FEBRUARY WEATHER HISTORY FOR 11TH - 20TH
Charlie Wilson Wilmington Weather ExaminerSubscribeSponsor an Examiner A member of the American Meteorological Society,
Charlie Wilson has combined his knowledge of Meteorology & Weather History with his Education background in Communications.
(Ref. Charlie Wilson Weather History)
The temperature at Braemar Grampian, Scotland dropped to -17°; the coldest temperature ever measured in the United Kingdom.
One of the greatest arctic outbreaks continued. The temperature plunged to -61°at Fort Logan, MT. Pittsburgh, PA recorded their coldest ever with -20°. Milligan recorded Ohio’s coldest ever at -39°. Other records included: Columbus, OH with -20° tying their coldest ever. -6° at Philadelphia and -15° at Washington, D.C.’s National Airport were all-time record lows.
At the same time a "Great Eastern Blizzard" left a blanket of snow from Georgia to New Hampshire. The state of Virginia took the brunt of the storm, with snowfall totals averaging 30 to 40 inches. Raleigh, NC picked up 17.7 inches of snow through the 13th. Richmond's 16.3 inches of snow was their 4th biggest ever.
Very unsettled weather continued over Gibraltar. On the 10th, 2.01 inches of rain fell in 24 hours and on the 11th, 4.02 inches fell, accompanied by occasional thunder and, in the evening, gale force winds.
Austria's coldest night on record occurred as Zwettl dropped to -33.9°.
Ifrane, Morocco reported Africa’s coldest temperature ever with -11°.
Barcelona, Spain recorded their coldest night on record as they dropped to -14°.
Sun Valley, ID received 38 inches of snow in just 24 hours to set the state record. 182 inches of snow was on the ground at Mullen Pass, ID.
New Hampshire registered its record maximum 24 hour precipitation as 10.39 inches fell at Mount Washington.
A huge snowstorm known as the "Megalopolitan blockbuster snowstorm" swept up the eastern seaboard, burying the Mid-Atlantic area from northeastern Georgia to eastern Maine with very heavy snow. During the late evening, low pressure over Georgia started giving a light snow to the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. 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 high-pressure to the north caused winds to increase, 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 in Maryland, the storm was the greatest ever recorded easily exceeding the totals received during the famous “Knickerbocker” storm of January 1922. Germantown and Frederick, MD 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 their accumulations. In Pennsylvania, the storm produced 21 inches at Philadelphia, 24 inches at Harrisburg, and 25 inches at Allentown. New York City received 22 inches of snow and 35 inches were reported at Glen Gary, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia. Windsor Locks, CT received a record 19 inches of snow in 12 hours. 5 inches of snow in one hour was recorded at Allentown, PA and Hartford, CT. Winds gusted to 72 mph at Chatham, MA. The storm resulted in 46 deaths, including 33 when a freighter capsized and sank off the Maryland/Virginia coast.
Denver, COreported only their 3rd occurrence on record of a thunderstorm in February. Several cities in the north central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Huron, SD reported February temperatures averaging 19 degrees above normal. Williston, ND reported readings averaging 24 degrees above normal for the month.
Bitter cold air gripped the north central U.S. Morning lows of -35°at Aberdeen, SD, Bismarck, ND and International Falls, MN were records for the date. Bemidji, MN was the cold spot in the nation with a low of -39°, however, a reading of -42°was reported at Gettysburg, SD. In the Northern Plains, Baker, MT warmed from -27°to 40°.
While much of the continental U.S. enjoyed sunshine and seasonable temperatures, a strong weather system over the Hawaiian Islands deluged Honolulu with 2.5 inches of rain.
A winter storm produced up to 10 inches of snow in Vermont, and up to 9 inches of snow in Aroostook County in northeastern Maine. A 3-day snowstorm began to overspread Oregon, and the winter storm produced 29 inches of snow at Bennett Pass. Mild weather continued in the central U.S. La Crosse, WI reported a record 47 consecutive days with temperatures above normal.
The Northeast was suffering under its 2nd winter storm in 3 days. Newark, NJ picked up 18 inches of snow on top of the foot that had fallen just a few days earlier. 18 inches fell at Newark, NJ & New Bedford and Hyannis, MA. 3 to 4 inches of sleet was reported at and around the Baltimore, MD – Washington, D.C. areas.
Canada's snowiest day was recorded as Tahtsa Lake located in the Whitesail Range of the Coast Mountains of British Columbia received 57 inches.
Residents of Central Illinois thought that the National Weather Service had gone crazy when their NOAA Weatheradio sirens sounded with severe thunderstorm warnings, even though it was snowing steadily. The NWS issued the warnings as a line of convective snowfall moved across the area.
Governor John Hoeven declared a snow emergency as winds gusting over 70 mph along with heavy snow produces low visibilities and drifts up to 20 feet in northwestern North Dakota.
The Mid-Atlantic and northeast was in the grips of a major winter storm. Snowfall records fell in Philadelphia and Allentown, PA, Bridgeport and Hartford, CT, Newark, NJ, and Worchester and Boston, MA. The highest total reported was 30.2 inches at Fairfield, CT. New York City’s Central Park recorded their greatest 24-hour snowfall total of 26.9 inches.
The snow depth at Glasgow, Montana reached 29 inches, setting a new record for snow depth for the location. The old record was 26 inches set on February 10, 1916.
Ice flows were spotted in the Gulf of Mexico after passing from the Mississippi River. Ice actually blocked the river at New Orleans, LA. This was only one of two times that this occurred, the other during the Great Arctic Outbreak of 1899.
