Saturday, 20 April 2013

Weather History: April 20: Record Temps, Storms, Tornadoes, Wind & Snow

Weather History: April 20: Record Temps, Storms, Tornadoes, Wind & Snow, Listed are Meteorological events that happened on April 20:


Sacramento, CA had their heaviest 24 hour rainfall when 7.24 inches fell.


A spring storm produced unusually heavy snow in northeast Ohio. Warren received 35.5 inches in 36 hours, and 28 inches fell at Green Hill. Akron, OH established April records of 15.6 inches in 24 hours, and 26.6 inches for the month. Pittsburgh, PA established April records of 12.7 inches in 24 hours, and 13.5 inches for the month.


A tornado moved north northeast from 5 miles southeast of Rush Center, KS across the east half of Bison, KS. Farms were wiped out near Rush Center. The loss at Bison was $70,000 dollars as half of the town, about 50 homes, were damaged or destroyed. There were 15 injuries in town. A dozen farms were nearly wiped out. Debris from the farm houses were carried for 8 miles. An elderly man who made light of the storm was killed with his granddaughter on a farm 2 miles southwest of Bison.


An outbreak of tornadoes across Mississippi and northern Alabama killed 219 people. 6 tornadoes of F4 intensity were reported. Aberdeen, MS was hard hit by an F4 tornado that killed 22 people. This same tornado killed 20 in Marion County, Alabama. 9 people in one family died in Winston County, Alabama. The tornadoes were unusual as they struck during the morning hours.


Record heat continued across the east coast into New England. Record high temperatures included: Durham, NH: 95°, Baltimore, MD: 94°, Washington, D.C.: 94°, Albany, NY: 93°, Harrisburg, PA: 92°, Philadelphia, PA: 92°, Concord, NH: 92°, Norfolk, VA: 91°, Roanoke, VA: 91°, Avoca, PA: 91°, Trenton, NJ: 91°, Newark, NJ: 91°, Worcester, MA: 91°, Allentown, PA: 90°, Syracuse, NY: 90°, Hartford, CT, 89°, Providence, RI: 89°, Boston, MA: 89°, Elkins, WV: 88°, Pittsburgh, PA: 86°, Rochester, NY: 86°, Burlington, VT: 86° and Mt. Pocono, PA: 85°.


The tankers Esso Suez and Esso Greensboro crashed in a thick fog off the coast of Morgan City, LA. Only 5 of the Greensboro's crew survived after the ship burst into flame.


Canadian high pressure brought very cold air to the Rockies and northern Plains. Record lows included: Scottsbluff, NE: -3°, Cheyenne, WY dropped to -2°, Casper, WY: -2°, Lander, WY: 1°, Rapid City, SD: 2°, Sheridan, WY: 3°, Valentine, NE: 6°, Fargo, ND: 11°, Williston, ND: 11°, Aberdeen, SD: 11°, Colorado Springs, CO: 13°, Denver, CO: 13°, Huron, SD: 15°, Billings, MT: 17°, Bismarck, ND: 17°, Pueblo, CO: 20° and Dodge City, KS: 25°.


A tornado struck 5 miles north of Cyril, OK. A pickup truck driving along State Highway 8, stalled because of the wind, and then was lifted by the tornado, turned around to face the opposite direction, and set down again, without damage. The driver, who described the funnel as being "full of mud", was uninjured.


Severe thunderstorms struck the western parts of north Texas. Near Bonita in Montague County, flat hailstones, four to five inches in diameter, and one inch thick, did extensive damage to autos, roofs, and windows.


The northeastern U.S. continued with an early season heat wave. Some records highs included: Charleston, WV: 91°, Huntington, WV: 89°, Beckley, WV: 85° and Williamsport, PA: 85°.


Billings, MT reached 90°; tying a record high for April and is the earliest 90 degree reading on record.


A temperature of 106° at Del Rio, TX set a new record high for the month of April.


Many cities in the central and eastern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date. The high of 92° at Memphis, TN was a record for April, and the high of 94° at Little Rock, AR equaled their April record.


