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Weather History: August 16: Record temps, storms, flooding, snow, tropics & wind

Listed are Meteorological events that happened on August 16th:


A massive waterspout was observed at Barnstable, MA.


A tornado killed nine people and injured 14 others at St. Zotique-Valleyfield, Quebec Canada.


A dry spell began in San Bernardino County of southern California that lasted until the 5/6/1912, a stretch of 994 days. Another dry spell, lasting 767 days, then began in October, 1912.


Altapass, NC was deluged with 22.22 inches of rain in 24 hours to establish a state record.


St. Louis, MO set its 24 hour rainfall record with a deluge of 8.78 inches on this date through the 16th.


During the early evening, an Air Force Reconnaissance plane investigating Hurricane Camille in the Gulf of Mexico found an unbelievably low central pressure of 905 millibars or 26.72 inHg. This information allowed forecasters to warn residents along the coast that Camille would cause damage of unprecedented proportions.


One foot of snow fell at Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming.


High pressure from Canada brought record cold temperatures for a second straight morning to part of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. Muskegon, MI set an all-time August low of 36°. Lansing, MI fell to 39°. Other record lows included: Ste. St. Marie, MI: 37°, Madison, WI: 38°, Grand Rapids, MI: 40°, Marquette, MI: 41°, Youngstown, OH: 42°, Detroit, MI: 43°, Flint, MI: 43°, Akron, OH: 44°, Mansfield, OH: 44°, Toledo, OH: 44°, Cleveland, OH: 45°, Milwaukee, WI: 46°, Columbus, OH: 46°-Tied, Fort Wayne, IN: 47°, Erie, PA: 47°, Rochester, NY: 47°, Cincinnati, OH: 49°-Tied and Indianapolis, IN: 50°.

A rare southwestern tornado destroyed two homes at Pinon, CA near Palm Springs.


Massive flooding was reported in Texas along the Cueces and Frio Rivers. Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Allen pushed rivers to levels to as much as 10 feet above flood stage.


On this date through the 19th, the center of Tropical Storm Dennis moved slowly through the Florida Straits and onto the lower southwest coast the next morning. Dennis then moved northeastward through southern Florida, emerging into the Atlantic between Cape Canaveral and Daytona Beach early on the 18th, taking nearly three days to cross the state. Highest winds occurred mostly in squalls well east of the center. The highest wind gusts reported with Dennis were 55 to 60 mph along the lower southeast coast on the 17th. Two tornadoes were reported in Plantation Key and Haulover Beach as Dennis moved through the Keys and Florida Bay, but no injuries or significant damage resulted.

The primary damage in Dennis resulted from widespread flooding in agricultural areas and was most severe in the extreme southern part of Florida Peninsula. 10 to 20 inches of rain fell south and east of Lake Okeechobee, with amounts of 5 to 10 inches reported along the southeast and east-central coast. West Kendall measured 20.37 inches and amounts of 19 to 20 inches were common through the Homestead/Florida City area. Besides agricultural damage, flood water came into many homes and businesses in the Homestead/Florida City area, and into most homes in the East Everglades area.


Thunderstorms containing devastating winds ripped across sections of eastern South Dakota. Winds gusting to 100 mph uprooted trees and damaged buildings across northern Hanson County. In Fulton, two steel bins were destroyed and the town was without power for 10 hours. Several farms had all of their barns, silos, garages, and small buildings wiped out from the extreme winds.

A powerful thunderstorm rolled across extreme northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa. Winds were estimated at 70 mph across portions of Dixon and Dakota Counties uprooting numerous trees and damaging homes and power lines. Across the Missouri River in Woodbury County, Sioux City received 60 mph winds causing some power outages and scattered damage across town.


Afternoon and evening thunderstorms developing along a cold front produced severe weather from Oklahoma to Wisconsin and Lower Michigan. Thunderstorms in central Illinois produced wind gusts to 80 mph at Springfield which toppled two large beer tents at the state fair injuring 58 people. Severe thunderstorms moved across northern Illinois producing winds of 40 to 80 mph with hail and from 1 to 5 inches of rain. Chicago was drenched with 2.90 inches of rain, making the month their wettest month on record. Total damage was $12 million dollars; primarily due to flooding in the Chicago area.


