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Weather History: April 18: Record temps, storms, tornadoes, wind, quake & snow

Listed are Meteorological events that happened on April 18:


More than two dozen tornadoes touched down from Arkansas and Kansas to Michigan and Wisconsin. A massive F4 tornado devastated the town of Marshfield, MO, killing 65 people. The town of Barnettsville, MO was abandoned after a mile wide tornado destroyed the hamlet. Debris on the tracks caused a Missouri Pacific passenger train to derail. A tornado causing F4 damage killed 18 people and injured 90 in Moniteau, Cole and Calloway counties in Missouri. Overall, 100 people perished in the outbreak.


New York City reported their earliest 90° reading on record.


During the runoff from the winter snowmelt, the Red River crested at 39.72 feet at Fargo, ND.


The city of San Francisco was nearly destroyed by the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. The earthquake measured 8.3 on the Richter scale. A five square mile area, almost two-thirds of the young city, was destroyed. The fires, fanned by an unusual easterly wind, lasted for three days. 315 people died in the earthquake and fire with another 350 missing and presumed dead.


California experienced its worst hailstorm of record. Damage totaled to $2 million dollars as two consecutive storms devastated the Sacramento Valley destroying the fruit crop.


A large dust devil at Dracut, MA was powerful enough to lift a small child three feet into the air and rolled two others. Luckily, they weren’t hurt. The dust devil was accompanied by a loud whistling noise as it moved westward.


The Cherry blossoms at Washington, D.C. peaked on this date; the latest in their history.


A severe thunderstorm moved southeast across the Chattanooga, OK area, dumping four inches of rain in just 30 minutes, along with hail up to an inch in diameter, that piled up over a foot deep in places. Hail up to 1½ inches in diameter also caused roof damage across south Oklahoma City.


A major blizzard ravaged the northern Plains. Up to two feet of snow was reported in parts of South Dakota and 20 inches fell at Lander, WY. Sub-freezing temperatures caused thousands of dollars damage to fruit trees across Denver, CO. From this date through the 20th, low temperatures each morning were in the teens and failed to reach above freezing on the 19th. The low temperature of 13° on the 20th set a new record low for the date. Stapleton International Airport in Denver picked up 5.7 inches of snow during this period.


It had been a devastating night for tornadoes in the Texas Panhandle. At the U.S. Weather Bureau office in Lubbock, TX it had been a busy night with countless tornado warnings issued. Around midnight, the all clear was sounded. During the predawn hours, another group of tornadoes swarmed across the Panhandle. 13 people died at Sherwood Shores as the twister struck without warning.

Rapid City, SD, received a record 22 inches of snow in 24 hours. The airport at Rapid City picked up 15.6 inches of snow.

A wind gust recorded on Mt. John, on New Zealand's South Island reached 150 mph.


An early season heat wave continued across the Mid-Atlantic and northeast. Washington, DC soared to 95°; tying for their hottest ever in the month of April. Philadelphia, PA & Boston, MA hit 94° setting April records. Other record highs set included: NYC, Central Park: 96°, Richmond, VA: 95°, Hartford, CT: 95°, Allentown, PA: 93°, Avoca, PA: 92°, Williamsport, PA: 92°, Concord, NH: 92°, Roanoke, VA: 91°, Burlington, VT: 91°, Greensboro, NC: 90°, Charleston, WV: 90°, Dulles Airport, VA: 90°, Albany, NY: 90°, Elkins, WV: 88°, Worcester, MA: 88°, Beckley, WV: 86°, Providence, RI: 86°, Binghamton, NY: 85°, Rochester, NY: 85° and Syracuse, NY: 85°.


A cluster of thunderstorms developed over South Central South Dakota which brought extremely efficient rain producers as 4½ inches fell in one hour along with pea to marble size hail. Flash flooding resulted washing away fences and sheds across Bennett, Todd, and Mellette counties. The rain water swept the hail into drifts with some areas reporting 10 to 12 foot hail drifts in ravines.


Four inches of snow fell in parts of southeastern Virginia, the heaviest snows on record for so late in the season.

Chuping, Malaysia tied their country’s hottest day on record when the temperature reached to 101.1°.


Many cities in the central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date, including International Falls, MN with a reading of 88°, and Bismarck, ND with a high of 92°.

A sharp cold front produced high winds in the western U.S. Winds in Utah gusted to 99 mph at the Park City Angle Station, and capsized a boat on Utah Lake drowning four people. Desert Rock. NV reported a 77 mph wind gust and billboards and power poles were downed in Las Vegas, NV.


Afternoon and evening thunderstorms produced large hail and damaging winds in the southeastern U.S. A strong F2 tornado severely damaged 17 mobile homes near Bainbridge, GA injuring 3 people.


Thunderstorms produced large hail and damaging winds in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. A thunderstorm in Pecos County of southwest Texas produced wind gusts to 90 mph at Imperial.


Heavy snow blanketed the west central valleys and southwest mountains of Colorado with up to 18 inches of snow.

Several cities from the Mid Mississippi Valley to the Mid-Atlantic Coast reported record low temperatures for the date, including Fort Wayne, IN with a reading of 23°.


A spring snowstorm blanketed parts of the Central Rockies. Vail, Co reported 12 inches and 10 inches at Copper Mountain.


A tornado struck Decatur, IL without warning. This was the second consecutive day tornadoes struck this area.


The heat wave continued across the east as high pressure off the Carolina blocked a frontal boundary across the Plains. Records for the date included: Newark, NJ: 93°, Islip, NY: 89°, Wallops Island, VA: 88°, Atlantic City, NJ: 87°, Bridgeport, CT: 85° and Buffalo, NY: 81°.


Periods of heavy wet snow from this date through the 21st totaled 20 inches at Billings, MT with 2.60 inches water equivalent over the 4-day period. Red Lodge, MT received 17 inches, Story, MT: 14 inches and Pryor, MT reported 12 inches.


A localized yet very heavy rain affected portions of southern Harris and northern Galveston counties in Texas. 6.90 inches of rain was measured in one hour at the Harris County Flood Control rain gage located at Bay Area Boulevard and Clear Creek. 8 to 10 inches of rain were reported across parts of Harris and Galveston counties and League City reported 7.88 inches of rain. Roadways became impassable due to high water and five fatalities occurred due to the flooding.

To the north, Cheyenne, WY recorded a total of 13.7 inches of snow while nearly 20 inches fell over the mountains to the west of Cheyenne.


Icebergs floating southward off the Labrador coast run aground near St. John's, Newfoundland, The bergs are a reminder of the Titanic disaster a century earlier.


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

NOAA Headlines Examiner with Dr. Steve Oliver and IPR at

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