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Weather History: July 20: Record temps, tropics, storms, tornadoes & flooding

Listed are Meteorological events that happened on July 20th:

What's the driest city in the United States? It’s Yuma, AZ where they receive a paltry 2.65 inches of precipitation a year. Second driest city is Las Vegas, NV at 4.19 inches a year.


40.73 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Funkiko, Japan.


An all-time record high temperature of 115° was set at Yosemite Valley at the National Park Headquarters, California (around 4,000 feet elevation). This was the warmest day in a streak of 7 consecutive days of 110° or higher at Yosemite Valley from the 19th through the 25th.


Ontario Canada's hottest day on record occurred as the town of Biscotasing soared to 108°.


Montana registered its record maximum 24 hour precipitation as 11.50 inches of rain fell at Circle.


The temperature at Washington D.C. soared to an all-time record of 106°. The next day Millsboro reached 110° to set a record for the state of Delaware.

July 1930 was one of the hottest and driest summers in the U.S., particularly in the Missouri Valley where severe drought conditions developed.


The temperature at Keokuk, IA soared to 118° to establish a state record.


The temperature at Medford, OR soared to an all-time high of 115° to begin a two week heat wave. During that Oregon heat wave the mercury hit 100° at Sexton Summit for the only time in 40 years of records.


22 inches of hail fell during a severe thunderstorm northeast of Dickinson, ND.


18.18 inches of rain at Edgarton set Missouri’s 24 hour rainfall record.


Nunavut Canada's hottest day on record occurred as the town of Arviat hit 93°.


South Australia recorded their coldest night on record as Yongala dropped to 17°.


Savannah, GA tied their hottest day on record as the mercury soared to 105° (7/12/1879).

The temperature at Charleston, SC was 104° for the second day in a row to tie their all-time record high.


Thunderstorms produced severe weather across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 87 mph at Mosinee, WI, and strong thunderstorm winds capsized 26 boats on Grand Traverse Bay drowning two women. Thunderstorms produced 9 inches of rain at Shakopee, MN, with 7.83 inches reported in six hours at Chaska, MN. Thunderstorms in north central Nebraska produced hail as large as golf balls in southwestern Cherry County, which accumulated to a depth of 12 inches.


The temperature at Redding, CA soared to an all-time record high of 118°.

Showers and thunderstorms produced much needed rains from New England to southern Texas. Salem, IN was deluged with 7.2 inches of rain which resulted in flash flooding.


Showers and thunderstorms in the Mid-Atlantic Coast Region soaked Wilmington, DE with 2.28 inches of rain, pushing their total for the period May through July past the previous record of 22.43 inches. Heavy rain over that three month period virtually wiped out a 16.82 inch deficit which had been building since drought conditions began in 1985.

Thunderstorms in central Indiana deluged Lebanon with 6.50 inches of rain in 12 hours, and thunderstorms over Florida produced wind gusts to 84 mph at Flagler Beach.

Early morning thunderstorms in the Lower Mississippi Valley produced 5.50 inches of rain south of Alexander, AR in just 90 minutes, and flash flooding which resulted claimed the life of one woman. Thunderstorms in Indiana produced 4.95 inches of rain in twelve hours east of Muncie.

Several cities in the southwestern U.S. reported record high temps for the date, including Phoenix, AZ with a high of 116° and Las Vegas, NV with a reading of 115°. The low that night at Phoenix was 93°.


Heavy rains caused flash flooding in the Black Hills of South Dakota. 2.5 inches of rain fell within 30 minutes causing flash flooding in the Lead/Deadwood area and the northern Black Hills. Rocks and mud were washed across roads and highways as creeks overflowed. Several businesses in Lead reported water damage and, at least, a dozen homes had flooded basements. The rapid runoff from the rains also caused numerous mudslides. The mudslides were as deep as three feet on area highways and even washed out a few roads.


Seattle, WA recorded their hottest day ever at 100°.


32.54 inches of rain fell at Dauphin Island Sea Lab during the slow passage of Hurricane Danny. This set Alabama’s record 24-hour maximum precipitation record. In total 36.74 inches of rain was dumped by Danny here, 26 inches of which fell in just 7 hours the previous day.


Severe thunderstorms moved into the Las Vegas Valley and nearby Lake Mead in Nevada bringing wind gusts in excess of 60 mph and heavy showers which dumped between 1.50 and 2.25 inches of rain overnight. Several marinas on Lake Mead suffered extensive wind damage and numerous roads were washed out. In the Las Vegas Valley, heavy rain and flooding produced the majority of damage. Major flooding began during the early morning hours and kept washes filled for several hours with numerous swift water rescues performed during the period. Rapidly accumulating water and a clogged drainage system caused the roof of the Palace Station Hotel and Casino to collapse, causing millions of dollars in damage. A few hours later, the same hotel and casino caught fire when it was struck by lightning.


Two New Mexico State Police officers were struck by lightning in Portales while helping motorists on a flooded road during a thunderstorm.

A heat wave reached its peak at Tokyo, Japan as the daily temperature soared to 103°, the hottest day since official records began being kept in 1923.

In Kiskunhalas, Hungary, the temperature soared to a record 107.4°.


Hurricane Emily made landfall in northern Mexico. When the central pressure fell to 929 millibars and its sustained winds reached 160 mph on the 16th, Emily became the strongest hurricane ever to form before August, breaking a record set by Hurricane Dennis just six days before. It was also the earliest Category 5 hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin (beating Hurricane Allen's old record by nearly three weeks) and the only Category 5 hurricane ever recorded before August.


A tornado ravaged the southern Poland city of Czestochowa, ripping the roofs off farmhouses and destroying cars.


A rare early morning thunderstorm hit the Coachella Valley in California. In Cathedral City, 1.25 inches fell in just 30 minutes. 15 to 20 businesses and several homes were damaged.


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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