The Great Arctic Outbreak continued. Nebraska recorded its coldest temperature ever with -47° at Camp Clarke. Tulia tied Texas's all-time record low with a reading of -23°. All-time record cold occurred at Dallas, TX: -8°, Amarillo, TX -16°, Little Rock, AR -13° and Kansas City, MO -22°. Birmingham, AL dropped to -10°; their all-time coldest reading. This record was measured at the old Fountain Heights Weather Office, not the Birmingham Airport. Unofficial reports indicated that the outlying areas experienced temperatures as cold as -14°. Along with the record cold, Birmingham received four inches of snow. In the eastern U.S., Washington D.C. hit -15°.
Along with the extreme cold, the Atlantic Coast dealt with a blizzard. Charleston, SC received a record 3.9 inches of snow. Boston, MA recorded 23 inches, their greatest total up until 1969. 20.5 inches of snow fell in Washington, D.C. with a snow depth of 34.2 inches.
Germany's coldest night on record occurred as the low temperature dropped to -36° at Hüll.
Calgary, Alberta Canadaexperienced their warmest February day on record as the high temperature soared to 66°.
A Navy airship crashed in the Pacific Ocean off of Point Sur Lighthouse in California. The ship encountered very strong winds, rising to an altitude of nearly 5,000 feet in just a few minutes and then crashing rapidly into the sea. Amazingly, only 2 of the 83 crew members aboard were killed.
North Dakota recorded their coldest ever temperature with a reading of -60° at Parshall.
Two strong tornadoes hit central Alabama. An F4 in Sumter County struck a 41-car train. 39 of the 41 cars derailed as the train crossed the trestle over the Suchanoochee River. The conductor and fireman on the train were killed and many others injured. Later that day, the north side of Montgomery was devastated by another F3 that killed 26 people.
Heavy snow and zero visibility were reported in the Gulf of Mexico by a ship 25 miles south of Fort Morgan, AL during the afternoon hours. Tallahassee, FL received 2.8 inches of snowfall. Five inches fell at Vermillion Locks, LA and 2 inches fell at Burrwood, LA. Jacksonville, FL picked up their first measurable snowfall in 59 years with 2 inches.
A snowstorm in the Deep South produced more than a foot of snow in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Omaha, Nebraska was buried under 18.5 inches of snow over a two day period. This is the city's second greatest snowfall on record.
A storm in the eastern U.S. produced high winds from North Carolina to Maine. A storm in the western U.S. produced up to 30 inches of snow in the Sierra Nevada Range of California.
Switzerland recorded their coldest morning on record as the low dropped to -41° at La Brévine.
A classic "nor'easter" formed off the Carolina coast and intensified as it moved up the Atlantic coast bringing heavy snow to the northeastern U.S. Totals ranged up to 26.1 inches at Camden, NY, 26 inches at Chester, MA and 24 inches fell at Berlin, NH and Rochester, VT.
Arctic cold gripped the north central U.S. Duluth MN was the cold spot in the nation with a low of -32°.
Unseasonably mild weather prevailed across Alaska. Morning lows of 29°at Anchorage and 31°at Fairbanks were actually warmer than those in northern Florida.
In Florida, snow in Tampa and Daytona Beach occurred as Florida experienced its most widespread snowstorm in history. Two inches fell in Savannah, GA; one of only 3 times that snowfall in the city required a ruler for measurement. Charleston, SC picked up close to 4 inches.
Strong southerly winds ahead of an arctic cold front pushed temperatures into the 70s as far north as Iowa and Nebraska. Many cities in the central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Lincoln, NE reported a record high of 73°, and the afternoon high of 59°at Minneapolis, MN smashed their previous record for the date by 12 degrees. Springfield, IL reported a record 48 consecutive days with above normal temperatures.
An intense snow squall off Lake Michigan cut visibility to zero along a section of U.S. 31 in Muskegon, MI. The resulting whiteout caused a 96 car pile up; 25 were injured in the melee.
An avalanche at Alta, UT killed 16 people and left 13 others buried for 12 hours before being rescued.
It was the coldest morning of record along the Gulf Coast. The temperature dipped to 7°at New Orleans, LA and Pensacola, FL, and -1°at Mobile, AL. The mercury dipped to -2°at Tallahassee, FL, the coldest reading of record for the state. It was also Louisiana's coldest night on record; here lows dropped to -16.1° in Minden.Brownsville, TX recorded their all time low with 12°. Snow flurries were observed as far south as the Fort Myers - Fort Pierce line (which runs just north of Lake Okeechobee) and in the Florida panhandle close to 3 inches of snow fell in some places. Dayton, OH recorded its coldest temperature ever with -28°.
After weeks of bitter cold, residents of New Orleans, LA found ice 2 inches thick on the Mississippi River. The river reportedly was frozen from Minnesota almost to the mouth of thr Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico. Chunks of ice float out into the Gulf.
As frigid air engulfed much of the country, a powerful blizzard known as the "Storm King" was pounding the East Coast. 20 inches of snow fell at Washington, D.C. and 34 inches fell at Cape May, NJ. The pressure in the center of the storm was estimated at 966 millibars or 28.53 inHg, as strong as a major hurricane.
Morning lows of -40°at Lebanon, KS, -40°at Warsaw, MO and -29°at Pond, AR established all-time records for those 3 states.
The morning low plunged to -58° at HouseRiver and Fort McMurray, AlbertaCanada.
Tallahassee, FL recorded their largest snowfall on record. Close to 3 inches fell in 5 hours during the early hours.
St. Louis, MO recorded their low temperature record for the month as they dropped to -18°.
