Meteorological events that happened on January 5th:
It was a record cold morning in the eastern U.S. The mercury plunged to -40° in the Berkshire Hills of Connecticut and the Yale Campus in New Haven, CT plunged to -23°.
Several all-time temperature records were observed as one of the most severe cold waves ever struck the Midwest: Several locations set all-time record lows including: All-time records included Omaha, NE: -32°, Des Moines, IA: -30°, Peoria, IL: -27° and -22° at St. Louis, MO.
Locations that reported daily record lows included: Bismarck, ND: -35°, Huron, SD: -35°, La Crosse, WI: -29°, Minneapolis, MN: -28°, Moline, IL: -27°, Madison, WI: -27°, Indianapolis, IN: -25°, Milwaukee, WI: -24°, Springfield, IL: -22°, Louisville, KY: -20°, Chicago, IL: -18°, Columbus, OH: -16°, Cleveland, OH: -13°, Lansing, MI: -11°, Cincinnati, OH: -10°, Toledo, OH: -10°, Nashville, TN: -10°, Pittsburgh, PA: -6°, Fort Smith, AL: -5°, Knoxville, TN: -5°, Erie, PA: -4°, Memphis, TN: 0°, Atlanta, GA: 3°, Little Rock, AR: 8°, Montgomery, AL: 13°, Mobile, AL: 19°, Pensacola, FL: 21° and Brownsville, TX: 31°. Many of these records are still on the books.
Springfield, IL finally had a measurable snowfall. This was the first occurrence of measurable snow during the winter of 1894-95, establishing a record for the latest first measurable snowfall during a winter season.
Bitterly cold air gripped the northeastern U.S. Morning lows of -42° at Smethport, PA and -34° at River Vale, NJ established state records. Locations that reported daily record lows included: Williamsport, PA: -17°, Dayton, OH: -15°, Avoca, PA: -15°, Rochester, NY: -14°, Akron, OH: -10°, Portland, ME: -9°, Syracuse, NY: -9°, Milton, MA: -7°, Erie, PA: -7°, Worcester, MA: -6°, Harrisburg, PA: -5°, Buffalo, NY: -4°, Boston, MA: -3°, Philadelphia, PA: -2°, New York (Central Park), NY: -1° and Wilmington, DE: 4°.
In Utah, the temperature at the east portal to Strawberry Tunnel plunged -50° to tie the record established at Woodruff on February 6, 1899. This record was broken on 2/1/1985. Locations that set daily record lows for the date included: Medford, OR: 13°, Yuma, AZ: 25° and San Diego, CA: 36°-Tied.
Arctic high brought record low temperatures to the West Coast including: Ely, NV: -25°, Missoula, MT: -17°, Victorville, CA: 6°, El Paso, TX: 8°, Las Vegas, NV: 16°, Tucson, AZ: 17°, Fresno, CA: 20°, Stockton, CA: 20°, Bakersfield, CA: 21°, Sacramento, CA: 22°, Riverside, CA: 23°, Escondido, CA: 24°, Santa Ana, CA: 24°, Phoenix, AZ: 24°, Santa Maria, CA: 24°, San Francisco, CA: 26°, Long Beach, CA: 29°, San Diego, CA: 30°, San Diego, CA: 30°, Downtown Los Angeles, CA: 31° and Los Angeles (LAX), CA: 32°.
An ice storm covered parts of the Maritime Provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, Canada leaving hundreds of people without power and water.
Twin tornadoes, 100 yards apart, destroyed 10 homes, 10 trailers and damaged 300 homes at Crestview, FL. One person was killed and 65 people were injured.
Heavy rain and snow began on the 3rd and ended on this day across southern California. One drowning death occurred near Temecula. Many highways were closed because of flooding and mudslides. Over 18 inches of snow fell in the San Bernardino Mountains. As a result, structures and a few roofs collapsed due to the weight of snow. Power lines and trees snapped. Victorville reported 17 inches, their greatest daily snowfall amount on record. 18 inches fell at Idyllwild, their greatest daily snowfall on record for January, and the third all-time greatest snowfall. Chino Lake Naval Air Station reported 11 inches of snow, their greatest snowfall on record.
Las Vegas, NV received 9 inches of snow in a 24 hour period making this the second greatest snowfall on record.
Some locations from the Rockies to the West Coast reported record low temperatures for the date including: Great Falls, MT: -26°, Sheridan, WY: -20°, Denver, CO: -17°, Lewiston, ID: -5°, Yakima, WA: -5°, Bishop, CA: 3° and Astoria, OR: 16°.
The warmest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica occurred as Vanda Station on the South Coast reported 59°.
A 3-day rainstorm in the San Francisco area in California finally came to an end. Marin and Cruz Counties were drenched with up to 25 inches of rain, and the Sierra Nevada Range was buried under 4 to 8 feet of snow. The Golden Gate Bridge was closed for only the 3rd time in history. The storm claimed 36 lives, and caused more than $300 million dollars damage. Yosemite Valley picked up 29.5 inches of snow, their greatest 24-hour snowfall on record.
