Skip to main content
Report this ad

See also:

Weather History: July 21: Record temps, tropics, tornadoes, wind & flooding

Listed are Meteorological events that happened on July 21st:


The temperature at Painter, WY dipped to 10° to equal the record low for July for the continental U.S.


Millsboro set Delaware’s all-time record high temperature with 110°.


The all-time high temperature record for Ohio was established with a reading of 113° near the town of Gallipolis. The temperature reached 109° at Cincinnati, OH to cap their hottest summer of record. A brutal heat wave peaks during the Dust Bowl summer with a high of 104° at Grand Rapids, MI second only to the 106 and 108 degree readings from July 1936. Temperatures reached the mid and upper 90s even right along the Lake Michigan shore


This is the only occurrence Miami, FL has ever seen 100°.


Finland's wettest day on record occurred as 7.82 inches of rain fell in less than 24 hours at Espoo, Lahnus.


Holt, MO set a world’s record of 12 inches of rain in just 42 minutes.


Six inches of rain fell across Mercer County, New Jersey in just 10 hours causing the worst flooding in 20 years. Assunpink Creek crested 11 feet above flood stage at Hamilton and Trenton, the highest level on record. Traffic was brought to a standstill, and railway service between New York City and Washington D.C. was cut off for two days. Flooding left 1,000 people homeless and caused an estimated $25 million dollars damage.


Parts of Lancaster County into the west central Chester County, Pennsylvania region was hit with torrential rain during the morning, with most of the rain falling in about 5 hours. In Chester County, Newlinville received 8.11 inches and Valley Township 7.56 inches.


The all-time record low temperature for the world was recorded at Vostok, Antarctica (elev. 11,200 feet) when the mercury plummeted to -128.6°. Though unconfirmed, readings could have been as low as -132° in their winter of 1997.

An F2 tornado destroyed 2 trailer homes near Hartly, DE, during the early evening, killing two people and injuring 9 others. An F3 tornado hit Stafford's Manahawkin section, in Long Beach Township, NJ. It crossed Barnegat Bay and destroyed a bayside home, and damaged others.


A tremendous heat wave continued across the South. This was the 15th day in a row with 100° plus degree readings at Columbia, SC. Macon, GA topped out at 106° to set a record. It was also the 10th consecutive day with 100° degree plus heat at Macon.


Thunderstorms produced severe weather from Utah to North Dakota, spawning a dozen tornadoes in North Dakota. Thunderstorms in North Dakota also produced baseball size hail at Clifford which caused $4 million dollars damage, and high winds which toppled a couple of 80 foot towers cutting off power to the town of Blanchard. During the afternoon, an unusually severe thunderstorm moved northeast through northwest Wyoming and spawned the highest elevation F4 tornado ever documented. The tornado touched down in the Teton Wilderness Area, and created a massive blow down of trees as it travel north northeast. The distance traveled was 24.3 miles and ended along the Yellowstone River in the southeast corner of Yellowstone National Park. The path averaged 1.5 miles in width, reaching a maximum width of 2.5 miles.

A rare cold air mass invaded southern California. Palomar Mountain dropped to 39°, their coldest July reading on record. Many locations set record low maximums as temperatures didn’t get out of the 70’s during the afternoon. One exception was Palm Springs as they set a record low maximum of 95°.

The highest elevation F4 tornado ever observed cut a 24 mile path through the Teton Wilderness. At one point, the damage path was 2 miles wide. 15,000 acres of trees were blown down. Many of the trees were mature 80-100 foot pine trees.


While cool air invaded the central U.S., unseasonably hot weather continued over the western states. The temperature at Spring Valley, NV soared from a morning low of 35° to an afternoon high of 95°. Fallon, NV reported an all-time record high of 108°, and Death Valley, CA reported their sixth straight day of 120 degree heat.


Afternoon thunderstorms over Florida produced wind gusts to 92 mph at Jacksonville, damaging 13 light planes at Herlong Field.

Several cities in Texas reported record low temperatures for the date. Corpus Christi, TX equaled their record low for the date with a reading of 71°, and then tied their record high for the date that afternoon with a reading of 97°.


100 degree readings are not common in Rhode Island, but the mercury topped out at 102° at Providence on this day, the second day in a row that the thermometer reached the century mark. It was also 101° at Windsor Locks, CT. Boston, MA recorded their warmest overnight low ever of 81°.


The Mississippi River crested at 46.9 feet at St. Louis MO, easily breaking the old record of 43.2 feet established in the 1973 flood. The 11 mile long, 52 foot high flood wall kept water out of the city center. In spite of all the damage the flood did, it is estimated that without all of the flood-control measures in place today, the price tag from the flood would have easily doubled its astronomical $20 billion total. The record crest would be topped again on August 1st.

