorists in the central provinces of North and South Chungcheong in central South Korea. Nearly 2 feet of snow accumulated in some areas, the greatest single-day snowfall on record
A tornado in the southern part of the Bagerhat District in Bangladesh destroyed approximately 500 dwellings and uprooted hundreds of trees. Four people were killed and more than 50 people were injured.
Only two days after basking in spring-like readings of 78°, St. Louis, MO was buried under nearly a foot of snow in 7 hours, the biggest snowstorm in 15 years.
President James Monroe's inauguration was only the 2nd to be held outdoors. The weather did not cooperate, as a mix of rain and snow fell with temperatures in the upper 20’s.
It was the most severe modern March cold wave in the East. Boston, MA had a low of -8° on the 6th, the coldest in March since 1833.
Washington, D.C. recorded a low of 6°. This is the latest it has ever been below 10°.
The low temperature of 36° at San Diego, CA on this day was their lowest on record for March.
On this date through the 10th, Morden, Manitoba Canadawas buried under 48 inches of snow.
It was 28° in Santa Ana, CA; their lowest temperature on record for March.
Honolulu, HI recorded 17.41 inches of rain to set their all-time 24-hour rainfall record.
Near blizzard conditions occurred over northern and central Oklahoma. Up to seven inches of snow fell, and winds up to 50 mph created snow drifts 4 to 8 feet deep. In Edmond, a bus slid off the road into a ditch and overturned, injuring 16 people.
Eastern Massachusetts’ greatest March snowstorm began to abate. The storm produced record 24 hour snowfall totals of 27.2 inches at the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, 17.7 inches at Worcester, and 16.6 inches at Boston. Winds gusted as high as 70 mph.
The lowest temperatures on record at St. Louis, MO of -5°and Columbia, MO at -9° for the month of March were recorded.
A tremendous storm raged along the Atlantic coast. The great Atlantic storm caused more than $200 million dollars property damage from Florida to New England. Winds along the Mid-Atlantic Coast reached 70 mph with 40 foot waves, and as much as 33 inches of snow blanketed the mountains of Virginia. The Virginia shoreline was rearranged by historic tidal flooding caused by the combination of the long stretch of strong onshore winds and the "Spring Tides".
It was 100° at Palm Springs, CA; the earliest date in the year to reach the century mark on record.
A storm in the western U.S. produced heavy rain and high winds in California. Up to 6 inches of rain soaked the San Francisco Bay area in 24 hours, and winds gusted to 100 mph at the Wheeler Ridge Pumping Plant near the Tehachapi Mountains.
While snow blanketed eastern Kansas and northern Oklahoma, several cities in North Dakota reported new record high temperatures for the date. The afternoon high of 61°at Bismarck, ND was 27 degrees warmer than Chanute, KS.
Thunderstorms produced severe weather in the southeastern U.S. A strong F2 tornado killed one person and injured 6 others in Heard County, Georgia. A strong F3 tornado injured 23 people and caused more than $5 million dollars damage around Grantville, GA.
Thunderstorms over eastern Colorado, developing ahead of a major storm system, produced up to 3 inches of small hail around Colorado Springs in the late morning and early afternoon. Strong thunderstorms swept through southeastern sections of the Denver area during the evening hours. These strong thunderstorms also produced wind gusts to 50 mph, and as much as 2.4 inches of rain.
Perth, Western Australia recorded its hottest March day on record, dating back to 1897 as the temperature reached 108°.
It was the snowiest winter ever at Elkins, WV as they received a season total of 124 inches, Erie, PA recorded 125 inches. Boston, MA, Binghamton, NY, Hartford, CT and Worcester, MA would set their seasonal snowfall records.
Heavy rain that started on this day and ended the next day dropped 6 inches in 24 hours and 10.34 inches in 48 hours at Idyllwild, CA. The 6 inches gave this day the third greatest daily amount on record (but only the second greatest daily amount for March). 8.57 inches fell in 24 hours and 14.58 inches fell in 48 hours at Palomar Mountain, CA. A mudslide at La Conchita, CA killed 6 people as floodwaters washed out a stretch of I-5 closing it for over a week. The toll from a series of Pacific storms: 27 killed, $3 billion dollars in damage, and 10,000 homes damaged.
