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Weather History: April 2: Record temps, storms, snow, tornadoes, wind & floods

Meteorological events that happened on April 2nd:

1837

A heavy April snow fell over St. Louis, MO and the surrounding area. 17 inches fell in the city and 24 inches piled up in the suburbs.

1887

11 inches of snow fell at Boston, MA beginning on April 1st ending on this date.

1915

10 inches of snow fell at Raleigh NC; a record for the month of April.

1936

An F4 tornado cut a 15-mile path through Crisp County, GA. Hardest hit was the town of Cordele, where 276 homes were destroyed in a five block swath through the town. The storm was on a course that would have missed the center of town, but it made a left turn towards the end of its path. 23 people were killed and 500 injured. Total damage was $3 million dollars.

Oklahoma City's morning low temperature of 20° set the all-time coldest April temperature recorded in the city. This record was later tied on 4/13/1957.

Billings, MT fell to -5° which seta record low for April and is the only day the temperature has fallen below zero in April. Sheridan, WY fell to -14°. Dodge City, KS established their record low for April when they dropped to 9°.

1957

An F3 tornado tore through Dallas, TX. 10 people were killed and 216 were injured. Total damage was $1.5 million dollars. This tornado was among the most photographed and studied in history.

A spring storm dumped 17.3 inches of snow at Stapleton Airport in Denver, CO. Gusty winds over 30 mph created blizzard conditions which reduced visibilities to 1/8 mile at times. The 24-hour snowfall had been exceeded only twice in previous years and the 24-hour precipitation of 2.05 inches was the third heaviest in April.

1963

Big Bear Lake, CA dropped to 3°; their lowest April temperature on record.

1970

The sea level pressure of 28.86 inHg at the airport in Baltimore, MD is the lowest in history in the month of April in Maryland.

1975

An early spring snow storm gave parts of Illinois a wintery blast. The storm dumped snow across west central through northeast Illinois; further south, freezing rain fell as far south as Peoria. 50 deaths were reported; most were from heart attacks, overexertion while shoveling snow and abandoning stalled vehicles. Chicago received 9.4 inches; their greatest snowfall ever recorded for this date. Up to 20 inches fell in extreme northeastern Illinois. The snow did not completely melt away until 11 days later.

Garden City, KS tied their record low for the month of April with 13°. The low of 12° established the record low for the month of April at Liberal, KS. Denver, CO also recorded their record low for the month of April when they dropped to -2°. This is also the latest below zero reading for the season.

1977

An outbreak of tornadoes killed 900 and injured 6,000 in Bangladesh's Madaripur district.

1982

A vigorous cold front swept across the Plains causing widespread damage in both severe weather and winter weather. Blizzard conditions existed in much of eastern Nebraska and the western half of Iowa. Peak wind gusts were measured to 77 mph at Omaha, NE, Cheyenne, WY and 74 mph in Fremont, NE. An 80 mph wind gust occurred at Ponca, NE where a store front was blown off a building. In addition, a camper was blown over in South Sioux City, IA. I-35 north of Des Moines, IA was closed due to blowing snow.

After reaching afternoon highs in the 70s temperatures plunged into the 30s during the evening. The rapid drop in temperature turned areas of rain into areas of freezing rain and snow. Heavy ice accumulations snapped power poles in McCook County in southeast South Dakota leading to extensive power outages. 2 to 4 inches of snow fell in western and southern South Dakota although amounts were light in northwestern Iowa and southwestern Minnesota. Sustained winds 20 to 40 mph caused drifts to 4 feet deep and blizzard conditions in rural areas.

That evening temperatures plunged rapidly with the frontal passage leading to a snowstorm across much of South Dakota. During the afternoon severe thunderstorms produced hail up to 1 inch in diameter at Harrisburg in Lincoln County, South Dakota and portions of northwest Iowa. Strong sustained winds at 50 mph moved across South Dakota and into southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa, with a peak wind of 72 mph at Yankton, SD.

Further south, 56 tornadoes struck the central U.S. during a major severe weather outbreak. 17 twisters struck the Red River region of Texas and Oklahoma. 30 people were killed and 383 injured. A violent tornado near Messer, OK left only the carpet tack strips on the slab of a house it destroyed and took the Tri-Night Motel sign and blew it 30 miles to where it was found in Arkansas. One family of five at Hope, AR was crushed under the mattress they were using for cover when a massive oak tree was blown onto their house. Paris, TX was hit by an F4 tornado that killed 10 people and injured 170 others. An F5 tornado stayed on the ground for 53 miles through Choctaw and McCurtain Counties in Oklahoma with a damage path that was 1.5 miles wide at times.

A strong windstorm struck northern Colorado causing minor damage at Denver. Wind gusts of 127 mph were recorded at Rocky Flats south of Boulder, 116 mph at Wondervu, 100 mph at the Jefferson County airport in Broomfield and 56 mph at Stapleton International Airport in Denver. The strong winds whipped up blowing dust briefly reducing the visibility to ¾ mile.

