Skip to main content
Report this ad

See also:

Weather History: August 21: Record temps, storms, tornadoes, tropics & wind

Meteorological events that happened on August 21st:


Rochester, MN was hit by an F5 tornado killing 31 people, injuring 200 more and damaging 1,351 dwellings. Total damage was $700,000 dollars.


A tornado swarm occurred in Maryland and Delaware. Many waterspouts were seen over the Chesapeake Bay. A dozen people were killed around Wilmington, DE.

A tornado estimated at F2 intensity swarm occurred in Maryland and Delaware. 11 people were killed near Still Pond, MD, and a man was killed at "Hare's Corner," in New Castle Co, Delaware. Many waterspouts were seen over Chesapeake Bay. This was in association with a tropical storm that moved northeast from Louisiana, after hitting that state as a CAT 2 hurricane and passed across northern New Jersey during the evening.


0.59 inches of rain fell at Los Angeles, CA, their August record 24 hour rainfall record. This period of rain ensured that Aug 1889 became Los Angeles’ wettest August on record.


An estimated F4 tornado struck Tyler, MN killing 36 people, injuring 225 others and destroying most of the business section of town resulting in $2 million dollars damage.


0.59 inches of rain fell at Seattle, WA establishing their heaviest August rainfall on record.


This was the second straight of record low temperatures occurred from the Plains to the Ohio Valley. Record lows included: Ste. St. Marie, MI: 39°-Tied, Flint, MI: 41°, Waterloo, IA: 43°-Tied, Muskegon, MI: 43°-Tied, South Bend, IN: 43°-Tied, Youngstown, OH: 43°-Tied, Moline, IL: 44°, Springfield, IL: 44°, Akron, OH: 44°, Columbus, OH: 44°, Toledo, OH: 44°, Grand Rapids, MI: 45°, Peoria, IL: 45°, Rockford, IL: 45°, Cincinnati, OH: 45°, Cleveland, OH: 45°, Fort Wayne, IN: 45°-Tied, Chicago, IL: 46°, Dayton, OH: 46°, Topeka, KS: 46°, Springfield, MO: 46°, Dubuque, IA: 46°, Des Moines, IA: 47°, Indianapolis, IN: 47°, Dodge City, KS: 48°, Columbia, MO: 48°, Evansville, IN: 49°, Lexington, KY: 49°, Louisville, KY: 50°, Paducah, KY: 50°, St. Louis, MO: 50°-Tied, Wichita, KS: 52°, Kansas City, MO: 53°, Tulsa, OK: 54°, Amarillo, TX: 54°-Tied, Wichita Falls, TX: 57°-Tied, Memphis, TN: 59°-Tied and Dallas, TX: 62°.


A wind storm described as "sudden squall" upset more than 50 small boats in Tampa Bay and on the Manatee River in Florida.


A strong ridge of high pressure produced record high temperatures across the Midwest, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. The following locations recorded their hottest August temperature: Decorah, IA: 104° (also hottest temperature on record), Mauston, WI: 102°, Osage, IA: 102°, Cresco, IA: 101°, and Genoa, WI: 100°.

Other record highs included: La Crosse, WI: 103°, Madison, WI: 101°, Milwaukee, WI: 100°, Rockford, IL: 100°, Detroit, MI: 100°, Sioux City, IA: 99°, Green Bay, WI: 99°, Chicago, IL: 99°, Alpena, MI: 99°, Lansing, MI: 99°, Flint, MI: 97°, Grand Rapids, MI: 97°-Tied, Houghton Lake, MI: 96°, Marquette, MI: 94°, Youngstown, OH: 93°, Muskegon, MI: 92° and Ste. St. Marie, MI: 91°.


A waterspout formed on Lake Ponca, just east of Ponca City, OK. A man standing in hip-deep water was injured when he was picked up by the spout and thrown onto the bank. The waterspout also submerged one boat on the lake and eventually sent 60 mph winds into Ponca City.


The first killer tornado in Illinois during the month of August took the lives of six vacationers at Lake Mattoon. The tornado first touched down in eastern Shelby County near Windsor, moved east across Coles County and into Cumberland County, lifting near Greenup. The tornado was embedded in heavy rain, making visual identification difficult.

This was Illinois’ first killer August tornado since 1880. Illinois' next August killer tornado, also obscured by heavy rain and hail, killed 29 people on 8/28/90 just southwest of Chicago.


An unusual, late-summer severe weather outbreak resulted in dozens of reports of damaging winds and large hail, and at least seven tornadoes, across Oklahoma. Hail reached up to baseball size, while winds were clocked at 87 mph in Ponca City.


This was the third consecutive day of heavy rains and flooding in West Virginia. 8.5 inches of rain fell at Webster Springs over a 3-day period. Many roads were closed by high water and mudslides. Near Ripley, WV numerous houses, trailers and a store were washed away. At Spencer, as much as 4 inches of rain fell and Charleston had 60-mph wind gusts.


A strong heat ridge brought record heat to parts of the Tennessee Valley and Southeast. The temperature at Fayetteville, NC soared to 110° to establish a state record. Augusta, GA set their all-time record high with 108°. This was tied on 8/10/2007. Columbia, SC & Roanoke, VA tied their all-time record highs with 107° & 105° respectively. Athens, GA tied their August record high with 107°.

