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Weather History: August 14: Record temps, tropics, storms, tornadoes & flooding

Meteorological events that happened on August 14th:

Lightning strikes can take many different forms. The reason crooked or forked lightning forms is due to the fact that as the precursor to lightning tries to work its way to the ground it searches for the path of least resistance. When the atmosphere has too much resistance a new path takes. By the time the strike makes contact with the ground it's path has often been altered many times.


The first recorded tornado in Pennsylvania history occurred on this date. It moved from Chester to Bucks County.


A deadly, estimated F4 tornado moved southeast from 12 miles northwest of Clear Lake, SD passing 7 miles north of town and ending about 4 miles west of Gary. Deaths occurred on two farms. One man was killed when the kitchen of his farm house was torn off. Five members of one family were killed along with two labors on another farm as every building was swept away. Buildings suffered heavy damage on eight farms. This was one of the earliest, estimated F4 tornadoes on record for South Dakota.


The Great Tillamook Fire broke out in northwestern Oregon. Over 13 billion board feet of timber was destroyed by the massive fire, devastating the economy of the area.

Bakersfield, CA reached 117° to set their all-time record for August. Hanford reached 115° for the second day in a row, tying their all-time August high temperature record.


Temperatures across much of eastern Kansas soared above 110 degrees. Kansas City, MO hit an all-time record high of 113°. It was one of 16 consecutive days of 100 degree heat for Kansas City. During that summer there were a record 53 days of 100 degree heat, and during the three summer months Kansas City received just 1.12 inches of rain.


Hurricane "Barbara" formed in the Bahamas and moved north, recurved over coastal North Carolina then moved northeast to the Canadian Maritimes. Cape Henry, VA measured a wind gust to 79 mph and Norfolk, VA gusted to 68 mph. 1953 was the first year that names were used for hurricanes, and Barbara was the 1st hurricane with an official name to hit the U.S.


Strong Canadian high pressure pushing a cold front to the Gulf of Mexico brought unseasonable chilly air east of the Mississippi. The following locations recorded their coldest August temperature: Theilman, MN: 32° (also earliest freezing temperature), Mauston, WI: 33°, and Caledonia, MN: 35°. Other daily record lows included: Duluth, MN: 36°, Rochester, MN: 37°, Madison, WI: 37°, Toledo, OH: 39°, Green Bay, WI: 40°, Lansing, MI: 40°, Fort Wayne, IN: 41°, Flint, MI: 41°, Grand Rapids, MI: 41°, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN: 43°, La Crosse, WI: 43°, Rockford, IL: 43°, South Bend, IN: 44°, Dayton, OH: 44°, Akron, OH: 45°, Columbus, OH: 45°, Youngstown, OH: 45°, Cleveland, OH: 46°, Milwaukee, WI: 47°, Chicago, IL: 48°, Indianapolis, IN: 48°, Cincinnati, OH: 48° and Detroit, MI: 48°.


Tropical Storm Camille formed near Grand Cayman Island. From the beginning, it was evident that Camille would be an explosive storm. First reports from the reconnaissance plane indicated the storm had already reached tropical storm strength with a central pressure of 999 millibars or 29.50 inHg and sustained winds of 55 mph. By afternoon, the storm would already be classified as a hurricane with a central pressure of 964 millibars or 28.64 inHg. National Hurricane Center Director Robert Simpson was concerned because the Navy had most of its reconnaissance aircraft in Puerto Rico for missions into Hurricane Debbie, which was a candidate for seeding in Project Stormfury.


A localized torrential downpour known as “The Hampstead Storm”, dropped 6.72 inches of rain in 2 hours and 35 minutes at Hampstead Heath in London, England. One person died in the storm. The water flooded the Underground and forced sewer covers up.


Storms dropped 1.56 inches of rain on Las Vegas, NV. The thunderstorms also knocked out power for up to 12 hours.


The temperature reached the century mark for the 53rd time in Dallas, TX, establishing the all-time record for 100 degree plus days in a year.


