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Weather History: August 25: Record temps, storms, hail, tropics & flooding

Meteorological events that happened on August 25th:

Gustnadoes are short lived vortexes (usually less than 5 minutes) that form in the wind flowing outward from thunderstorms. They typically form when the thunderstorm outflow hits a boundary beyond which the air is flowing in a different direction or at a different speed. They develop much like the vortexes which form in water flowing down a mountain stream. Gustnadoes, which can be considered a cousin of the tornado do not necessarily have a similar in appearance to a tornado, usually only last a few minutes and are generally weak.

79 A.D.

The Roman town of Pompeii was destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted. The city was engulfed by a cloud of burning gas. Victims were found under hundreds of feet of ash several hundred years later, huddled in groups indicating that they had died suddenly when the terrifying gas cloud struck suddenly.


The Great Colonial Hurricane struck the New England coast. Rev. Increase Mather wrote: " storm more dismal than the great hurricane." Many shipwrecks and several near-disasters occurred during the storm, one of which would give birth to a favorite New England legend surrounding Thacher's Island.


The War of 1812 is the only time that foreign troops have ever occupied our nation's capital. As British troops burned the city of Washington, including the Capitol, White House and Pennsylvania Avenue, the skies began to darken. As a huge thunderstorm pounded the city, a tornado ripped through residential sections of Washington, D.C. Several British soldiers were killed by the storm. Their ranks shattered, the event was followed by a retreat by the Redcoats.


On the 24th, a major hurricane made landfall near Savannah, GA and moved in a northeastward arc just inland along the South and North Carolina coasts. Damage was estimated at $1.3 million dollars at Charleston, SC and crop damage was extensive. The storm was still intense as it moved into North Carolina where winds were estimated to 125 mph at Smithville, NC after the anemometer failed. The 1885 storm would be the impetus for the formation of a hurricane reporting network across the Caribbean and Mexico.


Bowen, MT set the record for lowest temperature ever observed in the lower 48 states in August with a reading of 5°. Wisdom, MT was not very far behind with a reading of 11°. Great Falls, MT set an early season and August record snowfall of 8.3 inches on the 22nd and 23rd, while St. Mary, MT reported a foot.

Cheyenne, WY reported an all-time August record low of 25°, while Scottsbluff, NE set their lowest August temperature and earliest freeze on record, with a low of 30°. Kimball, NE recorded a low of 26° while the temperature fell to 25° near Lusk, WY.


The August Gale”, a hurricane, raged across the East Coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Canada, crossing the Cabot Strait during the early morning hours. Hundreds of small boats in Newfoundland ports were among the storm victims.


New Jersey experienced its coldest August morning on record, when Layton and Charlotteburg dropped to 32°.

A stalled cold front brings clouds and very cool high temperatures to parts of the Great Lakes. The high at Muskegon, MI was only 56° and Lansing, MI was 57°, both records for the coldest maximum temperatures for the month of August. The high of 60° at Grand Rapids, MI is only one degree higher than the record of 59° set on 8/26/1987.


Neillsville, WI reported their hottest August temperature on record with 103°.

Toronto, Ontario Canada recorded their hottest day on record as the temperature reached 101°.

Three people were killed and 80 were injured when a tornado hit the towns of Hamilton and Frankton in New Zealand.


Record chill occurred across parts of the upper Midwest. Cities recording their coldest August temperature included: Austin, MN: 34°, Decorah, IA: 35°, and Genoa, WI: 41°.

Other daily records included: Madison, WI: 37°, Green Bay, WI: 40°-Tied, Rockford, IL: 41°, Dubuque, IA: 42°, La Crosse, WI: 43°, Moline, IL: 43°, Springfield, IL: 45°, Topeka, KS: 47°, Columbia, MO: 48°, Springfield, MO: 50°, Omaha, NE: 50°, St. Louis, MO: 52° and Kansas City, MO: 53°.


Philadelphia, PA measured its 25th consecutive day without measurable rainfall.


Morning thunderstorms produced heavy rain in eastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa. Stanton, IA reported 10.50 inches of rain. Water was reported up to the handle of automobiles west of Greenwood, NE. Rainfall totals for a two day period ranged from 7 to 14 inches across southwestern Iowa. Crop damage was in the millions for both states. Subsequent flooding of streams in Iowa the last week of August caused millions of dollars damage to crops, as some streams crested 10 feet above flood stage.

An all-time record was set for monthly rainfall at Chicago, IL when a storm brought the monthly total to 15.73 inches. The previous record was 14.17 inches of rain which was recorded in September of 1961.

Fort Wayne, IN recorded its coolest daytime maximum for August as the high only reached 60°.


Several cities in California reported record high temperatures for the date, including Sacramento with an afternoon reading of 104°.

Thunderstorms produced locally heavy rains in Arizona. Chino Valley was drenched with 2.50 inches of rain in just 30 minutes washing out some streets.


Morning thunderstorms drenched Spencer, IN with 4.10 inches of rain in 3 hours causing extensive street flooding. Evening thunderstorms in eastern Kansas produced up to 6 inches of rain around Emporia, and 4 inches of rain in just 45 minutes near Parsons. Winds gusted to 70 mph at Lake Melvern.


After unleashing sustained winds of up to 165 mph around Homestead/Florida City, FL, Hurricane Andrew headed for the Louisiana coast. Hurricane Warnings were posted from Pascagoula, MS to the Bolivar Peninsula on the northeast Texas coast.

Billings, MT fell to 35°, their coldest August temperature on record. This was the 3rd consecutive day with a low temperature in the 30s at that location.


Torrential tropical downpours from the remnants of Tropical Storm Charley caused flash flooding along Texas State Highway 349 between Iraan and Sheffield. Just south of Iraan fast moving waters swept pavement away from this highway. The highway was reopened in a limited fashion later that night, but crews continued highway repairs for the next week. Unconfirmed reports of 7 inches of rain were received from citizens of Sheffield.

A massive wall of water was moved down the Rio Grande River in Texas toward Laredo after devastating the towns of Del Rio and Eagle Pass. 44 years ago, a flood taking virtually the same path washed out Del Rio before sweeping through Eagle Pass and Laredo.


Hailstones up to three quarters of an inch in diameter were reported at the Cape Cornwell Golf Club, in Cornwall England during a severe thunderstorm.


3.03 inches of rain fell in 18 hours at Perpignan in Southern France. This was around 2.5 times their average August rainfall.


Record high temperatures occurred across parts of the Midwest. Rockford, IL set a new record high with 97° while O’Hare Airport in Chicago, IL tied their record high with 95°.

Typhoon Krovanh made landfall along the coast of Vietnam near the Chinese border. The strongest typhoon to strike Vietnam in more than a decade destroyed nearly 1,000 homes, and 11,000 homes in southern China.


Tropical storm Katrina continued to move towards Florida, and became a hurricane only two hours before it made landfall between Hallandale Beach and Aventura, FL. Katrina would go on to become the costliest and one of the most deadly hurricanes to hit the United States.


Chattanooga, TN had their record streak of 22 consecutive days, beginning 8/4 with temperatures 95° come to an end.


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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