Severe flooding struck Central Arizona through the 22nd. Flooding in the Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area cut the city in two as only 2 bridges over the normally dry Salt River remained open, turning commutes into nightmares. Even the I-10 Bridge was closed.
The following all-time high-pressure readings were recorded across over the eastern U.S. due to a dense arctic air-mass: Philadelphia, PA rose to 31.05 inHg, Washington DC with 31.02 inHg, Wilmington, DE at 30.99 inHg and Asheville, NC with 30.84 inHg.
The Ohio Valley was in the grips of a major snow storm. Snowplows were abandoned in Ohio as the snow was whipped into huge drifts. Over 1 foot of snow fell in eastern Kentucky with drifts as high as 15 feet. Over 2 feet of snow in parts of North Carolina.
A storm in the western U.S. produced heavy rain over central California. Chews Ridge reported nearly 11 inches of rain in 24 hours, and extensive flooding occurred in San Benito County. The Mount Rose ski resort in Nevada experienced a "white-out" with 60 mph winds and 36 inches of snow.
Strong winds in the wake of a storm in the northeastern U.S., gusted to 60 mph at Oswego NY and snow drifts in northeastern Ohio were reported as high as 6 feet snow.
High winds in the mountains of Utah, gusting to 106 mph at the Snowbird ski resort, contributed to a 40 car pile-up on I-15, near the town of Bluffdale.
Showers and thunderstorms produced locally heavy rain and flash flooding from central Texas to western Pennsylvania. Up to 10 inches of rain deluged western Kentucky in 2 days, with 5-day totals ranging up to 13.16 inches at Gilbertsville Dam, KY. Flooding caused tens of millions of dollars damage, including $18 million dollars damage at Frankfort, KY.
A slow moving cold front brought heavy snow to Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. Big Horn, WY reported 15 inches of snow and up to 22 inches was reported in parts of Utah. In Colorado, 8 to 12 inches of snow fell over the northwest suburbs of Denver, while 16 to 22 inches was reported in the high mountain elevations west of Fort Collins. Strong winds accompanied the heavy snow, and bitter cold weather followed in its wake.
During the morning hours, a heavy wet snow blanketed much of Arkansas. The snow was quick hitting, lasting generally less than 6 hours, accumulated fast enough to overcome the melting effects of a warm ground. In general, northern and central Arkansas received 3 to 6 inches of snow with some areas reporting 8 or more inches between Little Rock and Russellville and Heber Springs.
The United Kingdom recorded its mildest February day on record when the high temperature reached 67.3° at Greenwich, London.
The low at Fairbanks, AK dropped to -36° marking the 19th consecutive day with low temperatures of -35° degrees or colder, setting an all-time record for the location.
Late this day and into the early morning hours of the 14th, severe thunderstorms spawned 6 tornadoes over southwestern Georgia that killed 19, injured 202, and caused $35 million dollars in damages. Camilla was hit the worst as an F3 tornado killed 11 and injured 175 in the town.
An unusual snowstorm swept across the southern Black Sea region bringing cold and snow to Turkey and Greece. Istanbul, Turkey received 14 inches.
One of the Deep South's greatest snowstorms took place with the following reported snow totals: Rayne, LA: 24 inches, Glaveston, TX: 15 inches and 8.2 inches at New Orleans, LA.
A great blizzard struck the eastern U.S. Washington D.C. received 20.5 inches of snow to bring their total snow depth to nearly three feet. The storm produced 36 inches of snow at Cape May NJ.
An unusual strong thunderstorm produced hail six inches deep on Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas.
A "Saint Valentine's Day Blizzard" hit the northeastern U.S. Up to a foot and a half of snow blanketed southern New England, and whole gales accompanied the heavy snow stranding many in downtown Boston.
The Weather Bureau commissioned its first weather radar at Washington, D.C. The radar network would only grow slowly over the next few years, but eventually would become the backbone of the National Weather Service's warning system.
Late afternoon heavy snows began on Valentine's Day in Boise, ID and by 5:00 am the following morning, 14 new inches of snow had fallen.
A winter storm brought freezing precipitation and high winds to eastern Colorado, knocking out power to thousands of people, some for more than a week. The ice accumulated to a thickness of five inches in some locations.
NASA launched the "Solar Max" satellite. Able to measure day to day variations in the output of the sun, the satellite was invaluable in climate change research.
A powerful storm spawned severe thunderstorms in Texas and Oklahoma, and produced heavy snow in the Rocky Mountain Region. Snowfall totals in Colorado ranged up to 27 inches at Telluride. Straight line winds gusting to 104 mph howled through Guadalupe Pass in West Texas.
Strong northerly winds ushered arctic air into the north central U.S. Snow and high winds created blizzard conditions in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Winds gusted to 65 mph at Cody WY and 56 mph at Rapid City SD.
On this day through the 16th, a blizzard dumped 8 inches of snow at Iqaluit, Northwest Territories in Canada. Gusty winds exceeding 50 mph produced drifting that reached second story windows.
While "Valentine's Day" was a soggy one in the Ohio Valley and the Tennessee Valley, unseasonably warm weather prevailed in the southeastern U.S. Many cities reported record high temperatures for the date as readings warmed into the 70s and 80s.
Valentine's Day was a snowy one for many parts of the western and central U.S. Five to ten inches of snow fell across Iowa, and 6 to 12 inches of snow blanketed northern Illinois, and strong northeasterly winds accompanied the heavy snow. Air traffic came to a halt during the evening at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, where 9.7 inches of snow was reported. More than 250 traffic accidents were reported around Des Moines IA during the evening rush hour. One and three-quarter inches of freezing rain fell in Champaign. $12 million dollars in damage was reported in Champaign county with extensive damage to trees and power lines. Power was out in many areas for several days.
