FEBRUARY 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)
Thunder and lightning accompanied sleet and snow at St. Louis, MO during the evening hours, even though the temperature was just 13°.
The U.S. Weather Bureau Hurricane Forecasting Center was moved from Kingston, Jamaica to Havana, Cuba. Observation stations had been established in 1898 throughout the central and eastern Caribbean by President McKinley, who reportedly feared hurricanes more than the Spanish Navy in the Spanish American War. In 1902, the hurricane forecasting was transferred to Washington, D.C.
This was the first of five straight days with measurable snowfall at Oklahoma City, OK. This remains a record for Oklahoma City for consecutive days with measurable snowfall.
Seattle, WA was buried under 21.5 inches of snow, their greatest 24-hour snowfall. A total of 32.5 inches of wet snow accumulated over three days. The Seattle cathedral dome collapsed under the snow’s weight.
A 38-hour snowstorm shut down Victoria, British Columbia Canada under 30.8 inches of snow. Strong northerly winds piled the snow into drifts close to 10 feet high.
A dense area of high-pressure brought extreme cold and high barometric pressure readings to the northeastern U.S. Northfield, VT had a high pressure reading of 31.14 inHg the previous day and Portland, ME had a reading of 31.09 inches which is the highest ever recorded at sea level in the United States. The mercury dropped to -45° at Pittsburg, NH.
On this date through the 9th, a memorable blizzard occurred in Saskatchewan, Canada. All highways into Regina were blocked. Railway officials declared the worst conditions in Canadian rail history. One train was buried in a snowdrift 6/10 of a mile long and 36.7 feet deep.
The greatest ice storm on record in the U.S. produced glaze up to 4 inches thick from Texas to Pennsylvania causing 25 deaths, 500 serious injuries, and $100 million dollars damage. Tennessee was hardest hit by the storm. Communications and utilities were interrupted for a week to 10 days.
The temperature at Taylor Park Dam plunged to -60°, a record for the state of Colorado up to that time. New Mexico recorded their coldest temperature ever as Gavilan dropped to -50°.
An intense low pressure system swept across the North Sea. Wind speeds at Aberdeen, Scotland exceeded 125 mph. A storm surge of 13.3 feet breached the dams along the Zuider Zee in The Netherlands, flooding 3.95 million acres or 1/6 of the country.
An F3 tornado tracked 8 miles from Commerce Landing in Tunica County, Mississippi vutting an 8 mile path to near Robinsonville & Clark in Mississippi, killing 20 people and injuring 141 others. 17 people were killed in a plantation school at Commerce Landing, making it the 3rd deadliest school tornado disaster in U.S. History. The heroic teacher died trying to save her students by moving them into ditches. The rebuilt school was named after her. One dead child was blown a half mile away. Despite that fact the funnel was seen, that heavy objects were thrown long distances, and that the tornado was in a forecast box, the event was not officially called a tornado. A survey team stated that since all debris was thrown in one direction, the event should not be listed as a tornado.
New Brunswick, Canada recorded its coldest temperature when Sisson Dam dropped to -53°.
The Australian capital of Canberra recorded their hottest day on record as the high reached 108°.
Across central and eastern South Dakota contained a variety of winter weather causing many problems. Glazing due to heavy fog and drizzle periodically formed on utility lines causing numerous broken power lines. Periodically, strong winds caused widespread blowing and drifting snow resulting in many closed roads. Snowplows would open the roads and often drifting snow would close the roads again. Frequent uses of pusher type snowplows piled banks of snow 20 to 30 feet along the roads and it became impractical to open roads with this type of snowplow. Several rotary snowplows were flown in from military airbases outside of the state to open some of the roads in the eastern part of the state. Numerous school closings occurred during the month due to snow blocked roads.
Malaysia's coldest night on record occurred as the low dropped to 46° at Cameron Highlands.
A winter storm struck the Niagara Frontier and western southern tier of western New Your beginning on January 31st and continued through this date. Precipitation fell as a mixture of rain, freezing rain and snow. Winds gusted as high as 61 mph. Most of western New York's schools closed on the first as glazed highways and the high winds made driving extremely hazardous. Buffalo International Airport shut down most of the day due to ice accumulations up to an inch on the runways. The high winds caused local whiteouts and extreme cold wind chills. Thousands of area homes were without power as ice coated power lines throughout the area. There were numerous reports of traffic accidents including a tractor trailer that was blown off Route 219 in Orchard Park and six tractor trailers jack knifed and slid off the Southern Tier Expressway. The Father Baker Bridge, Fuhrman Boulevard, and the Skyway were closed because of icy pavement and zero visibility.
One of the most widespread outbreaks of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in Florida history occurred on this date. Unusual El Nino conditions resulted in a 180-mph jet stream across the central Gulf of Mexico that strengthened a line of thunderstorms moving eastward into the western Florida Panhandle before dawn and continued southeastward through the entire state, exiting the southeast coast and the Keys around sunset the next day. At least 21 tornadoes occurred, along with severe thunderstorm downbursts, hail, and heavy rains. Seven tornadoes touched down during the day across the Panhandle killing l and injuring one. Overall, five people were killed along with several serious injuries requiring hospitalization, and about 200 people were left homeless.
Snow, sleet and ice glazed southern Tennessee and northern sections of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. 11 inches of sleet and ice fell on Lauderdale County, Alabama in one of the worst winter storms in state history. All roads in Florence, AL were closed for the first time in the city's history.
Colorado's coldest night on record occurred as the town of Maybell dropped to -61°. It was also the coldest night on record in Utah when Peter’s Sink dropped to -69°
The longest recorded, national run without a tornado ended on this date at 52 days beginning on 12/12/1985.
A storm in the Pacific Northwest produced wind gusts to 100 mph at Cape Blanco, OR, and up to 6 inches of rain in the northern coastal mountain ranges.
Many cities in the eastern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date, including Richmond, VA with 73°, Baltimore, MD with 71°, Dulles Airport at Sterling, VA with 71°, Washington, DC: with 70°and Wilmington, DE: tied with 65°.
Thunderstorms in southern Louisiana deluged Basile with 12.34 inches of rain.
Arctic cold gripped the north central U.S. Wolf Point, MT reported a low of -32°
While arctic cold continued to invade the central U.S., many cities in the south central and eastern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date. Russell KS, the hot spot in the nation with a high of 84°,after reporting a morning low of 12°the previous day.
Four to eight inches of snow fell across western and northern South Dakota. Winds of 25 mph and subzero temperature produced wind chills of -50°to -80°. Several schools were closed across the area due to the dangerous wind chills. Tioga, NDreported a wind chill reading of -90°. The storm continued into the 2nd.
Thunderstorms associated with an upper level weather disturbance produced severe weather across the eastern half of Texas during the late afternoon and evening. Four people were injured at Waco, TX where thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 80 mph. Thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 97 mph at Cotulla, TX injuring two people. Golf ball size hail was reported at Whitney and northeast of Whitsett.
The Canadian Maritimes were in the midst of one of their worst blizzards ever. By the time the storm ended late on the 2nd, 2 to 3 feet of snow had fallen across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Moncton, New Brunswick was buried under 63 inches to set a new all-time single storm record. Winds frequently gusted from 70 to 90 mph. The storm actually backed in from the east and passed very close to Sable Island with a central pressure of 960 millibars or 28.35 inHg, far deeper than any computer model had forecasted. The backlash of the storm grazed down-east Maine and Cape Cod. Danforth, ME recorded 13 inches and Wellfleet, MA measured 7 inches.
Dickinson, ND reached 68° which set a new all-time record high temperature for the month of February. The previous record high for February was 66 set 2/27/1932.
New Mexico's coldest night on record occurred as the low dropped to -50° at Gavilan.
Bitterly cold Arctic air combined with north winds to produce record low temperatures and extreme wind chills across northeast South Dakota and west central Minnesota. Wind chills ranged from -50°to -70°below with actual temperatures ranging from -20°to -40°. Aberdeen had a record low of -36°. Then, as the north winds increased, the wind chills fell from -60°to -80°by late afternoon and during the night. Wind speeds decreased by the late morning of the second, allowing wind chills to rise to -40°to -60°. By late afternoon, the winds had decreased enough to keep wind chills from -20°to -40°.
The same bitterly cold air mass plunges the temperature below zero at Denver, CO for 35 consecutive hours from late on this date until sunrise on the 3rd.
A large scale storm system crossed the region bringing precipitation amounts of two to three inches to parts of western New York. The heavy rains on bare, saturated ground caused area creeks to rise with several exceeding flood stage.
As the intensifying storm moved across the Great Lakes and lifted northeast to the St. Lawrence Valley, very strong winds behind the low blasted the region with wind gusts exceeding 55 mph. Trees and power lines were downed by the strong winds. Hundreds of thousands were without power, some for several days. Fallen trees and limbs littered the area and closed roads. Numerous reports of damage to homes and automobiles were received from throughout the area. Driving bans and States of Emergency were declared in several counties. Numerous school districts were forced to close on the first and several remained closed through the beginning of the following week. In Monroe County, two injuries resulted from the high winds.
Residents across the Ohio Valley were dealing with the aftermath of the same system that brought an ice storm for several days across parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Totals were a half to one inch thinck downing trees and power lines. Around one million people were left without power across the three states.
High winds and heavy rain tore across Ireland leaving 25,000 homes without power and forcing motorists to abandon their cars due to flooding.
NEXRAD radars across Texas and Louisiana captured the tragic images of the debris field from the Space Shuttle Columbia which disintegrated as it re-entered the atmosphere over Texas. Debris fell over a huge area, possibly from California to the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the densest debris fall was reported in the town of Nacogdoches, in eastern Texas.
Extreme cold occurred on Ground Hog Day. It dropped to -28° at Hartford, CT and -18° near Philadelphia, PA.
35.73 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Beerwah, Queensland, Australia.
The naming of hurricane after women was always the center of controversy. In the Southern Hemisphere near Australia, tropical cyclones were once called Willy-Willies. An Australian Meteorologist, Clement Wragge is credited for giving girls names to tropical cyclones by the end of the 19th Century. On this date, Wragge's weather journal showed a Willy-Willy named "Eline".
A Pacific Mail Steamer struck a rock while attempting to enter the Golden Gate during heavy fog. 128 people drowned.
The lowest temperature recorded on the North American Continent occurred at Snag, Yukon Territory with a reading -81°.
A strong arctic cold front moved through the upper Plains and Midwest. Temperatures at Alma, WI fell from a high temperature of 41 to -12° by the end of the day. This 53 degree difference between the high and low temperature tied 3/22/1951 for Alma's greatest diurnal temperature change.
The brutal morning low of -35° at Greensburg, IN was Indiana’s coldest reading until 1994. South Bend, IN reported a daily record low of -17°.
South Florida was hit by the only tropical storm on record, known as the Groundhog Day Storm to hit the U.S. in February. The storm moved out of the Gulf of Mexico and across South Florida with 60 mph winds and 2 to 4 inches of rain. Miami Beach, FL reported a wind gust of 84 mph and Miami International Airport reported tropical storm force winds.
A massive black blizzard, a snowstorm combined with black dust and dirt churned from the earth by strong winds, struck the Southwest and Plains.
A record snowstorm in New Mexico and Texas began on this day. The storm dumped 15 inches of snow at Roswell, New Mexico and up to 33 inches in the Texas Panhandle.
Heavy icing from freezing rain accumulations through the 3rd occurred mainly across the eastern half of New York. Severe damage to power lines and telephone service occurred in the Watertown and Wessington Springs area. Ice coatings of up to 3 inches thick and having an estimated weight of 9 pounds per foot of wire formed around telephone and some power lines over a wide area of the eastern counties. A 300 foot tower high collapsed at Wessington Springs and in some areas utility wires were completely down for stretches of 2 to 3 miles. Some 170 long distance telephone circuits were knocked out in larger cities and 19 towns from Bonesteel south to Watertown on north were completely without telephone service for two to three days after the storm. Many highways were treacherous and numerous vehicles collided or slid off the road into the ditch. Many schools were also closed.
