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Weather History: February 26: Record temps, snow, storms, flooding & tropics

Meteorological events that happened on February 26th:


Fort Ringgold, TX set the U.S. high temperature record for February with 104°.


Parts of Washington State were in the midst of a storm which produced 129 inches of snow at Laconia between the 24th and the 26th, a single storm record for the state. A series of storms, which began on the 23rd, led to a deadly avalanche on the first of March. By late on the 28th, the snow had changed to rain, setting the stage for disaster.


Blustery, turbulent winds from the south and west caused extensive damage to the local curling rink at Claresholm, Alberta Canada. Many buggies, wagons and cars were blown hundreds of feet.


A big snowstorm buried parts of the East Coast with up to 32 inches across western Maine. 19 inches fell at Glen Falls, PA. Boston, MA received 11 inches and Hartford, CT received a foot.


The "100 hour snowstorm" was in full swing across the Boston area and the rest of New England as well. By the time snow ended on the 28th, Boston recorded 26.3 inches of new snow. Pinkham Notch, NH was buried under and incredible 77 inches and Long Falls Dam, Maine checked in with 56 inches. Both Portsmouth, NH and Portland, ME set new single storm snowfall records with 33.8 inches and 26.9 inches, respectively. Rockport, MA measured an impressive 39 inches.


The Buffalo Creek disaster occurred in the Buffalo Creek hollow of Logan County in West Virginia. A coal slag dam on the middle fork of Buffalo Creek burst sending a 50 foot wall of water down a narrow valley killing 125 people and causing $51 million dollars damage. Three days of rain atop 6 inches of snow cover prompted the dam break.


Palm Springs, CA set their all-time high temperature for February with 96°. This was tied two days later.


A slow moving storm in the southwestern U.S. spread heavy snow from the southern and central Rockies into the Central High Plains Region. Totals in Colorado ranged up to 62 inches at Purgatory. Colorado Springs, CO reported a February record of 14.8 inches of snow in 24 hours. Lander, WY received four inches in one hour, 13 inches in seven hours, and a record storm total of 26 inches. High winds created near blizzard conditions at Colorado Springs. Fairplay, CO reported 43 inches of snow, with drifts 10 feet high.


Several cities in the central and western U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date, including Lamoni, IA with a reading of 67°. Temperatures in North Dakota and parts of southern Alberta, Canada were as warm as Florida. Calgary, Alberta Canada recorded a high 64°, only slightly cooler than the high at Miami, FL of 67°.


An upper level weather disturbance brought snow to parts of the central U.S. which just one day earlier were enjoying temperatures in the 60s. Snowfall totals in Missouri ranged up to 9 inches at Rolla.


Unseasonably cold weather followed in the wake of the winter storm in the northeastern U.S. Several cities reported record low temperatures for the date, including Syracuse. NY with a reading of -10°. Freezing temperatures across southeastern Virginia caused considerable damage to plants and fruit trees. The barometric pressure reading of 30.94 inHg at Washington, D.C. and 30.88 inHg at Wilmington, NC was February record for that location.


Between 22nd and 26th, Cyclone Bobby caused widespread flooding over the Western Australia coast and dumping up to 12 inches of rain in some places.


A rare late season snow hit the Las Vegas, NV area. The nearby community of Summerlin recorded 1 inch while McCarran International Airport saw a trace.


Both Buffalo, NY and International Falls, MN set new record high temperatures for February with 71° and 58°, respectively.


Between December 2001 and the end of February, Hilo, HI had picked up nearly 60 inches of rain, compared to a normal of 28.35 inches. Meanhile, on Oahu, Honolulu was reporting lower than normal rains during the same period, as northeasterly winds around the Kona Low descended down the mountains toward Honolulu, drying the air. Honolulu had only picked up 5.36 inches during the same period.


A major snowstorm dumped up to 20 inches of snow in the Charlotte, NC metro area. This was Charlotte's third largest snowstorm on record as 11.6 inches was officially measured at the airport.


A trace of rain was recorded in Las Vegas, NV recorded a trace of rain making this the 10th consecutive day with at least a trace of rain. This broke their record of 9 consecutive days set 1941, 1952, and 1978.


A massive blizzard buried eastern Newfoundland with up to 24 inches of snow. Winds gusting to 81 mph pushed snowdrifts up to 5 feet deep and left many roads in the capital littered with stranded cars.


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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