Friday, 12 April 2013

Weather History: April 12: Record Temps, Storms, Snow, Wind & Flooding

Weather History: April 12: Record Temps, Storms, Snow, Wind & Flooding, Massive eruption of Mount Tambora blew 100 cubic miles of ash skyward. The eruption disrupted the global weather for several years, particularly noteworthy: the year without a summer of 1816 in North America and Europe.


Another major coastal storm struck New England. 14 inches of snow fell at Waterbury, CT and 9 inches at Providence, RI.


Two inches of snow fell at Washington, D.C., the heaviest latest snowfall in the city's history.


A tornado wiped out the town of Rock Springs, TX killing 72 persons and causing $1.2 million dollars damage. The tornado, more than one mile in width, destroyed 235 of the towns 247 buildings, leaving no trace of lumber or contents in many cases. Many survivors were bruised by large hail which fell after the passage of the tornado.


A vigorous cold front approached northern Colorado which presented an awe-inspiring spectacle as brilliant white wind-torn cumulus clouds were sandwiched by a brownish-tan dust cloud at the surface and dark blue cumulus clouds above. The dust cloud storm enveloped the Denver area with wind gusts over 40 mph which resulted in blowing dust and rapidly falling temperatures and rising pressure. Light snow began and continued through midday the next day producing several inches. Behind the front, Denver had record low temperatures of 17° and 15° on the 13th and 14th respectively. The high temperature of 27° on the 13th was a record low maximum for the date.


A wind speed of 231 mph was observed 6,288 feet above sea level at Mount Washington, NH. The highest five-minute average wind speed was also recorded at Mount Washington this same day, an unbelievable 186 mph. The 231 mph was the highest wind speed measured on Earth until 4/10/1996 (officially recognized 1/31/10) when a wind speed from Cyclone Olivia of 253 mph was recorded on Barrow Island off the northwest coast of Australia. The 316 mph wind speed recorded at Moore, OK on 5/3/1999 logged during an F5 tornado was not recorded at ground level as the others were (100 feet).


Parts of the Midwest got an early glimpse of summer as temperatures soared in the 80s. Rockford, IL tied a daily record of 84. Temperatures of 80° or above were also experienced in Rockford on the 28th through the 30th which led to this month being the seventh warmest April on record.


Two-thirds of the town of Hackleburg, AL was destroyed by an F4 tornado that ripped through the town at 1:30 a.m. Residents reported being awakened by an "unscheduled freight train."


A series of major tornadoes raked Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois. Antlers, OK was nearly obliterated by a massive F5 tornado that zigzagged from southwest to northeast across the town. 69 people died in the twister. Another tornado killed 8 people in Oklahoma City, OK. The disaster was overshadowed by the loss of President Franklin Roosevelt, who died suddenly at his vacation home at Warm Springs, GA.


Toronto, Ontario Canada’s Pearson International Airport reported 1.64 inches of rain; the wettest April day on record.


Santa Ana, CA dropped to 32°; the latest freezing temperature on record for the year.


An avalanche at the Alyeska Ski Resort in Alaska moved at an unusually slow speed of 2 mph. A controlled avalanche set off by the ski patrol encountered an area of heavy, wet snow. Slowed by the wet snow, the avalanche rose to a height of three stories. Most avalanches move very quickly, some as fast as 100 mph.


A strong spring storm affected the northern and western two-thirds of South Dakota. Heavy snow fell throughout the morning hours dumping over a foot of snow over a large area of the state. Winds whipped the snow into 2 to 4 foot drifts across much of northern South Dakota. The Aberdeen area was the hardest hit with around 17 inches reported.

While southeast South Dakota, southwest Minnesota, and northwest Iowa did not feel the effects of the storm, east central South Dakota was not as fortunate. Freezing drizzle and freezing rain resulted in heavy icing in east central South Dakota causing extensive damage. The ice storm caused power outages to 20 to 80% of the rural electric service in the area.


The temperature climbed to 100° at Oklahoma City, OK. That is the earliest date in the year that a temperature of at least 100° has ever occurred in the city. The 100° high also set a record as the warmest temperature ever observed in April for Oklahoma City. Meanwhile, Wichita Falls, TX also set an April high temperature that day, with a reading of 102°.


A cold front crossing the central U.S. produced heavy snow in the Central Rockies, and severe thunderstorms over Kansas and Oklahoma. Snowfall totals ranged up to 16 inches at Red Mountain Pass, CO. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 87 mph at Ponca City, OK. Winds associated with the cold front itself gusted to 69 mph at Tucumcari, NM.


Snow blanketed the Southern Appalachians. Totals in North Carolina ranged up to 17 inches at Mitchell. Winds at Flat Top Mountain gusted to 80 mph.


Many cities in the south-central and eastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date, including Elkins, WV with a low of 15°, and Baton Rouge LA with a reading of 37°.


Arctic air invaded the central U.S. Lincoln NE reported a record low of 17°. Thunderstorms developing along the arctic cold front produced heavy snow in north central Kansas, wind gusts to 61 mph at Midland, TX, and wind gusts to 69 mph at Rawlins, WY.

Warm weather prevailed in the southwestern U.S. Las Vegas NV reported a record high of 91°.


Due to heavy rains, US highways 54 and 281 were closed and parts of Pratt, KS were evacuated. Lemon Park suffered heavy damage, with railroad tracks and cars washed away. Pratt received 6.25 inches of rain.

Shreveport, LA was deluged with 10.46 inches of rain.


The Mississippi River reached its third highest flood on record at that time, affecting several homes and businesses. High water also forced the closure of some highways. On this date, the Mississippi River crested at 18.3 ft in Winona, MN.


0.67 inches of rain fell from a thunderstorm in Kuwait City, Kuwait in less than 24 hours. Their average April rainfall is 0.51 inches. The Iranian town of Omidiyeh recorded 2.36 inches of rain in 12 hours, three times the April average 0.79 inches.

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