A major wildfire near Miami, FL threatened homes as southern Florida continued in its worst drought in 200 years. Rainfall amounts were as much 5 feet below normal over the preceding 3 years. The Florida Aquifer, which supplies most of the potable water, was reportedly at its lowest level in history as intense development combined with the drought reduced water levels.
Minneapolis, MNestablished a new record for the fewest number of days between 70° temperature readings; from the last date in the autumn to the first date in the spring. This season only 113 days passed, the previous record was 131 days, the average, 175 days.
The first blizzard to strike the community of Normal Wells, Northwest Territories Canada in over 20 years stranded nine who were traveling in three snowmobiles, on the Tuktoyaktuk ice road in the Mackenzie Delta. Despite frigid winds of 50 mph, rescuers located the group and transport them to a nearby camp.
The morning temperature dropped to -51° at Key Lake, Saskatchewan Canada.
A cold wave hit the East coast sending the mercury plunging to -8°at Boston, MA. It was the most severe March cold wave in modern history.
A Chinook wind blowing down the slopes of the Rockies through Havre, MT raised the temperature 31 degrees in just 3 minutes.
Northwest Florida recorded an unusual snowfall. Four inches fell at the Milton Experimental Station setting the state all-time record for both 24-hour snowfall and for a single storm. Nearby Pensacola recorded 2.1 inches to tie their 24-hour record.
The Ash Wednesday Storm began a ferocious attack on the U.S. East Coast through the 9th. It caused over $200 million dollars (1962 dollars) in property damage and major coastal erosion from North Carolina to Long Island, NY.
In New Jersey alone, it was estimated to have destroyed or greatly damaged 45,000 homes.
The Red Cross recorded that the storm killed 40 people. It hit during "Spring Tide": when the sun and moon are in phase, producing a higher than normal astronomical tide.
Tides reached 9 feet above normal at Norfolk, VA (flooding begins around 5 feet). Houses were toppled into the ocean and boardwalks were broken and twisted.
The islands of Chincoteague and Assateague, MD were completely inundated. Ocean City, MD sustained major damage as a 3 mile stretch of the boardwalk was wiped out.
Along the coast, winds up to 70 mph built 40-foot waves, caused tides to run 2 to 6 feet above normal.
Inland, heavy snow fell in the Appalachian Mountains.
The town of Big Meadows, southeast of Luray, recorded Virginia's greatest 24-hour snowfall with 33 inches and the greatest single storm snowfall with 42 inches.
Nearly 2 feet of snow fell from Charlottesville: 21 inches to Luray: 24 inches to Winchester: 22 inches.
Roads were blocked and electrical service was out for several days. Washington and Baltimore fell into the mixed precipitation zone.
National Airport received only 4 inches of snow with a liquid equivalent of 1.33 inches.
However, close-in suburbs, such as Silver Spring, MD and Falls Church, VA received 11 inches of snow.
Outlying areas such as Rockville, MD received 19 inches and Leesburg, VA received 20 inches.
An F4 tornado cut a 30 mile path across Walker and Jefferson Counties in Alabama, killing 2 people. Hardest hit locations included Sumiton, Rocky Hollow, Empire and Warrior.
The UK's strongest gust on record occurred as a gust to 144 mph was reported at Cairngorm, Scotland.
Itay's coldest night on record occurred as the temperature dropped to -30° at Palteau Roas, Italy elevation 11,443 feet.
Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada was hit by severe ice storm that closed the International Airport and brought down television towers.
Heavy rains soaked Florida for 24 hours with rainfall totals reaching as high as 9 inches at Whigham and 9.55 inches at Marianna.
Many cities in the north central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Pickstown, SD was the hot spot in the nation with a reading of 83°. The high of 71°at Saint Cloud, MN smashed their previous record by 21 degrees.
Wintry weather developed in the Rockies and the Plateau Region as arctic air swept in from the northwest while thunderstorms developed in Utah and Idaho. Blizzard conditions in southeast Idaho claimed the lives of two teenagers.