A quick moving but extremely intense coastal storm struck New England. Wind gusts exceeded 115 mph at Bear Island and Southwest Harbor, ME. Chatham, MA recorded a wind gust to 98 mph. Caribou, ME set a new all-time record low pressure of 957 millibars or 28.26 inHg and Boston, MA recorded their second lowest pressure ever at 965 millibars or 28.48 inHg. Tides 3 to 5 feet above normal caused extensive coastal flooding. Parts of Bangor, ME were under 12 feet of water as a storm surge funneled up the Penobscot River to the mouth of the Kenduskeag Stream which in turn inundated Bangor in a matter of 15 minutes. A 40 to 50 degree temperature drop followed a sharp cold front with blizzard conditions occurring over interior sections of New England for a few hours. 13 inches of snow fell at Danforth, ME.
Saint John, New Brunswick Canada and the area around the Bay of Fundy reported wind gusts to 118 mph and wave heights up to 39 feet with swells to 32.5 feet.
A windstorm in Chautauqua County in western New York produced gusts over 70 mph. It knocked out electric power to more than 1000 customers and flipped over two tractor trailer units parked along the Thruway.
A major snowstorm struck the Plains and upper Midwest. 15 inches of snow was reported at Concordia, KS while residents across the Midwest from parts of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin received amounts ranging from 6 to 12 inches.
Residents across parts of northern and central Florida dealt with a severe weather outbreak. Fourteen tornadoes and 14 severe thunderstorms were reported across the Florida Peninsula, killing three people and injuring 31 others. A tornado destroyed two homes in north Orlando and eight apartment units in southeast Orlando injuring nine people.
Up to 9 inches of sleet, freezing rain and snow paralyzed North Alabama. It was the worst winter storm since 1963 across Northwest Alabama. Travel was impossible north of Birmingham. Four people died.
Out west, Palm Springs, CA reported two inches of snow.
A fast moving arctic front brought snow and high winds to the north central U.S. Winds gusted to 69 mph at Brookings, SD. Big Falls, MN reported 9 inches of snow.
Record warmth was reported just ahead of the front. Burlington, IA reported a record high of 59°.
A dying subtropical storm system dropped four inches of rain across the mountains of San Diego County. More than four inches fell in Imperial Beach in 24 hours and 3.71 inches in 8 hours. 1.5 inches fell at Chula Vista, 1.25 inches fell at San Diego and less than an inch fell in other parts of San Diego County. Standing water was five feet deep at
some intersections. Some homes were flooded with three to six feet of water. 50 homes in Imperial Beach were flooded. 30 families were displaced by flooded homes. Power outages and road closures also resulted. Damage totaled half a million dollars.
Arctic air invaded the north central U.S. sending the mercury plunging to -38°at Park Rapids, MN.
On the East Coast, Raleigh, NC reported a record high of 75°.
Bitter cold air covered areas from the Yukon Territory in Canada south across much of the central U.S. Dawson, Yukon Territory reported the highest sea-level pressure ever recorded in Canada at 31.88 inHg. Butte, MT reported a wind chill reading of -91°, Salt Lake City, UT was blanketed with 11.9 inches of snow in 24 hours, and winds around Reno, NV gusted to 80 mph.
Unseasonably warm weather continued across the southeastern U.S. Many cities reported record high temperatures for the date, including Wilmington, NC with a reading of 80°.
Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front produced severe weather across the Lower Mississippi Valley during the late afternoon and evening hours. One person was injured in a tornado near Reidheimer, LA. Thunderstorms northeast of Brandon, MS produced hail 3 inches in diameter along with high winds which downed or snapped off 100 trees.
An Arctic outbreak that lasted from late January through early February produced nearly 400 hundred record lows, 15 all-time low readings and over 50 new record lows for the month of February. Four states recorded their all-time record low temperatures including Tower, MN on this date with a reading of -60°, cancelling Tower's annual Icebox Days festival because it is too cold. Locations that reported their all-time record low or tied included: Cresco, IA: -36°, Osage, IA: -34°, Charles City, IA tied their all-time record low with -32° and Lancaster, WI tied their all-time record low with -31°.
International Falls, MN and Glasgow, MT set records for the month of February with -45° and -38°, respectively. The temperature at Embarrass, MN plummeted to -53°. Rochester, MN dipped to -34° for its coldest temperature in 45 years. Green Bay, WI only reached -16° for the high temperature for the day, their coldest high temperature on record in February. The place to be this day was in Orlando, FL where it was a balmy 85°.
Meanwhile, farther to the east, heavy snow blanketed the Mid Atlantic region. 18 inches of snow fell at Rehoboth Beach, DE and 17 inches fell at Solomon Island, MD. Charleston, WV recorded 6.8 inches of snow for the day to bring their seasonal snowfall to 80.7 inches, the city's snowiest winter ever, and it was only early February. Up to two feet of snow fell across Middle Tennessee.
A powerful Pacific storm brought wind gusts of 90 mph to parts of central California as El Nino continued on the rampage. Heavy snows across the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California and heavy rains at the lower elevations were actually a welcome problem as the precipitation replenished water supplies.
Trees, power lines and roofs fell victim to wind gusts of more than 100 mph as a storm pushed into the Rockies from the Pacific Northwest. A wind gust to 119 mph was recorded at Wondervu, CO a small foothills community southwest of Boulder.
In Canada, Ottawa's Rideau Canal, renowned as the world's longest skating rink, finally opened, its latest opening date ever. For most of the winter the Canal had been a stretch of slush and puddles. It will be the shortest skating season ever lasting just 25 days.
Freezing rain began in New Brunswick, Canada causing thousands of power outages. Initial estimates indicated the storm cost New Brunswick Power between $3 and $6 million dollars in damage repair. A power company spokesman called the ice storm the worst in the utility's history, eclipsing the 1998 ice storm at New Brunswick.
In Africa, a tornado struck remote areas of the central Congo about 150 miles northeast of the capital of Kinshasa. The tornado killed more than 100 people, injured 1,700 others, more than 200 critically.
A 24-hour record rainfall event occurred across the State of Victoria in Australia. Many local records were set including Melbourne with 4.72 inches.
New Orleans, LA was struck by two tornadoes, collapsing at least one previously damaged house and battering the Louis Armstrong International Airport.
On this date through the 12th, a tremendous lake effect snow event was just starting across western New York. Some storm snowfall totals off Lake Erie: East Aurora: 42 inches; Orchard Park: 36 inches; Boston: 26 inches; Warsaw: 24 inches; Dunkirk: 18 inches; and West Seneca: 12 inches. Snowfall totals off Lake Ontario: Redfield: 141 inches; Parish: 121 inches; North Osceola and Mexico: 106 inches; Oswego: 84 inches; and Watertown: 26 inches.
The Governor of New York declared Oswego and Lewis counties Disaster Areas. President Bush declared a Federal Snow Emergency for these areas. The weight of the snow on buildings posed an added danger with several reports of collapsed buildings.
Hilo, HI was deluged by 10.82 inches of rain in 24 hours, breaking the previous record set in 1969 with just 3.5 inches.
A great snowstorm dropped 20 inches of snow over the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina.
Boston Harbor was so thick with ice on this date that a channel had to be cut through the ice for a ship to leave with 30,000 letters for England.
A severe cold snap gripped areas from the Plains to Florida. Downtown Miami, FL reported an all-time record low of 27°. A few locations tied or broke record lows for February including: Athens, GA: 3°, Gainesville, FL: 17° and Key West, FL: 44°-Tied. Locations that reported daily record lows included: Sioux Falls, SD: -35°, Asheville, NC: -5°, Huntington, WV: 1°-Tied, Atlanta, GA: 2°, Roanoke, VA: 2°, Knoxville, TN: 2°, Lynchburg, VA: 3°-Tied, Greenville-Spartanburg, SC: 5°, Richmond, VA: 6°, Greensboro, NC: 7°, Birmingham, AL: 7°, Charlotte, NC: 8°, Augusta, GA: 9°, Columbia, SC: 9°, Raleigh, NC: 9°, Norfolk, VA: 9°, Montgomery, AL: 10°, Wilmington, NC: 13°, Savannah, GA: 13°, Meridian, MS: 13°, Tallahassee, FL: 15°, Jacksonville, FL: 16°, Pensacola, FL: 17°, Gainesville, FL: 17°, Ocala, FL: 18°, Waco, TX: 18°, Mobile, AL: 19°, Tampa, FL: 26°, West Palm Beach, FL: 28° and Fort Myers, FL: 33°.
A tornado moved from Lake Worth to Palm Beach, FL killing one person and damaging 83 homes.
Boston, MA reported their longest stretch with low temperatures of 10° or lower at 12, from 1/23 to 2/3/1936.
Record cold gripped parts of Alaska. The temperature at Tanacross, AK plunged to a record low of -75°. Gulkana, AKset an all-time record low with -65°. McGrath and Fairbanks reported February record lows with -64°and -58°respectively. Locations that reported daily record lows included: King Salmon, AK: -32°, Homer, AK: -16°, Juneau, AK: -10°and Cold Bay, AK: -7°.
The temperature dropped to -81° at Snag, Northwest Territories Canada, North America's lowest recorded official temperature, capping a week of intense cold in the Yukon. A temperature of -96 degrees was recorded on 1/7/1982 near Summit Lake in British Columbia. While the recording was likely accurate it was not official.
The low temperature in Las Vegas was 27°. This marked the 32nd consecutive day with low temperatures at or below 32°, which is an all-time record.
On this date through the 5th, a large part of the Northeast and New England were reeling under their third great snowstorm of the winter. The Blizzard dumped 17.4 inches of snow on New York City, NY. Gale force winds blew the snow into 10 foot drifts that blocked city streets. Automobile travel was banned in New York City, NY for almost a week. Snowfall totals in other locations ranged from 10 to 24 inches in parts of Pennsylvania and 12 to 27 inches in parts of New Jersey. States of emergencies were declared. 73 people died as a result of the storm. Baltimore, MD set a record low with 4°.
Beginning January 20th, the daily low temperature at Albany, NY dropped to 0° or below for 15 consecutive days; a record for the location.
High pressure across the Great Basin brought record heat to parts of the West. February's record maximum temperature in the United States was set as Montezuma, AZ soared to 105°. Los Angeles (LAX), CA set their February record high with 92° and Big Bear Lake, CA hit 72°, tying their February record also set on 2/25/1986. Locations that reported daily record highs included: Yuma, AZ: 91°, Riverside, CA: 90°, Long Beach, CA: 90°, Palm Springs, CA: 90°, Downtown Los Angeles, CA: 88°, San Diego, CA: 85°-Tied, Santa Maria, CA: 84°, Palomar Mountain, CA: 73°, Eureka, CA: 72°, Reno, NV: 70°, Sacramento, CA: 68° and Stockton, CA: 68°.
Continuous strong northeast winds produced by a low pressure area east of the Florida coast generated high tides, rough surf and coastal flooding along entire northeast Florida
coast from Nassau to Brevard Counties. Beaches sustained considerable erosion damage and some beach properties and roads were undermined. Damage was greater than expected as beaches had not been repaired from damages inflicted by a smaller storm in December 1962. Property damage was confined to the beach areas as winds inland were not sufficiently strong to cause other than minor property damage.
The first ESSA polar orbiting weather satellite was launched.
On this day and on the 4th, tornadoes hit the San Diego, CA neighborhoods of Tierrasanta and Allied Gardens. Eight mobile homes were damaged as well as other property. Funnel clouds were observed at Brown Field.
A 5-day ice storm of freezing drizzle and fog through the 5th caused ice to accumulate 5 to 8 inches thick across central North Dakota. Many people were left without power. The ice in Wisconsin felled millions of trees.
Arctic air continued to invade the central U.S. The temperature at Midland, TX plunged from a record high of 80°to 37°in just 3 hours. Morning lows in the higher elevations of Wyoming were as cold as -38°. Heavy snow blanketed southwestern Colorado, with 16 inches reported at Steamboat Springs.
A winter storm brought heavy snow and high winds to the western U.S. Up to 3 feet of snow blanketed the Sierra Nevada of California, and buried parts of northeastern Washington State under 3 feet in five days. High winds across Washington State reached 75 mph, with gusts to 105 mph.
Severe cold gripped the north central U.S. Wisdom, MT fell to -53°. Missoula, MT reported a wind chill reading of -85°. Sheridan, WY set their February record low with -32°. Locations that reported daily record lows included: Helena, MT: -36°, Great Falls, MT: -35°, Casper, WY: -29°, Billings, MT: -26°(broke previous record by 12 degrees), Valentine, NE: -26°, Rapid City, SD: -23°, Missoula, MT: -22°, Denver, CO: -17°, Goodland, KS: -16°, Dodge City, KS: -13°, Topeka, KS: -8°, Wichita, KS: -7°-Tied, Clayton, NM: -6°, Amarillo, TX: -4°, Oklahoma City, OK: 0°, Tulsa, OK: 1° and Dallas, TX: 16°.
Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front produced severe weather over the central Gulf coast states during the afternoon and evening hours. Thunderstorms spawned 7 tornadoes in Alabama, including one that touched down north of Birmingham injuring 15 people and causing nearly $3 million dollars damage. A tornado at Margaret injured 11 people and caused a million dollars damage.
The eastern two-thirds of nation were in the icebox from late January through early February. Elkader tied Iowa’s all-time low at -47°. Elizabeth, IL dropped to -35° tying their states lowest temperature record; this record was broken in January 1999. Moline, IL dropped to -28° setting their all-time record low and besting their previous daily record by 11 degrees. Other locations reporting all-time record lows included: Preston, MN: -45°, Fayette, IA: -40°, Guttenberg, IA: -38°, Oelwein, IA: -32°, Platteville, WI: -32° and Lancaster, WI: -31°-Tied.
Des Moines, IA dipped to -26° to tie their February record low and broke their all time record for consecutive hours below 0° at 132. Other February record lows that were tied or broken included: Blair, WI: -45°, Decorah. IA: -41°, Necedah, WI: -41°, Sparta, WI: -41°, Trempealeau, WI: -41°, Hillsboro, WI: -40°, Genoa, WI: -38°, Viroqua, WI: -37°, Prairie du Chien, WI: -36°, Alma, WI: -35°, Lynxville, WI: -34°, Mauston, WI: -34°, Waterloo, IA: -31°-Tied, Madison, WI: -29°, Milwaukee, WI: -26°-Tied and Quincy, IL: -18°.
Locations that reported daily record lows included: La Crosse, WI: -35°, St. Cloud, MN -33°, Huron, SD: -31°, Marquette, MI: -31°, Houghton Lake, MI: -31° (broke previous record by 11 degrees), Casper, WY: -29°, Green Bay, WI: -28°, Ste. St. Marie, MI: -27°, Pueblo, CO: -26°, Rapid City, SD: -25°, Rockford, IL: -24°, Missoula, MT: -24°, Alpena, MI: -22°, Lincoln, NE: -22°, Norfolk, NE: -21°, Omaha. NE: -20°, Chicago, IL: -19°, Peoria, IL: -19°, Springfield, IL: -19°, Grand Island, NE: -19°, Goodland, KS: -19°, Colorado Springs, CO: -18°, Grand Rapids, MI: -17°, Muskegon, MI: -14°, South Bend, IN: -13°, Columbia, MO: -13°, Kansas City, MO: -12°, St. Louis, MO: -12°, Flint, MI: -11°, Topeka, KS: -9°, Cleveland, OH: -8°-Tied, Springfield, MO: -6°, Tulsa, OK: -5°, Oklahoma City, OK: 0°, Jackson, KY: 1°, Memphis, TN: 4°, Dallas (DFW), TX: 14°-Tied, Dallas, TX: 16°-Tied, Galveston, TX: 25°.
A winter storm dropped from 6 to 15 inches of snow across central and northeast South Dakota as well as west central Minnesota deepening the already expansive snowpack. The wind came up from the north at 20 to 30 mph during the morning of the 4th causing blowing and drifting snow blocking some roads and making travel hazardous if not impossible. Several vehicles got stuck or went off the road. Due to the heavy snowfall, a roof collapsed in Aberdeen damaging a car. Many schools started late or were canceled.
Centralia, WA set the states record for consecutive days of precipitation at 55 beginning on 11/10/1996.
Portions of the Thames River in England froze over for the first time since World War II.
A downslope windstorm occurred early in the morning along the western side of the Paradise Range, producing sustained winds estimated at 70 to 80 mph with gusts approaching 100 mph in Gabbs, NV. Several mobile homes were either overturned or blown off their moorings, numerous mature trees were completely uprooted, and there was widespread structural damage to small buildings around the mining facility. Most of the community was awakened from sleep by the storm as the strongest winds occurred during the overnight hours to sunrise. Residents reported they had never encountered wind of that intensity before, describing the experience as frightening.
Across parts of central California, numerous trees and power lines were downed, and many roofs were damaged in Kings, Tulare and Kern Counties. Peak wind gusts included 64 mph at Coarsegold, 61 mph at Tehachapi, 57 mph at Bakersfield and 55 mph at Hanford. Several areas along the west side of the Valley experienced flooding with a record flow of 14,500 cubic feet per second set on Los Banos Creek. Over 100,000 chickens died near Gustine when their farm was inundated with water. Bakersfield recorded their lowest barometric pressure ever, 29.24 inHg. Across southern California, heavy rain up to three inches caused flooding, mudslides and power outages. Strong storm winds gusted to 60 mph at Newport Harbor and 51 mph at San Clemente.
I-80 between Tooele and Grantsville, UT was closed in both directions after a massive chain reaction traffic accident involving eight semis and three other vehicles due to dense fog. Three people were killed in the fiery collision. The chain reaction wreck began when one truck crashed into another that had pulled off the highway because of the low visibility.
Lubbock, TX recorded their first measurable rain, 0.03 inches, in 98 days, ending their longest period on record without measurable precipitation.
The temperature plunged to record low of -56° at Point Lay, AK. Kodiak, AK reported a record low of -8°.
On this date through the 12th, a tremendous lake effect snow event was just starting across western New York. Some storm snowfall totals off Lake Erie: East Aurora: 42 inches; Orchard Park: 36 inches; Boston: 26 inches; Warsaw: 24 inches; Dunkirk: 18 inches; and West Seneca: 12 inches. Snowfall totals off Lake Ontario: Redfield: 141 inches; Parish: 121 inches; North Osceola and Mexico: 106 inches; Oswego: 84 inches; and Watertown: 26 inches.
The Governor of New York declared Oswego and Lewis counties Disaster Areas. President Bush declared a Federal Snow Emergency for these areas. The weight of the snow on buildings posed an added danger with several reports of collapsed buildings.
Further west, blizzard conditions prevailed across southwest Lower Michigan as an arctic blast of frigid air moving over Lake Michigan produced thundersnow and whiteout conditions. Grand Rapids sets a record for snowfall for any February day with 11.3 inches.
The sea-level pressure fell to 924 millibars or 27.28 inHg at Reykjavik, Iceland, the lowest observed pressure on land in the North Atlantic.
Snow and extreme cold occurred in Montreal, Quebec Canada as 16 inches of snow was followed by the temperature dropping to -6°.
Calgary, Alberta Canada's coldest day saw the temperature drop to -49°.
Heavy rains from this day through the 6th caused the San Diego River in California to run for the first time in six years. 4.23 inches fell in San Diego in 43 hours.
Plainview, TX recorded the states greatest 24-hour snowfall total with 25 inches.
The third great snowstorm of the winter season struck the northeastern U.S. Cortland, NY received 40 inches of snow, 24 inches at New York City, 23 inches at Newark, NJ, 19 inches at Worcester, MA and 14.4 inches at Boston, MA. Up to two feet fell across parts of eastern Massachusetts. A wind gust of 96 mph was recorded at the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, MA.
A great blizzard was in progress across the Texas Panhandle. This blizzard, which began on the 2nd and ended on the 5th, dumped 26 inches of snow at Borger, 23.8 inches at Miami, and 23.5 inches at Claude.
A heavy rain period that began on this day ended on the 10th in southern California. 4.30 inches of rain fell at San Diego. Strong wind gusts hit 64 mph at Palmdale.
Tasmania, Australia's hottest day on record saw the high at Hobart soar to 105.4°.
A Pacific air mass brought mild temperatures to parts of Alaska with a few locations reporting record highs for the date including: McGrath, AK: 42°, Barrow, AK: 36°, Kotzebue, AK: 35° and Bettles, AK: 34°.
Fort Myers and Vero Beach, FL also set record highs for the date with 87° and 85° respectively.
On this day through the 5th, a fast moving blizzard was racing across northeast, east central South Dakota and most of Iowa with bouts of heavy snow and high winds. Snow amounts were generally less than two inches with the storm. However, as the cold front tore across the area temperatures plunged by as much as 30 degrees in three hours and winds gusted to 70 mph. Another 2 to 3 inches fell before the event was over. Gusty winds struck quickly, plummeting visibilities to near zero in blowing snow and making travel very difficult in a matter of minutes with dangerous wind chills. Hundreds of travelers became stranded in the white-out conditions.
A winter storm produced heavy snow from the Upper Ohio Valley to New England, with up to 12 inches reported in Vermont and New Hampshire. Strong northerly winds in the Upper Midwest produced wind chill readings as cold as -60°.
Daytona Beach, FLset a record high of 84°.
Many cities in the south central and northwestern U.S. reported new record low temperatures for the date including: Great Falls, MT: -33°, Helena, MT: -33°, Duluth, MN: -29°, Denver, CO: -24°, Missoula, MT: -23°, Billings, MT: -22°, Rapid City, SD: -21°, Elko, NV: -19°, Colorado Springs, CO: -15°, Boise, ID: -14°, Pendleton, OR: -13°, Clayton, NM: -8°, Amarillo, TX: -5°, Reno, NV: 1°, Tulsa, OK: 2°, Salem, OR: 3°, Lubbock, TX: 3°, Wichita Falls, TX: 6°, Eugene, OR: 7°(broke previous record by 10 degrees), Abilene, TX: 7°, Seattle, WA: 7°, Midland-Odessa, TX: 8°, Roswell, NM: 9°, Olympia, WA: 10°, Dallas, TX: 11°, San Angelo, TX: 12°, Astoria, OR: 13°, Portland, OR: 14°, Medford, OR: 17°, Quillayute, WA: 19° and Redding, CA: 27°.
A winter storm continued in the southwestern U.S. Alta, UT reported 49 inches of snow over 4 days, Wolf Creek, CO reported 66 inches over 6 days, including 28 inches in 24 hours, and up to 84 inches buried the ski resorts of northern New Mexico over 3 days.
A mix of rain and snow occurred over the south end of the San Joaquin Valley in California, including 2 inches of snow at Edison. Meanwhile, gusty winds whipped the Owens Valley where gusts over 100 mph were recorded in Inyokern causing an estimated half a million dollars damage at the airport.
Vero Beach, FL set a record high with 87°.
A winter storm produced heavy snow in the northeastern U.S. Snowfall totals in Maine ranged up to 13 inches at Gorham, with 11 inches reported at Portland. Totals in New Hampshire ranged up to 14 inches at Franconia, with 13 inches reported at Portsmouth. A mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain caused numerous traffic accidents in eastern New York State resulting in three deaths and 14 injuries. Subzero cold also gripped parts of the northeastern U.S. Caribou and Houlton, ME reported morning lows of -15°.
A southwesterly flow ahead of a cold front brought record high temperatures to parts of the southeast including: Daytona Beach, FL: 87°, West Palm Beach, FL: 87°-Tied, Orlando, FL: 86°-Tied, Jacksonville, FL: 84°-Tied, Savannah, GA: 81°-Tied, Cape Hatteras, NC: 71° and Wallops Island, VA: 60°.
Many cities mainly from the Ohio Valley and Lakes to the East Coast reported new record high temperatures for the date during a 2-day heat wave including: Borrego Springs, CA: 86°, Tupelo, MS: 73°-Tied, Greensboro, NC: 73°-Tied, Richmond, VA: 72°, Baltimore, MD: 72°, Sterling (Dulles Airport), VA: 70°, Washington, D.C: 70°, Jackson, KY: 69°, Wallops Island, VA: 69°, Newark, NJ: 69° (broke previous record by 15 degrees), Philadelphia, PA: 69°, Atlantic City, NJ: 68° (broke previous record by 12 degrees), New York (Central Park), NY: 68° (broke previous record by 14 degrees), New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 68° (broke previous record by 16 degrees), New York (LaGuardia), NY: 68° (broke previous record by 16 degrees), Wilmington, DE: 67°, Providence, RI: 66° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), Islip, NY: 66°, Allentown, PA: 65° (broke previous record by 13 degrees), Harrisburg, PA: 65°, Hartford, CT: 64°, Boston, MA: 64°, Milton, MA: 63° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), Youngstown, OH: 62°, Akron, OH: 61°, Albany, NY: 61° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), Concord, NH: 61°, Worcester, MA: 61°, Syracuse, NY: 60°, Bridgeport, CT: 59°, Avoca, PA: 58°, Mansfield, OH: 58°-Tied, Rochester, NY: 58°-Tied, Williamsport, PA: 57°, Buffalo, NY: 57°-Tied, Flint, MI: 55°, Binghamton, NY: 55°, Alpena, MI: 53°, Marquette, MI: 53°, Burlington, VT: 52°, Portland, ME: 50°-Tied, St. Cloud, MN: 48°, Houghton Lake, MI: 46° and Ste. St. Marie, MI: 46°.