A glaze an inch thick accumulated in Fort Wayne, IN. A combination of freezing rain and sleet piled ice over four inches deep in South Bend.
One snowboarder died and others narrowly escaped injury after being caught in a massive avalanche on Mount Baker in northwestern Washington.
Valentine's Day was white as Dallas, TX saw 3 inches of snow wreaked havoc with travel. The greatest snowfall since 1978 caused numerous traffic accidents, power outages and flight cancellations at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
On this day through the 15th, parts of Jordan received as much as 2 feet of snow that forced the closure of the Jordanian parliament in Amman where snowmen lined the streets.
Temperatures reached 111.7° at Adelaide, Australia during a heat wave that saw the city's longest spell of maximum temperatures above 86° on record. This was the hottest February day on record there, and their 3rd hottest day recorded.
A big Gulf snowstorm produced 6 inches at Brownsville, TX and Mobile, AL, 15 inches at Galveston, TX, and 24 inches of snow at Rayne, LA in 24 hours. Snow fell at the very mouth of the Mississippi River. Houston, TX received 22 inches of snow, and 9 inches blanketed New Orleans, LA.
Charlotte, NC was in the middle of a three day snowstorm over which time 17.4 inches of snow fell, their biggest snowstorm on record.
North Dakota recorded their coldest ever temperature with a reading of -60° at Parshall, ND. It is interesting to note that North Dakota recorded their all-time hottest temperatures (121° on 7/6 at Steele) and coldest temperatures in the same year.
A big snowstorm impacted the east coast. The storm center developed over Texas on Valentine's Day. The storm tracked rapidly southeast into a position near Mobile, AL early on this date and then it moved to the northeast and began to intensify. The storm center past over Columbia, SC and deepened quickly as it moved northeast across North Carolina and off the Virginia Capes. By midnight, of the 16th, the low was just east of the Delmarva Peninsula, with a central pressure of 28.80 inHg. Between 14 to 22 inches of snow fell across the Baltimore-Washington area with 22 inches at Baltimore and 14.5 inches officially in D.C. Winds were sustained at 30 to 40 mph for several days after the storm, causing terrible drifting, in many instances to at least 6 feet. Snowfall rates during the storm were among the heaviest ever record at National Airport 11 inches of snow fell and just a 5 hour period and over 3 inches of snow fell during a one hour period. Generally, a snowfall of 10 to 20 inches occurred from Alabama to a Massachusetts. Up to 30 inches was reported across northeast Pennsylvania and interior sections of New England. The heaviest snow than was about 50 mi. wide and passed directly through the Washington-Baltimore area. Within this band, 15 to 20 inches of snow fell, with 22 inches of snow reported it in the northern suburbs of Baltimore. Overall 43 people lost their lives.
A "meteorological bomb" exploded in the Atlantic southeast of Newfoundland. The term is used to describe a storm that rapidly intensifies over the ocean. On this date, the storm in the Atlantic produced winds of 100 mph and huge 50-foot seas. The storm capsized a drilling rig killing 84 people and sank a Soviet freighter resulting in 33 more deaths.
A storm crossing the central U.S. produced severe thunderstorms which spawned tornadoes in Louisiana and Mississippi. Tornadoes injured four people at Pierre Pass, LA, three persons at Tangipahoa, LA, two people at Lexie, MS and two others at Nicholson, MS. Thunderstorm winds gusting to 100 mph killed one person south of Sulphur, LA. Jackson, MS was drenched with 1.5 inches of rain in 10 minutes.
Low pressure brought heavy snow to parts of Michigan, with 11 inches reported at Rogers City. A cold front crossing the Northern Rockies produced wind gusts to 74 mph at Livingston, MT, and created blizzard conditions across parts of Idaho.
Many cities in the southeastern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. The afternoon high of 80° at Atlanta, GA was a February record. Highs of 79°at Chattanooga, TN, 84° at Columbia, SC and 85° at New Orleans, LA equaled February records.
Snow, sleet and freezing rain along an arctic cold front prevailed from the north central U.S. to the Northern Atlantic Coast Region. High winds created near blizzard conditions across southern Wyoming, closing Interstate 80, while up to 11 inches of snow fell across central Minnesota.
Heavy snow also blanketed the Northern Atlantic Coast States, with 10 inches reported at Buffalo, NY and Mount Washington, NH. Freezing rain over southern New England knocked out electricity to more than 10,000 homes in the western suburbs of Boston MA.
Heavy snow is uncommon in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada but on this date, residents dealt with 5.5 inches of wet snow. The moisture-laden snow disrupted traffic and caused school closures.
Heavy snow fell along the Missouri-Arkansas border. 10 to 20 inches was quite common, with Mountain Home, AR recording 24 inches of snow. Cape Girardeau, MO received 6 inches of snow in just one hour and 20 minutes.
The heaviest snowfall in three decades dumped 9 inches at Seoul, South Korea forcing hundreds of flight cancellations and delays, blocking roads and halting some ferry services.
On this date through the 17th, the President's Day Stormburied the U.S. East Coast. Many all-time snowfall records were broken, including those in Baltimore, MD and Boston, MA. The storm system brought accumulations of 1 to 2 feet with snowfall amounts exceeding 35 inches across parts of northeastern West Virginia, the heaviest snow accumulations to the East Coast since the Blizzard of 1996.