A winter storm in the south central U.S. left parts of Missouri and Arkansas buried under more than a foot of snow. Heavier snowfall totals in Missouri included 14 inches at Springfield and 16 inches at Lebanon. Totals in Benton County, AR ranged up to 14 inches.
Colorado's strongest winter storm of the season moved northeastward across the state producing 50 inches of snow at Echo Lake, 46.5 inches on Buckhorn Mountain, and 46 inches near the top of Coal Canyon. Snow fell at the rate of several inches per hour during the height of the storm, while winds gusted above 50 mph. Several hundred rush hour commuters, including the state governor, were stranded in blizzard conditions along Highway 36 between Denver and Boulder. Drifts up to 12 feet high had to be cleared southeast of Boulder.
At the University of Denver High Altitude Lab, Mount Evans reported 50 inches of snow in a 24 hour period. Winds gusting up to 40 mph caused whiteout conditions.
Early Texas heat occurred as Corpus Christi & San Antonio hit 100°, were both records for the day and the warmest ever so early in season.
Severe thunderstorms dumped large amounts of hail over sections of Georgia and Florida. Hail accumulated to a depth of 6 inches at Marietta, Georgia. Hail the size of golf balls covered the ground 3 to 4 inches deep uniformly at Longwood and Altamonte Springs, FL. Hail damage was extensive with broken windows and vehicle and roof damage widespread. Total damage in Florida amounted to $25 million dollars, the most damaging hailstorm in Florida's history (until 3/25/92).
Alabama tornadoes killed 7 people and injured 45 others. Just after 4:00 am, a tornado touched down 9 miles west of Selma, AL, and moved east-northeast on a path at least 10 miles long. A trailer park was hit just north of Selma, killing 4 people. Another tornado just east of Montgomery killed 2 people.
An early morning strong F3 tornado killed 4 people and injured 40 others on a 19 mile track through Dallas County in Alabama. Damages totaled $8 million dollars.
Rochester, NY recorded its deepest snow cover on record with 36 inches on the ground.
For the first time since 1979, Lake Superior was nearly frozen over. A winter of relentlessly cold temperatures resulted in the extensive ice. Lake Huron and shallower Lake Erie were both completely covered with ice. The ice threatened to push the opening of shipping on the lake back from late March when it would normally open to late May.
In Canada, the thermometer struggled to reach a high of -29° at Timmins Ontario. Further to the west, extreme cold was felt in British Columbia as MacKenzie established a new record low of -27°. Blue River recorded a low of -29°, surpassing their previous record low by 12° as did Bonilla Island at -33°.
On this datethrough the 7th, heavy rainfall produced flooding in the Saharan desert region of Algeria causing 2 deaths and 9 injuries.
The "Great Snow", a composite of 4 winter storms hit the eastern U.S. in 9 days, finally came to an end. Snow depths averaged 60 inches following the storm. Up to 4 feet of snow fell around Boston, MA, and snow drifts 25 feet high were reported around Dorchester, MA.
Record low pressures occurred from Virginia to New England thanks to a strong storm system. Block Island, RI recorded a barometric reading of 955 millibars (28.20 inHg), Norfolk, VA: 960 millibars (28.35 inHg), Atlantic City, NJ: 961 millibars (28.37 inHg) and Boston, MA: 963 millibars (28.45 inHg) and Washington, D.C.: 971 millibars (28.67 inHg). Surprisingly, the storm was not accompanied by much wind as would be expected from low pressure of this extreme magnitude.
The Netherlands’ recorded their coldest March night on record as the town of Wageningen dropped to -2°.
It was 80° at Big Bear Lake, CA; their highest temperature on record for March.
Forty five cities in the North Central and Northeast U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Huron, SD reached 80° and Pickstown, SD hit 81°. Rochester, MN and Rockford, IL smashed their previous records for the date by 16 degrees.
High winds along a sharp cold front ushered snow and arctic cold into the Central Rocky Mountain Region and the Northern Plains. Snowfall totals in Utah ranged up to 16 inches at Brighton. Winds gusted to 66 mph at Rapid City, SD.
