Meteorological events that happened on April 7th:
A late season freeze brought snow to every state in the Union. Houston, TX dropped to a low of 21°.
San Diego, CA dropped to 39°; their lowest reading for April.
According to a Times of London article, a 500 foot wide tornado killed 118 people and injured 1,200 at Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Lightning started a disastrous oil fire at San Luis Obispo, CA with lasted for five days, spreading over 900 acres, and burned nearly six million barrels of oil. Flames reached 1000 feet and the fire temperature was estimated at 2,500 degrees. The fire spawned thousands of whirlwinds with hundreds the size of small tornadoes. One vortex traveled one mile to the east-northeast of the blaze, destroying a small farm house and killing two people. Damage totaled $15 million dollars.
The Mid-Atlantic and northeast sweltered during an unusual early spring heat wave. Hartford, CT set a record high with 90° while Washington, D.C. hit 94°.
Amarillo, TX reported dust obscuring visibility for 20 hours. Blowing dust was reported 27 of 30 days in the month. On several days the visibility was reduced to near zero.
Two tornadoes cut a path 4 blocks wide through Gainesville, GA killing 203 people, injuring 934, and causing $13 million dollars damage.
Six tornadoes ripped through Northern Illinois and Indiana; mainly across the southern and eastern suburbs of Chicago. The hardest hit was from a tornado that moved east from near Manteno, IL to near Hebron, IN. This storm left four people dead; three in Grant Park, IL and one near Hebron, IN with 67 injuries and over a million dollars damage. Other strong tornadoes in the area moved from near Coal City, IL to Braidwood, IL and from Calumet City, IL into Indiana. Further south, two strong tornadoes occurred across the northern parts of Champaign and Vermilion Counties in Illinois.
On this date through the 12th, 20 to 30 inches of snow fell in the northern Colorado Mountains. While over the Plains blizzard conditions closed schools and blocked highways. The second big storm in two weeks dumped 16.4 inches in Denver with 11.6 inches of that falling on the 8th. Temperatures dipped to 7° on the 7th and the 12th with low temperature records set on the 9th, 10th and 12th. Four deaths were reported; three from shoveling snow.
On this date through the 8th, a late season snowstorm left deep snow over much of the southern Plains. While central Oklahoma received only a trace, parts of northwest Oklahoma were buried under 10 inches of wet snow. The greatest snowfall report was from Fargo, in Ellis County, where 14 inches of snow was measured. People in Fargo were still better off than many residents of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, where near blizzard conditions occurred.
Severe thunderstorms spawned tornadoes which ripped through central Arkansas. The severe thunderstorms also produce high winds and baseball size hail. Five counties were declared disaster areas by President Carter.
A tornado causing F3 damage affected St. Louis and St. Charles counties in Missouri producing $2.5 million dollars in damage.
An early spring cold snap brought many record low temperatures to the Midwest. Locations setting record low April temperatures included: Lansing, MI: -2°, also their latest sub-zero temperature on record, Madison, WI: 0°, Goshen, IN: 1°, Platteville, WI: 3°, Wisconsin Dells, WI: 5°, Beloit, WI: 7°, Fort Wayne, IN: 7°, Kenosha, WI: 10°, Port Washington, WI: 11° and Milwaukee, WI: 12°.
El Paso, TX picked up 16.5 inches of snow from the 4th ending on this date to set their April snowfall record.
A windstorm produced gusts to 70 mph across Southern Ontario, Canada. High winds twisted the elevator cables on the Skylon Tower at Niagara Falls trapping seven people for a time.
The fourth consecutive day of record high temperatures was recorded at International Falls, MN. The high temperature reached 71°, breaking the old record by 11 degrees and warmer than Miami FL, where the high was a record cool 66°.
High winds along the Mid-Atlantic Coast gusted to 172 mph atop Grandfather Mountain, NC.
Many cities in the southwest and north central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date, including Yankton, SD with a reading of 91°.
Many cities in the southwestern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Afternoon highs of 92° in Downtown San Francisco, CA, 103° at Escondido, CA, 104° at Phoenix, AZ, 104° at the China Lake Naval Air Station, CA and 76° at Big Bear Lake, CA (they would tie this record the next day) established records for April. Highs of 78° at Ely, NV and 93° at San Jose, CA equaled April records. The mercury at Palm Springs, CA soared to 112°; their earliest day ever at or above 110°.
High winds occurred in the foothills of Colorado west of Denver. At Nederland west of Boulder, high winds damaged roofs, toppled trees and caused power outages. Winds estimated as high as 90 mph in Georgetown overturned campers and semi-trailers on I-70 and damaged road signs. Three trailer homes were blown off their foundations and a 50-foot tree toppled onto the roof of a home causing considerable damage. Wind gusts reached 94 mph at Rollinsville southwest of Boulder.
Low pressure brought strong winds to the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands. Winds gusted to 68 mph at Port Heiden two days in a row. Unseasonably warm weather prevailed across central Alaska. Yakutat reported a record high of 54°.
Unseasonably cold weather prevailed over central sections of the lower forty-eight. Several cities from Kansas to Indiana and Alabama reported record low temperatures for the date. Evansville, IN equaled their record for April with a morning low of 23°.
Atlantic City, NJ picked up 3.3 inches of snow, the most ever for any day in April.
Billings, MT recorded 6.8 inches of snow on this day to raise its seasonal snowfall to 95.5 inches to set a new seasonal snowfall record for the city. The previous snowfall record was 93.8 inches set in the 1954-55 season.
Snow spoiled the home openers for the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians as a spring snowstorm brought a swath of snow from the Midwest to the Northeast. Five to eight inches of snow fell in New York City. Not used to snow, the Yankees had to call neighboring football team New York Giants to borrow 200 snow shovels to help remove snow from underneath the seats.
Over a foot of snow fell in parts of South Dakota, Nebraska and southern Minnesota. When it was over, Albert Lea, MN, received 14 inches, and Greeley, NE had 12 inches. Sioux Falls, SD recorded 7 inches.
Heavy rains drenched Central Mississippi. Total rainfall amounts were just over 12 inches at Goshen Springs in Rankin County with over 9 inches at Satartia in Yazoo County and Topton in Lauderdale County.
The worst spring frost in 50 years hit the French champagne countryside in France through the 11th destroying as much as half the champagne vines. Chardonnay grapes were the worst affected, with 80% of the vines lost to the extreme temperatures.
A late season snow event moved across the northern third of Southeast Texas. Parts of Madison, Walker and Houston counties reported 1 to 2 inches of snow on grassy and elevated surfaces. This is the latest snow event documented for Southeast Texas.
The temperature on Grandfather Mountain, NC hit 80°, their warmest ever measured in April and only 3 degrees away from their all-time record high for any month.
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