Meteorological events that happened on August 30th:
Heavy fog aided General George Washington in evacuating his troops after a defeat on Long Island, NY.
A tornado struck the area near Providence, RI leaving a path which went 25 miles into Massachusetts as far as Freetown. No fatalities occurred but extensive minor damage was done.
A hurricane moved from Cape Hatteras, NC to offshore New England. An unusual feature of the hurricane was the snow it helped produce, which whitened the Catskill Mountains of New York State. Considerable snow was also reported at Salem, NY.
Snow fell on Monadnock Mountain in southern New Hampshire.
Some of the chilliest August weather on record occurred from the Plains to the upper Midwest. Locations that reported their all-time coldest temperature for August included: Neillsville, WI: 31°, Rochester, MN: 32° (also earliest first occurrence of freezing temperatures), Fayette, IA: 33°, Winona, MN: 33°, Charles City, IA: 34°, Grand Meadow, MN: 34°, Lancaster, WI: 34°, La Crosse, WI: 35°, New Hampton, IA: 35°, Rockford, IL: 35° and Dodge City, KS: 43°.
Coastal fog contributed to the crash between the San Juan and an oil tanker off Santa Cruz, CA. 70 passengers and crew of the San Juan perished.
On this date through the 31st, Hurricane Baker made landfall at Santa Rosa Island between Mobile, AL and Pensacola, FL with winds of 100 mph. At Pensacola, the lowest sea-level pressure was 991 millibars or 29.27 inHg at 10pm with a maximum wind speed of 42 mph from the southeast. A waterspout/tornado came ashore and unroofed a home and store at Apalachicola, FL. 23 homes were damaged. One other tornado was reported in Jackson County.
Hurricane Carol strengthened to Category 2 strength off the North Carolina coast with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph. Carol would accelerate over the next 24 hours and make landfall the next day over the Fire Island community of Point O’Woods on the eastern end of Long Island, NY with 100 mph sustained winds.
An interesting note from Hurricane Carol was some of the strongest criticism came about the name of the storm. Editorials railed that it was not appropriate to give a nice name like Carol to a destructive hurricane. Some people even said that the name Carol gave the impression that the storm would not be dangerous.
Severe thunderstorms moved south across western Oklahoma, leaving several swaths of extensive hail damage. The Weatherford area was especially hard hit. Hail up to golf ball size caused severe damage to roofs and windows on almost all homes and buildings in the Weatherford area. Other hail paths, some of which caused 100% crop damage, extended from Dill City, south to the Red River in Cotton County, over the Grandfield area, and from near Granite to Headrick. The storms continued into north Texas, where wind damage was reported in the Burkburnett, Wichita Falls, Iowa Park, and Henrietta areas. Wind gusts to 75 mph were measured.
Canadian high pressure brought another chilly start to parts of the Great Lakes to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Raleigh, NC dropped to 46°; their coldest August reading. Other record lows included: Concord, NH: 32°, Rochester, NY: 36°, Elkins, WV: 37°, Binghamton, NY: 37°, Ste. St. Marie, MI: 38°, Worcester, MA: 38°, Buffalo, NY: 38°, Williamsport, PA: 38°, Burlington, VT: 39°, Beckley, WV: 39°, Milton, MA: 39°, Hartford, CT: 39°, Syracuse, NY: 40°, Roanoke, VA: 43°, Erie, PA: 44°, Pittsburgh, PA: 44°, Greensboro, NC: 45°, Charleston, WV: 45°, Lynchburg, VA: 45°, Providence, RI: 45°, Atlantic City, NY: 45°, Raleigh, NC: 46°, Richmond, VA: 47°, Boston, MA: 48°, Bridgeport, CT: 49°, New York (Central Park), NY: 50°, Oak Ridge, TN: 51°, New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 51°, Philadelphia, PA: 51°, Norfolk, VA: 52°, Charlotte, NC: 53°, Chattanooga, TN: 55°, New York (LaGuardia), NY: 55° and Cape Hatteras, NC: 61°.
Hurricane Katrina crossed the southern tip of Baja California and then traversed almost the entire length of the Gulf of California before making landfall again and rapidly weakening. More than two inches of rain fell in parts of southern California. Two inches fell at La Quinta and the city was cut off for several hours. 150 homes were damaged by floods in Palm Desert and Indian Wells. Numerous roads were washed out in the Coachella Valley.
Another preview of fall as record lows were recorded across parts of Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. Grand Rapids, MI fell to 39°, the coldest ever recorded during the month of August. Scattered frost occurs in rural areas. Ste. St. Marie, MI: 35°, Detroit, MI: 41°, Muskegon, MI: 41°, Youngstown, OH: 41°, Toledo, OH: 41°-Tied, Dayton, OH: 43°, Pittsburgh, PA: 44°-Tied, Columbus, OH: 45° and Cleveland, OH: 45°-Tied.
Hurricane David grew into one of the most intense storms ever to cross the Caribbean Sea. After wiping out the tiny island of Dominica with 150 mph winds, David crashed ashore in the Dominican Republic at peak intensity on this date, with wind gusts over 200 mph. The central pressure in the storm was at its lowest at 924 millibars or 27.29 inHg. More than 1,200 people on the two-nation island were killed and over 80,000 were left homeless. Damage totaled more than $1 billion dollars in the Caribbean alone. Skipping through the Bahamas, David struck a glancing blow on Florida, just north of the Gold Coast, tore across Cape Canaveral and then moved up the East Coast on September 6th, downing trees and power lines well into New England.
