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Weather History: April 8: Record temps, storms, snow, wind, tornadoes & tropics

Meteorological events that happened on April 8th:

We tend to think that the relative humidity can go no higher than 100%. In fact, inside of a cloud a condition known as supersaturation can occur where the relative humidity can reach 102-103%. This condition is caused by the different attractive properties of ice and water and results in the growth of cloud droplets.


Snow at Atlantic City, NJ was deep enough to support an early spring sleigh ride.


Bakersfield, CA dropped to 28°; their lowest April temperature ever.


A big spring snowstorm buried the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia with 34 inches of snow at Wardensville, 30 inches at Moorefield, and 29 inches at Romney.


A swarm of tornadoes across North Texas killed 64 people during the evening and overnight hours.


The San Luis Obispo, CA oil fire continued to burn out of control for the second day engulfing 900 acres. Many tornado vortices resulted from the intense heat of the fire. One such tornado traveled 1,000 yards, picked up a house and carried it 150 feet, killing the two occupants inside.


Record heat occurred across the eastern U.S. Philadelphia, PA hit 90°, New York City 85° and Washington, D.C. hit 93°. Our nation’s capital set three records in a row of 92°, 94°, 93° from the 6th - 8th.


Snow began to fall over central Oklahoma during the previous evening and continued to this day. In Oklahoma City, several snowfall records for the month soon fell to the storm, including the record for most total snowfall during the month of April. The Oklahoma City snowfall totals of 0.8 inches on the 7th, and 3.3 inches on the 8th, remain daily records. In fact, the 3.3 inch snowfall on the 8th is the most ever to fall on any single April day. The 4.1 inch total for the month continues as the greatest April monthly snowfall total.

Light to moderate snow whipped by strong winds completely blocked all streets in Dodge City, KS and all roads and railroads from the city. From the previous evening until midday of the 9th, traffic in all directions from town were completely blocked. Drifts up to eight and ten feet and perhaps even higher were piled over the streets, walks and yards.


A huge ice jam broke up on the Missouri River in North Dakota, resulting in rapid rises of up to 8 feet downstream. The river flow jumped from 75,000 cubic feet per second to over 500,000 cubic feet per second.


After daytime highs in the 60s, snow along with thunder and lightning occurred across southwest Kansas. Over 5 inches of snow fell at Dodge City with 4 inches at Garden City. Winds gusted to over 70 mph in the Texas panhandle with zero visibility and blowing dust. A strong tornado hit near Enid, OK.


The global record for most rainfall in 48 hours was set at Aurere, La Reunion Island beginning on this date from a tropical cyclone when 97.1 inches fell.


3.02 inches of rainfall deluged Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada; their wettest April day on record.


Two tornadoes struck Capistrano Beach, CA and moved inland, causing property damage and downing power lines. From eyewitness reports, the tornadoes traveled one mile along Del Obispo, and dissipated at Via Belardes.


A severe storm brought high winds and heavy snow to Iowa. Belle Plain received 20 inches of snow, and 19 inches blanketed Dubuque, record totals for both locations for so late in the season. Snow drifts up to 16 feet high closed highways.


The San Diego Padres home game against the San Francisco Giants was rained out. This also occurred the next day. The Angels’ home game against the Kansas City Royals was also rained out on this date. This was the first regular season rainout in nearly 10 years for the Angels since September 19, 1965 at Dodger Stadium.


Severe crop and property damage occurred from a major hailstorm in Seminole Co, FL.


Intense tropical cyclone Kamisy crossed and re-crossed the northern part of Madagascar. 80% of Antseranana and Mahajanga were destroyed by winds greater than 112 mph and rain totals as high as 28 inches. 82 people died and 100,000 were left homeless. Damage was greater than $150 million U.S. dollars.


A cold front crossing the Northern Plateau and the Northern Rocky Mountain Region produced high winds in northeastern Wyoming. Winds gusting to 69 mph at Sheridan, WY downed power lines and caused property damage.


Strong northerly winds ushered cold air into the north central U.S. The strong winds, gusting to 60 mph at Rapid City, SD and Williston, ND, reduced visibilities in blowing dust over the Dakotas.


Many cities in the southwestern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date. Phoenix, AZ equaled their record for April with 104°; established just the previous day. Borrego Springs, CA hit 111° setting an April record and the earliest date in the season of 110° or higher. Daggett, CA had a high temperature of 100°. This not only set a daily record, but was also the earliest 100 degree temperature.


