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Weather History: August 8: Record temps, storms, tornadoes, tropics & flooding

Meteorological events that happened on August 8th:

What is the hottest city in the United States? That dubious distinction belongs to Key West, Florida. You may wonder how Key West, FL can be warmer than say, Yuma, AZ where all those 110 degree plus temperatures come pouring in every summer. While Yuma is very hot on summer afternoons the dry air usually cools down quite a bit at night. Also, the desert southwest temperatures moderate quite a bit in the winter. Key West's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean/Gulf of Mexico means that it has smaller temperature variations between night and day and different times of the year.

In fact 9 out of the 10 hottest cities in the U.S. are either in Texas or in Florida in close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean. Yuma, AZ, which is nearly on the Mexico border, is the only location outside of Texas or Florida to crack the top ten.


The Electric Telegraph Company of London produced a daily weather map using reports received by telegraph. The map was sold to visitors to London's Great Expedition at Hyde Park. People paid one penny for a copy of the map.


Swarms of grasshoppers invaded Denver, CO. Millions were seen cruising through the air. The insects were apparently picked up by a thunderstorm gust front and carried in to the city. The grasshoppers ravaged crops in surrounding counties for the previous month.


The temperature at Denver CO soared to 105°, tying their all-time record equaled on 7/20/2005.


A ship on Lake Michigan reported an August snowstorm. A thick cloud reportedly burst on the decks covering them with snow and slush 6 inches deep. Snow showers were observed at shore points that day.


The official rain gauge at Fort Mohave, AZ was blown over by the furious winds that accompanied a thunderstorm on this date. However, a wash tub was reported to have received 8 inches of rain during the 45 minute storm.


The temperature in Toulouse, France soared to 111°.


A lightning bolt during a dry thunderstorm killed 47 cattle at a local farm in Hancock, MN. The livestock had crowded together under the branches of a large spreading willow tree when the bolt struck the tree. Bodily contact seems to have provided the means of conveying the charge among the animals.


A hurricane moved in from the Bahamas and made landfall near Stuart, FL. Damage was heaviest from south Brevard to St. Lucie Counties. Houses were unroofed and citrus trees and large oaks uprooted. Coastal highways were flooded and many bridges were undermined. Two people died.


A tornado outbreak across central and southern Lower Michigan resulted in two deaths and about 100 injuries. A violent tornado moved across the southeast part of Kalamazoo, MI destroying dozens of homes and killing two people. More homes were destroyed and six people were injured in northern Kent County, northeast of Cedar Springs.


Las Vegas, NV was hit by two storms which bore in from the south and covered a 50-square-mile area. Damage was estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Showboat Hotel on Boulder Highway was forced to close its casino, restaurant, and showroom when muddy floodwaters invaded through the kitchen doors, passed clearly through the large building and out the front doors. At Caesars Palace on the Strip, a casino boss said the water was deep enough in the front of the hotel to "swim in".

Over 10 inches of rain fell during a two week period to cause the Great Fairbanks Flood in Alaska. $100 million dollars in damage resulted.


Severe thunderstorms moved north central South Dakota to the southeast sections of the state. Golf ball size hail was reported just west of Mobridge while Wessington Springs had tennis ball sized hail. Two people were injured in Sioux Falls when strong thunderstorm winds blew in a plate glass window at a drug store. Another person was injured in Canton when a trailer was blown over. Near Mitchell a barn was devastated so badly by a tornado it appeared as if it had exploded. Portions of the building could not be found and the same tornado carried a steel granary a half mile.


An unusual mid-summer tornado struck near the town of Byers, Texas, in Clay County. Damage was limited to barns and storage sheds on several farms east of Byers. The tornado exhibited an unusual movement, from southeast to northwest.


Dangerous Hurricane Allen briefly weakened to a Category 4 storm as it skirted the Yucatan Peninsula. Already a Category 5 twice during its life cycle, Allen would briefly regain Category 5 intensity for a record third time on the 9th as it headed for the Texas coast.


The temperature at Big Horn Basin, WY reached 115° to establish a state record.


Thunderstorm rains in eastern Nebraska sent the Wahoo River and Ithica River above flood stage. Thunderstorm rains in western Iowa sent the Nishnabotna River over flood stage. Up to 7 inches of rain deluged the Council Bluffs area with 4.4 inches of rain falling in just three hours, along with golf ball size hail.


Thunderstorms developing along a slow moving cold front produced severe weather from central Kansas to southern Wisconsin late in the day. Thunderstorms in Iowa produced hail three inches in diameter at Vinton, and produced wind gusts to 75 mph at Donohue and near Mount Pleasant.