A tropical depression brought torrential rains to portions of southern Texas. Up to a foot of rain fell south of Houston with as much as 18 inches reported southeast of Austin. The depression spawned 14 tornadoes during a 3-day period.
Many cities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states observed record lows for the date. Parts of Vermont receive up to 3 inches of snow. Record lows included: Caribou, ME: 34°-Tied, Albany, NY: 38°, Portland, ME: 40°-Tied, Norfolk, VA: 49°, Wallops Island, VA: 53° and Wilmington, NC: 55°.
Massive evacuations were ordered for beachfront communities along the northern Gulf Coast as Hurricane Elena made her move toward the coast just before a busy Labor Day weekend. A cold front approached from the northwest, which collapsed the steering currents around Elena, and the storm began to recurve. It approached Florida, moving quite close to Tampa Bay and Cedar Key, before high pressure bridged the frontal boundary and steered Elena back towards the west. Elena intensified as it accelerated west-northwest, and was a major hurricane by the afternoon on September 1st peaking later that day at 125 mph. The hurricane made landfall near Biloxi, MS on September 2 as a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 120 mph. A storm surge of 10 feet was reported at Apalachicola, FL. Rainfall ranged from 2 inches at Key West to 11 inches at Apalachicola. Bursting convection after moving inland, Elena brought locally heavy rains to Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kentucky over the succeeding four days that the system maintained integrity while it was inland. Elena spawned five tornadoes in Pasco, Marion, Lake (2) and Glades Counties the next day. The strongest tornado struck Leesburg, FL in the morning destroying 70 trailers and damaged 52 others.
Several cities in California and Oregon reported record high temperatures for the date, including Redding and Sacramento with readings of 100°.
Thunderstorms drenched Georgia and the Carolinas with heavy rain, soaking Columbia SC with 4.10 inches in just 3 hours.
Fresno CA was the hot spot in the nation with a record high of 109° while Duluth, MN tied their record for the month of August with a morning low of 39°.
Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front produced large hail in Montana and North Dakota during the evening and overnight hours. Hail 3 inches in diameter was reported 20 miles south of Medora, ND, and thunderstorms over Dawson County, Montana produced up to 3 inches of rain.
Thunderstorms produced golf ball size hail at Roundup, MT, Dazey, ND and Protection, KS.
Three people were hurt by lightning in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. Two of them were huddled under an umbrella on the side of a road, watching a wrecker operator connect their stalled vehicle to his tow truck. Lightning struck the umbrella and then traveled to the wrecker operator.
One of the worst wildfire seasons ever in the western United States peaked as 52 major fires were burning. Intense heat and drought in parts of the West caused fires to spread quickly through parched grass, brush and forest. More than 5.7 million acres burned by the end of August, compared with a five-year average of just more than 2 million acres.
An intense heat wave rewrote the record books across a large portion of the southern Plains and Mississippi Valley through September 5th. During the 8 day period, over 30 new all-time record high temperatures were established; while an additional 100 monthly records were also set. Some all-time record highs included 108° at Alexandria, LA, 111° at Little Rock, AR and 103° at Audubon Park in New Orleans, LA.
Thunderstorms developed over northern Illinois during the evening hours. A series of thunderstorms moved across northern Cook County, dumping torrential amounts of rainfall. Flooding was reported on portions of the Kennedy and Edens expressways. The 93 mile deep tunnel was filled to capacity with 1.6 billion gallons of water forcing the Wilmette licks to be opened to dump 75 million gallons of storm and sewer water directly into Lake Michigan. O'Hare Airport received 4.31 inches of rain, most of which fell between 9 pm and 11 pm. This rainfall brought the total for the month to 12.25 inches, making this the second wettest month on record for Chicago.
Typhoon Rusa struck South Korea causing widespread flooding. 26.44 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Gangneung in northern South Korea just east of Seoul. This was close to 3 times their average August rainfall. Meanwhile in Kangnung 36.05 inches of rain fell in 30 hours. 187 people were killed by Rusa, the strongest typhoon to hit South Korea since Sarah in 1959 when 840 people died. Rusa also gave eastern and southern South Korea their wettest period since records began in the 1930's.
A large and severe thunderstorm produced flash flooding and severe hail in the San Jacinto Mountains in California. Flash floods up to three feet deep carried rocks and mud and covered many roads in Idyllwild-Fern Valley. The storm dropped hailstones in size from marbles to walnuts. Hail injured two people during an already progressing search and rescue operation at Suicide Rock. These are the only documented injuries resulting from direct hail impact in California history.
Check out my colleague Weather Examiners:
Baltimore, MD area weather with Tony Pann at http://www.examiner.com/x-11224-Baltimore-Weather-Examiner
Orlando, FL area weather with Dr. Steve Oliver at http://www.examiner.com/x-23601-Orlando-Weather-Examiner
Houston, TX area weather & the weekly Weather America Newsletter with Larry Cosgrove at http://www.examiner.com/x-3775-Houston-Weather-Examiner
NOAA Headlines Examiner with Dr. Steve Oliver and IPR at http://www.examiner.com/x-40324-NOAA-Headlines-Examiner