The Exploits, Red Indian and Badger rivers flooded Badger, Newfoundland Canada as ice jams gave way on this date. This was followed by extremely cold temperatures as low as -4° which froze the floodwaters encasing cars, snowmobiles and some homes in ice. Most of Badger's 1,100 residents were evacuated.
Up to 11 inches of snow fell in areas south of Nashville, TN causing power outages and producing hazardous driving conditions.
Following the disastrous Black Sea storm during the Crimean War in November 1854, Emperor Napoleon of France ordered a telegraphic network of weather observers for the purpose of providing storm warnings. By the following year, stations would stretch across France and all of Europe.
WashingtonD.C.received 1.26 inches of rain in 6 hours on top of more than 30 inches of snow cover making it the soggiest day on record.
The temperature at Pokegama Dam, MN plunged to -59° to establish a state record until 2/2/1996 when Tower dropped to -60°.
1925 or 29
Great Britain's greatest snowfall occurred as Dartmoor received 70.9 inches in just 15 hours.
Record cold occurred in New England. The state of Connecticut recorded its coldest temperature ever as Falls Village fell to -32°. Other bitterly cold readings included -39° at Portland, ME and -43° at Concord, NH.
The northeastern U.S. was hit by one of the greatest snowstorms of all time. Callicoon, NY received 39 inches of snow. Boston, MA picked up 19.4 inches of snow, a record 24-hour snowfall that would stand until the great storm of 1978. Washington, D.C. picked up 14 inches and Baltimore, MD 15.5 inches. 43 people lost their lives and total damage amounted to $500 million dollars.
A blizzard paralyzed Newfoundland, Canada with drifts as high as 16.7 feet. 6 people died and 70,000 were left without power.
4.2 inches of rain fell in 1 hour at Whenuapai, New Zealand, a record for that time period.
Australia's worst brushfire incident occurred as the continent was in the midst of a brutally hot and dry summer. Driven by high winds, the fires whipped through the tinder-dry brush as speeds of up to 100 mph. 71 people died.
Extensive wind damage occurred on the island of Hawaii near Hilo by 55mph winds roaring down the mountainsides. The damage was enhanced by rare winds over 30 mph and the tropical atmosphere rotted many structures.
A winter storm produced snow and ice in the Ohio Valley and the Appalachian Region. A tremendous ice storm occurred from Kentucky to the Carolinas. 3 inches of ice accumulated in some places. The storm brought the worst icing in 35 years to parts of Kentucky, where 16,000 people were without power for 3 days. Up to 8 inches of sleet accumulated in Person and Granville counties in North Carolina. 5 inches of sleet was measured at Raleigh, NC.
Snowfall totals in Virginia ranged up to 14 inches around Farmville and gale force winds lashed the coast of Virginia and North Carolina.
A surge of arctic air produced all-time record high barometric pressure readings of 31.08 inHg at Duluth, MN, 30.97 inHg at Chicago, IL and 30.94 inHg at South Bend, IN. Readings of 31.00 inHg at Milwaukee, WI and 30.98 inHg at Rockford, IL tied their all-time records.
Unseasonably warm weather prevailed across the southeastern U.S. Highs of 81°at Athens, GA, 87°at Charleston, SC, 85°at Macon, GA, and 86°at Savannah, GA were records for February.
Strong thunderstorms developing ahead of an arctic cold front produced severe weather across the southeastern U.S. between mid morning on the 15th through the early morning on this date. Thunderstorms spawned 13 tornadoes, including one prior to dawn injured 11 people near Carrollton, GA. There were also 121 reports of large hail or damaging winds. A thunderstorm produced high winds which injured 4 people at Goodwater, AL.
The deadliest tornado of 1995, an F3, killed 6 people in Alabama at 5 o'clock in the morning. The Joppa Elementary School was destroyed.
A coastal storm dumped heavy snow on the East Coast, shattering many all-time seasonal snowfall records (at that time), including: Lynchburg VA with 51.3 inches for the year; Washington Dulles Airport, VA with 53.4 inches; Washington National Airport with 40.8 inches; Baltimore, MD with 54.9 inches; Philadelphia, PA with 55.9 inches; Hartford/Bradley, CT at 90.2 inches and Providence, RI with 78 inches.
A coastal storm produced heavy snow along the East Coast to push seasonal snowfall totals to new records at several locations. The following cities set new all-time seasonal snowfall records:
Lynchburg, Virginia - 8.1" new, 51.3" total
Washington/Dulles, Virginia - 7.5" new, 53.4" total
Washington/National, DC - 6.8" new, 40.8" total
Baltimore, Maryland - 9.8" new, 54.9" total
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - 7.5" new, 55.9" total
Hartford/Bradley, Connecticut - 10.3" new, 90.2" total
Providence, Rhode Island - 7.0" new, 78.0" total
The President's Day snowstorm was ending across the mid-Atlantic with widespread whiteout conditions across Virginia, Maryland, D.C. and southern Pennsylvania. Travel was paralyzed across the region as 2 to 4 feet of snow fell across a wide area. The highest storm total was 49 inches at Keyser's Ridge in Garrett County, MD. The 16.2 inches that fell at Reagan National Airport was low compared to other amounts observed, but it was still enough to rank as the 6th worst storm in D.C.’s history.
Even President Bush had to deal with the record snowstorm in the Washington, D.C. area. He had to return to the capital from Camp David in a motorcade. The trip that normally took thirty minutes by helicopter took 2 1/2 hours by automobile over snow-covered roads.
South Australia recorded their hottest February day on record when the temperature at Marree reached 118.2°, equaling the record set at Tarcoola on 2/17/1992.
The temperature plunged to 10° at Charleston, SC for one of the coldest days on record in the Colonial South.
