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Weather History: February 10: Record temps, storms, tornadoes, snow & floods

Meteorological events that happened on February 10th:


Muscatine, IA set their all-time record low temperature up to that time with -33°F. This record was broken in 1965.


The eastern U.S. continued in the grips of one of the harshest cold waves ever. All-time record lows were set in Ohio with -39° at Milligan, in Maryland: Baltimore at -7° and at that time in Virginia, Monterey plunged to -29°. This record has been broken on January 22, 1985 when they dropped to -30°F. Washington, D.C. recorded their coldest high temperature ever when the mercury only rose to 4°.

The minimum temperature at Washington D.C. for the date was -8° and the high was 4°. There has been only 5 times in the official climate history of Washington (11/1/1870 to present) to have a maximum temperature less than 10°. The first time was on 12/30/1880 when the high was 9°, the second was 12/30/1917 when the high was 9°. A high temperature of 8° has occurred twice - the first time was 1/13/1912 and the second time was 1/19/1994.


The town of Gardner, GA was devastated by a huge F4 tornado that caused an entire section of the small town to virtually disappear. 31 people died and 100 were injured.


Oregon's coldest temperature ever was recorded when Seneca dropped to -54°. It would be over 100° warmer the next day with a high temperature of 45°.


St. Louis, MO was hit by massive F4 tornado that killed 21 and injured 345. Over 2,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed in St. Louis County in Missouri and Madison County in Illinois.


A major snowstorm struck the southeastern U.S. It produced as much as 18 inches of snow in parts of Georgia, and up to 2 feet of snow in parts of South Carolina. The north-south interstate highway was blocked for several days.


As much as 8 inches of rain drenched southern California resulting in widespread flooding and mudslides. The heavy rainfall produced a wall of water which ripped through the mountain resort community of Hidden Springs drowning at least 13 people. The storm was one of the most destructive on record causing $50 million dollars damage.


A morning tornado at Bay Minette, AL struck the local middle school. The school's gymnasium was severely damaged and several students were injured.


Bismarck, ND experienced its 45th consecutive day of subzero temperatures which tied the previous record long string of subzero daily lows ending on the same date in 1937.


A huge snowstorm swept up the eastern seaboard, burying the Mid-Atlantic in a swath of very heavy snow. During the late evening of February 10th, low pressure over Georgia started giving a light snow to the Baltimore, Washington area. The snow slowly picked up in intensity during the overnight hours and by morning the surface low was positioned just east of Wilmington, NC. A tight pressure gradient between the storm and a high-pressure area to the north caused winds to increase to gust over 40 mph and snowfall rates of 3 inches per hour were common. Many observers particularly in the Maryland suburbs reported several episodes of lightning and thunder. Most of the southern and eastern suburbs recorded 15 to 20 inches of snow while 20 to 30 inches of snow fell in the northern and western suburbs. National Airport received 16.6 inches while 22.8 inches fell at both BWI and Dulles Airport. In northwest Montgomery and Frederick Counties, the storm was the greatest ever recorded easily exceeding the totals received during the famous Knickerbocker storm of January 1922. Germantown and Frederick both received 30 inches of snow and western Loudoun County, Virginia, up to 38 inches. Braddock Heights, just west of Frederick, MD, received 34.9 inches. Areas to the east and a little south of Washington received snow pellets mixed with snow thus reducing the accumulations there. Up to 35 inches of snow fell at Glen Gary, WV. 22 inches fell in New York City, NY. 19 inches fell at Windsor Locks, CT in just 12 hours to set a record. Single storm records were set in Pennsylvania at Allentown with 25.2 inches and up to that time Philadelphia with 21.3 inches.


A storm in the northeastern U.S. produced heavy snow in southeastern Maine. Grand Falls and Woodland received 15 inches, mainly during the early morning hours, while most of the rest of the state did not see any.

In St John's, Newfoundland Canada, a section of a mall roof collapsed under the weight of a foot snow. 7 people were injured but none seriously.


Bitter cold arctic air gripped the north central U.S. International Falls, MN was the cold spot in the nation with a low of -35°.

Record warm readings were reported in southern California, with highs of 78° at San Francisco and 88° at Los Angeles. San Juan Capistrano, CA was the hot spot in the nation with 92°.


For the first time all month winter relaxed its grip on the nation. The temperature at Brownsville, TX warmed above 60° for the first time in 6 days, ending their 2nd longest such cold spell of record.


Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front continued to produce severe weather across the southeastern U.S. through the morning hours and into the late afternoon. There were a total of 29 tornadoes in 29 hours, and 245 reports of large hail or damaging winds. Pre-dawn thunderstorms produced high winds which injured at least 70 people in Alabama and Georgia, and caused more than $12 million dollars property damage. A tornado at Austell, GA prior to daybreak injured 2 people and caused $2 million dollars damage.


In northwest Kansas, snow began about midday, became heavy during the afternoon and overnight hours, before completely ending by late evening on the 11th. 5 to 10 inches of snowfall was common with winds up to 50 mph causing severe blowing and drifting. Some snow drifts reached 5 feet and wind chills of -20° to -50° were common. Many schools and a part of interstate 70 were closed.


Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas continued in the grip of a major ice storm. Mississippi was hardest hit with up to 6 inches of ice accumulation in some areas. Up to 3.7 million acres of commercial forest land valued at an estimated $1.3 billion was destroyed by the storm. 80,000 utility poles were downed and some people were without power for up to a month in Mississippi. Sleet began falling in Washington D.C. Metro area and didn't stop until 2 to 6 inches of sleet coats the entire area on the 11th. Damage and cleanup costs exceeded $50 million dollars in Arkansas.


Blizzard conditions and whiteouts with winds gusting over 50 mph occurred at Regina, Saskatchewan Canada contributing to a multi-vehicle accident on the Trans-Canada Highway east of Regina. The 50-vehicle pileup caused many injuries but no deaths.

On this date through the 23rd, the 5th most intense heat wave settled over Australia setting many temperature records. Ivanhoe, New South Wales reached 119.3° on the 15th, the highest temperature in New South Wales since 1973. Wilcannia New South Wales exceeded 104° on 16 consecutive days.


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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