A storm in the western U.S. brought heavy rain to parts of California that didn’t end until the 23rd. Mount Wilson was soaked with 4.15 inches of rain in 24 hours. The heavy rain caused some flooding and mudslides in the Los Angeles area, and a chain reaction collision of vehicles along the Pomona Freeway which resulted in 26 injuries. Street flooding occurred in southern San Diego County along with downed trees, power outages, and overflowed sewer lines. Three straight Dodgers baseball games were rained out. Only 12 rainouts had occurred in the previous 26 years. During the early afternoon hours, an F0 tornado moved on a 1,500 foot path through Bear Valley Springs. A small structure was destroyed and others suffered window and minor roof damage.


Hot weather spread from the southwestern U.S. into the Great Plains Region. Many cities reported new record high temperatures for the date. The afternoon high of 104° at Tucson, AZ was an April record, and highs of 87° at Provo UT, 90° at Pueblo CO, and 85° at Salt Lake City UT, equaled April records. Denver, CO set a daily record with 83°. They would also set record highs of 88° on the 22nd and 85° on the 23rd.


A fast moving Pacific storm produced heavy snow in the central mountains and the Upper Arkansas Valley of Colorado, with a foot of snow reported at Leadville. Thunderstorms in the south central U.S. produced wind gusts to 76 mph at Tulsa, OK, and heavy rain which caused flooding of Cat Claw Creek in the Abilene, TX area. Lightning struck the building housing a fish farm in Scott, AR killing 10,000 pounds of fish. Many of the fish died from the heat of the fire.


5.89 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Norfolk, VA, setting a record for April.


A blizzard beginning on the 18th lasted through this date across the Black Hills of South Dakota. Heavy wet snow and strong winds created blizzard conditions in the northern Black Hills that led to a major power outage. About 2,000 households were without power for over 4 hours in some areas around Lead/Deadwood. Snow amounts of 2 feet were common with 30 inches falling at Lead causing major traffic problems. Northwest winds gusted to over 65 mph at Rapid City, SD and to around 50 mph in the Hills. 9.2 inches of snow at Omaha, NE (8.7 inches at the airport) set several records, including the heaviest April snow. The same storm dumped 2.7 inches of snow at Kansas City, MO for their heaviest snowfall ever so late in the season. Ahead of the storm, an F1 tornado destroyed a 40x50 foot shed and damaged a nearby garage and home two miles south of Hillsboro, WI.


A late season snowstorm struck parts of Nebraska and Iowa. Low pressure developed over the south central United States and tracked into southwest Missouri and finally between Des Moines and Ottumwa. Heavy snow began to fall around noon with the heaviest amounts over eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa. 14 inches of snow fell at Hamburg and 12 inches in Sidney. 8 to 15 inches were common over eastern Nebraska and 4 to 8 inches in southwest Iowa. The snow was very wet and heavy causing tree and power line damage. In addition, some livestock losses were reported mostly with young calves.


Severe thunderstorms rolled from west to east across central Illinois throughout the morning. These storms produced tornado touchdowns near Illiopolis and Forsyth, and another tornado tracked from near Oreana to Argenta. This latter tornado lifted the roof off a home 2 miles northeast of Oreana, and part of a roof in Argenta was lifted off. Earlier in the morning, the storms produced winds up to 85 mph in Cass, Tazewell and Menard Counties, causing damage to buildings, trees and power lines. In Tazewell County, a radio tower in Groveland was blown over, causing $500,000 dollars damage, and near Washington, an airport hangar was destroyed, damaging 3 planes.


A strong F3 tornado moved across the town of Utica, near LaSalle-Peru in north central Illinois. This tornado destroyed several homes, a machinery building, and a tavern. The roof of the tavern collapsed, killing eight people inside; many of these people had come into town from nearby mobile homes, seeking sturdier shelter. The tornado dissipated on a steep bluff on the northeast side of town. Another tornado developed shortly afterward, crossing I-80 near Ottawa. Several other tornadoes developed across north central and northeast Illinois, affecting areas around Joliet and Kankakee.


A tornado struck near the city of Yancheng in the eastern province of Jiangsu, China resulting in 7 deaths and at least 60 injuries.

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