Meteorological events that happened on July 12th:
In an average year approximately 10,000 fires are started by lightning in the United States alone. The fires on average will destroy $50 million dollars worth of timber.
The danger of sunburn is obvious when the sun is shining, but clouds and even water do not block all of the sun's ultraviolet rays that cause sunburn. About 40% of the ultraviolet radiation can reach shady areas as sunlit areas. Sunscreens are wise to use even when the day is cloudy.
One of the most severe hurricanes in the history of the coastal Carolinas struck the Outer Banks of North Carolina on the evening of the 12th into the 13th. The entire village of Portsmouth was destroyed except for one building. The storm apparently passed inland near Norfolk, VA and caused massive flooding from Virginia into Pennsylvania.
Cherrapunji in India's northeastern Meghalaya state, one of the rainiest places on Earth received 33 inches of rain on this date.
A rare British Columbia tornado struck Lac La Hache destroying farm buildings and downing trees.
Mexican aviator Captain Emilio Carranza, the 22 year old "Lindbergh of Mexico," was killed when his plane crashed deep in the southern Jersey Pinelands during a violent thunderstorm. The famous pilot had just flown a solo goodwill flight from Mexico to Washington, D.C., and had lunched with President Calvin Coolidge. Captain Carranza was embarking on a nonstop flight from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, NY to Mexico City. A memorial site, the 4th largest Latino historical site in the USA, stands in a remote wooded spot in New Jersey’s Wharton State Forest.
The hottest three-day period in United States history occurred beginning on this date as the average temperature was 88.5°; the second warmest such period occurred three days earlier.
This was the wettest month on record for the state of Kansas as the Kaw River flooded. During the four days preceding the flood much of eastern Kansas and western Missouri received more than ten inches of rain. Flooding in the Midwest claimed 41 lives, left 200,000 people homeless, and caused $1 billion dollars property damage. Kansas City, MO was hardest hit. The central industrial district sustained $870 million dollars in property damage.
Western Australia recorded its coldest night on record when the low at Booylgoo Springs dropped to 20°.
A nearly stationary front north to south over Pennsylvania caused rain and thunderstorms over the region for 3 days beginning on this date. Amounts of two inches plus in 24 hours and 4 inches plus for the 3 days were common. In Pennsylvania, Perkasie reported 7 inches, Lansdale: 5.11 inches, West Chester: 6.94 inches through the 13th; and Schwenksville reported 6 inches in 30 hours.
The Northern Territory in Australia recorded its coldest night on record when the low at Alice Springs dropped to 19°.
Lightning struck a large broiler house in Branford, FL, and the ensuing fire broiled 11,000 nearly ready broilers. Firemen were able to save a few thousand chickens.
Northern Ireland's hottest day on record occurred as the temperature reached 87° at Shaw's Bridge.
Rain was not falling at the golf course in Tucson, AZ where a golfer was struck and killed by an isolated lightning bolt from a storm three miles away. His partner was also hit but not injured.
Hail and wind pounded Munich, Germany causing damage to 700,000 homes and 200,000 cars, estimated at more than $1 billion dollars.
Lightning started a forest fire in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The dry conditions across the area made the area susceptible to the fire. The fire which turned out to be the biggest fire on record in the Black Hills National Forest burned 22,000 acres of land. Additional fires in Fall River County burned an additional 9,000 acres.
Cool air invaded the Northern Plains Region. Sheridan, WY was among several locations to set a record low with 37°.
Thunderstorms developing along the cold front in the central U.S. produced 6.5 inches of rain at Fort Dodge, IA, and 2.5 inches in one hour at St. Joseph, MO.
Evening thunderstorms produced severe weather over the Dakotas, including baseball size hail at Aberdeen, SD, and softball size hail near Fullerton, ND. Thunderstorms produced heavy rain in Arkansas and northeastern Texas, with 6.59 inches reported at Mesquite, TX in just an hour and 15 minutes. Garland, TX reported water up to the tops of cars following a torrential downpour.
Early morning thunderstorms over eastern Kansas deluged McFarland with more than 6 inches of rain. Afternoon thunderstorms in Wyoming produced up to 18 inches of dime size hail near Rock Springs, along with torrential rains, and a three foot high wall of mud and water swept into the town causing more than $1.5 million dollars damage. Evening thunderstorms produced severe weather in Oklahoma and Arkansas, deluging Dardanelle, AR with 3.50 inches of rain in less than 20 minutes. About 70 cows were killed when lightning struck a tree in Jones County, Texas.
Remnants of Hurricane Darby unleashed heavy rains over the Sierra Nevada and nearby foothills in California. Two to three inches of rain fell on a burn area above Oakhurst which resulted in flooding. Cars, homes and businesses were damaged, with two feet of water reported in some homes.
Thunderstorms dumped up to 4 inches of rain in 30 minutes in the Pierre and Ft. Pierre areas in South Dakota. As golf ball size hail also pounded the area the runoff from the heavy rains piled the hail into drifts five feet high.
On the same day a severe thunderstorm dumped large hail and heavy rains in the Lantry area in Dewey County. The water which could not be absorbed by already saturated ground ran four to five feet deep through some buildings in town.
The island of Okushiri in Japan was devastated by a tsunami created by 7.8 magnitude earthquake in the Sea of Japan. 15 to 30 foot waves started crashing ashore within minutes after the tremor occurred, sweeping up people, vehicles and buildings. The maximum wave would be an astounding 90 feet tall. Everything in the tsunamis' path was obliterated. 239 people died. But the miracle was that the Japan Meteorological Agency's warning was issued in a timely and effective manner, and a far greater tragedy was averted.
