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Weather History: April 10: Record temps, storms, snow, dust, tornadoes & floods

Meteorological events that happened on April 10th:

You have probably noticed a distinct smell in the air as a rain shower approaches. You may have also heard the weather saying "the flower's perfume is strongest before the storm". Well, these two ideas are related. As a storm approaches the air pressure is most likely falling. This lower air pressure allows scents from plants and other sources to be more readily released. The end result is a mixture of many different scents giving a distinctive smell.


A foot of wet snow fell in Philadelphia, PA during an early spring storm.


A heavy late season snow blanketed parts of the northeastern U.S. Heavier snowfall totals included 31.5 inches at Salem Corners, PA, 30 inches at LeRoy, NY, up to 28 inches near Philadelphia, PA, 26 inches at York, PA, 14 inches at Waterbury, CT, and 9 inches at Providence, RI.


During the runoff from the winter snowmelt, the Red River crested at 50.20 feet at East Grand Forks, ND.


The Weather Bureau Fire Weather Service was established on this date after disastrous fires in Idaho and Montana in 1910 led to fire control efforts by the U.S. Forest Service. An important part of this effort was the issuance of fire weather forecasts. The Weather Bureau Fire Weather Service was officially established.


A rare summer-like heat wave dominated much of the Midwest through the next day. Rockford, IL set an April record with 93°. They followed that with a daily record of 88° on the 11th. Chicago, IL set consecutive daily record highs of 90° on this date and the 11th. Further south, Columbia, MO and Quincy, IL set April high temperature records with 93° and 92° respectively.


Severe dust storms struck Iowa and Kansas closing schools and highways. Dodge City, KS experienced its worst dust storm on record, with dense dust reported from the morning of the 9th until after sunset on the 11th. The sky was almost as dark as night at times during the daylight hours. The thick dust suspended traffic on highways and railroads, and also suspended most business in town.


A southwesterly flow ahead of a cold front produced early season heat across most of Texas. Some notable readings included: Waco with 98°, Dallas hit 99°, Junction hit 100° and Laredo climbed to 104°.


Houston, TX dropped to a record low of 31°. This is their latest freezing temperature on record.


An outbreak of 23 tornadoes ravaged the Red River areas of Texas and Oklahoma. This day was known as "Terrible Tuesday" to the residents of Wichita Falls, TX as a tornado rated F4 on the Fujita scale ripped through the city killing 45 people and injuring at least 1,700 in a matter of minutes. The tornado’s width reached 1.5 miles as it passed through the residential section of the city. The worst tragedy was the fact that many deaths were easily preventable. 25 people were killed when they got into their cars and tried to drive out of the tornado's path. 16 of the 25 people left homes that were not even damaged. Besides the terrible human costs, 3,100 homes were destroyed, with an estimated 20,000 people left homeless. The total damage in Wichita Falls was around $400 million dollars. The Wichita Falls tornado was not the first massive tornado that day in the western parts of north Texas. An earlier tornado killed 10 people in Vernon and 1 in Lockett.


A late season cold snap in the east set record low April temperatures in the following cities: Asheville, NC: 23°; Beckley, WV: 11°; Elkins, WV: 3°. April record lows were tied in Raleigh-Durham, NC with 23° and Roanoke, VA with 20°.


Blustery northwest winds prevailed across the Northern Plains. Winds in parts of Wyoming gusted to 65 mph. Temperatures in North Dakota were only in the 20s and 30s, following afternoon highs in the 70s the previous day.


Unseasonably warm weather prevailed in the western U.S. Several cities reported new record high temperatures for the date, including Bakersfield, CA with a reading of 95°, their warmest for so early in the season. Pocatello, ID warmed from a record low of 19° to an afternoon high of 63°.


Strong northerly winds, gusting to 53 mph at Albuquerque, NM, ushered cold arctic air into the south central U.S. The temperature at Albuquerque plunged from 82° to 29° overnight. Many cities in the central U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date, including Goodland, KS with a reading of 4°.


Thunderstorms produced severe weather from the Central Gulf Coast Region to western sections of the Carolinas during the afternoon and evening. Evening thunderstorms over western South Carolina produced wind gusts to 98 mph which injured four people at Holly Springs, and wind gusts to 100 mph which injured one person and caused half a million dollars damage north of Dacusville.


A strong coastal storm gave New England its second heavy snowfall in only 3 days. North Foster, RI was buried under 21.5 inches of snow, while Jaffery, NH measured 21 inches. Other heavy totals included 27.4 inches on Mount Washington, NH, 20.1 inches at Ashburnham, MA, 17 inches at Windham, CT, and 12.6 inches at Brookhaven, NY. Tree damage was extensive due the heavy, wet nature of the snow. This storm took care of the remaining seasonal snowfall records as records were exceeded at the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, MA, Worcester, MA, Concord, NH, and Bridgeport, CT. Many locations in the northeast now exceeded 120 inches for the winter season, with a few locations over 150 inches, making the winter of 1995-96 the snowiest winter on record for a large part of the Northeast. Seasonal records included: Binghamton, NY: 131.8", Bridgeport, CT: 75.8": Worcester, MA: 128.9" and Blue Hill, MA: 140.8".