Many cities reported record low temperatures for the date as readings dipped into the 20s and 30s across much of the eastern U.S. Freezing temperatures severely damaged peach and apple orchards in West Virginia, where prolonged mild weather since January had caused an early blooming of spring vegetation. State and Federal agencies estimated a 50% loss in production for peaches and "Delicious Red Apples".


The temperature reached 90° in New York City as the East sweltered through an early heat wave.


7 to 9 inches of rain fell over a 3-day period causing the Missouri River at Boonville, MO to rise 14 feet and at Hermann, MO to rise 19 feet.


The first of two late season heavy snowfalls in only three days over the Northeast dumped 12 inches of snow at Slide Mountain, NY, 10.2 inches, at Ashburnham, MA, and 7 inches at Falmouth, Massachusetts. The 6.1 inches at Binghamton, NY brought its seasonal snowfall total to 131.8 inches; their snowiest winter ever.

Incredible flooding continued on the Minnesota River in Minnesota. Thousands of people were driven from their homes by the flooding, which was complicated by blizzard conditions and record cold.


Miles City, MT only reached 5° tying their coldest April reading ever with 4/15/1986. They did not reach 30° from the 5th through the 10th.


A major F5 tornado struck western Jefferson county Alabama leveling the communities of Oak Grove, Rock Creek, Edgewater, McDonald's Chapel, Sylvan Springs and Pratt City. The tornado lifted just two miles from downtown Birmingham. The twister had a track of 20 miles with the damage path averaging between ½ and ¾ of a mile in width. 34 people were killed, 221 injured and 1,000 homes were destroyed.

A record rainfall of 2.5 inches flooded St. John’s, Newfoundland Canada forcing pedestrians to wade through knee-deep water.


A windstorm caused $20 million dollars in damage along the front range from Fort Collins, CO south to Pueblo, CO and to the east over the Plains making the storm equal to the costliest windstorm on record occurring on 1/17/1982 at Boulder, CO. In the Denver area, there was damage to homes including roofs, broken fences, awnings, doors and windows. Large pieces of a roof torn off a strip mall in Lakewood, CO damaged several nearby cars. Many automobiles suffered broken or cracked windshields and paint damage from flying debris. Multiple accidents resulted including several tractor-trailers blown on their sides. Blowing dust caused near zero visibilities at times. Highways and Interstates were closed north of Denver and between Golden and Boulder, CO. Power lines were downed causing a few small grass fires. The highest wind gusts reached 112 mph atop the Niwot Ridge near the Continental Divide west of Boulder, 102 mph at Wondervu, 100 mph at NCAR in Boulder, 98 mph at the National Wind Technology Center near Broomfield, 96 mph on Rocky Flats, 92 mph at the Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield and on the University of Colorado campus near Boulder and 90 mph at the Highlands Ranch in southwest metro Denver.

Several tornadoes touched down across central Illinois, as a complex of severe thunderstorms moved across the region. In Hancock County, the town of Hamilton had significant damage, with 144 homes destroyed or damaged by a tornado of F3 strength. Two radio and TV towers were also destroyed. Damages totaled to about $10 million. In far southeast Cass County, one person was killed in Ashland, when a tornado hit a trailer park. Damage in Ashland was estimated around $1.8 million dollars. Further east, another tornado destroyed a trailer north of Cisco, killing a second person.

Five separate tornadoes caused F2 damage in Knox, Boone, Lewis, and Pike counties in Missouri and Pike County in Illinois. Seven people were injured.


Heavy spring snows occurred across the Northeast. The heaviest snow fell in eastern New York state and Vermont, where 10 to 20 inches fell. It was the most intense spring storm in New England since the April Fools Day 1997 storm. 8 inches fell in Albany, NY, 13 inches in Summit, NY and 3 inches in New York City, where the Mets/Dodgers game was postponed.


A late season freeze caused $31.9 million dollars damage to crops across the San Joaquin Valley in California; especially grapes. Lows were as cold as 27° across parts of Madera County. Fresno, CA reported a record low of 35°.


A severe thunderstorm with wind-driven hail up to 3 inches in diameter hit Brownsville, TX, injuring 5 people and causing $50 million dollars in damage. It was one of the most destructive hail events ever for the city.


On this date through the 9th, an Easter weekend snowstorm covered eastern Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes with generous amounts of snow. The town of Gaspe picked up 14 inches.


A wind storm brought reported gusts to 87 mph in Johnson Valley, CA and measured gusts of 83 mph in Borrego Springs, CA and 80 mph in Sky Valley, CA. Numerous trees, power poles and big rigs were knocked down in the Coachella Valley and the Palm Springs Airport lost power for a time. Blowing roof shingles and sand caused property damage in Borrego Springs.


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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