Blustery northwest winds ushered arctic cold into eastern U.S. Burlington, VT reported a record low of -14°. Snow and ice over the Carolinas replaced the 80° weather of the previous day. High winds and heavy surf caused $5 million dollars damage along the North Carolina coast.
A major ice storm left much of Iowa under a thick coat of ice. It was the worst ice storm in at least 25 years for Iowa, perhaps the worst of the century. Up to 2 inches of ice coated much of western and central Iowa, with 3 inches reported in Crawford and Carroll County. As much as 5 inches of ice was reported on some electrical lines. The ice downed 78 towers in a 17-mile stretch of a high voltage feeder near Boone costing three electric utilities $15 million dollars. Damage to trees was incredible, and clean-up costs alone ran into the millions. Total damage from the storm was more than $50 million dollars.
6.5 inches of snow fell at Boston, MA to bring their seasonal total to 96.4 inches, their city's snowiest winter in 105 years of record keeping. The old record was 96.3 inches set in the 1993-94 winter season. With the Boston record, all major cities along this East Coast had broken their seasonal snowfall records in the 1995-96 winter season.
The low of -6° established the record low for the month of March at Garden City, KS.
The worst was finally over for states hit hard by the flooding Ohio River. The river crested on the 6th at Louisville, KY, at 15 feet above flood stage, after topping out at nearly 13 feet at Cincinnati, OH and more than 7 feet at Huntington, WV.
Blizzard conditions began during the afternoon hours across southwest Kansas and lasted until the morning of the 8th. Almost all highways were closed for several hours with 30 to 40 mph winds causing zero to near zero visibilities. Final snowfall totals ranged from 3 to 4 inches in Finney, Seward and Comanche counties to 6 inches in Morton County, 7 inches in Gray County and 8 to 10 inches in Stafford, Pratt and Ford counties. Drifts were as high as 8 feet in some areas.
Two snowstorms in a little over 3 days dumped 43.2 inches of snow at Rochester, NY.
Moncton, New Brunswick Canada set a new record for a one-day snowfall of 45.7 inches, but prior to that date the winter's total had been a meager 46 inches.
A tornado touched down for about 3 minutes in Liberal, KS during the late afternoon hours. One third of a hospital roof was removed, a KDOT tower was blown down and several trees were uprooted. Sheds were destroyed, the awning at a gas station was damaged and signs were blown down. Estimated property damage was $250,000 dollars.
Cyclone Gafilo raged across northeast Madagascar producing winds of 145 mph. The cyclone sunk the Samson, a ferry carrying 72 passengers and 18 crew members between the Indian Ocean islands of Comoros and Madagascar.
On Fishers Island in Long Island Sound, 1,200 sheep were discovered buried under a snow drift for four weeks. When finally uncovered, 100 sheep were still alive.
An intense afternoon thunderstorm brought lightning and hail to Erin, Ontario Canada. Some hail stones measured 1.5 inches in diameter.
The town of Brinkley, AR was struck by an F4 tornado which killed 49 people, injured 671 others in Dallas & Monroe counties and caused $600,000 dollars damage. The 1200 yard wide tornado destroyed 860 buildings during its 15 mile track. Entire families were killed as houses were completely swept away. At least six other major tornadoes touched down in Arkansas that day, killing an additional 18 people.
A snowstorm dropped 10 to 20 inches of new snow across Vermont to raise snow depths to record levels. 116 inches was measured on the ground on top of Mount Mansfield, the second highest snow depth ever recorded on the mountain up to the time. The town of Orange measured 88 inches on the ground for a new state low elevation snow depth record.
A wind gust of 207 mph was recorded at the Thule Air Force Base in Greenland. Winds were sustained at over 146 mph for three hours during the storm.
A freak "thunder snowstorm" produced high winds, vivid lightning, and up to 7 inches of snow in the northern suburbs of Washington D.C.
Many cities in the eastern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date, including Madison, WI with a reading of 71°. Afternoon highs of 68° at Houghton Lake, MI and 72° at Flint, MI smashed their previous records for the date by 14 degrees.