The heavy rainfall that occurred earlier in the month set the stage for what became the flood of the century in Iowa. The city of Des Moines was very hard hit. At the peak of the flooding, nearly 35,000 households were without electricity and 50,000 were without power. Water service was out for 250,000 people, which is the largest water outage in United States history. Losses to the businesses in Des Moines were estimated at $800 million dollars, from physical damage to the buildings and lost business. Other damage in Des Moines included $30 million dollars to homes, $75 million dollars to the levee system and $20 million dollars to the water treatment plant. Damage to West Des Moines was also well over $30 million dollars. Crop damage was extensive as 6.5 million acres of cropland were damaged by the flood. In addition, Interstates 80 and 35 were closed for a time due to flooding on the Raccoon, Des Moines and Skunk Rivers.

Heavy rains in and around west central and central Kansas caused the Walnut Creek to flood through Rush county. Flooding began during the morning hours. Most homes in Alexander had flooded basements. Water covered highway 96 between Alexander and Nekoma. Highway 183 south of Rush Center was covered by 20 inches of water

and was closed to most traffic. Several families were evacuated as three feet of water covered most streets in Timken. The Timken post office, mid state coop, Timken seed company, and six residential blocks were flooded. The Big Timber Creek went out of its banks south of Liebenthal and flooded highway 183. A highway construction project at the Big Timber Creek was completely under water. Flood conditions ended by 10 am on the 24th. Heavy rains across west-central and central Kansas from July 18th to July 24th caused flooding along the Pawnee River from Burdett to Larned.


Extreme flooding occurred over Baldwin County, Alabama as the remnants of Hurricane Danny drifted slowly northeastward after dumping 30 inches of rain over coastal Alabama. The worst flooding occurred around the Fish River where 500 homes were damaged.

Okanagan, British Columbia Canada reported a hailstorm that caused $100 million dollars damage as it ripped through the orchards of the Okanagan Valley. Nearly 40% of the fruit crop was deemed unsuitable for fresh market. Winds gusted to 62 mph, which capsized boats in the interior lakes and cause power outages and traffic accidents.


Dallas, TX saw its 16th consecutive day above 100°.


The Cedar River in Charles City, IA reached its all-time crest of an estimated 22.8 feet. Approximately 100 homes had flood damage in Charles City. Elsewhere across Chickasaw and Floyd counties, nearly every creek, stream and river was at bankfull and flooding. Many roads were impassible. Almost 12 ionches of rain fell in a 48 hours period over these counties. Rainfall totals that day: New Hampton, IA: 7.10 inches (wettest day on record), Charles City, IA: 6.65 inches, West Union, IA: 4 inches, Richland Center, WI: 3.73 inches, Waucoma, IA: 3.7 inches, Spillville, IA: 3.15 inches and Necedah, WI with 3.12.


Thunderstorms formed along a lake breeze in northeast Illinois during the late afternoon and evening. Some damage occurred across Will and Cook Counties, but the main damage was from torrential rainfall. The heaviest rain fell across southwest Cook County, extreme northeast Will County, and central DuPage County. Water burst through a basement foundation in Tinley Park, filling the basement and topping out at 6 feet 11 inches deep. Several homes in Orland Park and Tinley Park had 2 to 4 feet of water in basements. Streets were also flooded in these areas. Some rainfall totals from the event include 3.08 inches in Olympia Fields, 2.79 inches in Park Forest, 2.30 inches in Winfield, and 2.03 inches in Glenwood. There were no reports of injuries.


Cheyenne, WY recorded its last of 10 consecutive days with a high temperature of at least 90°, their longest such streak on record.


Extreme heat settled across British Columbia breaking 63 maximum temperature records from Vancouver Island to Fort St. John through the 23rd. Lytton hit 108° on the 23rd for the provincial hot spot.


An unusual heat wave in western Washington broke five maximum temperature records: Vancouver at 104°; Olympia at 100°; Seattle at 97° and Hoquiam at 90°.

In California, San Francisco International Airport's high of 83° broke a 52-year-old record of 80°.

Widespread damaging winds, estimated around 90 mph, raked most of Jefferson County in south central Illinois. The city of Mt. Vernon was especially hard hit, where about 14% of all homes received at least minor damage. Several thousand trees were blown down, landing on cars, power lines, roads, and houses. In Mt. Vernon, damage assessments indicated 1,107 homes were affected by some type of damage. 491 homes received minor damage such as roofs blown off, 152 received major damage, and 18 were destroyed.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl soaked southern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Canada. Fredericton, New Brunswick reported close to 2.5 inches of rain. Strong wind gusts exceed 60 mph on the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia.


On this date through the 22nd, Tropical Storm Cristobal drenched Nova Scotia, dumping an entire month's worth of rain on some areas in less than 24 hours. Baccaro Point in southwestern Nova Scotia received the most rain in the province, with 6.5 inches.


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

Report this ad