1984

A late season winter storm blasted Nebraska, northeastern Colorado, and southern South Dakota. 24 inches of snow was recorded at Mullen, NE. Winds gusting to 50 mph created 3 to 6 foot drifts. 22 inches of snow fell in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Interstates 70 and 76 were closed east of the Denver, CO stranding over 1,000 travelers in Limon, CO.

1986

On this date through April 3rd, the worst snowstorm of the season struck northern Colorado including the Denver metro area. Heavy snow and high winds combined to close roads, schools and airports. Portions of all interstate highways out of Denver were closed at times. The snow came after an exceptionally mild late winter and early spring. Trees and bushes had already bloomed. The snow and wind snapped many of those causing power outages. Total snowfall amounts in metro Denver ranged from 1 to 2 feet with 2 to 3 feet in the foothills. Snowfall totaled 12.6 inches at Stapleton Airport where winds gusted close to 40 mph reducing visibilities to 1/8 mile in blowing snow. Most of the snow fell on April 3rd when temperatures remained below freezing most of the day. Traffic was halted and businesses were closed. A 100,000 square foot section of a greenhouse roof collapsed in Golden, CO destroying over $1 million dollars worth of plants.

1987

A late season snowfall began on this date from Ohio into the Deep South. When it was all over, 60 inches of snow fell at Newfound Gap, NC to establish a new state snowfall record from a single storm.

Early spring record cold occurred over Florida. Several cities in Florida reported record low temperatures for the date, including Tallahassee with a reading of 31°. The low of 48° at Key West smashed their previous record for the date by 13 degrees.

1988

Thunderstorms produced up to 9 inches of rain around New Orleans, LA causing $18 million dollars damage. A tornado caused $3 million dollars damage at Slidell, LA.

1989

Strong and gusty winds prevailed from California to Colorado and Wyoming. Winds gusted to 50 mph at Lancaster, CA, and reached 85 mph at Berthoud Pass, CO. Snow and high winds created blizzard conditions in the Colorado Rockies.

1990

Thunderstorms produced severe weather in North Carolina and Virginia during the afternoon and evening. Thunderstorms produced golf ball size hail, and spawned a tornado near Chester, VA which caused $500,000 damage. 2.53 inches of rain fell in just 30 minutes in Prince Edward County, Virginia.

A storm system produced snow and gale force winds across northern Michigan, with 8.3 inches of snow reported at Marquette. Temperatures in the north central U.S. soared from morning lows in the 20s and 30s to afternoon highs in the 60s and 70s. Several cities reported record highs for the date, including Havre, MT with a reading of 77°.

1997

A late season cold low brought low elevation snow with it with snow flurries falling on the west side of the Las Vegas valley in Nevada. In Las Vegas the high only reached 48 degrees and this tied for the coldest ever in April. Flagstaff, AZ was buried under 28 inches of snow for its second largest one day snowfall total ever. The city ended up with 44.3 inches of snow for the storm.

An intense winter storm slammed the Canadian Maritimes. Freezing rain knocked out power to more than 4,000 homes on Prince Edward Island.

1998

A major spring storm brought heavy snow to Denver and the foothills of northern Colorado. Snowfall totals of 12 to 22 inches fell in the foothills with 4 to 12 inches across the Denver metro area. Other snowfall totals included: 22.5 inches near Conifer, 13 inches in Cola Creek Canyon, 12 inches near Blackhawk, Eldora and Genesee, 10 inches near Evergreen and Nederland, 9 inches in Lakewood, 8 inches at Broomfield and northwest Denver and 7 inches at the site of the former Stapleton Airport.

1999

Many areas of the west received heavy amounts of snow from a big storm system. 36 inches of snow fell in Forest Lakes, AZ and 20 inches fell at the Flagstaff Airport. Snow at Phoenix forced cancellation of the second round of The Tradition on the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale. The storm was the first “snow-out” in PGA Senior Tour history.

2005

Heavy rainfall in the northeast produced flooding in parts of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Severe flooding along the Delaware River forced the evacuation of 6,000 residents in New Jersey and over 5,700 in Pennsylvania through April 3rd. Approximately 3,200 homes in New Jersey were damaged, while one fatality was reported in New York.

Cleveland, OH received 6.4 inches of snow to raise its seasonal snowfall total to 105.3 inches: a new record for the city. The old record was 101.1 inches set back in 1995-96. More snow occurred later in the month and the final 2004-2005 seasonal total ended up at 117.9 inches.

2006

Widespread severe weather produced a major tornado outbreak from the Midwest to the Tennessee Valley. As many as 86 tornadoes were reported across Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee with at least 23 deaths reported.

25 tornadoes occurred across central and southeast Illinois. While most of these were of F0 or F1 intensity, one strong tornado tracked across Macon County southwest of Decatur. Several homes and businesses were damaged in Taylorville and Pana; two tornadoes moved across southern parts of Springfield, affecting nearly the same locations as tornadoes from two weeks earlier.

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