Parts of Hawaii enjoyed record low temperatures for the date including: Honolulu: 54° and Hilo: 57°-Tied.
A huge nor'easter pounded areas from the southern Mid-Atlantic to northern New England. It would be the only significant storm in the 94-95 winter season. Over 20 inches of snow buried parts of upstate New York. Wind chills dropped as cold as -40°.
Behind the storm, arctic air crossing the relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes produced intense lake effect squalls which meandered across the areas downwind of the lakes in western New York for nearly two weeks from the 4th through the 14th. Snowfall totals for the storm ranged from near two feet to seven feet. At one point during the storm east of Lake Ontario, snow was falling at the incredible rate of five inches an hour. The heavy snows combined with strong winds produced whiteouts and hazardous driving. Actual storm totals downwind of Lake Erie included: Erie County: West Seneca: 39 inches, Orchard Park: 36 inches, Cheektowaga: 36 inches, Colden: 32 inches and Buffalo Airport: 31 inches; Genesee County: Corfu: 38 inches; Chautauqua County: Sinclairville: 27 inches and Jamestown: 15 inches. Downwind of Lake Ontario, storm totals included: Oswego County: Palermo: 85 inches, Fulton: 60 inches, and Oswego: 46 inches; Lewis County: Montague: 66 inches, Highmarket: 48 inches, and Lowville: 36 inches; Cayuga County: Fairhaven: 36 inches, Wayne County: Wolcott: 22 inches and Jefferson County: Adams 47 inches.
High winds developed across the Foothills west of Denver, CO. A gust of 97 mph was reported on top of Squaw Mountain. Rollinsville reported a gust of 83 mph. Wind gusts of 50 to 70 mph were common.
Frigid temperatures continued over the northern U.S. and spread southward to the Gulf Coast. A cooperative observer near Couderay, WI reported a temperature of -55°, which set a new state record. Amasa, MI dropped to -51°, which tied the record low for Michigan. Tulsa, OK had a morning low of -11° for their lowest temperature in 66 years and broke their previous daily record low by 13 degrees. La Crosse, WI completed their longest stretch of subzero temperatures ever at 144 straight hours. The center of the frigid arctic high-pressure system moved over Louisiana. Baton Rouge recorded their all-time record high barometric pressure with a reading of 30.82 inHg, while the temperature remained below freezing continuously for 68 hours.
Jackson, KY set a February record low dropping to -8°, that broke previous daily record by 18 degrees.
Locations that reported daily record lows for the date included: St. Cloud, MN: -34°, Marquette, MI: -31°, La Crosse, WI: -31°, Duluth, MN: -29°-Tied, Waterloo, IA: -25°, Moline, IL: -24°, Green Bay, WI: -24°, Dubuque, IA: -23°, Rockford, IL: -19°, Muskegon, MI: -19°, Milwaukee, WI: -19°, Elkins, WV: -18°, Springfield, IL: -17°, Grand Rapids, MI: -17°, Pueblo, CO: -14°, Boise, ID: -14°, Chicago, IL: -14°, Indianapolis, IN: -12°, Cincinnati, OH: -11°, Lexington, KY: -10°, Cleveland, OH: -10°, Beckley, WV: -10°-Tied, Bristol, TN: -9°, Huntington, WV: -9°, Springfield, MO: -8°, Akron, OH: -8°, Oak Ridge, TN: -8° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), Wichita, KS: -7°, Louisville, KY: -7°, Mansfield, OH: -7°, St. Louis, MO: -7°-Tied, Charleston, WV: -5°, Binghamton, NY: -4°, Paducah, KY: -3°, Atlantic City, NJ: -3°, Oklahoma City, OK: -3°, Nashville, TN: -3°, Huntsville, AL: 1°, Chattanooga, TN: 3°, Wichita Falls, TX: 3°, Lynchburg, VA: 3°, Birmingham, AL: 4°, Wilmington, DE: 4°, Tupelo, MS: 4°, Memphis, TN: 4-Tied, Sterling (Dulles Airport), VA: 4°, Little Rock, AR: 5°, Bridgeport, CT: 5°-Tied, Abilene, TX: 6°, Atlanta, GA: 7°, San Angelo, TX: 7°, Greensboro, NC: 7°-Tied, Newark, NJ: 7°-Tied, Meridian, MS: 8°, Dallas (DFW), TX: 8°, Richmond, VA: 8°-Tied, New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 9°, Wallops Island, VA: 9°, Jackson, MS: 10°, Islip, NY: 10°, New York (LaGuardia), NY: 10°-Tied, Dallas, TX: 11°-Tied, Montgomery, AL: 12°, Waco, TX: 12°, Columbus, GA: 13°-Tied, Mobile, AL: 14°, Shreveport, LA: 14°, Baton Rouge, LA: 15°, Pensacola, FL: 17°, Wilmington, NC: 17°-Tied, Lake Charles, LA: 19°, Tallahassee, FL: 20°-Tied, Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX: 21°, Houston, TX: 22°-Tied and Galveston, TX: 26°.
Junction, TX set a record low for date of 9°. Not unusual, except for the fact they would set their record high on the 22nd with 98°.
High pressure across the Great Basin provided an off shore flow to most of the west bringing record high temperatures to parts of the region including: Santa Ana, CA: 93°, Riverside, CA: 90°, Escondido, CA: 89°, Long Beach, CA: 87°, Los Angeles (LAX), CA: 84°, Santa Maria, CA: 84°, San Diego, CA: 82°, Idyllwild, CA: 75°, San Francisco Airport, CA: 71°, Reno, CA: 69°, Sacramento, CA: 69°, Stockton, CA: 69° and Eugene, OR: 60°-Tied.
Between the 1st and the 4th, Jakarta, Indonesia suffered their worst flooding in decades. At least 67 people were killed and 330,000 were left homeless. Unfortunately, thousands more homes were inundated in other waves of flooding on February 14th and 22nd.
Condensation inside the tunnel underneath Britain and continental Europe caused electrical failure aboard several Eurostar trains. The condensation was caused by temperature differences between the relatively warm tunnel and cold air over France, where heavy snow had fallen.
The fantastically named northern Dutch town of Sexbierum was hit by a tornado which caused millions of dollars damage.
Pinson, ALrecorded their all-time record 24-hour rainfall total as 7.15 inches fell.
Kahului, HI tied their record low temperature record for the date with 54°.
On this date through the 5th, severe thunderstorms struck the Shiselweni and Lubombo regions of Swaziland, producing strong winds and hail that damage 500 homes and produce widespread power outages.
Bitterly cold weather and heavy snow left 37 people dead in central Afghanistan. The victims, included 20 children who died in remote areas of Ghazni province.
Today is National Weatherman/Meteorologist day commemorating the birth of John Jeffries in 1744. Jeffries, one of America's first weather observers, began taking daily weather observations in Boston, MA in 1774 and he took the first balloon observation in 1784. This is a day to recognize the men and women who collectively provide Americans with the best weather, water and climate forecasts and warning services of any nation.
Excited residents threw snowballs in San Francisco, CA after the city received its greatest ever snowstorm. Up to 7 inches fell in western parts of the city, 3.7 inches was officially recorded downtown.
Intensely cold temperatures of -5° were blamed for splitting a rail on a bridge over the White River in Hartford, CT causing a train derailment. 34 people died as rail cars plunged into the icy river.
The beginning of the Blizzard of 1899, dubbed the "Snow King" when a fast moving area of low pressure from Louisiana dumped between 5 and 6 inches of snow in the Washington, D.C. area along with strong winds.
An intense nor'easter dumped 17.5 inches of snow on New York City, NY. The storm was accompanied by extremely high tides from strong northeast winds and a full moon. Many structures along the shore on Coney Island, Manhattan Beach and Brighton Beach, NY were destroyed by the waves. Flamethrowers were used to clear the huge snow banks on city streets.
A storm at Gibraltar covered the summit of The Rock with hail coloring it white. Contemporary reports indicated that the top of the Rock of Gibraltar had not been white since at least 1874.
Surface high pressure across the southern Rockies and an upper level ridge brought spring-like temperatures from parts of the Midwest to the West Coast. Colorado Springs, CO set a February record high with 76°. This broke their previous record by 13 degrees.
Other locations that reported daily record highs for the date included: Palm Springs, CA: 92°, Yuma, AZ: 90°, Riverside, CA: 87°, Phoenix, AZ: 87°, Tucson, AZ: 85°, Long Beach, CA: 85°, San Diego, CA: 80°, Los Angeles (LAX), CA: 79°-Tied, Pueblo, CO: 77°, Dodge City, KS: 76°, Denver, CO: 76° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), Goodland, KS: 74°, Palomar Mountain, CA: 73°, Eureka, CA: 73°, Concordia, KS: 71°, Springfield, MO: 71°-Tied, Medford, OR: 70°, Valentine, NE: 68°, Stockton, CA: 68°, Flagstaff, AZ: 67°, Kansas City, MO: 67°-Tied, Big Bear Lake, CA: 65°, Billings, MT: 65°, Ely, NV: 64°, Pendleton, OR: 64°, Rapid City, SD: 63°, Casper, WY: 62° (broke previous record by 11 degrees), Cheyenne, WY: 62°, Boise, ID: 62°, Salt Lake City, UT: 62°-Tied, Lander, WY: 61°, Pocatello, ID: 61°, Sheridan, WY: 60°, Helena, MT: 60°-Tied, Huron, SD: 59°, Sioux Falls, SD: 59°, Alamosa, CO: 59°, Havre, MT: 57°, Bismarck, ND: 56°-Tied, Williston, ND: 55°, Aberdeen, SD: 54°, Spokane, WA: 53°, Fargo, ND: 51°, Kalispell, MT: 51°, Grand Forks, ND: 47° and International Falls, MN: 42°.
Madrid, Spainrecorded its coldest reading ever as the temperature fell to 5.4°.
Sacramento, CA had a rare accumulating snowfall where two inches fell.
Another winter blizzard plagued the northern half of South Dakota continuing through the 9th. The unusual aspect of this blizzard was that the wind came from the southeast between 25 to 45 mph. Only one to three inches of new snow accumulation fell during the five-day period but was piled high on the existing large snow drifts. Most of the northern half of the state was paralyzed due to blocked roads. 18 counties across the northern part of the state were declared a disaster by the governor. There were numerous livestock losses.
Lake Placid, NY was just a little over a week away from hosting the Winter Olympics and there was only 5 inches of snow on the ground.
This was the start of nine consecutive days of measurable precipitation in San Diego, which ended on the 13th. This ties a record with 2/26-3/6/1983 and 2/13 - 21/1980 for the most days with measurable precipitation.
Cold high pressure and a trough brought record low temperatures to parts of the west including: Flagstaff, AZ: -21°, Winnemucca, NV: -16°, Big Bear Lake, CA: -6°, Idyllwild, CA: 9°, Bishop, CA: 9°, Palomar Mountain, CA: 15°, Victorville, CA: 18°, Stockton, CA: 25°, Santa Maria, CA: 27°, Escondido, CA: 28°, Sacramento, CA: 28°, Borrego Springs, CA: 31° and Long Beach, CA: 36°-Tied.
A supercell thunderstorm tracked through the Tomball area northwest of Houston, TX and produced four tornadoes along with damaging microburst winds and up to tennis ball size hail. An F3 tornado killed two people, injured 80 others and devastated a mobile home park and the David Wayne Hooks Airport. 300 aircraft were either damaged or destroyed. Much of the larger hail was propelled by 60 to 80 mph winds, resulting in widespread moderate damage. Total damage from this storm was $80 million dollars.
