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Weather History: August 28: Record temps, tropics, storms, tornadoes & hail

Meteorological events that happened on August 28th:


Widespread frosts continued throughout New England in the infamous “Year Without A Summer”.


The official rain gauge at Fort Mohave, AZ was blown over by high winds accompanying a strong thunderstorm. However, a wash tub was reported to have received 8 inches of rain during the 45 minute storm.


Needles, CA recorded 2.55 inches of rain which is the greatest one day calendar total.


Thunderstorm winds and hail struck Alachua and Orange Counties in Florida. A tornado touched down briefly in Orlando and ripped up three large oaks. Trees, wire lines, and TV antennas were downed in many areas. Considerable wind damage to roofs and several automobiles were hit by falling trees. A child was killed by lightning at Lake City, FL. Several others were injured.


Lieutenant Colonel William Rankin bailed out of his plane at a height of 46,000 feet into a violent thunderstorm, and lived to write about the 45 minute journey (which normally would have been a 13 minute descent). He described it as one of the most bizarre and painful experiences imaginable.


La Coruna on the tip of northwestern Spain recorded its hottest day on record as the temperature peak at 103.3°.


NASA launched the first NIMBUS weather satellite. More advanced than the pioneering TIROS satellites, the NIMBUS program featured new cameras and sensors that continued well into the 1970s.


3.78 inches of rain fell in one hour at Porcupine Mountain, Manitoba Canada.


One man was seriously injured by lightning while riding on a roller coaster at a Denver, CO amusement park. An airline employee was injured when lightning struck a jetliner he was servicing at Stapleton International Airport. A lightning caused fire did extensive damage to a house and to several others.


For the second day in a row New Jersey was hit by heavy rain from Tropical Storm Doria which made landfall over western Long Island and southwestern Connecticut before moving north-northeast. Winds on the southern New England coast gusted to 75 mph while Newark, NJ recorded their record 24-hour precipitation record when 7.84 inches of rain fell. The Princeton-Millstone area of New Jersey was even wetter with 11.03 inches of rain falling in 36 hours. Damage totaled $138 million dollars. In southeastern Pennsylvania, high winds downed trees and power lines, and in New York City, heavy rains flooded streets and subways. This was the worst tropical storm/hurricane activity in New England since Hurricane Donna in 1960.

In southeastern Pennsylvania, high winds downed trees and power lines, and in New York City, heavy rains flooded streets and subways. Record flood stages were set at Morristown, NJ, on the Whippany River, with a stage of 8.6 feet (flood stage 6.0 feet); at Haddenfield, NJ, on the Cooper River, with a stage of 5.5 feet (flood stage 2.8 feet); and tied the record flood of 8/21/1939, at Pemberton, NJ, on the Rancocas Creek, with a stage of 4.2 feet (flood stage 2.7 feet). Somerset Co, New Jersey, records were also set, and stood until hurricane Floyd in 1999. The main stem of the Raritan River rose to 23.8 feet (flood stage 14.0 feet) at Manville, and to 37.5 feet (flood stage 28.0 feet) at Bound Brook. At Blackwells Mills, the Millstone River crested at 18.7 feet (flood stage 9.0 feet).


An F4 tornado touched down in extreme eastern New York and moved into Massachusetts and leveled a truck stop at West Stockbridge. Four people were killed and 43 others were injured. The thunderstorm responsible for this tornado had tops to 62,000 feet which is rare for this part of the country.


Severe flooding hit parts of southwest Oklahoma after 8 to 10 inches of rain fell over the area. The hardest hit areas were between the West Cache and Blue Beaver Creeks, near the communities of Cache, Faxon, and Medicine Park, all in Comanche County. Six children had to be rescued by helicopter from a knoll between the two creeks, while several other families had to be evacuated. Damage was quite severe as many houses reportedly had two to four feet of water flowing through them. The floods also washed away several bridges.


Hail up to six inches deep was recorded during a severe thunderstorm at Colorado Springs, CO.


2.73 inches of rain fell in 50 minutes at Rochester, MN; resulting in extensive flooding. The rainfall put the city over the top for the month as the wettest August on record.

A tornado struck a fully loaded semi-trailer truck on a highway in southwestern Iowa. The truck was carried through the air for 200 yards, fatally injuring the driver, who was found another 50 yards away. The twister was part of an outbreak of 20 tornadoes that occurred across a five state area.


Two inches of snow fell at Sherman Pass, WA.


A strong cold front pushed through bringing record low temperatures across parts of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. Record lows included: International Falls, MN: 30°, Duluth, MN: 34°, Marquette, MI: 36°, Lansing, MI: 36°, Ste. St. Marie, MI: 37°-Tied, Toledo, OH: 41°, Youngstown, OH: 41°, Rochester, NY: 41°, Grand Rapids, MI: 42°, Albany, NY: 42°, Binghamton, NY: 42°, Buffalo, NY: 43°, Syracuse, NY: 43° and New York (LaGuardia), NY: 57°-Tied.