A record 24 hour temperature fall began at Detroit, MI. It started at 1pm ET with a temperature of 74° and a cold front pushed through which brought the temperature down to 23° at 1pm ET on the 9th; a 51 degree drop in 24-hours.
A cold front brought wintry weather to the north central U.S. Snowfall totals in northwestern Minnesota ranged up to eight inches at Roseau and Hallock. Winds in South Dakota gusted to 61 mph at Brookings.
While arctic cold gripped the northeastern U.S., unseasonably warm weather prevailed across the southwestern states. Albany, NY reported a record low of -2°. Out west, Tucson AZ reported a record high of 90°.
Late afternoon thunderstorms produced severe weather in east central Iowa and west central Illinois. Thunderstorms spawned a tornado south of Augusta, IL which traveled 42 miles to Marbleton. Golf ball size hail was reported at Peoria, IL and near Vermont, IL.
A cold front that surged through the southern Plains caused severe thunderstorms over much of northern Texas, and southern and central Oklahoma. Four minor tornadoes occurred, along with widespread large hail. Softball size hail fell just east of Ratliff City in Carter County. High winds and hail destroyed several buildings in the Ardmore area, and in western north Texas, three inch hail fell just south of Holliday, in Archer County.
In the first eight days of March, Las Vegas, NV recorded 1.87 inches of rain setting a new monthly maximum March rainfall record. The previous record was 1.83 inches set in 1973.
A major snowstorm buried sections of Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas. Ozark Beach, MO recorded 19 inches of snow, while Harrison, AR checked in with 18 inches. Tulsa, OK had 12.9 inches, for their greatest single storm snowfall.
Elkins, WVreceived 2.1 inches of snow on this day to bring its seasonal snowfall to 125.8 inches, its snowiest winter on record. 3.8 inches of snowfall on this date pushed Washington D.C.'s records to the second snowiest winter ever with 46.0 inches. It was the snowiest winter ever at BWI/Marshall with 62.5 inches and Dulles with 58.7 inches.
Florida Citrus regions braced for another blast of cold air. A strong cold front swept through the entire state two days before, abruptly ended the summer-like weather the region had been enjoying. Low temperatures across the Panhandle dipped into the teens with widespread frost and freeze conditions occurring into the south-central part of the Sunshine State.
Three days of heavy rain breached a levee and sent floodwaters from Beaver Dam Creek churning through the small town of Elba, AL as a levee gave way with little warning. It was the second major flood to inundate the town in eight years. Five people died in the South Alabama flooding.
La Corunain northwestern Spain had its wettest day on record with 5.23 inches of rain falling.
Ice falling as it thawed from cables on New York City suspension bridges caused nightmarish traffic jams as lanes had to be closed on the five bridges. Falling shards of ice shattered windshields and caused one injury.
A 112-year-old record fell at downtown San Francisco, CA when the temperature hit 82°, breaking the previous record of 78° set in 1892.
The temperature in downtown Los Angeles, CA soared to 93° which is 24 degrees above normal.
A line of strong to severe thunderstorms affected the eastern portions of the Carolinas, with wind damage and a few tornadoes reported. Winds gusted over 70 mph with some of the stronger storms.
A local resident reported a Kune Kune pig lifted by a tornado and flung through the air to land unharmed in a nearby paddock at South Caterbury, New Zealand.
Tropical Cyclone George hammered Port Hedland on Australia’s northwest coast with maximum sustained winds near 125 mph. The storm was the most destructive cyclone to affect Port Hedland since 1975.
Severe thunderstorms dropped 3.94 inches of rain in just a few hours in the Djelfa region, about 170 miles south of Algiers killing 6 people.
On this date through the 13th, a blizzard struck southern England and Wales with gale force winds. 220 people were killed; 65 ships foundered in the English Channel and 6,000 sheep perished. Countless trees were uprooted and trains buried. Up to a foot of snow and snowdrifts of 11.5 feet were reported at Dulwich, London, Torquay, Sidmouth and Dartmouth.