Thunderstorms developing along a slow moving cold front produced severe weather from North Dakota to Lower Michigan during the day. Nine tornadoes were sighted in North Dakota, and thunderstorms also produced hail 3 inches in diameter at Lakota, ND, and wind gusts to 83 mph at Marais, MI.

Water temperature at Jersey Shore, NH was only 53.1°, breaking the old record. Just two weeks earlier, the surf temperature had been a balmy 79°.

Record highs were recorded across the Midwest and Ohio Valley. Rockford, IL tied their August high temperature with 104°. Other record highs included: Indianapolis, IN: 102°, Peoria, IL: 102°, Springfield, IL: 102°, Madison, WI: 102°, Paducah, KY: 102°-Tied, Moline, IL: 101°, La Crosse, WI: 101°, Milwaukee, WI: 100°, Louisville, KY: 100°, Cincinnati, OH: 100°, Evansville, IN: 100°, Roanoke, VA: 99°, Green Bay, WI: 99°, Jackson, KY: 99°-Tied, Lexington, KY: 98°, South Bend, IN: 98°, Chicago, IL: 98°, Charleston, WV: 96° and Fort Wayne, IN: 95°.


Late afternoon and evening thunderstorms in the Central Plains produced golf ball size hail at La Junta CO, Intercanyon, CO, and Custer, SD.

Afternoon thunderstorms over South Texas drenched Brownsville with 2.60 inches of rain.

Fair skies allowed viewing of the late evening full lunar eclipse from the Great Lakes Region to the Northern and Central Plains Region, and across much of the western third of the country.


Hurricane Andrew, destined to become the third strongest land falling United States hurricane, was born far out in the Eastern Atlantic as a tropical depression.


A male tourist drowned in a rip current at Miramar Beach near Destin, FL while saving his daughter. The rip current was caused by swells and strong onshore winds in the wake of Tropical Storm Beryl.


A slow moving thunderstorm produced heavy rain over the southern portion of Cheyenne. Some intersections in south Cheyenne were flooded with 2 to 3 feet of water.


Strong thunderstorm wind gusts of 80 to 100 mph moved through the community of Golden Shores, NV causing one million dollars in damage. Two mobile homes were destroyed and 17 other mobile homes and frame houses were unlivable. Another 117 homes received minor damage. In addition, numerous pontoon boats were either flipped over or destroyed and several windows were broken on homes and cars. The storm snapped several power lines which cut power, in turn cutting the town’s water supply.


Thunderstorms moved onshore from Lake Ontario during the late afternoon hours producing damaging winds. The winds downed trees and power lines at Watertown. A gust of 78 mph was recorded by the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) at the Oswego County Airport at Fulton. Near the airport, several large trees were downed, one causing minor structural damage to a house.

4.22 inches of rain fell at Lincoln, NE breaking the August daily precipitation record.

The Elbe River normally flows peacefully through the historic city of Dresden, Germany. But on this date it was an angry brown torrent that looked more like a fast flowing lake than a river as it churned through the town. Swollen with floodwaters from the Czech River Vltava, the Elbe reached a record flood stage of 30.5 feet and still rising.


A storm dumped 2.4 inches of rainfall in just a few hours on southwest England causing flash flooding in the town of Boscastle, a popular summer tourist area with sandy beaches, in northern Cornwall. Local officials report an estimated 3 foot wall of water poured through the streets at 40 mph.


Japan sweltered through their hottest day on record as the mercury hit 105.6° in the western city of Tajimi and also the central city of Kumagayathe. The Hachioji region of Tokyo hit 101.6°, a new record for August. The heat wave reportedly claimed at least 13 lives with 886 people taken to hospitals across the nation suffering from heat related illnesses.


The Observatory on the Mauna Loa Slopes in Hawaii experienced an unusual weather occurrence. Not only did the station set a record high of 65°, it also tied its record low for the day with 32°.

The fourth tornado of the season across Ontario, Canada, rated an F0, tracked 50 miles from west of Dryden northeastward to between Lac Seul and Sioux Lookout.


Check out my colleague Weather Examiners:

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Orlando, FL area weather with Dr. Steve Oliver at

Houston, TX area weather & the weekly Weather America Newsletter with Larry Cosgrove at

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