Thunderstorms in the Southern Plains Region caused flooding in parts of south central Texas. Del Rio, TX was soaked with two inches of rain in two hours prior to sunrise.
Cold and snow invaded the southern U.S. Roswell, NM was buried under 16.5 inches of snow in 24 hours, an all-time record for that location. Parts of the central Gulf Coast Region reported their first significant snow in 15 years. 2 to 4 inches fell from eastern Baton Rouge Parish to St. Tammany and Washington Parish. This was the most snow in southern Louisiana since 1973. More snow would fall three days later across much of the same area.
Strong winds in Minnesota and the Dakotas produced wind chill readings as cold as -75°.
Severe cold gripped much of the nation thanks to a deep upper level trough. Many cities from the Rockies to the West Coast reported record cold. Astoria, OR set a February record low of 9°.
Locations that reported daily record low temperatures for the date included: Elko, NV: -27°, Ely, NV: -27°, Denver, CO: -24°, Burns, OR: -24°, Billings, MY: -19°, Boise, ID: -15°, Grand Junction, CO: -13°, Pendleton, OR: -12°, Reno, NV: -10°, Salt Lake City, UT: -8°, Salem, OR: -1°(broke previous record by 13 degrees), Olympia, WA: 2°(broke previous record by 11 degrees), Oklahoma City, OK: 3°, Eugene, OR: 4°(broke previous record by 19 degrees), Wichita Falls, TX: 7°, Medford, OR: 9°, Portland, OR: 9°(broke previous record by 15 degrees), Abilene, TX: 9°, Midland-Odessa, TX: 10°, Dallas, TX: 11°, San Angelo, TX: 14°, Seattle, WA: 14°, Redding, CA: 21°, Quillayute, WA: 21°-Tied, Austin (Bergstrom), TX: 22°, Sacramento, CA: 25°, Corpus Christi, TX: 28°, Bakersfield, CA: 28°-Tied, San Francisco Airport, CA: 31° and Downtown Los Angeles, CA: 38°-Tied.
In contrast, an upper level ridge brought record highs to a few locations in Alaska. St. Paul Island tied their record high for the date with 39°and Barrow set a new daily record high with 29°.
For the second time in two days, and the third time in a week, high winds plagued the northwestern U.S. Winds in Oregon gusted to 60 mph at Cape Disappointment, and gusts in Washington State reached 67 mph at Bellingham. The first in a series of cold fronts began to produce heavy snow in the mountains of Washington and Oregon. 10 inches of snow fell at Timberline, OR.
A series of many intense storms started on this day and ended on the 16th. The storms brought a total of more than 20 inches of precipitation to the mountains and 8 to more than 16 inches to lower elevations. Two people were killed in an avalanche at Mt. Baldy. Flash flooding, mudslides, and road closures also occurred.
It was the final day of the Arctic Outbreak across the East. The temperature at Greene, RI dropped to -25° to establish the state's all-time low temperature record. Across parts of Florida, this was the coldest outbreak since the "Christmas freeze" of 1989 which caused significant loss of winter fresh fruits and vegetables. Crop damage was estimated at $109 million dollars. Strong winds caused wind chill values in the teens, and disrupted electrical service to over 20,000 customers. Shelters were opened in several counties.
Lynchburg, VA dropped to -10° tying their all-time record low. Burkes Garden plunged to -22°, which is one of the coldest temperatures ever recorded in Virginia.
Locations that reported February record low temperatures included: Elkins, WV: -22°-Tied (broke previous daily record by 11 degrees), Bristol, TN: -15°, Oak Ridge, TN: -13°, Charleston, WV: -12°, Wallops Island, VA: 3° (broke previous record by 11 degrees), Columbus, GA: 10° (broke previous daily record by 11 degrees) and New Orleans, LA: 16°.
Locations that broke daily record lows included: Beckley, WV: -16°, Hartford, CT: -13°, Sterling (Dulles Airport), VA: -10° (broke previous record by 17 degrees), Atlantic City, NJ: -8°, Knoxville, TN: -8°, Allentown, PA: -6°, Huntington, WV: -6°, Jackson, KY: -5° (broke previous record by 11 degrees), Youngstown, OH: -3°, Richmond, VA: -2°, Baltimore, MD: -1°-Tied, Raleigh, NC: 0°, Islip, NY: 1°, Greensboro, NC: 1°-Tied, Roanoke, VA: -1°-Tied, Bridgeport, CT: 2°, Chattanooga, TN: 2° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), Newark, NJ: 3°, Huntsville, AL: 4°, Paducah, KY: 5°, Birmingham, AL: 6°, Tupelo, MS: 7°, New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 7°, Meridian, MS: 8°, Montgomery, AL: 10°, Macon, GA: 10°, Jackson, MS: 10°, Mobile, AL: 11°, Augusta, GA: 11°, Pensacola, FL: 15°, Baton Rouge, LA: 15°, Shreveport, LA: 15°, Tallahassee, FL: 16°, Charleston, SC: 16°, Lake Charles, LA: 17°, Gainesville, FL: 18°, Jacksonville, FL: 19°, Houston, TX: 23°, Tampa, FL: 25°, Daytona Beach, FL: 26°, Orlando, FL: 26°, Vero Beach, FL: 30°, West Palm Beach, FL: 33° and Key West, FL: 45°-Tied.
High winds pushed mountains of ice against the northern shore of Lake Erie crushing several houses and cottages at Colchester, Ontario Canada.
Louisville, KY was in the middle of a three day snowstorm where 22.4 inches of snow fell on the city, their greatest snowstorm ever. The same record was set at Cincinnati, OH where 18.3 inches fell.
A snowstorm hit parts of the Mid-Atlantic from Delaware, extreme eastern Maryland, Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Accumulations varied greatly from 1 to 3 inches south and east of Philadelphia to over 18 inches in parts of northwestern New Jersey.
Dense fog with visibility at zero led to two separate pile-ups on Highway 99 both near Selma in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The larger pile-up involved a total of 63 cars and trucks with 24 vehicles involved in the second pile-up. A total of three people died and over 30 were injured.
The afternoon high of 41°at the Mount Washington Observatory, NH broke a daily record and was just two degrees shy of their monthly record.
On this date through the 7th, a cold front swept across western New York and as the cold air deepened, lake effect snows developed. Off Lake Erie, the strong westerly winds reduced visibilities to half a mile at times and pushed the lake effect snows well inland into parts of Livingston and Ontario counties. Specific snow amounts totaled during the 60-hour storm included: off Lake Erie: Warsaw: 26 inches, South Dayton: 24 inches, Perrysburg: 23 inches, Chaffee: 18 inches, Angelica: 12 inches and 10 inches at Friendship. Off Lake Ontario snow totals reported: Hooker: 33 inches, North Osceola: 16 inches, Lowville: 15 inches, Highmarket: 10 inches and 6 inches at West Monroe.
High winds developed briefly along the Foothills extending from Golden to near Boulder, CO. Peak wind gusts included: 92 mph at the National Wind Technology Center on Rocky Flats, 84 mph at Golden and 43 mph at Denver International Airport..
Winnipeg Manitoba Canada's temperature plummeted to -44°, the city's coldest day in 31 years. Wind chill values drop below -50°.
Godthab, Greenland's temperature soared to 45°.
On this date lasting into the early morning hours of the next day, an outbreak of 87 tornadoes occurred across 9 states in the mid-south, causing 58 fatalities. This was the deadliest U.S. tornado outbreak since 1985 and the second deadliest since 1950. The parent storms were sparked by a potent upper-level trough. Some of the worst damage was near Nashville and Memphis and in star-crossed Jackson, TN, which endured its third major tornado strike following hits in 1999 and 2003. Students at Union University dove for cover as dormitories were heavily damaged, but nobody died on campus. The longest tornado tracked for 123 miles across north-central Arkansas. Five violent tornadoes ranked as EF4 on the enhanced Fujita scale occurred during this event. This event has become known as Super Tuesday and the worst storm affecting the Jackson, MS service area produced several weak tornadoes across extreme southeast Arkansas and northwest Mississippi, but it also produced hail between baseball and softball size which damaged many vehicles.
A period of mild temperatures and rain on top of a melting snowpack led to widespread dense fog during the morning, closing numerous schools and causing many traffic accidents across east-central Illinois. One person in Vermilion County was killed in an accident. In the afternoon, thunderstorms formed along a warm front caused some severe weather south of I-70, with winds gusting from 60 to 70 mph. Flash flooding was reported on both sides of the front, due to the heavy rain and rapidly melting snow.
It was the famous "Cold Friday" across the Midwest and South. The temperature did not rise above 0°in Ohio and Kentucky.
Plum trees blossomed in South Carolina six weeks early as the south was enjoying one of their warmest winters on record. Weather patterns would change however by late March. An inch of ice would form on the St. John's River. The Six-Mile Creek in northern Florida recorded a temperature of 26°
A snowstorm dumped 6 inches at Williamsburg, VA and as much as 20 inches at Virginia Beach, VA. Over a foot of snow fell at Norfolk, VA.
A rare February lake effect snowfall buried the Oswego area in New York under six feet of snow.
On this date through the 8th, a severe blizzard buried parts of Nova Scotia Canada under 15.7 inches of snow. Rail traffic was disrupted as only trains with snowplows attached were able to push through.
The temperature fell to -90° at Oimaykon, Russia, the coldest temperature ever in Asia.
2.71 inches of rain fell at San Diego, CA, their third wettest calendar day and the wettest February day on record. 2.90 inches of rain fell, ending on the 7th, their greatest 24-hour amount for February on record. 2.60 inches fell in 12 hours. For the storm, 8.20 inches fell at Descanso, 5.70 inches at Escondido. 4.25 inches fell at Long Beach, a 24 hour record. Flooding killed many people. The Los Angeles Basin flooded in many communities. Hodges Dam overtopped. Mountain snowmelt added to the flooding.
Blizzard conditions occurred in parts of New England. 22.5 inches of snow fell at Warwick, NY.
Boston, MA recorded 27 inches of snow in the greatest snowstorm in New England's modern history. Traffic was at a standstill for five days. Motorists had to abandon their cars and take shelter with private citizens and in churches. The Boston Globe went undelivered for the first time in 106 years.
The "Great Blizzard of '78" buried cities across the northeastern U.S.Storm totals included: 30 inches at Tobyhanna, PA 18 inches at New York City, NY, 16 inches at Philadelphia, PA, 14 inches at Baltimore, MD and 25-30 inches around Boston, MA. The official reading of 27.1 inches at Boston, MA set their all-time single snowfall record and 23.6 inches in 24 hours set their 24-hour record. Some locations in northern Rhode Island recorded 38 to 50 inches of snow. The snow was accompanied by blizzard conditions with winds gusting to 40 to 50 mph, reducing visibility to near zero and causing drifts as high as 15-20 feet high. Thousands of cars were stranded on area interstates and eventually covered to their windshields in snow. All travel was banned for a week. Huge waves pounded the coastline. A 14-foot tide battered Portland, ME, the highest on record in the city. The intense low pressure of 984 millibars (29.06 inHg) was up against a huge 1052 millibar (31.07 inHg) high pressure system causing very high winds that gusted as high as 92 mph at Chatham, MA. The storm killed 99 people and caused over $600 million in damage, $500 million in Massachusetts alone.
Behind the storm some locations from the Midwest to the Tennessee Valley reported record low temperatures for the date including: Waterloo, IA: -17°, Des Moines, IA: -12°, South Bend, IN: -11°, Springfield, IL: -10°, St. Louis, MO: -8°, Springfield, MO: -1°, Paducah, KY: 1°, Bristol, TN: 7°-Tied, Memphis, TN: 14°, Jackson, MS: 19° and Mobile, AL: 25°.
Low pressure dumped heavy snow over eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. The storm moved out the next day and left 12.4 inches of snow at Norfolk, VA, their biggest snowstorm since December 1892. Elizabeth City, NC was buried under 20 inches.