A deadly avalanche, Utah's worst, demolished 14 miner's cottages and a three-story boarding house at Binham Canyon. 36 people were killed and 13 injured.
Eureka, CA reported an all-time record high of 85°, a record which lasted until September, 1983 and broken again 10/26/1993.
The temperature at McIntosh, SD plunged to -58° to establish a state record.
The greatest snowstorm of the mid 20th century struck the northeastern U.S. The storm produced 30 inches of snow in interior New England, including more than 19 inches in 24 hours at Logan Airport in Boston, MA. The same storm produced up to 3 feet of snow in the Mid-Atlantic Region, with 14 inches at Washington D.C., and 15.5 inches at Baltimore, MD. The storm resulted in 43 deaths and $500 million dollars damage.
Asheville, NC recorded a temperature of -23° for the coldest reading ever in North Carolina outside of the mountains.
An intense storm over the North Sea centered just north of the Wadden Islands caused serious flooding in northwest Germany, especially in the area close to Hamburg where around 300 people were killed.
Record snowfall occurred at Lakelse Lake, British Columbia Canada as 46.5 inches fell over 24 hours. This record was broke 2/11/1999.
The Mid-Atlantic was receiving an early taste of Spring. Washington, D.C.’s National Airport hit 79°.
A couple of winter storms, one off the Atlantic coast and another over the south central U.S., produced snow and ice from the Mississippi Valley to the Mid Atlantic Coast. Freezing rain produced a coat of ice 3 inches thick in northern South Carolina, and 30,000 homes around Pee Dee were left without electricity. Parts of south central Kentucky were without electricity for 3 days following the storm, which was their worst in 35 years.
Low pressure off the Washington coast produced more than a foot of snow in the Cascade Mountains, and more than 3 inches of rain along the Northern Pacific Coast. Spokane, WA was blanketed with 13 inches of snow.
Cold arctic air in the Upper Midwest produced all-time record high barometric pressure readings of 31.10 inHg at Duluth, MN, 31.09 inHg at Minneapolis, MN, and 31.21 inHg at Bismarck, ND.
The biggest winter storm of the season hit the Pacific Coast. In northern California, snow fell along the coast, and 2-day totals in the mountains ranged up to 67 inches at Echo Summit. Snowfall totals in the mountains of southern California ranged up to 48 inches at Green Valley, with 46 inches reported at Big Bear. Up to 2 feet of snow blanketed the southern Cascade Mountains of Oregon, and 20 to 35 inches were reported in the northern Cascades of Oregon. Seattle, WA was blanketed with up to 10 inches of snow.
Six major airports in the northeastern United States were closed on the President's Day holiday as a major snowstorm worked its way slowly up the East Coast. New York, NY experienced blizzard conditions with very heavy snow falling at a rate of up to 3 inches per hour and winds up to 45 mph blew the snow into big drifts. The snow would be one for the record books, with Boston, MA receiving 27.5 inches, Baltimore, MD recording its greatest snowfall of all time with 26.6 inches. 25.6 inches fell at JFK Airport in New York, making it their 6th worst storm ever. 49 inches fell at Keyser Bridge in Garrett County, Maryland and 37 inches fell at Berkley Springs, WV. One person was killed and seven injured when heavy snow and wind collapsed a roof over a smoking area at a job training school in Edison, NJ. At least 28 storm-related deaths were reported.
Heavy rainfall across the Philippine island of Leyte triggered a deadly landslide that buried the village of Guinsaugon. The Philippine Geosciences Bureau estimated the landslide at 13 feet deep, covering an area of approximately 1.2 square miles. 85 people lost their lives along with 19 injuries and 981 people listed as missing.
Bismarck, ND established a new Guinness world record for the most snow angels made simultaneously in one place. That's 8,962 snow angels produced on the State Capitol lawn.
While much of the central and eastern U.S. was recovering from the most severe cold wave of modern history, the temperature at San Francisco, CA soared to 80° to establish a record for month of February.
Some of the higher elevations of California were in the midst of a 5-day storm; ending on the 19th which produced over 15 feet of snow in some places (as much as 189 inches of snow, a single storm record for North America).
On this date through the 20th, a huge snowstorm struck the northeast from Maryland to New England with up to 36 inches of snow through the 20th resulting in millions of dollars in damage. At least 26 people lost their lives.
The temperature dropped to -49° at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, the city's all-time lowest recorded temperature.
The "George Washington Day Snowstorm" occurred across the northeast. Blizzard conditions developed in Pennsylvania on the 19th forcing I-80 to close. Towanda, PA picked up 30 inches of snow. Winds up to 50 mph created snowdrifts up to 20 feet in some parts of north-central Pennsylvania. Thousands of motorists were stranded.
A small, but intense low pressure system "bombed-out" near Cape Hatteras, NC and moved slowly up the east coast; known as the President’s Day snowstorm. Snow began to fall in Washington, D.C. during the afternoon. On the morning of the 19th, residents around the nation’s capital awoke to the biggest snowfall since the Knickerbockers snowstorm of 1922. Dulles Airport received 16.3 inches of snow, National Airport received 18.7 inches, while up to 26 inches buried the eastern suburbs. With 6 inches of snow on the ground before the storm, the snow-covered in Washington area ranged from 24 to 30 inches. Forecasters believed the storm would move south of Washington and out to sea only grazing the area with a light snow of 1 to 3 inches. As snow piled up across the Washington area snow forecast were updated frequently to catch up with the rapid increase in accumulation. Other notable accumulations included BWI Airport with 20 inches, Philadelphia, PA with 14.3 inches; Richmond, VA with 10.7 inches; Charlotte, NC with 10 inches; Greensboro, NC with 9.3 inches; and Raleigh, NC with 10.4 inches.
