Meteorological events that happened on February 16th:
Following the disastrous Black Sea storm during the Crimean War in November 1854, Emperor Napoleon of France ordered a telegraphic network of weather observers for the purpose of providing storm warnings. By the following year, stations would stretch across France and all of Europe.
Washington D.C. received 1.26 inches of rain in 6 hours on top of more than 30 inches of snow cover making it the soggiest day on record.
The temperature at Pokegama Dam, MN plunged to -59° to establish a state record until 2/2/1996 when Tower dropped to -60°.
Great Britain's greatest snowfall occurred as Dartmoor received 70.9 inches in just 15 hours.
Record cold occurred in New England. The state of Connecticut recorded its coldest temperature ever as Falls Village fell to -32°. Other bitterly cold readings included -39° at Portland, ME and -43° at Concord, NH.
The northeastern U.S. was hit by one of the greatest snowstorms of all time. Callicoon, NY received 39 inches of snow. Boston, MA picked up 19.4 inches of snow, a record 24-hour snowfall that would stand until the great storm of 1978. Washington, D.C. picked up 14 inches and Baltimore, MD 15.5 inches. 43 people lost their lives and total damage amounted to $500 million dollars.
A blizzard paralyzed Newfoundland, Canada with drifts as high as 16.7 feet. 6 people died and 70,000 were left without power.
4.2 inches of rain fell in 1 hour at Whenuapai, New Zealand, a record for that time period.
Australia's worst brushfire incident occurred as the continent was in the midst of a brutally hot and dry summer. Driven by high winds, the fires whipped through the tinder-dry brush as speeds of up to 100 mph. 71 people died.
Extensive wind damage occurred on the island of Hawaii near Hilo by 55mph winds roaring down the mountainsides. The damage was enhanced by rare winds over 30 mph and the tropical atmosphere rotted many structures.
A winter storm produced snow and ice in the Ohio Valley and the Appalachian Region. A tremendous ice storm occurred from Kentucky to the Carolinas. 3 inches of ice accumulated in some places. The storm brought the worst icing in 35 years to parts of Kentucky, where 16,000 people were without power for 3 days. Up to 8 inches of sleet accumulated in Person and Granville counties in North Carolina. 5 inches of sleet was measured at Raleigh, NC.
Snowfall totals in Virginia ranged up to 14 inches around Farmville and gale force winds lashed the coast of Virginia and North Carolina.
A surge of arctic air produced all-time record high barometric pressure readings of 31.08 inHg at Duluth, MN, 30.97 inHg at Chicago, IL and 30.94 inHg at South Bend, IN. Readings of 31.00 inHg at Milwaukee, WI and 30.98 inHg at Rockford, IL tied their all-time records.
Unseasonably warm weather prevailed across the southeastern U.S. Highs of 81° at Athens, GA, 87° at Charleston, SC, 85° at Macon, GA, and 86° at Savannah, GA were records for February.
Strong thunderstorms developing ahead of an arctic cold front produced severe weather across the southeastern U.S. between mid morning on the 15th through the early morning on this date. Thunderstorms spawned 13 tornadoes, including one prior to dawn injured 11 people near Carrollton, GA. There were also 121 reports of large hail or damaging winds. A thunderstorm produced high winds which injured 4 people at Goodwater, AL.
The deadliest tornado of 1995, an F3, killed 6 people in Alabama at 5 o'clock in the morning. The Joppa Elementary School was destroyed.
A coastal storm dumped heavy snow on the East Coast, shattering many all-time seasonal snowfall records (at that time), including: Lynchburg VA with 51.3 inches for the year; Washington Dulles Airport, VA with 53.4 inches; Washington National Airport with 40.8 inches; Baltimore, MD with 54.9 inches; Philadelphia, PA with 55.9 inches; Hartford/Bradley, CT at 90.2 inches and Providence, RI with 78 inches.
A coastal storm produced heavy snow along the East Coast to push seasonal snowfall totals to new records at several locations. The following cities set new all-time seasonal snowfall records; some for that time:
Lynchburg, Virginia - 8.1" new, 51.3" total
Washington/Dulles, Virginia - 7.5" new, 53.4" total
Washington/National, DC - 6.8" new, 40.8" total
Baltimore, Maryland - 9.8" new, 54.9" total
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - 7.5" new, 55.9" total
Hartford/Bradley, Connecticut - 10.3" new, 90.2" total
Providence, Rhode Island - 7.0" new, 78.0" total
The President's Day snowstorm was ending across the mid-Atlantic with widespread whiteout conditions across Virginia, Maryland, D.C. and southern Pennsylvania. Travel was paralyzed across the region as 2 to 4 feet of snow fell across a wide area. The highest storm total was 49 inches at Keyser's Ridge in Garrett County, MD. The 16.2 inches that fell at Reagan National Airport was low compared to other amounts observed, but it was still enough to rank as the 6th worst storm in D.C.’s history.
Even President Bush had to deal with the record snowstorm in the Washington, D.C. area. He had to return to the capital from Camp David in a motorcade. The trip that normally took thirty minutes by helicopter took 2 1/2 hours by automobile over snow-covered roads.
South Australia recorded their hottest February day on record when the temperature at Marree reached 118.2°, equaling the record set at Tarcoola on 2/17/1992.
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