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Weather History: December 10: Record temps, ice, storms, snow, wind & flooding

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Meteorological events that happened on December 10th:

People tend to be a lot more depressed in the winter than in the summer, but it seems that it is the dark and not the cold that does it. It is estimated that around 35 million Americans suffer to some degree from Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as SAD) or the "winter blues" caused by reduced sunlight. It is suspected that there is actually a change in brain chemistry in response to the reduction in exposure to sunlight.


A severe ice storm hit Boston, MA causing extensive damage to orchards.


Heavy snow occurred in the Mid-Atlantic with 10 inches at Baltimore, MD and 7 inches of snow reported at Washington D.C.


Cheyenne, WY reported the last of five straight days of snow. On this date, they set a daily record with 9.3 inches and 18.6 inches over the five days.

A 28 inch snowfall in 24 hours at Bend, OR set a new 24 hour snowfall record for the state.

Record low temperatures were set from the Plains to the West Coast including: Glasgow, MT: -32°, Waterloo, IA: -29° (broke previous record by 14 degrees), Havre, MT: -28°, Williston, ND: -27°, Bismarck, ND: -26°, Norfolk, NE: -26°, Duluth, MN: -23°, Scottsbluff, NE: -22°, Rochester, MN: -21°, Lander, WY: -21°: Tied, Great Falls, MT: -20°, Valentine, NE: -20°, Lincoln, NE: -20°, Rockford, IL: -20°, North Platte, NE: -19°, Des Moines, IA: -19°, Grand Junction, CO: -18°, Dubuque, IA: -18°, La Crosse, WI: -18°, Omaha, NE: -16°, Sioux City, IA: -16°, Madison, WI: -16°, Green Bay, WI: -15°, Concordia, KS: -14°, Moline, IL: -14°, Goodland, KS: -11°, South Bend, IN: -10°, Topeka, KS: -9°, Milwaukee, WI: -9°, Peoria, IL: -9°, Chicago, IL: -8°, Dodge City, KS: -6°, Grand Island, NE: -6°: Tied, Kansas City, MO: -5°, Wichita, KS: -3°, Clayton, NM: 1°, Oklahoma City, OK: 3°, Tulsa, OK: 3°-Tied, Muskegon, MI: 8°, Seattle, WA: 18°, Waco, TX: 18°, Victoria, TX: 26°, Del Rio, TX: 27°, Houston, TX: 27°, Corpus Christi, TX: 28°, Santa Ana, CA: 30° and Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX: 30°.

Gainesville, FL set a record high with 83°.


High pressure along the southeast coast brought a south to southwesterly flow of unseasonably warm air to the east. Record high temperatures for the date included: Roanoke, VA: 73°, Newark, NJ: 72°, Harrisburg, PA: 71°, Baltimore, MD: 70°, Allentown, PA: 70°, New York (Central Park), NY: 70°, Lynchburg, VA: 69°-Tied, Atlantic City, NJ: 68°, Philadelphia, PA: 68°, Wilmington, DE: 67°, Hartford, CT: 67°, Avoca, PA: 64°, Worcester, MA: 63°, Albany, NY: 62°, Milton, MA: 62°, Concord, NH: 60° and Burlington, VT: 54°.


The barometric pressure at Las Vegas, NV reached a record low reading of 29.17 inHg or 988 millibars.


A winter storm moved across Oklahoma through the 11th. Freezing rain and sleet glazed highways, along with snow depths reaching two inches on top of the ice. 100 traffic accidents occurred at Oklahoma City alone during the evening rush hour the next day, and more than 14 injuries were reported due to falls on the ice. Ice accumulations on telephone lines knocked out service to parts of northwest Oklahoma.


1.36 inches of rain fell at San Diego in one hour, their greatest one hour rainfall on record.


During the overnight hours, a tornado struck Ft. Walton Beach, FL and Ocean City in Okaloosa County destroying 35 homes and nine businesses. One person was killed and 40 people injured. 33 businesses and 290 homes were damaged. In Walton County a tornado destroyed one home and damaged several others. Shortly after sunrise, a small tornado struck between Caryville and Bonifay, FL destroying two homes.

Other damage consisted mainly of uprooted trees, damaged farm buildings and downed power lines. An hour later, a tornado touched down briefly at Tyndall Air Force Base and again across the Bay in Parker and Callaway. One fatality occurred at Tyndall AFB as did most of the severe damage with 34 injuries. 39 homes at Tyndall were destroyed. A few hours later, a tornado destroyed four farmhouses and several barns in the rural area between Blountstown and Altha, FL.


A strong ridge across the Florida Straits brought unseasonably warm temperatures from the Great Lakes to the Southeast. Charleston, WV tied their record high for December with 80°.

