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Weather History: August 9: Record temps, floods, storms, tornadoes & tropics

Listed are Meteorological events that happened on August 9th:

A waterspout is a rotating column of air or vortex over a large body of water. A waterspout may be a tornado that formed over land and then moved over water. However, a true waterspout forms over water, usually underneath a developing cumulus cloud and not from a severe thunderstorm as a tornado does. Waterspouts form most often over the warm, shallow coastal waters of the Florida Keys (where 100 a month may occur in the summer).

Waterspouts are generally much smaller than a tornado, 10 to 300 feet wide, with winds usually less than 50 mph. Most waterspouts only last 10 to 15 minutes.


The second most deadly tornado in New England history struck Wallingford, CT killing 34 people, injuring 100 others, and completely destroying 30 homes. The tornado started as a waterspout over a dam on the Quinnipiac River. It was 400 to 600 feet wide, and had a short path length of two miles.


Tennessee recorded their hottest temperature ever as Perryville hit 113°.


Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia, Canada recorded their hottest day on record as the mercury hit 91.4°.


A severe thunderstorm with extremely strong winds struck Stillwater, OK during the night. At Stillwater Municipal Airport, wind speeds were measured between 92 and 115 mph for eight consecutive minutes, with a peak gust reaching 138 mph. The storm did an incredible amount of damage, especially to the Oklahoma State University campus. Winds caused widespread roof and tree damage, and broke windows out of about 130 automobiles.


Less than a week after hitting 100° the temperature plummets to a record cold 38° at Lansing, MI and 43° at Grand Rapids, MI. Muskegon, MI went from 99° on the 3rd to a low of 40° on this date. Flint, MI: 39°, Green Bay, WI: 41°, Toledo, OH: 44°, South Bend, IN: 45°, Rochester, NY: 45°, Portland, ME: 46°, Buffalo, NY: 48°, Milwaukee, WI: 49°, Providence, RI: 51°, Bridgeport, CT: 54° and Philadelphia, PA: 54°.


A tornado hit Cincinnati, OH killing 4 people and causing $15 million dollars property damage. The tornado moved in a southeasterly direction at 40 to 50 mph.


Hurricane Belle formed just to the northwest of the Bahamas on the 6th, rapidly intensified to a Category 3 southeast of North Carolina then began to weaken, moving into western Long Island near Jones Beach as a minimal hurricane during the evening on this date. Hurricane warnings were extended to the coastal sections of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island where tides as high as 12 to15 feet occurred. New York City measured a gust to 56 mph. Philadelphia, PA reported 0.51 inches of rain on the 8th, with an additional 1.17 inches on this date. The tide reached 8.8 feet above mean lower low water at Atlantic City, NJ, tying the level reached during the great coastal storm of 3/6/1962, and again reached during the "Perfect Storm" of 10/31/1991. Severe coastal flooding begins at 8.7 feet.


Major flooding occurred on the Lost Creek in West Virginia. Water up to 7 feet deep flooded the town of Clarksburg.


Severe lightning occurred across West Virginia. Two people were struck on a golf course near Vienna, WV. A person standing between the two victims was uninjured. 12 people were injured when lightning struck during a prayer service near Bluefield, WV.

Hurricane Allen threatened the Texas coast. Air Force reconnaissance measured a very low central pressure of 909 millibars or 26.84 inHg just in the very early morning hours with maximum sustained winds near 180 mph.


Several cities in Florida reported record high temperatures for the date, including Jacksonville: 101°, Orlando: 99°, Fort Myers: 98°, Miami: 98°, Gainesville, FL: 97° and West Palm Beach, FL: 97°.


Tropical Storm Beryl deluged Biloxi, MS with 6.32 inches of rain in 24 hours, and in three days drenched Pascagoula, MS with 15.85 inches of rain.

Afternoon and evening thunderstorms produced severe weather in the Central & Southern Plains Region. Thunderstorms in Oklahoma produced wind gusts to 92 mph at Harrah.


Evening thunderstorms in Arizona deluged Yuma with record torrential rains for the second time in as many weeks. The rainfall total of 5.25 inches at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot established a state 24 hour record, and was nearly double the normal annual rainfall. Some of the homes were left with 4 feet of water.