The temperature at Old Forge, NY plunged to -52° to establish a state record.
A series of 6 major storms hit California from the 13th to the 21st. The southern part of the state was hit the hardest with 30 deaths due to flooding, mudslides, and traffic accidents. 12.75 inches of rain was measured at the Los Angeles Civic Center and 31.69 inches was recorded at Mount Wilson.
A major storm system dumped heavy snow in the Midwest with the heaviest amounts in Nebraska. 24 inches was recorded at Verdigre and 22 inches fell at Norfolk. 24-hour snowfall records were set at Norfolk and Grand Island. Winds up to 40 mph resulted in considerable blowing and drifting of the snow and many roads in northeastern Nebraska were made impassable.
A small but intense low pressure system combined with northerly upslope winds produced 8 inches of snow in 5 hours at Meeteetsie, WY, located southeast of Cody.
Thunderstorms soaked the Central Gulf Coast Region with heavy rain. Totals in southern Louisiana ranged up to 8.50 inches near the town of Ridge, with 6.55 inches at Plaguemine. Thunderstorms in northern Florida drenched Apalachicola with 5.41 inches of rain in 24 hours, and produced wind gusts to 75 mph at Mayo.
Low pressure off the coast of North Carolina brought freezing rain and heavy snow to Virginia and the Carolinas. Snowfall totals in Virginia ranged up to 18 inches at Franklin. Freezing rain reached a thickness of 2 inches around Charlotte, NC.
An intense but slow moving Pacific storm worked its way across Utah over a 2-day period. The storm blanketed the valleys with 4 to 12 inches of snow, and produced up to 42 inches of snow in the mountains. Heavy snow also fell across northern Arizona. Williams received 22 inches of snow, and 12 inches was reported along the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
A thunderstorm spawned an unusually strong F4 tornado for so far north for the time of the year in southern Van Wert County in Ohio. The tornado touched down just west of US Route 127 and traveled northeastward for about 3 miles. One house was completely leveled and 9 others experienced severe damage. 6 people were injured.
Cuba's coldest morning on record was recorded as Bainoa dropped to 33°.
A vast mudslide swept off an Andean mountainside in southeastern Peru before dawn, burying the villages of Ccocha and Pumaranra with a torrent of mud and rocks. Inhabitants had been evacuated after weekend flooding, but their refuge in a fold of the mountain above the village put them in the path of the mudslide. 3 people were killed.
Heavy snow fell over much of Turkey causing traffic accidents, disrupting air transport and closing schools. Drifts up to 5 feet high were recorded in the province of Van in eastern Turkey. Istanbul picked up 9 inches.
Professor Cleveland Abbe of the Signal Corps Service issued the first weather synopsis and forecasts along with warnings to mariners for the Great Lakes.
The Enigma Tornado Outbreak struck the Southern U.S. from Mississippi to Virginia with a total of 60 tornadoes. The death toll is uncertain (hence the name of the outbreak), but estimates ranged from 182 to 1,200 and 1,056 others injured. It was the most severe tornado outbreak ever to strike the state of Georgia. Leeds, AL and Columbus, GA were especially hard hit. No town was directly hit but damage totaled $4 million dollars, a very large sum for the rural south for this time period.
A tornado at F4 intensity hit Mount Vernon, IL killing 24 people along its 62 mile path. 300 homes and 50 buildings were destroyed.
High winds across the southern half of the Great Plains, gusting to 85 mph, caused the worst dust storms since the 1930s. Graders were needed in places to clear fence high dirt drifts.
A huge coastal storm hit the mid-Atlantic, northeast into southwestern Quebec, Canada. Interior sections were especially hard-hit by heavy snows, including totals of 23 inches at Williamsport, PA and McHenry, MD. 20 inches fell at Syracuse, NY. Snowdrifts piled up to 20 feet in northeast Pennsylvania. Storm surges up to 4.5 feet and winds gusting over 80 mph along coastal Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine resulted in extensive property damage and tremendous beach erosion. 27 houses were destroyed and 3,000 damaged in Massachusetts alone. Winds in southwestern Quebec gusted to 50 mph with snowfall totals up to 14.6 inches.
The famous "President's Day" storm surprised forecasters all along the East Coast. Computer models missed out on forecasting this major snowstorm. 25 inches of snow fell at Dover, DE while Baltimore, MD picked up 20 inches.
When the former National Severe Storms Forecast Center issued the first severe watch of the year on this date, it marked the latest date that had occurred in the history of the forecasting unit.
Massive flooding and mudslides continued in Southern California. An unofficial total of 22.24 inches of rain was reported in the mountains south of Monterey. 19 deaths were reported with $100 million dollars in damage. One person was killed in Arizona with $35 million dollars in damage.
The 33 dense fog days reported to this date in Salt Lake City, UT was the worst in 54 years. The winter of 1930-31 saw 42 dense fog days.
A winter storm over the southern and central Rockies produced 28 inches of snow at Echo Lake, CO, and 2 feet of snow at Gascon and Los Alamos, NM. Mora County, New Mexico was declared a disaster area following the storm.
Showers and thunderstorms across the southeastern U.S. drenched Valdosta, GA with more than 5 inches of rain. A 24 hour rainfall total of 7.10 inches at Apalachicola, FL more than doubled its previous 24 hour record for the month of February.
An upper level weather disturbance brought heavy snow to parts of Nebraska, with 6 inches reported at Loup City and Surprise.