In the early morning hours eight inches of rain pounded Le Mars, IA. Every home in town had some problems and houses that had never had water in their basements suddenly had 6 inches of water standing on their floors. Later that afternoon, more severe weather developed in northwest Iowa pounding several counties with golfball size hail and high winds in excess of 60 mph. Window and tree damage was extensive across Emmett, O'Brien, Cherokee, Clay, Buena Vista and Plymouth Counties.


There was an autumnal chill extending from the upper Midwest, Great Lakes to the Ohio& Tennessee Valley and the Mid-Atlantic. Locations recording their coldest August temperature ever included: Viroqua, WI: 32°, Richland Center, WI: 33°, Guttenberg, IA: 40° and Quincy, IL: 42°. Other daily records included: Grand Forks, ND: 31°, Lansing, MI: 36°-Tied, Sioux City, IA: 39°, Flint, MI: 39-Tied, Dubuque, IA: 40°, Moline, IL: 40°, Elkins, WV: 40°-Tied, Des Moines, IA: 41°, Peoria, IL: 41°, Grand Rapids, MI: 41°, Chicago, IL: 42°, Fort Wayne, IN: 42°, South Bend, IN: 42°, Columbia, MO: 42°-Tied, Kansas City, MO: 43°, Indianapolis, IN: 43°, Detroit, MI: 43°, Springfield, IL: 44°, Sterling (Dulles Airport), VA: 44°, Wilmington, DE: 46°, Allentown, PA: 46-Tied, Cincinnati, OH: 47°, St. Louis, MO: 48°, Baltimore, MD: 48°, Evansville, IN: 48°, Bristol, TN: 48-Tied, Philadelphia, PA: 49°, Islip, NY: 49°, Huntington, WV: 49°, Roanoke, VA: 49°-Tied, Jackson, KY: 50°, Richmond, VA: 50°, Wallops Island, VA: 50°, Lexington, KY: 50°-Tied, Louisville, KY: 51°, Lynchburg, VA: 51°-Tied, New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 53°, New York (LaGuardia), NY: 54° and Oak Ridge, TN: 54°-Tied.

The temperature at Apalachicola, FL dipped to 62° to shatter their previous August record by four degrees. They tied their August record high of 99° on the 2nd.


Severe thunderstorms broke the heat in the southeastern U.S. and the Gulf Coast Region, but not before several cities reported record high temperatures for the date. The severe thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 80 mph downing large trees around Horse Shoe, NC, and pelted southeastern Meridian, MS with hail two inches in diameter.


Tropical Storm Chris spawned a tornado near Manning, SC which killed one person, and spawned three tornadoes in North Carolina. Chris produced tides two feet above normal and 3 to 6 inches of rain, over coastal South Carolina.

Severe thunderstorms in New York State and Vermont, developing ahead of a cold front, spawned a tornado which killed one person at Hector, NY, produced tennis ball size hail at Brandon, VT, and produced wind gusts to 80 mph at Lyndonville, VT.


Early morning thunderstorms in Nebraska produced 4.50 inches of rain around McCook, and 4.65 inches near Auburn and Brownville.

Showers in Montana pushed the rainfall total for the month at Havre past the previous August record of 3.90 inches.


A deadly tornado struck Kendall and Will Counties in northern Illinois. Known as “The Plainfield, IL Tornado”, the F5 twister was on the ground for over 16 miles, touching down first near Oswego and lifting 20 minutes later in Joliet. The worst damage occurred in the towns of Plainfield and Crest Hill. 29 people were killed, and another 350 were injured. Total damage was estimated around $165 million dollars. Before the tornado developed, the severe thunderstorm produced wind gusts in the 80-100 mph range. Oddly, no known photographs or videos of the actual tornado exist. The tornado was embedded in heavy rain and hail during most of its lifetime, thus preventing visual warning of the impending event.

Proper tornado warnings were not issued as coordination between local National Weather Service Offices and spotter networks was inadequate, prompting an official NOAA investigation.


The coolest August temperature ever recorded in Wichita Falls, TX when the temperature fell to a cool 53°.

Rapidly intensifying Typhoon Omar cut right across the U.S. territory of Guam in the western Pacific. At the time of landfall winds were sustained at 125 mph around the eye. Anderson Air Force Base had sustained winds of 104 mph with a peak gust to 150 mph, recorded a pressure reading of 945.8 millibars or 27.93 inHg, and was deluged with 16.41 inches of rain. Agana Naval Air Station reported wind gusts exceeding 170 mph and a low pressure reading of 932 millibars or 27.52 inHg. The storm surge reached 10 feet on the northeast side of the island. The Western Pacific Typhoon Warning Center was knocked out of commission, less than a week after Hurricane Andrew severely damaged the Atlantic region's National Hurricane Center in Coral Gables, FL. One person was killed, 132 people were injured, over 4,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, and total damage was $487 million dollars. This was the strongest typhoon to strike Guam since Typhoon Pamela in 1976.


Hurricane Katrina continues to rapidly strengthen reaching Category 5 status. It had the second lowest pressure for an American hurricane in recorded history, with only the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 having a lower measurement. Katrina dropped to 908 millibars or 26.81 inHg. The Labor Day event of 1935 had a minimum pressure of 892 millibars or 26.34 inHg.


The temperature hits 109° at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Texas, tying their hottest day ever. This year, Houston set a new record for the most 100° days in a year with 36.


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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