A deep upper level trough combined with arctic high pressure across the central Plains brought record low temperatures from the Midwest to the southern Plains including: St. Cloud, MN: -33°, Alamosa, CO: -25°, La Crosse, WI: -22°, Topeka, KS: -21°, Wichita, KS: -21° (broke previous record by 13 degrees), Rockford, IL: -20°, Waterloo, IA: -19°, Kansas City, MO: -19°, Dubuque, IA: -18°, Marquette, MI: -18°, Sioux City, IA: -17°, Pocatello, ID: -16°, Moline, IL: -16°, Springfield, IL: -16°, Peoria, IL: -15°, Chicago, IL: -14°, Milwaukee, WI: -14°, Des Moines, IA: -13°, Dodge City, KS: -10°, Columbia, MO: -7°, Burns, OR: -6°, Toledo, OH: -6°, Evansville, IN: -4°, Tulsa, OK: 5°, Wichita Falls, TX: 10°, Midland-Odessa, TX: 11°, Abilene, TX: 12°, San Angelo, TX: 13°, Dallas (DFW), TX: 14°, Dallas (Love Field), TX: 14°-Tied, Las Vegas, NV: 19°, Austin (Bergstrom), TX: 21°, San Antonio, TX: 21°, Del Rio, TX: 24°, Corpus Christi, TX: 28° and Houston, TX: 28°.
Record warmth occurred across parts of the upper Midwest and Plains while Santa Ana winds hit San Diego County, California in to the next day. Gusts up to 75 mph were recorded at Cuyamaca and the Palomar Mountain areas. Wind gusts to 60 mph hit Brown Field and Warner Springs, 40 mph at Julian and Valley Center. 35 mph gusts hit San Diego. A plane flipped over at Brown Field. Winds forced a sailboat into the rocks at Pt. Loma. I-8 was closed for two hours in eastern San Diego County. Trees, power lines and fences were downed, causing damage and power outages.
Locations from the upper Midwest to the West Coast that reported record highs for the date included: Downtown Los Angeles, CA: 86°, Los Angeles (LAX), CA: 84°, Long Beach, CA: 84°, Santa Maria, CA: 83°, Redding, CA: 76°, Stockton, CA: 70°-Tied, Eureka, CA: 69°, San Francisco, CA: 66°, Havre, MT: 63°, Quillayute, WA: 62°, Pierre, SD: 62°, Huron, SD: 61°, Kennebec, SD: 61°, Lewiston, ID: 60°-Tied, Aberdeen, SD: 58°, Timber Lake, SD: 58°, Wheaton, SD: 58°, Sisseton, SD: 57°, Mobridge, SD: 56°, Sioux Falls, SD: 55°, Watertown, SD: 53°, St. Cloud, MN: 50° and Rochester, MN: 43°.
Brownsville, TX was deluged with 7 inches of rain in just 2 hours. Flooding in some parts of the city was worse than that caused by Hurricane Beulah in 1967.
Squalls in the Great Lakes Region produced a foot of snow at Arcade, NY in just three hours.
Arctic cold invaded the south central and eastern U.S. Many cities reported new record low temperatures for the date including: Portland, ME: -13°, Hartford, CT: -5°-Tied, Lexington, KY: 0°, Jackson, KY: 2°, Louisville, KY: 3°-Tied, Nashville, TN: 5°, Oak Ridge, TN: 8°-Tied, Huntsville, AL: 10°, Chattanooga, TN: 10°, Memphis, TN: 11°, Birmingham, AL: 15°, Meridian, MS: 17°, Jackson, MS: 18°, Shreveport, LA: 20°-Tied and Redding, CA: 29°.
Much of the western half of the country was in the midst of one of the most severe arctic outbreaks of the century. Temperatures in the Yukon of western Canada were comparable to those prior to the arctic blasts of December 1983, and winds above 100 mph ushered the bitterly cold air into western Montana. Many cities in the western U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Lows of -33° at Richfield, UT and -30° at Ely, Nevada and were all-time records for those locations. Locations that reported February records included: Lodgepole, CA: -12°, Palomar Mountain, CA: 12° and Stockton, CA: 22°-Tied. Locations that reported daily record lows included: Elko, NV: -29°, Burns, OR: -25° (broke previous record by 19 degrees), Alamosa, CO: -25°-Tied, Pueblo, CO: -23°, Pocatello, ID: -21°, Casper, WY: -20°, Grand Junction, CO: -18°, Winnemucca, NV: -17°-Tied, Reno, NV: -15°, Salt Lake City, UT: -14°, Boise, ID: -11°, Denver, CO: -11°, Big Bear Lake, CA: -3°, Winslow, AZ: -3°, Olympia, WA: 5°, Albuquerque, NM: 5°-Tied, Bishop, CA: 7°, Eugene, OR: 8°(broke previous record by 11 degrees), Abilene, TX: 9°, Midland-Odessa, TX: 9°, Idyllwild, CA: 10°, Wichita Falls, TX: 10°-Tied, Medford, OR: 12°, San Angelo, TX: 12°, Portland, OR: 15°, Victorville, CA: 19°, Quillayute, WA: 19°, Las Vegas, NV: :19°-Tied, Astoria, OR: 21°, San Antonio, TX: 21°-Tied, Del Rio, TX: 22°, Sacramento, CA: 24°, Santa Maria, CA: 24°, Houston, TX: 24°, Victoria, TX: 24°, Redding, CA: 26°, Corpus Christi, TX: 26°, Eureka, CA: 27°, Borrego Springs, CA: 27°, Bakersfield, CA: 27°-Tied, Galveston, TX: 30°-Tied, San Francisco Airport, CA: 31°, Downtown Los Angeles, CA: 34°and Los Angeles (LAX), CA: 35°.
Logan Canyon, UT was the cold spot in the nation, with a reading of -54° and Craig, CO reported a low of -51°.
A second cold front brought more heavy snow to the high elevations of Oregon, with 12 inches reported at Sunset Summit. Crater Lake and Mount Bachelor were blanketed with 10 inches of snow. Heavy snow also blanketed northeastern Nevada and parts of Washington State. In Nevada, up to a foot of snow was reported between Spring Creek and Lamoille. Stevens Pass, WA received 14 inches of snow in 24 hours.
A freak snowstorm dumped up to 20 inches of snow on parts of Kentucky between the evening of the 3rd and the morning of the 6th. At Louisville, KY, the snowfall total from the storm stood at 22.4 inches, enough to establish a new record for the greatest snowstorm ever in the city's history. Deep snow covered parts of Central and Eastern Kentucky as well as Southern Ohio.
El Niño kicked into gear. Heavy rain that started on this day and ended on the 9th brought up to three inches of rainfall to Southern California. Catastrophic and widespread flooding resulted, especially in Newport Beach and Irvine. Lots of property damage occurred in southern Orange County. Evacuations and swift water rescues were needed. Landslides, mud slides, and sinkholes occurred. Roads, bridges, and railroads were damaged. A wind gust of 96 mph was clocked at the California Highway Patrol station at the base of the Grapevine, 25 miles southwest of Bakersfield.
Over a week of heavy snow started on this day and ended on the 14th across parts of southern California. The snowfall was called “most in a decade.” Five feet fell at Blue Jay and Mountain High, two feet at Snow Summit, and five to 12 inches at Apple Valley. Mountain High reported 12 inches of new snow on this day. The roof of an ice rink caved in at Blue Jay.
A winter storm dropped 12 to 24 inches of snow across New Brunswick, Canada. Charlo received 19.3 inches and Bathurst recorded 17.7 inches of snow.
An avalanche buried 20 cars under snow near the Salang tunnel which leads through some of Afghanistan's highest mountains.
A tornado tore through villages in a remote region of the Congo in Africa, killing 164 people and injuring 1,700 others.
An area of low pressure moved into central Illinois during the morning, continuing northeast into Indiana later that day. North of the low, bands of snow already started to affect the area on the afternoon the previous day, but increased in intensity during the early morning hours on this date. Thunder snow was reported from eastern Iowa into southern Wisconsin during the early morning, leading to 2 inch per hour snow accumulations rates. Some snow totals from this event include: Sinsinawa, WI: 18 inches, Hazel Green, WI: 14 inches, Cuba City, WI: 13 inches, Platteville, WI: 10.5 inches, Guttenberg, IA: 10 inches, Lancaster, WI: 8.7 inches, Elkader, IA: 8.4 inches, Strawberry Point, IA: 7.8 inches and Muscoda, WI: 7.5 inches.
Near blizzard conditions occur across part of Lower Michigan with snowfall rates of one to two inches per hour. A wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain occurred from Kalamazoo to Jackson, MI. The storm dropped more than 8 inches of snow at Grand Rapids, contributing to their snowiest February on record.
The Hard Shock of the New Madrid Earthquake series struck the area around the small town of New Madrid, MO. A 3-mile long island, Island # 32 completely sank. The Mississippi River once again ran backwards. This major shock marked the beginning of the end of New Madrid's long ordeal, even though aftershocks would continue to be felt for years and the fault is still active.
On this date through the morning of the 10th, the earliest well-documented severe freeze occurred across northern Florida. Tallahassee dropped to 4° and Jacksonville & Pensacola fell to 8°. The edges of the St. Johns River froze and ice was reported in Pensacola Bay. The temperature was below freezing for over two days at St. Augustine. All citrus was killed.
The temperature at Gouverneur, NY bottomed out at -40°, a drop of 70 degrees in one day. Two days later the mercury hit 55°. Hanover, NH plunged from 37° at 1pm to -32° at 7am the next morning, and West Cummington, MA plummeted 80 degrees to -32°. Boston, MA plunged from 46° to -14°, and on the 11th was back up to 60°.
Verkhoyansk, Russia recorded Asia’s coldest reading as their temperature plummeted to -90°.
A third area of low pressure moved in to Washington, D.C. and dumped an additional 5 inches of snow bringing the snow cover to around a foot.
The arctic outbreak spread south of Canada dropping temperatures to the upper 50s to low 60s below zero across parts of Minnesota and Montana
A tornado touched down in the southern tip of Illinois, hitting the towns of Meridian and Villa Ridge, north of Cairo. Parts of some barns were carried over a mile. Another tornado causing F2 damage in Clinton County picked up a two-story home, turned it around, and returned it to the ground. Oak trees with trunks 20 inches in diameter were "twisted into splinters".
A 4-day ice, sleet and snowstorm over New England and southeastern New York came to an end after dumping as much as 15 to 20 inches of frozen precipitation.
A 112 foot rogue wave was survived by the USS Ramapo in the Pacific Ocean. It is thought to be the highest wave ever observed and survived. It was caused by 70 mph winds over a large fetch.
A deep freeze made it possible to drive from Bay Shore to Fire Island, NY.
A low pressure system formed to the east of Florida on the previous morning and moved to a position about 60 miles east of Cape Hatteras, NC. The first flakes of snow fell across the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. just after midnight and by late morning over a foot of snow had fallen. The total accumulation in Washington was 14.4 inches with a liquid content of 1.01 inches. This was their greatest snowstorm over the previous 14 years. Norfolk, VA recorded 9 inches of snow, the city's heavy snowfall over the previous 40 years. Over 14 inches of snow fell in the Northern Virginia with greater amounts in the Skyline Drive area. The heavy snow set the stage for the great spring flood in March when warm temperatures brought a sudden thaw to the snow pack. Following the snow, Richmond's temperature fell to a record low for the month reaching -10°.
Medicine Hat, Alberta Canada set their February record for the greatest one-day precipitation with a total of 1.1 inches.
A strong low pressure system created near blizzard conditions across the Mid-Atlantic States. The brief, but intense storm produced 10 to 12 inches of snow across Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. Light snow broke out during the previous evening. The snow remained light to moderate through the night, and then became heavy around daybreak. Snow accumulated at 1 to 2 inches an hour during the morning hours and quickly ended around noon. The storm dumped 10.3 inches of snow an it National Airport and 11.7 inches at Dulles Airport in Sterling, VA. Generally, 10 to 12 inches of snow fell throughout the area.
Devastating brushfires swept the bush country of southern Tasmania, Australia. Weather conditions contributed to the disaster, with very low humidity levels, temperatures near 100° and very strong northwesterly winds. It was the worst loss of life and property in any day of fires on the Australian continent at that time. 62 people died
Severe squall lines ahead of a strong cold front ripped through Florida causing heavy rain of 3 to 5 inches, several tornadoes, many reports of hail and funnel clouds, and wind gusts of 50 to 65 mph. Hardest hit was the community of Gulf Breeze in Escambia County where a predawn waterspout came ashore as a tornado, destroying an apartment complex and injuring 112 people. Two more people were injured when severe thunderstorm winds and golf ball size hail hit near Chipley in Washington County. Overall, two people were killed.
Rangiora and Jordan, New Zealandrecorded their country’s highest temperature as they rose to 108°.
