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Weather History: July 29: Record temps, storms, tornadoes, lightning & floods

Listed are Meteorological events that happened on July 29th:


The temperature at Prineville, OR soared to 119° to establish a state record, which was tied on the 10th of August at Pendleton.


Heavy rain in southwestern Connecticut caused a dam break, and the resulting flood caused a quarter of a million dollars damage at Bridgeport. As much as 11 inches of rain fell prior to the flood.


Temperatures soared to record highs as a ten day heat wave reached its peak. The 102° at Lansing, MI tied the record for the hottest day ever there. Grand Rapids hit 103° as part of a record string of four consecutive days of 100 degrees or higher. Even the Lake Michigan shore was baking, with Muskegon hitting 95°.

Lightning ignited a forest fire that burned down the towns of Cochrane and Matheson, Ontario, Canada killing 233 people.


Mississippi's record high temperature of 115° was set at Holly Springs. Jackson, MS set their all-time record high with 107°.


Severe thunderstorms brought damaging winds, possibly as high as 100 mph to central Oklahoma. Two airports in Oklahoma City suffered significant damage. Eight planes and several hangars were damaged at Wiley Post Airfield, while two planes and additional hangars were damaged at Will Rogers World Airport. The winds caused seven injuries in the area, including two youths who were injured by flying debris. The storm also caused extensive damage to trees, roofs, and power lines.


An unseasonably chilly air mass invaded the upper Plains and Rockies. Sheridan, WY dropped to 35°, their record lowest July temperature. Other record lows included: Rapid City, SD: 41°, Huron, SD: 42°, Valentine, NE: 42°, Billings, MT: 43°, Cheyenne, WY: 43°, Casper, WY: 44°, Glasgow, MT: 45°, Great Falls, MT: 45°, Denver, CO: 47°, North Platte, NE: 49° and Omaha, NE: 50°.


Early morning thunderstorms dropped 3.53 inches of rain at Philadelphia, PA, with most between 3am and 6am, setting a daily record and resulting in considerable roadway flooding.


50 cattle, each weighing 800 pounds, were killed by lightning near Vance, AL. The lightning struck a tree and then spread along the ground killing the cattle.


Lightning struck and injured a man while he was installing drywall in his home at Berne, NY. This was the 4th time he had been hit by lightning since 1977.

Intense thunderstorms over Rhode Island dumped 5.58 inches of rain and hail over a half inch in diameter at the airport in Providence. 6.26 inches of rain fell at Point Judith while Narragansett recorded 6.03 inches of rain and hail accumulated to a depth of close to 4 inches.


Thunderstorms produced severe weather from Minnesota to Indiana. A thunderstorm at Janesville, WI produced wind gusts to 104 mph which flipped over two airplanes, and blew another plane 300 feet down the runway. In Chicago Heights, IL, spectators at a basketball game were exiting the field through gates in a metal fence when lightning struck a tree and then jumped to the fence. 30 people were injured, two seriously. Some of the people were thrown 4 to 5 feet in the air.

The northeastern U.S. experienced some relief from the heat. Nine cities reported record low temperatures for the date, including Saint Johnsbury, VT with a reading of 42°. Barnet, VT reported a morning low of 33°, with frost reported on vegetation. Other record lows included: Burlington, VT: 45°, Portland, ME: 47°, Albany, NY: 47°, Syracuse, NY: 49° and Binghamton, NY: 50°.


Afternoon and evening thunderstorms produced severe weather in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Hail three inches in diameter was reported south of Saint Cloud, MN.

Hot weather prevailed in the western U.S. Fresno, CA reported a record 13th straight days of 100 degree heat.


Morning thunderstorms in the Upper Midwest produced more than 5 inches of rain west of Virgil, SD. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms deluged the foothills and adjacent plains of Colorado with heavy rain. Rainfall totaling 6 to 7.5 inches fell in 8 hours north of Greeley. Hail and heavy rain caused several million dollars damage in Weld County.


A tornado hit Big Delta, AK. This was the first tornado to touch down in Alaska since 1979.


A woman was killed while attempting to cross a low water bridge over Haw Creek in her vehicle in Morgan County, Missouri after thunderstorms dropped heavy rain causing flash flooding to occur.


Chicago, IL recorded its highest ever dew point temperatures 82° overnight on this date.


A two year old boy picking vegetables with his parents in Blount County, Alabama was struck by lightning. The family called 911 immediately, but put the child in an automobile and started for the hospital. Paramedics caught up with the family and began CPR. An Evac helicopter was called to transport the child to the hospital, but the little boy was dead on arrival. The important thing to remember is that many lightning victims simply stop breathing. Administering CPR immediately will often resuscitate a lightning victim.


A record setting flash flood occurred over part of the Greenville, SC, during the morning hours. Six to eight inches of rain fell just east of Berea, a northwestern suburb, which caused the Reedy River through downtown Greenville to crest 9 feet above flood stage. This was the highest level since 1908.

A 112 year-old record was broken for the coolest high temperature in Oklahoma City, OK. The temperature only rose to 73°, which broke the previous record by 3 degrees.


Scattered afternoon storms developed over mainly south and southeastern portions of the Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi region, a few of which became severe and produced some hail and wind damage. One cluster of storms lingered over northern Forrest County, Mississippi and caused flash flooding around Hattiesburg with rainfall rates of 3 to 4 inches per hour.


This was the hottest day ever recorded at Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. At 5pm local time, Environment Canada recorded a record-breaking high of 92.8°, breaking the previous record of 92° set in 1960. Elsewhere in the Province, Port Alberni at 104° briefly competed for the hottest spot in British Columbia before losing out to Bella Coola's 106.2°.

Dhaka, Bangladesh experienced their heaviest rainfall for a single July day since 1949 when it receives a reported 11.4 inches. Six people died and many of their 12 million residents were stranded in their homes due to flooding through the city streets.


A new high temperature record was set in the country of Finland when the town of Joensu hit 99°.


A 24-hour deluge of 15.7 inches of rain worsened the already saturated soil conditions created by Tropical Storm Khanun that struck the region around mid-month that left widespread flooding.


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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