A moist Pacific storm worked its way into New Mexico and southern Colorado. Up to 36 inches of snow blanketed the Wolf Creek and Red Mountain passes of southwest Colorado, and up to 15 inches of snow was reported around Trinidad. In New Mexico, the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains were blanketed with 9 to 28 inches of snow, and 50 to 60 mph wind gusts were reported from Taos to Albuquerque.
Intense snows caused by a "norlun" instability trough hit parts of Massachusetts. Chatham, MA picked up 20 inches of snow. For 3 hours, the snow fell at a rate of 4 inches per hour.
Unseasonably warm air occurred across much of the East. Some record highs for the date included: 64° at New York City, 63° at Newark, NJ and 56° at Bridgeport, CT. The Midwest also had mild weather, with highs in the 30s and 40s. Rapid snow melt and ice jams caused by the warm weather pushed some rivers out of their banks in Iowa, causing minor lowland flooding of farmland.
The temperature hit 122.9° at Mardie, Western Australia, the continent’s 2nd hottest temperature ever recorded.
Powerful thunderstorms raged across northern Bolivia, South America, causing flash flooding in La Paz and killing at least 50 people. The storm dropped widespread hail and injured more than 100 people.
A bombogenesis Nor'easter struck Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Canada producing strong winds and snow depths as high as 3.3 feet. Blowing and drifting snow with winds gusting as high as 62 mph halted all transportation including snowplows, cut power, and closed schools and businesses. Nova Scotia issued their first "Code Black" emergency measure in history.
The Potomac River was opened after being closed by ice for a period of 2 months.
Eastern Wisconsinexperienced a big snowstorm. Racine received 30 inches, and drifts around Milwaukee measured 15 feet high.
An F3 tornado killed 9 people and injured 50 others as it crossed Shreveport, LA. Centenary College was struck, an event that would be repeated in 1940.
31.93 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Honomu, HI located on the northeastern part of the Big Island north of Hilo.
A severe blizzard was in its 2nd day across southern New England. The snowfall was one of Connecticut's worst in modern times with 20 inch accumulations, high winds, and temperatures that dropped from near 32° to 5° during the course of the storm.
A snowstorm in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota produced drifts 10 feet high which derailed trains.
Bonilla Island, Canada recorded sustained winds of 89 mph; the highest on record for the Province of British Columbia.
Mammoth Mountain, CA in the southern Sierra Mountains received 109 inches of snow between the 13th and 20th.
A storm system over Arizona spread heavy snow from the Southern Rockies into the Southern Plains. Thunderstorms in central Texas produced golf ball size hail about the same time north central Texas was being blanketed with up to 8 inches of snow, closing many schools.
Snow and strong northerly winds ushered arctic air into the Great Lakes Region. The temperature at Sault Ste Marie, MI plunged from 30°at 5am to -1°by 3pm, with a wind chill reading of -40°.
Several cities in Florida reported record high temperatures for the date. The afternoon high of 90°at Lakeland was just one degree shy of their February record. Other record highs for the date in Florida included: Avon Park: 90°-Tied, Mountain Lake: 90°, Orlando: 89°, Hialeah: 88°, West Palm Beach: 88°-Tied, Miami: 87°, Belle Glade: 87°-Tied, Homestead: 86°, Vero Beach: 86°, Sanford: 86°, Melbourne: 86°-Tied, Daytona Beach: 85° and Cocoa Beach: 84°.
Thunderstorms developing during the early afternoon produced severe weather from eastern Texas to Alabama and northwest Florida. Thunderstorms spawned a dozen tornadoes during the afternoon and evening. Thunderstorms also produced 90 mph winds around Vicksburg, MS, and 100 mph winds around Jackson, MS.
Heavy snow spread into southwestern Kansas and the panhandle region of Oklahoma and Texas. Heavier snowfall totals included 12 inches at Boise City, OK, 11 inches at Liberal, KS, and 10 inches at Spearman, TX. Blowing and drifting snow closed roads in the Oklahoma panhandle.
Two strong areas of low pressure, one over Colorado and the other off the coast of Washington state, produced high winds, heavy rain, and heavy snow across the western U.S. Winds gusted to 85 mph at Fort Carson, CO and to 96 mph at Rock Springs, WY. Flagstaff, AZ was deluged with 3.93 inches of rain in 24 hours; their greatest 24 hour rainfall on record. Duck Creek, UT was buried under 49 inches of snow in 48 hours and the Sierra Ski Ranch in California recorded 74 inches of snow over a 4-day period to raise its snow cover to 200 inches.
Farther to the east, a strong overrunning pattern developed ahead of the area of low pressure over Colorado. Sioux City, IA was hit with 14 inches of snow in just 6 hours.
In Caribou, ME, the mercury soared to 59° to mark their warmest winter temperature ever. All of this in spite of a deep snow-cover.
The temperature at the Civic Center in Los Angeles, CA soared to 95°; the highest temperature ever recorded at the location during the month of February.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms soaked Texas and Oklahoma with several inches of rain, causing flooding in some areas. The weather was blamed for 4 deaths in Texas; 3 were killed in traffic accidents and 1 was struck by lightning. Rain fell on most of the state, with up to 5 inches reported in the south-central part. Flooding was reported from Austin, TX northward to south-central Oklahoma.
A vast mudslide swept off an Andean mountainside onto 2 remote villages in southeastern Peru burying up to 300 people. Inhabitants had been evacuated after weekend flooding, but their refuge above the village put them in the path of the mudslide.
Heavy rain caused flash flooding in Dhamar, Yemen trapping an estimated 1,900 people in their homes. 5 people died.