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Weather History: April 28: Record temps, tornadoes, storms, floods & snow

Listed are Meteorological events that happened on April 28:

What's the cloudiest city in the United States? There is a tie between Astoria, OR and Quillayute, WA with 240 cloudy days a year. Seattle, WA has an average of 227 cloudy days per year.


A ½ mile wide F4 tornado killed 23 people and injured 150 as it tore a path of devastation through Cisco, TX. Every building in the town was either totally destroyed or severely damaged.


The worst flooding since 1573 began in Argentina. Several days of heavy rainfall raised several major rivers, including the Salado River as much as 20 inches in 12 hours. At least 23 people were killed and over 45,000 people evacuated by early May. The flooding was so severe that Santa Fe was characterized as an island.


A severe hailstorm in Anson County, North Carolina produced hail the size of baseballs. Gardens, grain fields and trees were destroyed. Pine trees in the storm's path had to be cut for lumber because of the hail damage.


A coastal storm produced tremendous late season snows in the Central Appalachians, including 35 inches at Bayard, WV, 31 inches at Somerset, PA, and 30 inches at Grantsville, MD in Garrett County. High winds accompanying the heavy wet snow uprooted trees and unroofed a number of homes.


A spring storm buried parts of northern Minnesota with as much as 10 inches of heavy wet snow.


The all-time record crest of the Mississippi River at St. Louis, MO was recorded at 43.3 feet. This exceeded the former 1884 mark by 1.9 feet. This record was broken by 6.35 feet in August 1993.


A cold rain began in the morning hours over New England and turned to heavy wet snow by mid afternoon. Record amounts of snow piled up with the heaviest amounts in the higher elevations. In Massachusetts, Princeton was buried under 25 inches of snow and Ashburnham checked in with 21 inches. Even Boston, right on the ocean, had 4 inches of snow for a new late season snowfall record. 18 inches was recorded at Francestown, NH and 15 inches was reported at Glocester, RI. This late season snowstorm put a strain on the record books at Worcester, MA. The 17 inches for the storm was the biggest and latest snowstorm on record. Total snowfall for April was 21 inches. This broke the old record for April which was 20 inches in April 1894. Total April precipitation now stood at 8.76 inches, the most precipitation in April ever. The storm also brought the 1986-87 season snowfall to 93.7 inches, the sixth snowiest season on record.

Many cities in the western and central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Highs of 95° at Houston, TX, 95° at Lake Charles, LA, and 94° at Port Arthur, TX, were April records.


Miami FL hit 92°, marking a record eight days of 90 degree heat in the month of April. Squalls produced snow in the Washington, D.C. area. Belvoir, VA reported a temperature reading of 57° at the time the snow began.


Strong northerly winds and heavy snow ushered cold air into the north central U.S. Snowfall totals in Montana ranged up to 20 inches at Miles City. Thunderstorms produced severe weather from eastern Texas to the Southern Appalachians and the southern Ohio Valley. Softball size was reported at Keller and White Settlement, TX.


Thunderstorms produced severe weather in the southeastern U.S. during the day. Severe thunderstorms spawned four tornadoes, including one which injured four people at Inman, SC. There were also more than 100 reports of large hail and damaging winds, with better than half of those reports in Georgia. Strong thunderstorm winds injured four people at Sadler's Creek, SC.

Many cities in the northeastern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date as readings soared into the 80s and lower 90s. Highs of 88° at Binghamton, NY, 94° at Buffalo, NY, 89° at Erie, PA, 90° at Newark, NJ, 93° at Rochester, NY and 92° at Syracuse, NY, were records for the month of April.


Memphis, TN recorded their wettest April ever with 15.03 inches, breaking their previous record of 13.90 inches in 1872.


Intense thunderstorms dumped large hail up to 4.5 inches in diameter (softball size) and produced wind gusts to 100 mph across Tarrant, Dallas, and Ellis counties in north Texas, resulting in the costliest severe thunderstorm event in the state's history up to the time. Total damage was around $600 million dollars. More than 15,000 homes and 21,000 automobiles were damaged due to hail.


