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Weather History: August 6: Record temps, tropics, storms, tornadoes & floods

Meteorological events that happened on August 6th:

It is estimated that lightning strikes the planet approximately 3 billion times each year. Many times that number remains within the clouds or arch from one cloud to another. Some storms in the Midwest can produce some 50,000 lightning strikes.


The most easterly tornado occurrence of this magnitude in North America struck Buctouche, New Brunswick Canada. Within the storm's 8.8 mile swath, 7 people died and 10 were injured.


Smoke from Michigan forest fires created a yellow pall over the Northeast. Candles were necessary for light at noontime.


Thunderstorms left four inches of hail covering the ground in Adair and Union County in Iowa. The hail drifted into six-foot drifts, and in some places remained on the ground for 26 days until the end of the month.


Princeton, IN received 10.50 inches of rain, which established a 24-hour maximum precipitation record for the Hoosier State.


Unusually hot weather began to overspread the Atlantic Coast States, from the Carolinas to southern New England. The temperature soared to an all-time record high of 106° at Washington, D.C., and Cumberland and Keedysville hit 109° to establish a state record for Maryland. Temperatures were above normal east of the Rockies that month, with readings much above normal in the Lower Missouri Valley. Omaha, NE reached 110°.

Both Grand Rapids, MI and Lansing, MI set their highest temperature on record for the month of August at 102°. At Lansing, it also tied the record for their all-time highest temperature.

Fort Wayne, IN recorded their all-time warmest August low of 79°.

A hurricane struck without warning at Cameron Parish, LA near Lake Charles. Winds of 100 mph were measured at Lake Charles. Most of the businesses in Sulphur, LA were destroyed.


Sault Ste. Marie, MI hit 98°, equaling their all-time highest temperature.


A bucket survey showed that thunderstorms dropped 16.70 inches of rain on parts of Decatur County, Iowa. The total was accepted as Iowa's 24-hour rainfall record.

Hurricane Dot crossed Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands producing sustained winds of 105 mph with gusts to 125 mph. Over 6 inches of rain fell with over 9 inches on the big island of Hawaii. The sugar cane crop on Kauai sustained $2.7 million dollars in damages.


A severe thunderstorm brought 70 to 100 mph winds to Lake Texoma, OK. The winds caused extensive damage to piers and either damaged or sank more than 100 boats. One person drowned when their boat capsized during the storm.


During the day and evening hours, two relatively large storms brought destructive weather to much of Minnesota. The northerly storm area moved in from North Dakota between Fargo and Grand Forks. The southern storm rapidly developed north of Wedena. These two storms combined to cause 12 tornadoes, two large areas of wind and hail damage and a waterspout. The storms killed 15 people, injured 106, and caused $4.8 million dollars in property and public utility damage.


Severe thunderstorms produced nearly 20 tornadoes in Sangamon and Christian Counties in central Illinois. Many of these only affected open fields. However, one tornado did cause extensive damage near and east of Chatham. One tornado just south of Lake Springfield was unusual in that it had a clockwise rotation, in contrast to the usual counter-clockwise rotation found in tornadoes. The thunderstorms that produced these tornadoes caused a large swath of destruction from strong winds extending from southwestern Morgan County east to far southwestern Macon County.


100° at Salt Lake City, UT tied the record for the date. It was the 5th day of temperatures 100° or hotter.


A severe thunderstorm rocked Winner, SD. The storm packed 90 mph winds and damaged over 200 houses. The Tripp County Historical Museum was completely destroyed. Extensive tree damage occurred in town and a plane was flipped over at the airport.


Afternoon thunderstorms deluged Milwaukee, WI, breaking all previous rainfall records for the city. Among the records: 1.10 inches in 5 minutes, 3.06 inches in 1 hour, 5.24 inches in 2 hours, 6.24 in 6 hours and 6.84 inches in 24 hours. Floodwaters were 3 - 4 feet deep at the Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Floodwaters filled the basement of the main terminal at the airport. Flooding caused $5.9 million dollars damage, and claimed the life of one person.

A midday thunderstorm deluged Birmingham, AL with nearly 6 inches of rain in one hour.

Death Valley, CA reported a morning low of 97°.


Severe thunderstorms produced large hail and damaging winds in Pennsylvania and New York State. A cold front crossing the northwestern U.S. produced wind gusts to 66 mph at Livingston, MT.


Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front produced severe weather from northwestern Texas to the Southern Appalachians, and in the northeastern U.S. 136 reports of large hail or damaging winds were made during the day and evening. Thunderstorms in the Southern Plains Region produced tennis ball size hail northwest of Buffalo, OK, and wind gusts to 100 mph at Pampa, TX.


A firefighter was knocked unconscious in Sarasota County, Florida struck by lightning while fighting a fire that was caused by a lightning strike.


Virginia experienced its worst tornado outbreak ever as 18 tornadoes ripped through the state in 5 hours. The most devastating tornado caused severe damage in the historic part of Petersburg, then moved on to Pocahontas Island and into Colonial Heights. There, the storm ripped apart a WalMart store, killing three people and injuring nearly 200. The F4 twister was the first known violent tornado in Virginia history. It killed a total of 4 people and injured 246 along its 12 mile path. Total damages were nearly $50 million dollars.


In the east England county of Norfolk, a thunderstorm brought a rain of fish to this fishing port. Britain's Meteorological Office reported a shower of dead but still fresh sprats, likely due to a small waterspout moving overland.


Tropical Storm Barry moved inland on the Gulf Coast near Fort Walton Beach, FL around midnight with top winds of 60 mph. The storm caused $30 million dollars in damage. Heavy rains spread northwestward across Alabama with up to three inches reported in the Birmingham area.

No precipitation fell at Billings, MT on this date, the first of an August record 22 consecutive days without even a trace of rain. Only 0.01 inches fell during the month, their record driest August.


4.06 inches of rain fell in 30 hours at Warsaw, Poland. Their average August rainfall is 2.76 inches.


A strong upper level ridge of high pressure began a torrid three day heat wave across the southern Plains. The temperatures soared to 109° at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and downtown Dallas, TX, surpassing the old record set in 1952. Lubbock, TX also set a new record with 102°.


Saint-Ludger-de-Milot, Quebec: A rare mid-afternoon tornado struck in the Saguenay-Lac Saint-Jean region, Quebec Canada about 100 kilometers northeast of Chicoutimi, damaging cottages and uprooting trees.


A strong are of low pressure over the North Pole had an unseasonably low central pressure of 964 millibars.


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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