A few locations reported record low temperatures including: Great Falls, MT: -30°, Billings, MT: -17°, Yakima, WA: -7°, Quillayute, WA: 9° and Portland, OR: 19°.
A massive winter storm spread heavy snow from the southwestern U.S. into the Rockies. In Utah, the Alta ski resort reported 42 inches of snow. Winds gusted to 64 mph at Albuquerque, NM.
Thunderstorms helped produce heavy snow in the Lower Great Lakes Region. Snow fell at the rate of 4 to 5 inches per hour, and snowfall totals ranged up to 69 inches at Highmarket, NY.
A series of storm systems brought heavy snow and bitterly cold arctic air to the southern plains through the 11th. A large portion of Oklahoma received at least 10 inches of snow, with north Texas receiving up to 3 inches. Some locations across western Oklahoma measured 16 to 18 inch total amounts over the period, with snow drifts reaching 4 feet. Oklahoma City totaled 12.1 inches of snow over a three day period, from the 5th to the 7th, which was Oklahoma City's all time record, storm total accumulation. This was recently broken on 12/24/2009 when 14.1 inches fell. Accompanying the heavy snow were record breaking cold temperatures. The mercury dropped below the freezing mark on the 4th in Oklahoma City, and stayed there until the afternoon of the 11th. The lowest temperature in Oklahoma City during the period came on the morning of the 8th, when a low of -4° was reached.
Locations reporting daily record low temperatures for the date included: Valentine, NE: -29°, Rapid City, SD: -17°-Tied, Marquette, MI: -13°, Newark, NJ: 10°, Islip, NY: 10° and New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 12°-Tied.
A strong Pacific cold front produced heavy snow and high winds in Nevada. Winds gusted to 80 mph north of Reno, NV, while up to 2 feet of snow blanketed the Lake Tahoe ski area. Redding, CA set a record low for the date with 26°.
A winter storm brought heavy snow from the 4th through this date across the upper Midwest. Snow began over the southwestern part of Iowa and developed quickly over the rest of the state. Snowfall accumulations were generally 4 to 8 inches across Iowa and parts of southern Minnesota and Wisconsin with 9 inches reported at Grand Meadow, MN and Audobon and Little Sioux, IA reporting 8 inches.
A stationary front produced thunderstorms with heavy rain across the Central Gulf Coast Region. New Orleans, LA was drenched with 4.05 inches of rain in 24 hours.
An overnight storm blanketed the mountains of northern Utah with up to 11 inches of snow.
Sioux Falls, SD was mired in dense fog with visibilities under a quarter of a mile. For 9 consecutive days from 12/31/1991 to 1/8/1992 Sioux Falls had dense fog at one time or another on each day. That set their record for the most consecutive days with dense fog. The old record was 8 days set from 2/16 - 23/1957.
A storm that started on this day and ended on the 7th brought one to two inches of rainfall to the lower elevations of southern California. Six to 20 inches of snow fell in the mountains and 2 to 8 inches fell in the foothills and high desert locales. Flooding and mudslides resulted.
In Hawaii, winds reaching 100 mph downed power lines on Maui's Mount Haleakala laden with up to 18 inches of snow and ice that accumulated on the summit.
A low pressure system traveled from the Dakotas, across southern Minnesota and to the Great Lakes Region, from the late morning through the early evening of the 7th. By the early evening hours on the 7th, up to 42 inches of snow had fell along the higher terrain of Lake Superior. The storm also produced heavy snow across parts of central Minnesota. Six inches or more occurred across much of central Minnesota. In west central Minnesota, Wheaton and Artichoke Lake received 5 inches, with 6 inches at Browns Valley. Across Wisconsin, 4 to 8 inches of snow was common with 8 to 10 inches across the central part of the state. Medford, WI checked in with 10 inches.
Further south, New Orleans, LA set a record low with 27°.
One of the greatest ice storms in the history of northern New England and Southern Quebec Canada brought coatings 1 to 3 inches thick across the area through the 10th.
Through the 10th observations of freezing rain and drizzle in Quebec exceeded 80 hours, nearly double total average annual number of hours of freezing precipitation. The total accumulation of water equivalent of freezing precipitation, mixed at times with light snow and ice pellets, exceeded 4.3 inches at Cornwall, 3.9 inches at Montreal, 3.3 inches at Ottawa and 2.9 inches at Kingston, amounts of ice accumulation nearly twice the accumulation in notable ice storms that hit the Ottawa area in 1986 and Montreal in 1961. The thickness of ice accumulated reached 4.7 inches in places. Across northern New York and Vermont freezing rain accumulation reached 2 to 4 inches thick, and most of central Maine saw about 1 to 2 inches of freezing rain. The area of the storm receiving more 1.6 inches or more of ice held 18% of Canada's population: 56% of Quebec residents and 11% of residents from Ontario. It also accounted for 19% of all Canadian urban lands, 57% in Quebec and 19% in Ontario. At the height of the ice storm, 57 Ontario communities and 200 in Quebec declared a disaster situation.