Winter returned to eastern South Dakota western Minnesota and western Iowa just three days after temperatures in the 80s and severe thunderstorms ripped across the region. A strong area of low pressure moved across the plains states and heavy snow developed across the upper Plains. Snow accumulated 5 to 12 inches across eastern South Dakota with 5 to 10 inches in southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa. Heavy snow fell with thunder at Sioux Falls, SD where 4 inches fell in one hour. The 10.5 inches that accumulated in Sioux Falls was the most ever recorded for so late in the season. Tower, MN picked up 7.5 inches while 4.5 inches was reported at Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.


As a snowstorm battered Prince Edward Island, Canada, the Confederation Bridge recorded a wind gust to 70 mph.


Sirens were credited with saving numerous lives at Providence, KY where 50 homes were destroyed by a long track F3 tornado during the wee hours of the morning. A 15-minute lead time warning from the National Weather Service triggered the sirens, which awakened many people and sent them to shelter. No one died in Providence.

A violent F4 tornado carved a 64-mile path across Charles and Calvert Counties in southeast Maryland. The La Plata, Maryland, tornado was part of a large severe weather outbreak that began in the mid-Mississippi Valley early on that day and spread across portions of the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic States. In La Plata, 65% of the buildings were destroyed in the downtown area. Cancelled checks, bank and tax documents from La Plata were found in southern Delaware, over 60 miles away. In Maryland, 3 deaths and 122 injuries were a direct result of the storm. Property damage totaled $115 million dollars. Tornadoes along the Atlantic coast are not common, and tornadoes of this magnitude are extremely rare. Only six F4 tornadoes have occurred farther north and east of the La Plata storm: Worchester, MA: 1953; New York/Massachusetts: 1973; Windsor Locks, CT: 1979; five counties in New York: 1989; New Haven, CT: 1989; North Egremont, MA: 1995. None were as close to the coast. The tornado traveled across the Chesapeake Bay almost to the Atlantic.

A late winter storm leaves Ottawa with a record 6.7 inches of snow.


A rare and photogenic tornado skipped across parts of southern Idaho during the afternoon hours. The twister initially touched down in Mindinoka County, then moved across Power County. The tornado was visible from the Pocatello Airport, when a commercial flight had to be delayed. A total of three tornadoes were reported, all rated as F0. No injures and no serious damage was reported.


Rankin Inlet, Nunavut Canada received its heaviest snowfall on record: 10.4 inches.


Beginning the day before ending on this date, an estimated 305 tornadoes ravage the United States from Arkansas through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, southern Tennessee, Virginia to Pennsylvania and New York in the largest outbreak ever recorded. The NWS has classified two EF-5 tornadoes, four EF-4 and 21 EF-3.among the total. This outbreak brings the April 2011 tornado count past 600, shattering the previous April record of 267, set in 1974. It also breaks the record for most tornadoes in any month in recorded US weather history. The estimated death toll from the outbreak is 300 of which 210 died in Alabama.

Two river gauges along the Mississippi River (one in Arkansas City and the other in Greenville) exceeded flood stage, leading to the historic Mississippi River Flood of 2011. Excessive rainfall occurred from April 23 to May 7 across Northern Arkansas, Southern Missouri, and portions of the Ohio River Valley. Fourteen day rainfall totaled more than 800% of normal across parts of the Ohio, White and mid-Mississippi River valleys, with rainfall totals up to 20 inches at some locations. River levels crested in mid-May. Most points did not fall below flood stage until the first or second week of June. The river at Natchez remained in flood through June 22. More than 350 residences were destroyed and another 1,440 suffered some type of damage. Six businesses were destroyed and 34 were damaged. Approximately 2,000 residences were evacuated. One fatality was reported in Vicksburg when a person attempted to wade through flood waters and drowned.


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