Meteorological events that happened on February 7th:
The Hard Shock of the New Madrid Earthquake series struck the area around the small town of New Madrid, MO. A 3-mile long island, Island # 32 completely sank. The Mississippi River once again ran backwards. This major shock marked the beginning of the end of New Madrid's long ordeal, even though aftershocks would continue to be felt for years and the fault is still active.
On this date through the morning of the 10th, the earliest well-documented severe freeze occurred across northern Florida. Tallahassee dropped to 4° and Jacksonville & Pensacola fell to 8°. The edges of the St. Johns River froze and ice was reported in Pensacola Bay. The temperature was below freezing for over two days at St. Augustine. All citrus was killed.
The temperature at Gouverneur, NY bottomed out at -40°, a drop of 70 degrees in one day. Two days later the mercury hit 55°. Hanover, NH plunged from 37° at 1pm to -32° at 7am the next morning, and West Cummington, MA plummeted 80 degrees to -32°. Boston, MA plunged from 46° to -14°, and on the 11th was back up to 60°.
Verkhoyansk, Russia recorded Asia’s coldest reading as their temperature plummeted to -90°.
A third area of low pressure moved in to Washington, D.C. and dumped an additional 5 inches of snow bringing the snow cover to around a foot.
The arctic outbreak spread south of Canada dropping temperatures to the upper 50s to low 60s below zero across parts of Minnesota and Montana
A tornado touched down in the southern tip of Illinois, hitting the towns of Meridian and Villa Ridge, north of Cairo. Parts of some barns were carried over a mile. Another tornado causing F2 damage in Clinton County picked up a two-story home, turned it around, and returned it to the ground. Oak trees with trunks 20 inches in diameter were "twisted into splinters".
A 4-day ice, sleet and snowstorm over New England and southeastern New York came to an end after dumping as much as 15 to 20 inches of frozen precipitation.
A 112 foot rogue wave was survived by the USS Ramapo in the Pacific Ocean. It is thought to be the highest wave ever observed and survived. It was caused by 70 mph winds over a large fetch.
A deep freeze made it possible to drive from Bay Shore to Fire Island, NY.
A low pressure system formed to the east of Florida on the previous morning and moved to a position about 60 miles east of Cape Hatteras, NC. The first flakes of snow fell across the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. just after midnight and by late morning over a foot of snow had fallen. The total accumulation in Washington was 14.4 inches with a liquid content of 1.01 inches. This was their greatest snowstorm over the previous 14 years. Norfolk, VA recorded 9 inches of snow, the city's heavy snowfall over the previous 40 years. Over 14 inches of snow fell in the Northern Virginia with greater amounts in the Skyline Drive area. The heavy snow set the stage for the great spring flood in March when warm temperatures brought a sudden thaw to the snow pack. Following the snow, Richmond's temperature fell to a record low for the month reaching -10°.
Medicine Hat, Alberta Canada set their February record for the greatest one-day precipitation with a total of 1.1 inches.
A strong low pressure system created near blizzard conditions across the Mid-Atlantic States. The brief, but intense storm produced 10 to 12 inches of snow across Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. Light snow broke out during the previous evening. The snow remained light to moderate through the night, and then became heavy around daybreak. Snow accumulated at 1 to 2 inches an hour during the morning hours and quickly ended around noon. The storm dumped 10.3 inches of snow an it National Airport and 11.7 inches at Dulles Airport in Sterling, VA. Generally, 10 to 12 inches of snow fell throughout the area.
Devastating brushfires swept the bush country of southern Tasmania, Australia. Weather conditions contributed to the disaster, with very low humidity levels, temperatures near 100° and very strong northwesterly winds. It was the worst loss of life and property in any day of fires on the Australian continent at that time. 62 people died
Severe squall lines ahead of a strong cold front ripped through Florida causing heavy rain of 3 to 5 inches, several tornadoes, many reports of hail and funnel clouds, and wind gusts of 50 to 65 mph. Hardest hit was the community of Gulf Breeze in Escambia County where a predawn waterspout came ashore as a tornado, destroying an apartment complex and injuring 112 people. Two more people were injured when severe thunderstorm winds and golf ball size hail hit near Chipley in Washington County. Overall, two people were killed.
Rangiora and Jordan, New Zealand recorded their country’s highest temperature as they rose to 108°.
The worst winter storm on record struck coastal New England. The storm produced 27.5 inches of snow at Boston, MA, and nearly 50 inches across northeastern Rhode Island. The 14 foot tide at Portland, ME was probably the highest of the century. Winds gusted to 92 mph at Chatham, MA and 79 mph at Boston, MA. Storm surge & flooding caused 75 deaths and $500 million dollars damage. Boston, MA reported a snow depth of 29 inches, their greatest for February.
Strong winds gusted as high as 99 mph at Boulder, CO. The winds caused ground blizzards that closed several highways around Boulder. Some cars were forced off the road and a truck was overturned. Wind gusts of 50 to 80 mph were common in and near the Foothills.
6.5 inches of snow fell during the day at Oklahoma City, OK. This set a record for their greatest calendar day snowfall total during the month of February.
