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Weather History: February 17: Record temps, storms, snow, wind & ice

Meteorological events that happened on February 17th:


The temperature plunged to 10° at Charleston, SC for one of the coldest days on record in the Colonial South.


A deadly avalanche, Utah's worst, demolished 14 miner's cottages and a three-story boarding house at Binham Canyon. 36 people were killed and 13 injured.


Eureka, CA reported an all-time record high of 85°, a record which lasted until September, 1983 and broken again 10/26/1993.


The temperature at McIntosh, SD plunged to -58° to establish a state record.


The greatest snowstorm of the mid 20th century struck the northeastern U.S. The storm produced 30 inches of snow in interior New England, including more than 19 inches in 24 hours at Logan Airport in Boston, MA. The same storm produced up to 3 feet of snow in the Mid-Atlantic Region, with 14 inches at Washington D.C., and 15.5 inches at Baltimore, MD. The storm resulted in 43 deaths and $500 million dollars damage.


Asheville, NC recorded a temperature of -23° for the coldest reading ever in North Carolina outside of the mountains.

An intense storm over the North Sea centered just north of the Wadden Islands caused serious flooding in northwest Germany, especially in the area close to Hamburg where around 300 people were killed.


Record snowfall occurred at Lakelse Lake, British Columbia Canada as 46.5 inches fell over 24 hours. This record was broke 2/11/1999.


The Mid-Atlantic was receiving an early taste of Spring. Washington, D.C.’s National Airport hit 79°.


A couple of winter storms, one off the Atlantic coast and another over the south central U.S., produced snow and ice from the Mississippi Valley to the Mid Atlantic Coast. Freezing rain produced a coat of ice 3 inches thick in northern South Carolina, and 30,000 homes around Pee Dee were left without electricity. Parts of south central Kentucky were without electricity for 3 days following the storm, which was their worst in 35 years.


Low pressure off the Washington coast produced more than a foot of snow in the Cascade Mountains, and more than 3 inches of rain along the Northern Pacific Coast. Spokane, WA was blanketed with 13 inches of snow.

Cold arctic air in the Upper Midwest produced all-time record high barometric pressure readings of 31.10 inHg at Duluth, MN, 31.09 inHg at Minneapolis, MN, and 31.21 inHg at Bismarck, ND.


The biggest winter storm of the season hit the Pacific Coast. In northern California, snow fell along the coast, and 2-day totals in the mountains ranged up to 67 inches at Echo Summit. Snowfall totals in the mountains of southern California ranged up to 48 inches at Green Valley, with 46 inches reported at Big Bear. Up to 2 feet of snow blanketed the southern Cascade Mountains of Oregon, and 20 to 35 inches were reported in the northern Cascades of Oregon. Seattle, WA was blanketed with up to 10 inches of snow.


Six major airports in the northeastern United States were closed on the President's Day holiday as a major snowstorm worked its way slowly up the East Coast. New York, NY experienced blizzard conditions with very heavy snow falling at a rate of up to 3 inches per hour and winds up to 45 mph blew the snow into big drifts. The snow would be one for the record books, with Boston, MA receiving 27.5 inches, Baltimore, MD recording its greatest snowfall of all time with 26.6 inches. 25.6 inches fell at JFK Airport in New York, making it their 6th worst storm ever. 49 inches fell at Keyser Bridge in Garrett County, Maryland and 37 inches fell at Berkley Springs, WV. One person was killed and seven injured when heavy snow and wind collapsed a roof over an outdoor lounge area at a job training school in Edison, NJ. At least 28 storm-related deaths were reported.


Heavy rainfall across the Philippine island of Leyte triggered a deadly landslide that buried the village of Guinsaugon. The Philippine Geosciences Bureau estimated the landslide at 13 feet deep, covering an area of approximately 1.2 square miles. 85 people lost their lives along with 19 injuries and 981 people listed as missing.


Bismarck, ND established a new Guinness world record for the most snow angels made simultaneously in one place. That's 8,962 snow angels produced on the State Capitol lawn.


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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