The coldest temperature ever was recorded on the island of Puerto Rico as the town of Aibonito, elevation 1,998 feet dropped to 40°.
Dodge City, KSset its all-time 24-hour snowfall record as 17.5 inches fell.
Two major rainstorms combined with melting snow caused severe flooding in New England. $100 million dollars in damage resulted with 24 deaths.
The temperature at Lac Frontiere, ME fell to -40°. This is the coldest ever March reading in New England. Further south, Baltimore, MD recorded a high barometer reading of 30.96 inHg.
367 inches of snow was measured on the ground at the Rainier Paradise Ranger Station in Washington. The snow depth was a state record and the second highest total of record for the continental U.S.
An earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale struck the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. A Pacific-wide tsunami was generated that caused $5 million dollars of damage in Hawaii, but fortunately, no lives were lost. Hardest hit was the island of Kauai, where houses were damaged and roads washed away. Waves reached 52.5 feet high at Haena, HI.
A winter storm produced a narrow band of heavy snow from north central Kentucky into Virginia and the mountains of North Carolina. Snowfall amounts ranged from 12 to 24 inches, with drifts up to 11 feet high in western Virginia. Morristown, TN reported 22 inches and 18 inches at Bowling Green, KY, both state records for 24-hour snowfall.
Temperatures plunged 50 degrees from the previous day's readings across the north central U.S. behind an arctic cold front. Northeast winds behind the front gusted as high as 60 mph, raising 8 to 15 foot waves on Lake Michigan. The battering waves caused significant damage totaling more than a million dollars along the shores of southeastern Wisconsin.
A cold front brought high winds to the southwestern U.S. Winds in the Las Vegas Valley of Nevada gusted to 70 mph, with one injury.
Many cities in the southwestern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date. In New Mexico, afternoon highs of 72°at Los Alamos, 76°at Ruidoso, and 79°at Quemado, were records for March.
Evening thunderstorms produced severe weather in West Texas. Thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 71 mph at Lubbock, and golf ball size hail at several other locations. Strong thunderstorm winds injured 2 people north of the town of Canyon.
Unusual late-winter warmth occurred at Cincinnati, OH. For the first nine days of the month, the temperature averaged 58.7°, which was an astounding 21 degrees above normal for the period. The temperature reached 70° or higher on five of the nine days, the earliest that has ever occurred there.
Scientists discovered that reflected sunlight off a full moon actually causes the Earth to be warmed by an amount equal to 0.09°.
Destructive cold temperatures occurred across Alabama and Georgia affected fruit crops and most vegetables. Low temperatures over these regions were in the single digits in the north, low teens across central portions and mid to upper teens in the south. These temperatures were cold enough to wipe out any fruit crops that had reached the blooming stage.
A daily record low of 25° at Houston, TX was 5 degrees below the previous record.
High winds reaching 40 mph lashed Victoria, British Columbia and south Vancouver Island Canada. Trees were toppled and 15,000 people were without power.
Severe flooding struck South Alabama after overnight storms dump as much as 12 inches of rain in some locations. The small town of Elba, AL suffered severe flooding with the downtown entirely under water after a levee gave way. At least two people died and over 2,000 people were evacuated.
In Washington, D.C., schools and some government offices closed as 7 to 12 inches of snow from a "surprise" storm covered the streets and made travel hazardous. The northern side of Baltimore received only 2 inches of snow while Charlottesville and Richmond received very light accumulations. The heavier than expected snow surprised forecasters who had called for 2 to 4 inches.
The rain-swollen Tisza River at Zahony, Hungary reached its highest level in 100 years peaking at 25 feet. 20 villages are evacuated and more than 30,000 individuals fled their homes.
A powerful wind storm blasted across southern Ontario Canada. Wind gusts to 86 mph snapped tree branches, toppled signs, and caused power outages and accidents. Snow squalls created whiteout conditions as temperatures plummeted from 70° to 19° in just a few hours.
Residents of New Brunswick, Canada arose to a fierce battering of rain, wind and snow. At St. Leonard, 19.7 inches of snow fell while St. John saw 1.10 inches of rain. Moncton reported wind gusts up to 70 mph. Nearly 25,000 customers across the province lost power during the storm.