Low pressure in Manitoba, Canada, pulled warm air up from the Gulf of Mexico and many cities from the Rockies to the Midwest reported record high temperatures for the date including: Goodland, KS: 74°, North Platte, NE: 73°, Rapid City, SD: 73°, Dodge City, KS: 72°, Lincoln, NE: 71°, Norfolk, NE: 71° (broke previous record by 14 degrees), Denver, CO: 71°, Omaha, NE: 70° (broke previous record by 11 degrees), Kennebec, SD: 70°, Scottsbluff, NE: 70°, Valentine, NE: 70°, Grand Island, NE: 69°, Sioux City, IA: 69°, Concordia, KS: 68°, Pierre, SD: 67°, Huron, SD: 66°, Sioux Falls, SD: 65°, Cheyenne, WY: 64°, Des Moines, IA: 63°, Aberdeen, SD: 62°, Sisseton, SD: 61°, Watertown, SD: 59°, Wheaton, SD: 58°, Moline, IL: 55°-Tied, Minneapolis, MN: 53°, Rochester, MN: 52°, St. Cloud, MN: 52°, Waterloo, IA: 52°, Dubuque, IA: 50°, Madison, WI: 50°, Milwaukee, WI: 50°, Rockford, IL: 49° and Green Bay, WI: 44°.
The second significant snow in three days fell across parts of the southern Louisiana. Up to 4 inches fell south of Morgan City and 3 inches at Cameron.
Many cities from the Deep South, Ohio Valley to the eastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date, including: Binghamton, NY: -5°-Tied, Cleveland, OH: -3°, Youngstown, OH: -3°, Pittsburgh, PA: -3°, Asheville, NC: 5°, Atlantic City, NJ: 5°, Lynchburg, VA: 6°, Jackson, KY: 8°, Sterling (Dulles Airport), VA: 8°-Tied, Chattanooga, TN: 9°, Islip, NY: 10°, Greenville-Spartanburg, SC: 11°, New York (LaGuardia), NY: 11°-Tied, Birmingham, AL: 12°, Huntsville, AL: 12°, Jackson, MS: 12°, Tupelo, MS: 12°, Meridian, MS: 13°, Wallops Island, VA: 13°, Columbia, SC: 15°-Tied, Macon, GA: 16°, Columbus, GA: 17°, New Orleans, LA: 25°, Jacksonville, FL: 25° and Lake Charles, LA: 26°.
A cold upper level low brought unusual snow from the beaches in Los Angeles, CA to the desert in Palm Springs, CA not ending until the 9th. 15 inches fell in the mountains and 3 inches fell at Palmdale. Major road closures and numerous traffic accidents resulted.
Many cities in the western U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Locations that reported record low temperatures for February included: Reno, NV: -16° (broke previous daily record by 14 degrees), Las Vegas, NV: 16°, Stockton, CA: 22°-Tied, Sacramento, CA: 23° and Fresno, CA: 24°-Tied.
Locations that reported daily record lows included: Alamosa, CO: -30°, Ely, NV: -29° (broke previous record by 15 degrees), Elko, NV: -27°, Burns, OR: -22° (broke previous record by 20 degrees), Winnemucca, NV: -21°, Pocatello, ID: -19°, Boise, ID: -13°, Salt Lake City, UT: -10°, Big Bear Lake, CA: -1°, Yakima, WA: -1°, Winslow, AZ: 5°, Olympia, WA: 7° (broke previous record by 11 degrees), Eugene, OR: 7°, Salem, OR: 8°, Palomar Mountain, CA: 13°, Quillayute, WA: 17°, Victorville, CA: 19°, Astoria, OR: 22°-Tied, Bakersfield, CA: 26°, Redding, CA: 27°, Eureka, CA: 28°, Riverside, CA: 29°, Borrego Springs, CA: 31° and San Francisco Airport, CA: 32°.
A slow moving cold front spread heavy snow across the state of Utah. Storm totals ranged up to 31 inches at Alta, with 24 inches at Brighton and 23 inches at Snowbird. Bitter cold weather prevailed across Alaska for the 13th day in a row, with record morning lows: McGrath, AK: -52°, Kotzebue, AK: -42° and Anchorage, AK: -23°.
Dense fog resulted in a 74 vehicle pile-up on Highway 99 in Fresno County, California resulting in three deaths and 31 injuries. In another area of Fresno County, a truck drove onto railroad tracks and was struck by a train, resulting in one death.
France faced its coldest 48 hours in recent memory as the temperature dropped to 10° in Paris the following morning.
Snow falling over the area produced heavy accumulations from central into northeast South Dakota with 11 inches at Kennebec and 8 inches at Watertown through the 9th. Extreme cold accompanied and followed the snow with low temperatures of -52° at Promise and -45° at Aberdeen on the 9th. Snow accumulation caused a roof to cave in on a drugstore at Bristol. A man died of exposure attempting to walk home near Sioux Falls after his car became stuck in a ditch.
A strong storm brought heavy rain to the mountains north of Los Angeles, CA. Mudslides occurred in the Old Topanga area, which burned the previous fall. A tornado touched down from Newport Beach to Tustin, causing roof and window damage and blowing trees down.
Strong Chinook winds developed across the Colorado Foothills. Peak wind gusts included: National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab near Boulder: 90 mph, Wondervu in the Foothills southwest of Boulder: 88 mph and 48 mph at Denver International Airport.
Oregon experienced their worst windstorm since the Great Columbus Day Blow of 1962 as developing low pressure moved into the southwestern part of the state. Winds gusted to 88 mph at Bandon, OR.
A 38 vehicle pile-up occurred on Highway 99 near Earlimart, CA shortly after sunrise due to dense fog, killing one person and injuring six others.
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