Many cities in 27 states covering the central and eastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date, including with a reading of 40°. Mount Mitchell, NC was the cold spot in the nation with a morning low of 35°. Alpena, MI: 40°, Grand Rapids, MI: 43°, Toledo, OH: 44°, Flint, MI: 44°, Muskegon, MI: 44°, Binghamton, NY: 45°, Jackson, KY: 45°, Youngstown, OH: 45°, Columbus, OH: 46°, Mansfield, OH: 46°, Detroit, MI: 47°, Norfolk, NE: 47°, Bristol, TN: 48°, Cincinnati, OH: 48°, Indianapolis, IN: 48°, Peoria, IL: 48°, Dulles Airport, VA: 49°, Buffalo, NY: 49°, Pittsburgh, PA: 49°, Lexington, KY: 49°, Dayton, OH: 49°, Topeka, KS: 49°, Oak Ridge, TN: 50°, Sioux City, IA: 50°, Concordia, KS: 50°, Dodge City, KS: 50°, Lincoln, NE: 50°, Rapid City, SD: 50°, Harrisburg, PA: 51°, Wichita, KS: 51°, Paducah, KY: 52°, Evansville, IN: 52°, Kansas City, MO: 52°, Springfield, MO: 52°, Wilmington, DE: 53°, Knoxville, TN: 53°, Nashville, TN: 53°, Louisville, KY: 53°, Columbia, MO: 53°, Baltimore, MD: 54°, Huntsville, AL: 54°, Midland-Odessa, TX: 54°, Oklahoma City, OK: 54°, Philadelphia, PA: 55°, Fort Smith, AR: 55°, Newark, NJ: 56°, Tupelo, MS: 56°, Little Rock, AR: 56°, Abilene, TX: 57°, Tulsa, OK: 57°, Kennedy Airport (NYC), NY: 58°, Memphis, TN: 58°, Jackson, MS: 58°, Wichita Falls, TX: 58°, LaGuardia Airport (NYC), NY: 59°, Dallas (DFW), TX: 60°, San Angelo, TX: 60°, Dallas, TX: 62°, Mobile, AL: 65°, Pensacola, FL: 67° and Del Rio, TX: 68°.

Early evening thunderstorms around Las Vegas, NV produced wind gusts to 116 mph. The high winds damaged or destroyed 82 aircraft at Henderson Sky Harbor Airport and McCarran International Airport, causing $14 million dollars damage.


Unusually cool temperatures were recorded over parts of the northern Plains and Rockies. The temperature dropped to 36° at Saratoga and Shirley Basin, WY while Laramie and Rawlins, WY bottomed out at 39°. Record lows included: Pocatello, ID: 40°, Casper, WY: 44° and Valentine, NE: 46°.


A rain of small fish fell on the seaport of Great Yarmouth, England after a thunderstorm passed. The unusual precipitation was probably caused by a waterspout that sucked up the hapless fish and deposited them onshore.


Slow moving thunderstorms dumped 5 inches of rain in a two hour period over the area between Telluride and Placerville, CO. The torrential rains unleashed mudslides that covered Highway 145 with up to six feet of rock and mud. The road is the only route in and out of Telluride and it was closed for several hours. Several vehicles were swept from the road, some all the way to a river bed below the highway. Nine people had to be rescued.

Toronto, Ontario Canada’s Pearson Airport reached its second hottest day ever when the temperature soared to 99.3°.

Between 0000z on 8/5 and 1200z on this date 17.14 inches of rain fell in Wando, just off the south coast of South Korea. The average August rainfall here is 6.54 inches. 8.35 inches of this rain fell in the just 12 hours and 10.95 inches fell in the 36 hours.


Unseasonably cool air settled from parts of the Mid-Atlantic into the Southeast. Record lows included: Asheville, NC: 49°, Augusta, GA: 52°, Roanoke, VA: 53°, Lynchburg, VA: 53°, Grand Junction, CO: 54°, Charlotte, NC: 55°, Greensboro, NC: 55°, Columbia, SC: 56°, Greenville-Spartanburg, SC: 56°, Macon, GA: 56°, Wallops Island, VA: 57°, Athens, GA: 57°, Wilmington, NC: 59°, Charleston, SC: 59°, Cape Hatteras, NC: 60°, Atlanta, GA: 61° and Savannah, GA: 61°.


A blinding sandstorm reduced visibility in Baghdad, Iraq to less than a few feet and caused cancellation of a key meeting on the Iraqi constitution. Hundreds were hospitalized with breathing problems.


An EF2 tornado bounced across Staten Island and Brooklyn ripping off roofs and damaging dozens of buildings. The twister hop-scotched through Brooklyn's Bay Ridge and Sunset Park neighborhoods just after sunrise.


A new high temperature record was set in the country of Belarus when the town of Gomel hit 102.5°.


Death Valley, CA recorded consecutive days with a high temperature of 126°


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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