Other daily record highs for the date included: Orlando, FL: 85°, Montgomery, AL: 78°, Pensacola, FL: 78°, Huntington, WV: 76°, Bristol, TN: 76°, Nashville, TN: 74°, Beckley, WV: 73°, Knoxville, TN: 73°, Birmingham, AL: 72°-Tied, Columbus, OH: 72°, Elkins, WV: 72°, Lexington, KY: 72°, Paducah, KY: 72°, Louisville, KY: 71°, Oak Ridge, TN: 71°, Evansville, IN: 70°, Chattanooga, TN: 70°, Cleveland, OH: 69°, Youngstown, OH: 69°, Mansfield, OH: 68° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), Akron, OH: 67°, Cincinnati, OH: 67°, Dayton, OH: 67°, Toledo, OH: 67°, Fort Wayne, IN: 66°, Indianapolis, IN: 66°, South Bend, IN: 64°, Detroit, MI: 64°, Flint, MI: 63°, Lansing, MI: 63°, Grand Rapids, MI: 62°, Muskegon, MI: 61°, Alpena, MI: 56° and Houghton Lake, MI: 55°.


A deep upper level trough extending from the Rockies to the West Coast continued to bring brutally record cold. Yosemite, CA reported their earliest sub-zero temperature on record with -1°. Las Vegas, NV recorded a high temperature of 32°. This was the coldest high temperature ever recorded in December.

Locations setting daily record low temperatures for the date included: Winnemucca, NV: -30° (broke previous record by 19 degrees), Aberdeen, SD: -29°, Pocatello, ID: -28° (broke previous record by 24 degrees), Ely, NV: -28° (broke previous record by 15 degrees), Helena, MT: -27°, Elko, NV: -25°, Fargo, ND: -25°, Lander, WY: -24°, Boise, ID: -23° (broke previous record by 21 degrees), St. Cloud, MN: -23°, Burns, OR: -22°, Cheyenne, WY: -18°, Sheridan, WY: -18°, Denver, CO: -18°, Pueblo, CO: -16°, Moline, IL: -16°, Green Bay, WI: -15°: Tied, Rapid City, SD: -14°, Goodland, KS: -14°, Pendleton, OR: -13°, Salt Lake City, UT: -13°, Reno, NV: -11°, Lewiston, ID: -9°, Spokane, WA: -8°, Eugene, OR: -7° (broke previous record by 13 degrees), Medford, OR: -6° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), Yakima, WA: -5° (broke previous record by 11 degrees), Salem, OR: -2°, Olympia, WA: -1° (broke previous record by 18 degrees), Idyllwild, CA: 7°, Bishop, CA: 8°, Quillayute, WA: 10°, Astoria, OR: 15°, Portland, OR: 16°, Las Vegas, NV: 20°, Sacramento, CA: 23°, Stockton, CA: 25°, Santa Maria, CA: 25°-Tied, San Francisco Airport, CA: 29° and Long Beach, CA: 36°.

The ridge of upper level high pressure extending from off the southeast coast to the Gulf of Mexico continues to bring record highs to parts of the south to Virginia including: Tampa, FL: 84°-Tied, Macon, GA: 82°, Savannah, GA: 82°, Charleston, SC: 82°, New Orleans, LA: 81°, Montgomery, AL: 81°, Columbia, SC: 81°, Tallahassee, FL: 81°, Mobile, AL: 80°-Tied, Augusta, GA: 79°, Columbus, GA: 79°, Athens, GA: 76°, Raleigh, NC: 76°, Atlanta, GA: 74°, Greenville-Spartanburg, SC: 74°, Birmingham, AL: 73° and Wallops Island, VA: 67°.


A December rainstorm drenched Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada with 3.89 inches of rain, their wettest December day.


The eastern two-thirds of Iowa struggled with blizzards from the 8th ending on this date as 5 to 12 inches of snow fell. Locally heavier amounts fell over the northeast portion of the state. Bitterly cold temperatures of -10 degrees below zero combined with winds of 50 mph to produce wind chills of around -70°. Drifts piled up to 10 feet. The blizzard closed roads, stranded motorists and caused equipment to be brought in from western Iowa to help clear roads. The winds broke power lines shutting off heat and water for some residents.


A cold storm starting on this day and ending the next day brought heavy snow to the central Sierra Nevada Mountains and light snow to lower elevations. 17 inches fell at Mt. Laguna, 15 inches at Julian, 12 inches at Palomar Mountain, and up to 4 inches at Victorville and Warner Springs. Highways and schools were closed in the mountains and in parts of the upper desert.

Riverside and Borrego Springs, CA set record lows for the date with 32° and 34° respectively.


A cold front brought high winds to the eastern slopes of the Northern and Central Rockies. Winds gusted to 94 mph at Rollinsville, CO with gusts 60 to 75 mph across the Boulder area. In Wyoming, up to a foot of snow blanketed the Teton Village Ski Resort, northwest of Jackson. Strong Chinook winds in the Central Plains, gusting to 61 mph at Scottsbluff NE, warmed temperatures to near 70°.

