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Weather History: August 12: Record temps, storms, tornadoes, tropics & floods

Meteorological events that happened on August 12th:


A hurricane stopped an imminent sea battle between British and the French off New England. The storm caused heavy damage in New England.


Three inches of rain fell in 40 minutes during the morning at Rancocas, NJ. A similar event occurred in the same region 99 years later.


Electrical storms ignited numerous forest fires in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho. Entire towns were burned and 163 people died, including 78 firefighters.


Death Valley, CA set their August high temperature record with 127°. This was tied on 8/2/1993.


The temperature at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, CA hit 127° to establish a U.S. record for the month of August.


The temperature at Seymour, TX hit 120° to establish a state record. Altus tied the Oklahoma state temperature record by reaching 120°. The high of 109° tied the record high for the month of August at Dodge City, KS. From the 12th through the 24th, there was a record 13 days on which temperatures reached 100° or more at St. Louis, MO.


Hurricane Connie wound its way across the Atlantic north of the Caribbean, reaching its peak intensity during the afternoon on the 8th about 300 miles northeast of the Bahamas. The hurricane weakened before moving onshore in North Carolina early on this date with 80 mph winds. Cape Henry, VA, measured a gust to 74 mph and on the 13th Atlantic City, NJ gusted to 70 mph. Philadelphia, PA had sustained winds on the 13th of 67 mph along with a gust to 73 mph. Connie was not a very destructive storm, but its torrential rains saturated the northeastern U.S., setting it up for massive flooding when, just five days later, Hurricane Diane moved up the East Coast and drenched the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast with up to 19 inches of rain. The storm brought torrential rains, with Philadelphia, PA receiving 3.29 inches, a daily record and 2.15 inches on the 13th, ending the summer drought. New York City received daily records of 3.62 inches on this date and 2.70 inches on the 13th. Up to 12 inches fell in the Poconos of northeastern Pennsylvania. Westfield, MA was deluged with 18.15 inches of rain in 24 hours, and at Woonsocket, RI the Blackstone River swelled from 70 feet in width to a mile and a half. Connecticut and the Delaware valley were hardest hit. Total damage in New England was $800 million dollars, and flooding claimed 187 lives.


Sparta, WI recorded their coldest August temperature with 32°. This is also their earliest freezing temperature. La Crosse, WI set a record low with 46°.


An F2 tornado set down south of Kendall, WI, destroying a barn and damaging a home before moving northeast into Juneau County. The tornado moved from the countryside into New Lisbon, ripping through a trailer court on the northern edge of town before dissipating on the north edge of Castle Rock Lake. A couple was killed and 22 others were injured in Juneau County. Seventeen of the 35 mobile homes were destroyed while 3 homes and a gasoline station just north of the trailer court were damaged. Numerous trees and power lines were downed, including 100 acres of forest at Buckhorn State Park. Over $620,000 in damage occurred. This was known as the "New Lisbon Tornado".

A major August snowfall closed the Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado. Snowfall amounts of up to 1 inch were reported down to 9,000 feet in the Breckinridge area.


Flagstaff, AZ picked up 3.04 inches of rain, the most ever for any August day.


Early afternoon thunderstorms in Arizona produced 3.90 inches of rain in 90 minutes at Walnut National Monument, located east of Flagstaff, along with 3 inches of pea size hail, which had to be plowed off the roads.


Many cities in the northeastern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Youngstown, OH reported 26 days of 90 degree weather for the year, a total equal to that for the entire decade of the 1970s. Some records included: Buffalo, NY: 93° and Bridgeport, CT: 92°.


Thunderstorms were scattered across nearly every state in the Union by late in the day. Thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 75 mph at Fergus Falls, MN, and golf ball size hail and wind gusts to 60 mph at Black Creek, WI. In the Chicago area, seven people at a forest preserve in North Riverside were injured by lightning.


The Great Mississippi River Flood continued as flood waters flowing past Tarbert Landing, MS reached 832,000 cubic feet per second, which is nearly 4 times the normal August flow.


Bird International Airport on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean recorded their all-time high temperature when they hit 94.8°.


Severe thunderstorms developed in west central Illinois during the early evening, and moved to the Indiana border during the next several hours. Winds gusting over 80 mph caused over $50 million dollars in crop damage to Schuyler, Mason, Menard, Logan, Cass, Morgan and Scott Counties. Miles of power lines were blown down in Cass County, and numerous trees were damaged through the area. There was also damage to property caused by falling trees and tree limbs.


3.08 inches of rain fell in 45 minutes between 135pm and 220pm at Willingboro, NJ. A similar event occurred in the same region 99 years before.


Overnight rains up to 8.4 inches in Sussex County, Delaware led to failure of a dam on Hearns Pond during the early morning. Historic Hearns and Rawlings Mills were heavily damaged, along with roads and buildings, with damage at $1.1 million dollars.

The temperature at Osoyoos, British Columbia Canada soared to 107° an all-time August record high for the province.


Temperatures on the north coast of Crete reached 112° at Iraklion and 107° at Souda Airport. Temperatures at those locations generally reach 97°-102° and prior to the 11th and 12th, August temperatures at Iraklion had only twice been close to or over 102° since 1980.


A surge of unseasonably cool air brought record lows to many areas in the northern Rockies. Shirley Basin, WY fell to 30° while Laramie, WY dropped to 33°. Alliance, NE fell to 37° while most other areas reached the lower 40s. Record lows included: Casper, WY: 37°, Scottsbluff, NE: 42, Cheyenne, WY: 44 and Denver, CO: 49°.


An F2 tornado stuck Wright, WY, killing two people, injuring 13 others, destroying 91 homes and damaging 30 more in and around town.

Fresno, CA reached 21 days with a high temperature of 100 degrees or more. This set a new record for their longest such streak.


The staff at the Amundsen Station in Antarctica dealt with a low of -87°.


The low temperature of 83° at Houston, TX broke the old record by 2 degrees and tied the record for the highest minimum temperature ever recorded in August.

A new high temperature record was set in the Ukraine when the town of Lukhansk hit 107.6°.

A hailstorm lasting for about half an hour dropped golf ball sized hail on Carlyle, Saskatchewan Canada. Following the hailstorm, a funnel cloud is spotted southwest of the city.


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