In the United States, President Clinton called the National Guard to duty in the affected areas and declared 16 counties in Maine, 9 in New Hampshire, 6 in New York and 6 in Vermont federal disaster areas. The greatest visible impact to those affected struck the power delivery systems throughout the region. The large electrical transmission towers that brought power to local communities fell as easily as the power poles that delivered the services to the residents. In Quebec alone, an estimated 1,000 transmission towers and 35,000 wooden utility poles fell or were twisted beyond recognition by the heavy ice and following winds. An additional 300 transmission towers were downed in Ontario. Over a million households in Canada lost power, some for over a month. In the U.S., the estimates from New York State, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine were of the same order, in excess of a million household affected. The storm also downed millions of trees across the region; some of them took transmission lines with them, others blocked road and damaged vehicles, homes and other buildings. In the U.S., officials compared the level of tree damage sustained to the great 1938 hurricane that struck New England. The ice storm affected 17 million acres of forest across northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, including parts of the Green Mountain and White Mountain National Forests. Another major aspect of this storm was the extremely heavy precipitation across the region, including over 5 inches of rain that caused major flooding in portions of western New York, especially the Black River Valley.
Estimated damage was $3 billion dollars in Canada and $2 billion dollars in the U.S. The storm resulted in 56 deaths.
Widespread heavy rainfall occurred over much of extreme southern Missouri from the late morning hours the previous day into the morning hours on this date. Widespread rain totals of 1 to 3 inches occurred with higher amounts near Branson. The heavy rain fell on saturated ground causing flood waters to cover many highways and wash out low water crossings.
A deep amplified upper level trough dug from the Pacific Northwest to the Gulf of Mexico with the main core of cold air extending from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf Coast and Florida. The new all-time record low temperature for the state of Illinois was established at Congerville, northwest of Bloomington when the temperature dropped to -36°. Champaign and Lincoln, IL dropped to -25°. Locations reporting daily record lows included: South Bend, IN: -16°, Fort Wayne, IN: -14°-Tied, Detroit, MI: -10°, Meridian, MS: 11°, Macon, GA: 16°, Columbus, GA: 17°-Tied, Mobile, AL: 18°, Pensacola, FL: 20°, Tallahassee, FL: 20°, Baton Rouge, LA: 20°, Gainesville, FL: 21°, Jacksonville, FL: 23° and Orlando, FL: 33°.
A freak winter storm brought extreme cold and snow to parts of Southeastern Europe. Six inches of snow fell in Athens, Greece, and heavy snow brought the city of Istanbul, Turkey to a standstill.
A low pressure dropped 2 to 6 inches of snow across the region. Hundreds of traffic accidents were reported, including a 35 car pileup on Interstate 695 near Baltimore, MD.
An upper level ridge combined with a surface ridge across the West produced winds and record highs. Mono Winds developed bringing gusts as high as 106 mph to ski towers in the Sierra Nevada in California. Locations that reported record high temperatures for the date included: Borrego Springs, CA: 85°, Palm Springs, CA: 83°, Idyllwild, CA: 72°, Las Vegas, NV: 71 and Big Bear Lake, CA: 64°.
An upper level trough combined with arctic high pressure to bring record cold from the Pacific Northwest to parts of the Plains while upper level high pressure off the southeast coast brought a few record highs from parts of the Southeast to the Delmarva Coast. Meacham, OR set their all-time record low when the temperature bottomed out at -31°. Locations reporting record low temperatures for the date included: North Platte, NE: -22°, Yakima, WA: -14°, Pendleton, OR: -11° and Lewiston, ID: -5°-Tied.
Locations across the southeast to thr Delmarva that reported record high temperatures included: Macon, GA: 81°, Savannah, GA: 81°, Jacksonville, FL: 81°, Charleston, SC: 79°, Norfolk, VA: 74°, Oak Ridge, TN: 70° and Wallops Island, VA: 66°-Tied.
Two tornadoes, about one hour apart, struck the Santa Catarina state in southern Brazil. The twisters killed at least one person, destroyed three homes, and severely damaged at least 27 others.
Offshore winds started on this day and continued peaking each morning through the 8th across southern California. Winds gusted to 84 mph at Fremont Canyon, 64 mph at Rancho Cucamonga, 63 mph at El Cariso, 62 mph at Rialto and 55 mph at Ontario. Downed power poles, tree limbs resulted. Trees fell on homes and cars in Lake Arrowhead.
A winter storm brought snow and ice across France, forcing the closure of an icy Eiffel Tower in Paris and causing flight cancellations. Up to 4 inches of snow covered parts of the country while most areas, including Paris, receive around half that amount.
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