The dew point temperature at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, NV hit 75°. At that time this was their all-time record high dew point temperature. This has since been tied on 9/9/2004 and 8/30/2013.


Extremely heavy rains fell across northern Illinois beginning the previous day ending on this date. O’Hare Airport received 6.49 inches of rain setting a single day precipitation total for Chicago and 9.35 inches in 18 hours. The airport was literally an island from the morning on this date through the morning of the 15th as was only accessible by air. Rockford set their all-time daily precipitation total with 5.70 inches. Flooding continued for another five days before waters began to recede. The suburbs of Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights and Wheeling were especially hard hit as basements filled to the ceiling and water occupied the first floor of thousands of structures. The flood claimed three lives in the Chicago area and one near Rockford. Damage was estimated at $220 million dollars.


Many cities in the northeastern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date including New York (Central Park), NY: 99°, Albany, NY: 97°, New York (LaGuardia Airport), NY: 97° and Pittsburgh, PA: 96°. Portland, ME reported a record 14 straight days of 80 degree weather. Milwaukee, WI reported a record 34 days of 90 degree heat for the year. The water temperature of Lake Erie at Buffalo, NY reached 80°, breaking the old record of 79° set in July 1987.

Afternoon and evening thunderstorms resulted in about 50 reports of severe weather in the northeastern U.S. One person was killed at Stockbridge, MI when a tornado knocked a tree onto their camper.


Afternoon thunderstorms in Illinois soaked the town of Battendorf with 2.10 inches of rain in 30 minutes.

Evening thunderstorms in Montana produced wind gusts to 66 mph at Hobson.

Three tornadoes touched down across the New Brunswick province in Canada. In Carlisle, one tornado uprooted trees and demolished a barn but spared 22 of 24 glass storm windows stored inside.


The Great Mississippi River Flood continued as the crest reached New Orleans, LA, but was hardly noticed as the wider and deeper river only rose to 12.5 feet. Flood stage is 17 feet. The only real effect noticed was the unusual amount of debris in the water.


Arizona recorded its record wind gust of 114 mph at the Deer Valley Airport on the north side of Phoenix as a severe thunderstorm downburst hit the area.


An intense cluster of thunderstorms produced high winds, locally heavy rain and an impressive lightning display as they rolled through the Las Vegas Valley in Nevada. Several roofs were blown off mobile homes in North Las Vegas and gusts up to 72 mph were measured at Apex. Firefighters had to rescue at least five motorists stranded by flash flood. Lightning strikes damaged several transformers, temporarily cutting electricity to about 7,200 people. Lightning also struck a home in the northwest area of Summerlin causing minor damage.


A 594 decameter area of high pressure off the Carolina coast produced hot south to southwesterly winds ahead of a cold front bringing record heat to parts of the east. The temperature in Boston, MA reached 101°, equaling their August record (8/2/1975). Other daily records included: Syracuse, NY: 101°, Concord, NH: 99°, Hartford, CT: 99°, Allentown, PA: 99°, Philadelphia, PA: 99°, Milton, MA: 98°, Providence, RI: 98°, Rochester, NY: 97°, Harrisburg, PA: 97°, Burlington, VT: 96°, Binghamton, NY: 95° and Erie, PA: 94°.

In San Angelo, TX, just after midnight, a descending heat-burst jumped the temperature from 75° to 94° in 30 minutes. The event ended about 90 minutes later when the temperature fell back to 73°.

5.36 inches of rain fell at Vienna, Austria during a 3 day period ending on this date. The monthly average here is 2.72 inches. In the nearby mountains 9 to 13 inches of rain fell.


A heat wave began across the northern Plains; lasting through the 17th. Residents in Bismarck, ND endured a record string of four consecutive days with temperatures above 100°.


Hail reported the size of golf balls to chicken eggs injured more than 20 people in the southern Kemerovo region in Russia. The hailstorm produced stones of up to 2.75 inches that caused extensive damage to vehicles, rooftops and buildings.


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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