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Weather History: February 27: Record temps, storms, tropics, wind, snow & floods

Meteorological events that happened on February 27th:


What was perhaps the greatest snow in New England history occurred on this date. During a 10-day period, a series of 4 snowstorms dumped 3 feet of snow on Boston, MA and the city was snowbound for 2 weeks. 95% of New England's deer population was wiped out. Up to 6 feet of snow was reported farther to the north, and drifts covered many one story homes.


Heavy rains over two weeks caused immense damage at San Diego, CA and catastrophic damage at Tijuana, Mexico. The worst was flooding along the Tijuana River where all structures were swept away and a man was killed. Three prospectors died at Table Mountain in Baja California.


An intense are of low pressure moved across Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, and Illinois. The lowest pressure was 28.71 inHg at Springfield, IL.


Storms of tropical origin that started on this day ended on 3/4 across southern California. One person was killed by lightning at Corona, CA. 11.06 inches of rain fell at Los Angeles. More than 30 inches fell at several mountain stations of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains (32.2 inches at 8,300 feet elevation). More than 22 inches fell in the Santa Ana River headwaters. Considerable snow was melted, adding to the runoff. This led to unprecedented flood control efforts, including a network of dams and canals and concrete channels. 210 people were reported dead or missing in flooding across Southern California, 45 in Orange County, of which 43 perished in Mexican-American Atwood from an eight-foot wall of water. Hundreds more were injured. The Santa Ana River flooded, inundating nearly all of northern Orange County. Catastrophic damage hit more than 1,500 residences. 400 cabins and buildings were washed away in and around San Antonio Canyon. The Whitewater River flooded, isolating Palm Springs.


A super intense ocean storm at 949 millibars or 28.02 inHg as reported by a ship blasted Cape Cod, MA with heavy snow and high winds. 10 to 20 inches of snow fell. 3,000 motorists were stranded on the lower Cape when routes 6 and 28 became impassable. Nantucket, MA reported sustained winds of 61 mph with a peak gust of 72 mph. The 120 foot loran tower at Siasconset was toppled by the high winds.


A record snowstorm in Maine finally came to an end after dumping 2 to 4 feet of snow across southern and central Maine. 57 inches of snow fell at West Forks, ME to set the state record. Pinkham Notch, NH was buried under 77 inches of snow. Portsmouth, NH & Portland, ME set their single storm snowfall records with 33.8 & 26.9 inches respectively. From the 24th to the 28th, Mount Washington, NH reported 97.8 inches of snow, a record storm total for New England. Many single story houses were completely covered with drifts. Roofs on many buildings collapsed under the extreme weight of the snowfall.


A severe winter storm, which began on the 26th, spread blizzard conditions across Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. 24 inches of snow fell in the Vichy-Rolla area in Missouri. 22 inches was reported in parts of southern Illinois. Winds frequently gusted to 40 and 50 mph. Interstate 65, which connects Indianapolis with Chicago, was impassable for several days due to extensive drifting of the snow. Thunderstorms were reported which added to the heavy snow amounts. 9.5 inches of snow fell at Indianapolis, IN.


Record warmth continued across the West. All-time February records included 92° at Phoenix, AZ, 94° at Los Angeles, CA on the 24th, and 81° at San Francisco (Mission Delores), CA on the 26th. Palm Springs, CA hit 99°, tying their highest temperature on record for February. This also occurred just the day before.


A storm spread heavy snow into the Central and Northern Plains Region, and produced severe thunderstorms in the Southern Plains. Three day snowfall totals included: 30 inches at Philip, SD, 26 inches at Murdo, SD, 19 inches at Sidney, NE & 15 inches at Rapid City, SD. Severe thunderstorms in Oklahoma produced baseball size hail at Stringtown and Atoka.

A storm across the eastern U.S. produced heavy rain over the Carolinas and heavy snow in the southern Appalachians and piedmont region. 5 inches of rain left 4 feet of water in the streets of Greenville, SC. Snowfall totals in southwestern Virginia ranged up to 20 inches.


Thunderstorms along a cold front produced heavy rain in southern California, with up to 2.52 inches reported in Ventura County. Strong winds accompanying the rain gusted to 55 mph in the Tehachapi Mountains. Rapid City, SD established a February record with an afternoon high of 75°.


Rain and snow prevailed in the southeastern U.S. Up to 8 inches of snow blanketed north central Tennessee and snowfall totals in western North Carolina ranged up to 14 inches at Mount Mitchell.

It was 95° at Borrego Springs, CA; their highest temperature on record for February.


A winter storm produced heavy snow in southeastern Colorado, with 12 inches reported at Lamar. The same storm produced severe thunderstorms over the Southern Plains, with wind gusts to 93 mph reported at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Low pressure brought high winds to the Prince William Sound area of Alaska. Big River Lakes reported wind gusts to 92 mph.


Bishop, CA recorded 0.04 inches of rain which ended 156 consecutive days with no measurable precipitation.


Blowing snow produced near zero visibility during an intense winter storm at Trois-Rivières, Quebec Canada causing a massive highway pile-up involving 27 cars, 2 ten-wheelers and 4 tractor trailers. 2 people died and 15 were injured.


Many high temperature records were set across the Mid-Atlantic including 70° at New York's Kennedy Airport setting a record for the month of February. This surpassed the 68° reading recorded on 2/4/1991.

A snowstorm in the Rockies produced 24-hour snowfall records at Grand Mesa, CO with 33 inches and Mount Lemmon, AZ with 30 inches.


Beersheba, Israel experienced their first snow in 50 years as parts of Israel, Lebanon and Jordan received a rare winter storm. Locally, over 8 inches of snow fell, disrupting transportation, closing schools and business throughout the region.


A thunderstorm produced dime size hail in Mira Mesa, CA. Eight inches of graupel (soft hail) piled up on I-15 there causing immense traffic delays. Several funnel clouds were observed in Escondido, CA. A waterspout was observed 10 miles west of San Diego at Lindbergh Field. Palomar Mountain, CA received a foot of snow; tying their greatest daily snowfall for February (2/19/62 & 2/13/73).


6.07 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Chillan in southern Chile, South America. The average February precipitation there is just 0.63 inches.


Blowing snow driven by a powerful blizzard battered parts of eastern Labrador, Canada. Snow in the town of Cartwright over 3 days measured 47.6 inches. Wind gusts in excess of 69 mph created white-out conditions with near zero visibility.


The world’s 72 and 96-hour rainfall records were set courtesy of the weak currents that steered Tropical Cyclone Gamede.

Cratère Commerson, La Réunion Island off the eastern coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean picked up 154.70 inches of rain in 72 hours from 2/24 to 2/26 and 191.7 inches in 96 hours from 2/24-2/27.

A hail storm struck Canberra, Australia with little warning, damaging homes, businesses and roads in an arc from Civic to Belconnen.


A tsunami was generated from a Chile earthquake of 8.8. Sections of a Shelter Island, CA dock were damaged. Several vessels broke moorings in San Diego Bay.


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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