Many cities in the south central and eastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Lake Charles, LA equaled their record for August with a low of 61°. Canaan Valley, WV was the cold spot in the nation with a low of 32°. Other record lows included: Mt. Pocono, PA: 37°, Elkins, WV: 41°, Youngstown, OH: 41°, Beckley, WV: 44°, Avoca, PA: 46°, Albany, NY: 46°, Binghamton, NY: 46°, Bristol, TN: 47°, Charleston, WV: 47°, Dulles Airport, VA: 47°, Pittsburgh, PA: 47°, Lincoln, NE: 48°, North Platte, NE: 48°, Huntington, WV: 48°, Hartford, CT: 48°, Asheville, NC: 49°, Topeka, KS: 50°, Roanoke, VA: 50°, Allentown, PA: 50°, Trenton, NJ: 50°, Columbus, OH: 51°, Jackson, KY: 51°, Lexington, KY: 51°, Reading, PA: 51°, Erie, PA: 51°, Harrisburg, PA: 52°, Louisville, KY: 53°, Nashville, TN: 53°, Baltimore (BWI), MD: 53°, San Angelo, TX: 54°, Oak Ridge, TN: 54°, Wilmington, DE: 54°, Wichita, KS: 55°, Fort Smith, AR: 55°, Greensboro, NC: 55°, Abilene, TX: 56°, Midland-Odessa, TX: 56°, Chattanooga, TN: 56°, Knoxville, TN: 56°, Washington, D.C. (DCA): 57°, New York (Central Park), NY: 57°, Kennedy Airport (NYC), NY: 57°, Wichita Falls, TX: 58°, Shreveport, LA: 58°, Little Rock, AR: 58°, Tulsa, OK: 59°, El Paso, TX: 59°, Waco, TX: 59°, Memphis, TN: 59°, Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX: 60°, Dallas (DFW), TX: 60°, Baton Rouge, LA: 60°, Mobile, AL: 60°, Houston, TX: 62°, New Orleans, LA: 64°, Pensacola, FL: 64°, Dallas, TX: 65°, Austin, TX: 67° and Victoria, TX: 68°.


A tornado packing winds estimated between 113 and 157 mph did major damage to the town of Chester, SD. Shortly after 7pm CDT a tornado tore right through the heart of Chester causing considerable damage. Four businesses were destroyed, three others had major damage, and five had minor damage. An elevator and new grain bin were leveled and another bin was heavily damaged. Most of the building housing the fire department was demolished. Also many houses and vehicles sustained damage and large trees were uprooted or broken off. In one instance a steel beam was thrust through a garage and into the car inside. One mile north of Chester an entire house was moved off of its foundation.

The town had to be evacuated for 19 hours after the tornado because the tornado damaged a 12,000 gallon ammonia tank releasing 4,000 gallons of the liquid gas into the air. The ammonia was a health hazard forcing residents out. To the south of Chester the storm destroyed a new convenience store and blew two fuel tanks over 100 yards.


Severe thunderstorms with very heavy rain began over central Mohave County around 12:30 am and ended around 2:30 am MST. Washes rapidly filled in the vicinity of Kingman and several roads were washed out. At least two cars were caught in a flooded wash and their four occupants had to be rescued by helicopter. Also, one woman was found dead hours later in a sewer drainage pond. It is unknown how she was caught in the flood waters. Another serious result occurred a few hours after the storms ended when a passenger train derailed while crossing a small bridge damaged and weakened by flood waters. Of the 302 passengers and crew members aboard, 116 were injured and of those eight sustained serious injuries.

Further north, severe thunderstorms rolled across the western part of Las Vegas, NV producing damaging winds and hail. A trailer was destroyed and signs and roofs in the area received damage from both the wind and hail. 19,000 homes lost power for a few hours. The storms also produced local street flooding with rainfall amounts up to 0.73 inches in 15 minutes.


Washington, DC hit 98° and recorded their 8th consecutive day of 95° or higher, the longest such streak in recorded history.


During the record heat during the Summer of '03 the Bavarian city of Roth, Germany hit 105° to set a new national record.

Greycrook, Scotland recorded their hottest day on record as the mercury soared to 91.2°.


This was the 2nd consecutive day Death Valley, CA soared to 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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