Other daily record highs included: Charlotte, NC: 103°, Montgomery, AL: 103°, Chattanooga, TN: 103°, Greenville-Spartanburg, SC: 102°, Columbus, GA: 102°, Birmingham, AL: 102°, Huntsville, AL: 102°, Oak Ridge, TN: 102°, Raleigh, NC: 101°, Lynchburg, VA: 101°, Atlanta, GA: 101°, Knoxville, TN: 101°, Nashville, TN: 101°, Asheville, NC: 100°, Greensboro, NC: 100°, Charleston, SC: 100°, Wilmington, NC: 100°-Tied, Louisville, KY: 100°-Tied, Bristol, TN: 98° and Jackson, KY: 96°.


The state fair at Pueblo, CO, had to be closed during a vicious hailstorm. Nine people were hurt, one seriously. Damage totaled $40 million dollars.


Severe thunderstorms developed across northwestern South Dakota and raced eastward across the state from this date through the early morning hours of the 22nd. The thunderstorms produced strong winds, large hail, heavy rains, and deadly lightning. Considerable crop and property damage was incurred mainly by the strong winds and large hail. Some reported winds gusts included 55 mph at Mobridge, 60 mph at Akaska and 72 mph at Hoven. Many mobile homes, sheds, barns, silos, and houses were damaged or destroyed.

Near the town of Lemmon, three-quarter inch hail did damage and drifted 2 to 4 feet in area ditches. Near Kedron, baseball sized hail fell for a brutal 40 minutes, causing tremendous damage. To make matters worse, severe thunderstorms erupted again across northwest South Dakota on the evening of the 22nd and again tore across the northern part of the state.


Early morning thunderstorms produced severe weather across eastern Iowa and west central Illinois. Thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 82 mph at Moline, IL, and tennis ball size hail at Independence, IA. Rock Island, IL was drenched with 3.70 inches of rain. Damage was reported to 2,000 cars and hundreds of windows. Total damage for the 7 county-area of west central Illinois was estimated at $12 million dollars.


Thunderstorms spawned several tornadoes in Iowa, produced wind gusts to 63 mph in the Council Bluffs area, and drenched Sioux Center with up to 6.61 inches of rain.


Afternoon and evening thunderstorms produced severe weather from Kansas to Minnesota and North Dakota. Thunderstorms in Minnesota produced baseball size hail from Correll to north of Appleton. Thunderstorms in north central Kansas produced wind gusts above 100 mph at Wilson Dam. Thunderstorms around Lincoln, NE produced baseball size hail and up to 5 inches of rain. Boone, NE was deluged with 5 inches of rain in just 90 minutes. Extensive crop damage was done from Correll, SD to 10 miles north of Appleton, SD. Baseball size hail caused near 100 percent crop damage. Most of Swift County also received 4 to 8 inches of rain.


During the morning, Tropical Storm Andrew was located a little under 500 miles north of Puerto Rico. The official forecast brought the storm to the east of the northern Bahamas by the following Monday morning and to Florida on Tuesday or Wednesday. By the afternoon, Emergency Management Officials across Florida were told that nothing should happen over the weekend, letting their guard down. Andrew would strengthen dramatically and move westward faster than anticipated, making landfall south of Miami early that Monday morning as a Category 5 hurricane.

This was the last day in a streak of 40 consecutive days Sacramento, CA hit the 90 degree mark. The old record was 35 days in a row set back in 1967.

It snowed in central and southern Alberta. In some places in snowed until the 23rd and snow was close to two feet deep in places. This was the earliest recorded snowfall in Edmonton, Alberta Canada since record keeping began in 1884.


High winds and torrential rains from one of the worst typhoons to batter China in a decade caused the deaths of at least 140 people. In Taiwan, the typhoon killed 37 people and left six people missing when apartment buildings collapsed. The death toll would have been higher if authorities in Zhejiang, neighboring Jiangsu province and the city of Shanghai had not evacuated 790,000 people from coastal towns and villages in the path of the typhoon.


Hurricane Bret strengthened rapidly in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, increasing to a Category 4 storm with top winds of 135 mph and a central pressure of 953 millibars or 28.14 inHg. Evacuations were well underway along the Texas and Mexican coasts.


Ten years after Hurricane Andrew made landfall in South Florida, the National Hurricane Center announced that the hurricane had been upgraded from a Category 4 storm to a Category 5 with sustained winds of 165 mph.


Perhaps the coldest August night ever recorded over South Africa as temperatures fell to as low 13.3° at Frankfort. At least 19 new minimum temperature records were set.


Hurricane Dean smashed into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 5 hurricane, the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic basin since Andrew in 1992. Dean struck with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph, with gusts of up to 200 mph, and a central pressure of 906 millibars or 26.75 inHg (the third lowest at landfall since record-keeping began in 1851) just prior to making landfall. Dean caused at least 20 fatalities across the Caribbean and 10 fatalities in Mexico. Dean destroyed agricultural crops across Mexico and severely damages its major cruise ship port. Insured losses are estimated at about $300 million dollars.


An F3 tornado plowed through the village of Goderich, Ontario Canada. The twister caused extensive damage to the downtown area, including structural damage to buildings, roofs torn off, numerous overturned vehicles and trees downed. Eyewitnesses described downtown Goderich's Centre Square as like a "war zone" with one dead and 40 injured. The length of the tornado damage track was approximately 16 miles, with a width of damage that peaks at just under a mile.


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

Report this ad