A spring snowstorm caught many residents of parts of the Missouri Valley by surprise when 2 to 6 inches of snow fell from central to northeast Missouri while over a foot fell further north in parts of central Illinois. The snow cancelled many outdoor activities, including the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. It was the first time since April 17, 1983 that a Cardinals home game was snowed out. Snowfall totals included 13.5 inches at Galesburg, IL 11.5 inches in Chillicothe, IL 11 inches in Minonk, IL and 6 inches at the Peoria, IL airport.

2.4 inches of snow fell at Billings, MT a record seventh consecutive day of at least an inch of snowfall; 23 inches of snow fell from the 4th to the 10th.


It was the second frosty morning of the month in parts of central California (after a heavy frost on the 4th) which resulted in a total of over $131 million dollars damage to crops. Hanford, CA dropped to 34°, Lemon Cove: 33° and Corcoran, CA: 32°.


A potent spring storm dumped heavy snow across the Colorado Rockies while a blizzard roared across the Plains east of Denver. Snowfall amounts ranged up to 18 inches across Denver and the foothills. Sustained winds 40 to 50 mph with gusts to 60 mph piled the snow into drifts 3 to 6 feet deep. Parts of I-25 and I-70 were closed. The combination of wet snow and damaging winds resulted in widespread power outages. Denver International Airport was shut down for the first time in its brief six year history. The power outages resulted in business and school closings over all of northeastern Colorado. 220,000 customers were without power for a time; the worst in Xcel Energy’s history. Repairs totaled $1.6 million dollars. Snowfall totals included: 18 inches in southeast Aurora, 17 inches at Genesee, 16 inches at Centennial Airport, Parker & Rollinsville, 14 inches at Broomfield & Intercanyon, 13 inches at Louisville, Coal Creek Canyon & Evergreen, 12 inches at Lakewood & Morrison, 11 inches at Ken Caryl, Thornton, Aspen Springs & Chief Hosa, 10 inches at the former Stapleton Airport, Wheat Ridge and Blackhawk, 9 inches at Westminster & atop Crow Hill and 8 inches at Littleton.

A supercell thunderstorm traversed central Missouri, producing 8 tornadoes and copious amounts large hail up to baseball size. An enormous amount of damage was done by the hail, mainly in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Total damage was estimated at $1.4 billion dollars.


In Santiago, Chile South America 1.02 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, twice their average April rainfall.

In Al Baha in the western hills of Saudi Arabia thunderstorms dumped 4.45 inches of rain in 12 hours. The average April precipitation there is just 1.34 inches. Temperatures reached just 59°, the first time the daytime high had been under 68° since late January 2002, and the coldest day there since at least February 2001.


An upper level low pressure system over the southeast brought a surprise snowstorm to parts of western North Carolina. Several inches of snow fell in just a few hours from the late morning into the afternoon. Asheville, NC picked up 4 inches of snow, while nearby Mount Pisgah picked up one foot. Parts of the Parkway leading to Mount Pisgah were closed for a time.


A strong storm system produced blizzard conditions in areas to the east of Denver and south of I-76 and near blizzard conditions across the Denver metro area. The combination of heavy snow and strong winds forced the closure of Denver International Airport standing thousands of travelers. Long stretches of I-25, I-70 and I-76 were also closed due to extensive blowing and drifting snow. Snow amounts ranged from 12 to 30 inches in and near the eastern foothills and over the Palmer Divide. Drifts were 2 to 5 feet. Storm snowfall totals included: 31 inches near Conifer, 27.5 inches at Aspen Springs, 25.5 inches at Sedalia and Blackhawk, 25 inches near Bergen Park and near Genesee, 24.5 inches at Pine Junction and Roxborough Park, 24 inches southwest of Boulder, 23.5 inches at Ken Caryl, 23 inches atop Crow Hill, near Larkspur, Evergreen and Nederland, 22.5 inches at Aurora, 22 inches at Bennett, 21 inches at Eldora Ski area, 20 inches near Arapahoe Park, Centennial, Littleton and south Denver, 18 inches at Eldorado Springs and near Castle Rock, 17 inches near Chatfield Reservoir & Perry Park and 16 inches near Jamestown and Thornton, 15 inches at Lakewood, 14.5 inches at Wheat Ridge near Englewood, 14 inches at Lone Tree and Arvada and close to 10 inches in Denver.


Unseasonably warm temperatures occurred as Fairbanks, AK soared to 56°; tying the daily record set back in 1957. In contrast, the high temperature in Atlanta, GA was only 54°.


47 villages in Guizhou Province were hit by a major hailstorm that injured 25 people and damaged infrastructure and crops. The largest hailstones measured golf ball size in diameter.


Check out my colleague Weather Examiners:

Baltimore, MD area weather with Tony Pann at

Orlando, FL area weather with Dr. Steve Oliver at

Houston, TX area weather & the weekly Weather America Newsletter with Larry Cosgrove at

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