An intense heat wave affected much of the Midwest for a 4-day period beginning on this day. The worst effects of the heat were noted in the Chicago metropolitan area, where 583 people died from the heat. Temperatures across the area reached as high as 105°, overnight lows on falling to the upper 70s to low 80s. Dewpoint temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s created heat indices peaking at 125°. Electricity and water usage reached record levels, causing periodic outages.
Across the northern “ring of fire”, four derechos wreaked havoc from eastern Montana to the east coast. Two, that were long lived, caused considerable damage. The first began as thunderstorms during the early evening on the 12th moving east and intensifying. Bismarck, ND reported gusts near 70 mph. The line developed in to a bow echo as it continued east during the very early morning hours of the 13th. Fargo, ND reported a gust of 91 mph. The derechos continued east across Minnesota bringing down over five million trees and damaging or destroying many buildings. Some residents were without power for a week and damage there was over $30 million dollars. During the morning hours, the line moved across northern Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan taking down thousands of trees. The line turned southeast across lower Michigan causing three deaths, taking down thousands of trees, 100 miles of power lines and causing millions of dollars in damage. In southern Ontario Canada, the town of Goderich, hundreds of trees were blown down (some over 100 years old). The towns of London and Parkhill reported 75 mph gusts. During the evening, the line moved in to Ohio with the town of Avon reporting a gust of 88 mph and 87 mph at Stow. Weakening at midnight near the Ohio River, the derecho traveled 1400 miles in 27 hours at an average speed of 52 mph.
Hurricane Bertha makes landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC with maximum winds of 105 mph, but the storm surge dealt the most devastation. The U.S. Virgin Islands, along with North Carolina, were declared federal disaster areas. Surveys indicate that Bertha damaged almost 2,500 homes on St. Thomas and St. John. For many, it was a second hit in the ten months since Hurricane Marilyn devastated the same area. The primary effects in North Carolina were to the coastal counties and included storm surge flooding and beach erosion, roof damage, piers washed away, fallen trees and damage to crops. Over 5,000 homes were damaged, mostly from storm surge. Storm total rainfall amounts ranged from 5 to 8 inches along a coastal strip from South Carolina to Maine. Overall, as many as 12 deaths resulted with 8 in the U.S. and territories. Damage totaled $270 million dollars.
The temperature at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport in Texas rose to 100°. Dallas saw the temperature go to 100° or hotter on 56 days during the summer of 1998. There were 39 nights that the mercury never dropped below 80°.
Heavy thunderstorms hit the southern California Mountains and Deserts each day starting on the 11th and ending on the 13th. Rainfall rates included 1.65 inches in less than 30 minutes at Lake Henshaw, 1.57 inches in 20 minutes at Big Bear City, 1.4 inches in 30 minutes at Sugarloaf, 1.6 inches in 85 minutes at Forest Falls, one inch in one hour at Pine Cove, one inch in 25 minutes at Shelter Valley. One inch per hour rain rate occurred at Phelan. Two were killed and dozens were injured. Six homes were destroyed and many more were damaged. A twenty foot high wall of water moving at 45 mph moved 70-ton boulders at Forest Falls. Buildings washed away at Jenks Lake. Disastrous flooding and mud slides occurred at Oak Glen, Big Bear City, and Apple Valley. Flooding hit the Yucca Valley area, Beaumont area and Palm Springs. Roadways were closed due to flash flooding. On this day a tornado hit six miles east of Julian in Shelter Valley, although recorded wind speeds nearby were 43 mph. Building and structure damage occurred, trees were uprooted and knocked over.
0.98 inches of rain fell in Victorville, the greatest daily amount on record for July.
Thunderstorms formed in a southwest to northeast band during the evening from the Lucerne Valley through the northwest part of the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Training Center and across I-40 into the Devils Playground. Estimated rainfall amounts ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 inches across the area. Law enforcement officials reported sections of road swept away along State Route 247 between Lucerne Valley and Landers. State Route 62 in the vicinity of Joshua Tree was also flooded in places as were other secondary roads. The most significant event occurred at approximately 10:20 pm PDT when flash flood waters caught a light armored vehicle on the Marine Corps training grounds. One man was thrown from the vehicle and swept away by the swift current. His body was found shortly thereafter and he was later pronounced dead at the base hospital.
Strong thunderstorm winds blew through Kingman, AZ destroying 16 homes and damaging 36 others. Most of the damaged and destroyed homes were mobile homes in the Kingman Shadows subdivision. Four people received minor injuries from flying debris. Several power lines were also blown down knocking out power to an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people.
Hail up to the size of softballs fell in and around Onaka, SD damaging vehicles, farm equipment, and homes. Lightning struck a home in Britton starting a fire in the attic, which resulted in significant damage to the home. High winds along with hail up to the size of baseballs caused some structural, vehicle, crop, and tree damage in and around Astoria, SD and Toronto, SD.
More than 20 inches of rain fell in the Niigata Prefecture in Japan over the week ending on the 18th, nearly one-fifth the annual average.
Beginning on this date, Reno, NV endured a record string of 9 straight days with temperatures above 101°.
Heavy monsoon-related rainfall produced landslides that kill at least 26 people in western Nepal.
A new high temperature record was set in the country of Russia (Europe) when the town of Utta, Lalmykia Republic hit 113.7°.
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