The worst winter storm on record struck coastal New England. The storm produced 27.5 inches of snow at Boston, MA, and nearly 50 inches across northeastern Rhode Island. The 14 foot tide at Portland, ME was probably the highest of the century. Winds gusted to 92 mph at Chatham, MA and 79 mph at Boston, MA. Storm surge & flooding caused 75 deaths and $500 million dollars damage. Boston, MA reported a snow depth of 29 inches, their greatest for February.
Strong winds gusted as high as 99 mph at Boulder, CO. The winds caused ground blizzards that closed several highways around Boulder. Some cars were forced off the road and a truck was overturned. Wind gusts of 50 to 80 mph were common in and near the Foothills.
6.5 inches of snow fell during the day at Oklahoma City, OK. This set a record for their greatest calendar day snowfall total during the month of February.
Low pressure in Manitoba, Canada, pulled warm air up from the Gulf of Mexico and many cities from the Rockies to the Midwest reported record high temperatures for the date including: Goodland, KS: 74°, North Platte, NE: 73°, Rapid City, SD: 73°, Dodge City, KS: 72°, Lincoln, NE: 71°, Norfolk, NE: 71° (broke previous record by 14 degrees), Denver, CO: 71°, Omaha, NE: 70° (broke previous record by 11 degrees), Kennebec, SD: 70°, Scottsbluff, NE: 70°, Valentine, NE: 70°, Grand Island, NE: 69°, Sioux City, IA: 69°, Concordia, KS: 68°, Pierre, SD: 67°, Huron, SD: 66°, Sioux Falls, SD: 65°, Cheyenne, WY: 64°, Des Moines, IA: 63°, Aberdeen, SD: 62°, Sisseton, SD: 61°, Watertown, SD: 59°, Wheaton, SD: 58°, Moline, IL: 55°-Tied, Minneapolis, MN: 53°, Rochester, MN: 52°, St. Cloud, MN: 52°, Waterloo, IA: 52°, Dubuque, IA: 50°, Madison, WI: 50°, Milwaukee, WI: 50°, Rockford, IL: 49° and Green Bay, WI: 44°.
The second significant snow in three days fell across parts of the southern Louisiana. Up to 4 inches fell south of Morgan City and 3 inches at Cameron.
Many cities from the Deep South, Ohio Valley to the eastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date, including: Binghamton, NY: -5°-Tied, Cleveland, OH: -3°, Youngstown, OH: -3°, Pittsburgh, PA: -3°, Asheville, NC: 5°, Atlantic City, NJ: 5°, Lynchburg, VA: 6°, Jackson, KY: 8°, Sterling (Dulles Airport), VA: 8°-Tied, Chattanooga, TN: 9°, Islip, NY: 10°, Greenville-Spartanburg, SC: 11°, New York (LaGuardia), NY: 11°-Tied, Birmingham, AL: 12°, Huntsville, AL: 12°, Jackson, MS: 12°, Tupelo, MS: 12°, Meridian, MS: 13°, Wallops Island, VA: 13°, Columbia, SC: 15°-Tied, Macon, GA: 16°, Columbus, GA: 17°, New Orleans, LA: 25°, Jacksonville, FL: 25° and Lake Charles, LA: 26°.
A cold upper level low brought unusual snow from the beaches in Los Angeles, CA to the desert in Palm Springs, CA not ending until the 9th. 15 inches fell in the mountains and 3 inches fell at Palmdale. Major road closures and numerous traffic accidents resulted.
Many cities in the western U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Locations that reported record low temperatures for February included: Reno, NV: -16°(broke previous daily record by 14 degrees), Las Vegas, NV: 16°, Stockton, CA: 22°-Tied, Sacramento, CA: 23° and Fresno, CA: 24°-Tied.
Locations that reported daily record lows included: Alamosa, CO: -30°, Ely, NV: -29°(broke previous record by 15 degrees), Elko, NV: -27°, Burns, OR: -22°(broke previous record by 20 degrees), Winnemucca, NV: -21°, Pocatello, ID: -19°, Boise, ID: -13°, Salt Lake City, UT: -10°, Big Bear Lake, CA: -1°, Yakima, WA: -1°, Winslow, AZ: 5°, Olympia, WA: 7°(broke previous record by 11 degrees), Eugene, OR: 7°, Salem, OR: 8°, Palomar Mountain, CA: 13°, Quillayute, WA: 17°, Victorville, CA: 19°, Astoria, OR: 22°-Tied, Bakersfield, CA: 26°, Redding, CA: 27°, Eureka, CA: 28°, Riverside, CA: 29°, Borrego Springs, CA: 31° and San Francisco Airport, CA: 32°.
A slow moving cold front spread heavy snow across the state of Utah. Storm totals ranged up to 31 inches at Alta, with 24 inches at Brighton and 23 inches at Snowbird. Bitter cold weather prevailed across Alaska for the 13th day in a row, with record morning lows: McGrath, AK: -52°, Kotzebue, AK: -42° and Anchorage, AK: -23°.
Dense fog resulted in a 74 vehicle pile-up on Highway 99 in Fresno County, California resulting in three deaths and 31 injuries. In another area of Fresno County, a truck drove onto railroad tracks and was struck by a train, resulting in one death.
France faced its coldest 48 hours in recent memory as the temperature dropped to 10° in Paris the following morning.
Snow falling over the area produced heavy accumulations from central into northeast South Dakota with 11 inches at Kennebec and 8 inches at Watertown through the 9th. Extreme cold accompanied and followed the snow with low temperatures of -52°at Promise and -45°at Aberdeen on the 9th. Snow accumulation caused a roof to cave in on a drugstore at Bristol. A man died of exposure attempting to walk home near Sioux Falls after his car became stuck in a ditch.
A strong storm brought heavy rain to the mountains north of Los Angeles, CA. Mudslides occurred in the Old Topanga area, which burned the previous fall. A tornado touched down from Newport Beach to Tustin, causing roof and window damage and blowing trees down.
Strong Chinook winds developed across the Colorado Foothills. Peak wind gusts included: National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab near Boulder: 90 mph, Wondervu in the Foothills southwest of Boulder: 88 mph and 48 mph at Denver International Airport.
Oregon experienced their worst windstorm since the Great Columbus Day Blow of 1962 as developing low pressure moved into the southwestern part of the state. Winds gusted to 88 mph at Bandon, OR.
A 38 vehicle pile-up occurred on Highway 99 near Earlimart, CA shortly after sunrise due to dense fog, killing one person and injuring six others.
A severe cold wave gripped the southeastern U.S. The mercury dipped to 8°Fat Jacksonville, FL, and to 0° at Charleston, SC & Savannah, GA. Orange trees were killed to the roots.
On this date through the 9th, a severe freeze hit parts of Florida. Some record low temperatures included: Tallahassee: 11°, Ocala: 16° and 19° at Orlando. This freeze followed the December 1894 freeze and due to intervening mild weather citrus trees were greatly damaged.
The maximum temperature climbed to only -39° in Roseau, Minnesota, the second-coldest maximum temperature ever recorded in the lower 48 states. (The coldest maximum temperature ever recorded in the lower 48 was -44° in Glasgow, Montana, on 1/12/1916).
Soon after the third storm had passed record cold moved in to Washington, D.C. from Canada and by the 11th Washington set their all time record low temperature of -15°.
This marked the coldest day on record for Sioux City. On this day, the average temperature for Sioux City was only -24°. The low for this day was a frigid -27°, and the high was just -22°. Incidentally, these two temperatures hold the record low, and the record low-high for this date that stand to this day. Grand Meadow, MN set their all-time record February record low with -34°.
Takada, Japan, the snowiest place in Asia, reported 58.6 inches of snowfall this day.
Texas recorded their coldest temperature ever as Seminole dropped to -23°.
Cheyenne, WY recorded their coldest temperature in February with a low of -34°while Denver, CO tied their coldest February reading when the thermometer dropped to -30°.
The first 8 days of the month saw Vega, TX receive 61 inches of snow from one storm which still stands as the state record for snowfall from a single storm.
Three inches of ice fell on Mt. Haleakala. What is so unusual about this ice storm is that this mountain is located in Hawaii.
3.6 inches of snow fell at Savannah, GA, the biggest snowfall for the city in 100 years.
Heavy rain that began on this day ended on the 10th across parts of southern California. 16.4 inches fell at Lytle Creek, 13.64 inches at Lake Arrowhead, 11.97 inches in Wrightwood, 11.15 inches in Devore, 10.4 inches at Santiago Peak, 8.5 inches in Crestline, 5 inches in Ontario, 4.79 inches in Big Bear Lake, and 3.83 inches in Santa Ana. 20 people were killed. Widespread flooding, flash flooding, and mud slides resulted, and numerous homes washed away.
On this date through the 18th,the temperature dropped to -40° and winds in excess of 60 mph caused blowing and drifting snow at Iqaluit, Northwest Territories Canada, as blizzard conditions forced residents to stay indoors for 10 days.
Bakersfield, CAreceived measurable precipitation on 11 consecutive days, starting on this date. This is the longest such streak on record there.
Blue Canyon, CA set a 24-hour February snowfall record with 40 inches ending on this date. Blue Canyon is the 2nd snowiest place in the lower 48 with an average of 241 inches of snow each year. Mt. Washington, NH averages 256 inches per year.
Central Florida endured a severe weather outbreak that spawned many tornadoes. A tornado near Bartow, Polk County, severely damaged 14 homes and caused minor damage to six others. A tornado overturned a mobile home in Hudson, Pasco County, and another tornado occurring from Volusia to Pierson in Volusia County damaged a campground, then moved on to damage fern-growing sheds and cause injury to a man when a branch fell on his mobile home. In Bradenton, Manatee County, a tornado hit a flea market, severely injuring a man and slightly injuring three others. Twenty cars were damaged by high winds on the Pinellas County coast. A firefighter was injured in Manatee County when lightning struck nearby. Many reports of 0.75 inch in diameter hail were received. A boat was overturned on Lake Kissimmee by high wind and its occupant drowned.
A powerful storm produced blizzard conditions in the Great Lakes Region. Winds gusted to 86 mph at Janesville, WI and Cleveland, OH received 12 inches of snow. North winds of 50 to 70 mph raised the water level of southern Lake Michigan 2 feet, and produced waves 12 to 18 feet high, causing $7 million dollars damage along the Chicago area shoreline. It was the most damage caused by shoreline flooding and erosion in the history of Chicago.
Arctic air invaded the north central U.S. Hibbing MN reported a morning low of -30°.
A winter storm over California produced snow from the beaches of Malibu to the desert canyons around Palm Springs, and the snow created mammoth traffic jams in the Los Angeles Basin. Many cities in the western U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Marysville, CA reported an all-time record low reading of 21°F.
The high of just 41° at Fresno, CA was their coldest ever in February. In the Kern County Deserts, accumulating snow accompanied this severe cold wave with 5.8 inches measured at China Lake NAS, 4 inches at Inyokern and 3 inches at Mojave and Randsburg.
The first intense snowfall of the 1988-89 snow season hit the Niagara Frontier across western New York on the 6th. A lake-effect snow squall stalled over Buffalo for nearly 12 hours on the 6th-7th. The three day snowfall total was 15.8 inches of which 9.4 inches fell on the 7th. Reported storm totals from other areas ranged from 8 inches to 18 inches.
Unseasonably mild weather prevailed across the south central and eastern U.S. Many cities reported record high temperatures for the date. The afternoon high of 53°at Flint, MI surpassed their previous record by 10 degrees, and the high of 66°at Burlington, IA exceeded their old record by 8 degrees.