In the west coast town of Greymouth, New Zealand, a tornado cut a 1,000 feet wide path of destruction through the town. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
John Park Finley issued the first experimental tornado prediction. Finley had studied the atmospheric parameters that were present during previous tornadoes. Many of these same criteria are still used by operational forecasters today. But use of tornado forecasts would be banned just a few years later, and would remain banned until 1952.
The barometric pressure dropped 29.26 inHg at Los Angeles, CA, and 29.46 inHg at San Diego, CA, setting all-time records for those two locations.
Dodge City, KS reported a record 24 hour total of 17.5 inches of snow.
A heavy snowstorm left 10 inches in parts of Georgia, 22 inches in parts of Tennessee, 24 inches in parts of Kentucky and 15 inches in parts of Virginia. Many buildings collapsed from the weight of the snow.
An unusual early-season tornado struck a farm house outside of Barrhead, Alberta Canada ripping off the roof and twisting trees from the ground.
Chicago, IL's temperature rose from 15° on this date to 73° on the 11th. The 58 degree rise ties the biggest day-to-day rise on record. The city experienced a similar jump in temperature in February 1887.
The winter of 1976-77 was a disaster for ski resorts in Colorado. A persistent ridge of high pressure over Utah deflected all storms north of the state throughout the winter, resulting in meager amounts of snow. For the first time, Colorado's ski resorts were forced to consider snow making equipment, a technology that had previously only been used at typically snow starved resorts in the Midwest.
Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes hit Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. A total of 19 tornadoes occurred. Three of the tornadoes in Indiana reached F3 intensity. A densely populated subdivision of southeast Lexington, KY was heavily damaged by a tornado. Twenty people were injured and 900 homes were damaged or demolished. A very strong thunderstorm downburst hit the Cincinnati area. At the Greater Cincinnati Airport, windows were blown out of the control tower, injuring the six controllers on duty. At Newport, KY, 120 houses were destroyed from winds estimated from 100 to 140 mph.
Strong northwesterly winds ushered arctic air into the eastern U.S. Gales lashed the middle and northern Atlantic coast. Winds gusted to 50 mph at Manteo and Cape Hatteras, NC.
A winter storm produced snow and high winds in the Central Rocky Mountain Region. Snowfall totals in Utah ranged up to 42 inches at Alta, with 36 inches reported at the Brian Head Ski Resort in 24 hours. Winds gusted to 72 mph at La Junta, CO and Artesia, NM. 33 inches of snow fell between the 10th and the 12th at Chadron, NE. There drifts were reported as high as 10 feet. The Fort Meade area of western South Dakota recorded an unbelievable 70 inches of new snow.
Many cities in the central and southwestern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date. The high of 85°at Hanksville, UT was a record for March, and Pueblo, CO equaled their March record of 86°. Hill City, KS warmed from a morning low of 30°to an afternoon high of 89°.
Thunderstorms developing along a warm front produced severe weather from southeast Iowa to central Indiana and north central Kentucky. Thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 65 mph at Fort Knox, KY, and hail 2 inches in diameter west of Lebanon, IN. Evening thunderstorms over central Oklahoma deluged Guthrie with 4.5 inches of rain.
90% of the surface of the Great Lakes was covered by ice, the most since February 1994, as a cold winter continued to grip the region.
A powerful winter storm hit southern California through the 11th. A waterspout came ashore in Encinitas causing trees to fall over a railroad track halting traffic. Hail was widespread throughout San Diego County and even accumulated in places with one inch diameter hail reported in Escondido. Snow fell as low as 1500 feet in elevation. 36 inches fell at Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead.
27 inches fell at Pine Cove and Idyllwild, 25 inches at Cuyamaca, 13 inches in Warner Springs, and 12 inches in Pine Valley. All the mountain highways were closed.
Hurricane-force winds and heavy rain pound the south of Britain, disrupting travel, downing power lines and flooding regions of the southwest. The storm's highest gusts were clocked at 95 mph on the Isle of Wight.