A few locations in Virginia and New York reported record high temperatures for the date including: Norfolk, VA: 73°, Islip, NY: 58° and New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 58°.


Squalls produced heavy snow in the Lower Great Lakes Region. Totals in northeastern Ohio ranged up to 14 inches at Harpersfield, and totals in western New York State ranged up to 14 inches at Sodus. In the snowbelt of Upper Michigan, the Ontonogon area reported two feet of snow in two days.

Marquette, MI and Jackson, KY set record lows for the date with -5° and 20° respectively.


Heavy snow fell across the northern and central mountains of Colorado, with 24 inches reported at Steamboat Springs. 6 to 12 inches of snow fell in the Denver and Boulder area delaying flights and snarling traffic. Heavy snow also spread across the Central Plains to the Mississippi Valley. Winner, SD received 11 inches of snow, and more than 10 inches of snow was reported north of Sioux City, IA.

San Angelo, TX set a record high with 83°.


Sending home Federal workers in Washington, D.C. early because of weather can cost as much as $60 million per day. On this date, as a winter storm threatened the nation's capital, volunteer storm spotters were used to identify precipitation falling between Washington and Richmond, VA. The spotters' identification of the type of precipitation as sleet instead of snow allowed forecasters to accurately predict that the precipitation would change to rain, calling off the shutdown and saving taxpayers.

Brownsville, TX tied their record high for the date with 85°.


Intense lake effect snow squalls buried Buffalo, NY under 37.9 inches of snow in 24 hours, the city's greatest 24 hour snowfall and biggest snowstorm ever. Watertown, NY recorded 39 inches of snow in just 12 hours, and had 4 inches of snow an hour for 6 consecutive hours.

The deep upper level trough with Canadian high pressure brought record lows from parts of the Ohio Valley to the Southeast including: Paducah, KY: 2°, Jackson, KY: 3° (broke previous record by 17 degrees), Oak Ridge, TN: 6°, Bristol, TN: 7°, Chattanooga, TN: 11°, Birmingham, AL: 13°, Atlanta, GA: 13°-Tied, Montgomery, AL: 19°, Columbus, GA: 19°, Macon, GA: 20°, Mobile, AL: 22° and Pensacola, FL: 25°.


Santa Ana winds that started on this day and ended on the 12th gusted to 96 mph at Pine Valley, CA and 87 mph at Upland, CA. Two people were killed from flying debris. Property damage occurred at Sun City. Crop damage also occurred. Boats were damaged and sunk at Coronado and Avalon harbors.

West Palm Beach and Tallahassee, FL set record high temperatures for the date with 86° and 83° respectively.


Santa Ana winds started on the 9th and ended on this day across southern California. Gusts reached 101 mph at Modjeska Canyon, 93 mph at Fremont Canyon, 83 mph at Ontario and 52 mph at Santa Ana. Trees and power lines were downed, vehicles overturned, and property damage was done to property.


A mixture of freezing rain and sleet left a glaze of ice a quarter to a half inch thick across northeast Missouri. Some power lines were downed, primarily due to a combination of ice and wind. Further north, the three day winter storm brought 10 to 20 inches of snow from parts of Indiana to southern Wisconsin. Cuba City, WI checked in with 11.2 inches.

Behind and north of the storm, Great Falls, MT and Marquette, MI set record lows for the date with -22° and -14° respectively.


Greek Television reported that a shower of tiny fish rained down on the village of Korona located in the mountains of northern Greece after a strong thunderstorm. Experts reported that the unexpected bounty was probably caused when a waterspout picked up the small fish from Lake Doirani.


A strong upper level ridge extending from off the southeast coast to the eastern Gulf of Mexico brought unseasonably warm temperatures from the south to Virginia. The following locations set or tied their all-time December highs: Raleigh, NC: 81°, Charlotte, NC: 80° and Greensboro, NC: 78°-Tied.

Locations reporting daily record highs for the date included: Lake Charles, LA: 82°, Montgomery, AL: 82°, Augusta, GA: 82°, Baton Rouge, LA: 82°-Tied, Meridian, MS: 81°, New Orleans, LA: 81°-Tied, Birmingham, AL: 79°, Athens, GA: 79°, Greenville-Spartanburg, SC: 79°, Richmond, VA: 79°, Wilmington, NC: 78°, Norfolk, VA: 78°, Chattanooga, TN: 77°, Atlanta, GA: 77°, Huntsville, AL: 76°, Tupelo, MS: 75°, Lynchburg, VA: 75°, Asheville, NC: 74°, Oak Ridge, TN: 73°, Roanoke, VA: 73°-Tied and Wallops Island, VA: 69°.


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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