February 1994 the back to back ice storms struck on February 8 to 9 and again February 10 to 11 leaving a coat of ice, one to three inches thick, across much of the Mid-Atlantic. Areas west of Frederick County, Maryland saw anywhere from 5 to 9 inches of sleet accumulate. Toward the end of the storm, this area saw light freezing rain solidify the sleet on the ground and but a glaze across trees and wires. There were scattered outages and at least 75 ice-related injuries that were treated at area hospitals. Across central and northern Maryland, Northern Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, and the central Piedmont of Virginia, about 4 to 7 inches of sleet fell. Again in this area, light freezing rain toward the end of the storm, which solidified the ice and coated everything. It was enough to do about $5 million in damages across this region. The hardest hit area was Southern Maryland, Annapolis, and the Eastern Shore and southwest across Fredericksburg and the Northern Neck area and down toward Lynchburg and Danville in Virginia. Here, the combination of the two storms left 3 to 5 inches of ice on surfaces. It was too much for trees and wires. Some counties lost 10 percent of their trees. Fallen trees made roads impassable. Some trees fell on cars and houses. Electric and phone lines were down with as much as 90% of the area's people without power. Even with help from out-of-state utility companies, many people were without power for a week. A presidential disaster declaration was given for the counties affected in a 40 to 50 mile wide band all the way from Delaware southwest to Tennessee. Damages were estimated at near $100 million dollars for the Virginia-Maryland area. There were hundreds of injuries from automobile accidents and people falling on ice. It was likely the iciest winter the Baltimore-Washington area has ever seen. Further north, Boston, MA recorded 18.4 inches of snow beginning on this date through the 10th.
Many people across central and eastern Oklahoma well remember the ice storm of February 8th and 9th, 1994. Freezing rain and sleet covered much of the eastern two thirds of the state with a significant ice accumulation. The hardest hit areas were in south central and southeast Oklahoma, where ice accumulations of nearly an inch were reported. The icy roads caused major traffic problems. In the Oklahoma City metro area alone, there were over 300 reported accidents.
A fast moving cold front brought high winds and snow to the mountains around Salt Lake City, UT as the 2002 Olympic Winter Games were getting underway. Wind gusts of up to 71 mph caused problems for Ski Jumping, and the competition had to be postponed.
Santa Ana winds started on this day and ended on the 10th. A gust of 80 mph was measured at Descanso, 78 mph at Fremont Canyon and 76 mph in San Bernardino. A fire developed in the Fallbrook area.
Snow fell on the Jordanian capital or Amman and surrounding regions, blocking roads and closing schools. The storm brought snow, heavy rain and high winds to the Holy Land and Middle East.
Torrential rain falls on the Pacific island nation of Tonga. According to the Tonga Meteorological Office, a total of 7.2 inches of rain accumulated in six hours; close to a typical month's worth of rain. The heavy rain cause flash floods in many low-lying areas.
Snow fell at levels above 11,000 feet on the Big Island's Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.
The greatest snowstorm of the hard winter season occurred producing 3 feet near Hartford, CT.
President Grant signed the measure which created a federal weather agency. It was later assigned to the U.S. Army Signal Corps known today as the National Weather Service. Observations began on 11/1/1870.
Fort Wayne, IN had a low of -19° and a high of just -7°. Angola, IN fell to -20°. This air mass was entrenched over much of the United States east of the Rockies for several days. On the 12th, Fort Worth, TX dropped to 8° and Charleston, SC received 4 inches of snow. Ice flows blocked the Mississippi River at New Orleans, LA, which has happened only one other time: February 13, 1784.
The temperature dropped to -63° at Norway House, Manitoba Canada setting the province's low temperature record.
The temperature at Moran, WY, located next to Teton National Park, plunged to -63°to establish a state record. The temperature at the Riverside Ranger Station in Montana dipped to -66°;establishing a record for the state and a record for the nation which stood until Rogers Pass dropped to -70° on 1/20/1954.
It was the coldest recent morning in the Northeast with readings of -14° at New York City and -17° at Boston, MA. State records were set when the thermometer at Stillwater Reservoir, NY dropped to -52° and the temperature at Vanderbilt, MI fell to -51°.
The mercury soared to 102° in Rio Grande City, Texas. Just two days later, there was 10 inches of snow at Port Arthur.
Atlantic City, NJ was hit by its 2nd major snowstorm in 3 days as they received 14 inches.
A major winter storm pounded the Northeast. Bedford, MA recorded 25 inches of snow, 20 inches fell at New York City, NY and Portland, ME recorded 22 inches. Drifts would pile up to 20 feet in places. Known as the "Lindsay Storm" because of the political fallout that resulted for New York Mayor John Lindsay who ran into political misfortune after sections of New York City remained unplowed for a week after the storm. 800 cars were stranded on New York's Tappan-Zee Bridge. Damages totaled over $10 million dollars.
Late in the morning a strong, but dry, cold front began crossing Victoria, Australia, preceded by hot, gusty northerly winds. Loose topsoil was quickly picked up by the wind and moved east with the front. It was estimated that approximately 1000 tons of sand were dumped on the city.
A storm off the Atlantic coast produced high winds and heavy snow in the northeastern U.S., with blizzard conditions in eastern Massachusetts. Winds gusted to 80 mph and 23.4 inches of snow produced drifts 8 feet high at Cape Cod and Chatham, MA. It was the worst blizzard since 1960 for the Cape Cod area. Much of Nantucket Island was without power. Winds in some of the mountains and ridges of the Appalachian Region gusted to 100 mph.
Arctic cold invaded the north central U.S. Alliance, NE plunged from 44°to 12°in just 2 hours, and Mobridge, SD reported a wind chill of -64°. Winds along the eastern slopes of the Rockies gusted to 90 mph at Cheyenne, WY, and reached 96 mph at Boulder, CO.
A winter storm continued to bring rain and snow to southern California. Snowfall totals ranged up to 18 inches at Olancha, with 3 inches at Palmdale.
Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front developed over eastern Texas late in the morning, and produced severe weather as they swept across the southeastern states. Early evening thunderstorms spawned a tornado which injured one person at Nat, TX, and produced tennis balls size hail which caused more than half a million dollars damage around Shreveport, LA.
Perth, Australia's wettest day on record occurred as 4.75 inches drenched the city.
A devastating ice storm struck Mississippi, Louisiana and extreme northwest Alabama. Freezing rain began falling over north Mississippi during the early morning hours and continued until midday on the 10th. Ice accumulated 3 to 6 inches thick on exposed objects in the affected area. Due to the weight of the ice, power lines, trees and tree limbs were downed. Nearly one million people were without power after the storm, some for a month.
A long duration overrunning snowstorm combined with ocean effect snow resulted in big snowfall accumulations across east-coastal Massachusetts. Boston checked in with a two day total of 18.7 inches for its greatest single storm snowfall since the great blizzard of 1978. 27.7 inches was recorded at Manchester-by-the-Sea and 24 inches fell at South Weymouth. Farther to the southwest, a foot of snow blanketed Newark, New Jersey.
Buffalo, NY broke their record of consecutive days with precipitation with a total of 55 days from December 18th, 1993 to February 10th. On 54 of 55 days it snowed with a total during the period of 75.3 inches.
Muscatine, IA set their all-time record low temperature up to that time with -33°F. This record was broken in 1965.
The eastern U.S. continued in the grips of one of the harshest cold waves ever. All-time record lows were set in Ohio with -39° at Milligan, in Maryland: Baltimore at -7° and at that time in Virginia, Montereyplunged to -29°. This record has been broken on January 22, 1985 when they dropped to -30°F. Washington, D.C. recorded their coldest high temperature ever when the mercury only rose to 4°.
The minimum temperature at Washington D.C. for the date was -8° and the high was 4°. There has been only 5 times in the official climate history of Washington (11/1/1870 to present) to have a maximum temperature less than 10°. The first time was on 12/30/1880 when the high was 9°, the second was 12/30/1917 when the high was 9°. A high temperature of 8° has occurred twice - the first time was 1/13/1912 and the second time was 1/19/1994.
The town of Gardner, GA was devastated by a huge F4 tornado that caused an entire section of the small town to virtually disappear. 31 people died and 100 were injured.
Oregon's coldest temperature ever was recorded when Seneca dropped to -54°F. It would be over 100° warmer the next day with a high temperature of 45°.
St. Louis, MO was hit by massive F4 tornado that killed 21 and injured 345. Over 2,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed in St. Louis County in Missouri and Madison County in Illinois.
A major snowstorm struck the southeastern U.S. It produced as much as 18 inches of snow in parts of Georgia, and up to 2 feet of snow in parts of South Carolina. The north-south interstate highway was blocked for several days.
As much as 8 inches of rain drenched southern California resulting in widespread flooding and mudslides. The heavy rainfall produced a wall of water which ripped through the mountain resort community of Hidden Springs drowning at least 13 people. The storm was one of the most destructive on record causing $50 million dollars damage.
A morning tornado at Bay Minette, AL struck the local middle school. The school's gymnasium was severely damaged and several students were injured.
Bismarck, NDexperienced its 45th consecutive day of subzero temperatures which tied the previous record long string of subzero daily lows ending on the same date in 1937.
A huge snowstorm swept up the eastern seaboard, burying the Mid-Atlantic in a swath of very heavy snow. During the late evening of February 10th, low pressure over Georgia started giving a light snow to the Baltimore, Washington area. The snow slowly picked up in intensity during the overnight hours and by morning the surface low was positioned just east of Wilmington, NC. A tight pressure gradient between the storm and a high-pressure area to the north caused winds to increase to gust over 40 mph and snowfall rates of 3 inches per hour were common. Many observers particularly in the Maryland suburbs reported several episodes of lightning and thunder. Most of the southern and eastern suburbs recorded 15 to 20 inches of snow while 20 to 30 inches of snow fell in the northern and western suburbs. National Airport received 16.6 inches while 22.8 inches fell at both BWI and Dulles Airport. In northwest Montgomery and Frederick Counties, the storm was the greatest ever recorded easily exceeding the totals received during the famous Knickerbocker storm of January 1922. Germantown and Frederick both received 30 inches of snow and western Loudoun County, Virginia, up to 38 inches. Braddock Heights, just west of Frederick, MD, received 34.9 inches. Areas to the east and a little south of Washington received snow pellets mixed with snow thus reducing the accumulations there. Up to 35 inches of snow fell at Glen Gary, WV. 22 inches fell in New York City, NY. 19 inches fell at Windsor Locks, CT in just 12 hours to set a record. Single storm records were set in Pennsylvania at Allentown with 25.2 inches and up to that time Philadelphia with 21.3 inches.
A storm in the northeastern U.S. produced heavy snow in southeastern Maine. Grand Falls and Woodland received 15 inches, mainly during the early morning hours, while most of the rest of the state did not see any.
In St John's, Newfoundland Canada, a section of a mall roof collapsed under the weight of a foot snow. 7 people were injured but none seriously.
Bitter cold arctic air gripped the north central U.S. International Falls, MN was the cold spot in the nation with a low of -35°.
Record warm readings were reported in southern California, with highs of 78°at San Francisco and 88°at Los Angeles. San Juan Capistrano, CA was the hot spot in the nation with 92°.
For the first time all month winter relaxed its grip on the nation. The temperature at Brownsville, TX warmed above 60°for the first time in 6 days, ending their 2nd longest such cold spell of record.
Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front continued to produce severe weather across the southeastern U.S. through the morning hours and into the late afternoon. There were a total of 29 tornadoes in 29 hours, and 245 reports of large hail or damaging winds. Pre-dawn thunderstorms produced high winds which injured at least 70 people in Alabama and Georgia, and caused more than $12 million dollars property damage. A tornado at Austell, GA prior to daybreak injured 2 people and caused $2 million dollars damage.
In northwest Kansas, snow began about midday, became heavy during the afternoon and overnight hours, before completely ending by late evening on the 11th. 5 to 10 inches of snowfall was common with winds up to 50 mph causing severe blowing and drifting. Some snow drifts reached 5 feet and wind chills of -20° to -50° were common. Many schools and a part of interstate 70 were closed.
Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas continued in the grip of a major ice storm. Mississippi was hardest hit with up to 6 inches of ice accumulation in some areas. Up to 3.7 million acres of commercial forest land valued at an estimated $1.3 billion was destroyed by the storm. 80,000 utility poles were downed and some people were without power for up to a month in Mississippi. Sleet began falling in Washington D.C. Metro area and didn't stop until 2 to 6 inches of sleet coats the entire area on the 11th. Damage and cleanup costs exceeded $50 million dollars in Arkansas.
Blizzard conditions and whiteouts with winds gusting over 50 mph occurred at Regina, Saskatchewan Canada contributing to a multi-vehicle accident on the Trans-Canada Highway east of Regina. The 50-vehicle pileup caused many injuries but no deaths.
On this date through the 23rd, the 5th most intense heat wave settled over Australia setting many temperature records. Ivanhoe, New South Wales reached 119.3° on the 15th, the highest temperature in New South Wales since 1973. Wilcannia New South Wales exceeded 104° on 16 consecutive days.