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Weather History: June 12: Record temps, storms, tornadoes, fire, wind & Pinatubo

Meteorological events that happened on June 12th:


A strong storm dropped egg-sized hailstones on Lachute, Ontario Canada. The accumulation halted train traffic.


Five tornadoes touched down near St. Joseph, MO. The town of Floral, KS was wiped out by a major tornado. Five inches of rain fell in one hour in the town of Blue Earth City, MN.

Two F4 tornadoes in Kansas and two in Missouri killed 15 people and injured 97 others.


Los Angeles, CA received its greatest June rainstorm ever with 0.87 inches ending on this date.


A tornado in Iowa blew part of a train off the tracks, injuring three passengers. Three coaches and a baggage car were lifted into the air and onto a field.


An F5 tornado struck New Richmond, WI. 117 people were killed and 200 were injured. A circus was playing in New Richmond, which meant an additional 1,000 people were in town for the performances. Over 300 buildings were damaged or destroyed as the tornado went straight through the center of town. Six families had four or more members killed. A 3,000-pound safe was blown a full block. High visibility limited the death toll.


An F4 tornado moved northeast from northwest of Waterville, IA crossing the Mississippi River two miles south of Ferryville, WI. The last damage ended near Soldiers Grove. A man and his daughter were killed in one of three homes that were obliterated southwest of Heytman, a small railroad station on the Mississippi River. 60 buildings and 8 homes were destroyed in Wisconsin. This tornado caused approximately $200,000 in damage. In addition to this tornado, an F2 tornado moved northeast across Fayette and Clayton Counties in northeast Iowa from three miles south of West Union to two miles south of Postville. One farm was devastated, the house and barn leveled. Heavy machinery was thrown 300 yards. Clothing was carried two miles.


Victorville, CA recorded their highest temperature for June at 114°. This was also their second highest temperature ever (116° - 7/10/2002). This was followed be their warmest night on record with a low of 88°.


A tornado smashed a four block area in the southwest suburbs of Oklahoma City, OK. 35 people were killed, making it one of the ten deadliest ever in the state. The twister completely demolished 73 homes and damaged 31 others. The Oklahoma City area has been struck by tornadoes more than 90 times since 1890.


A heavy wet snow blanketed much of southern and central Wyoming and gave many places their heaviest and latest snow on record. Totals included 18.4 inches at Lander, 8.7 inches at Cheyenne, and 4.5 inches at Casper. At Cheyenne this was the snowiest June on record and the latest measurable snow on record.

A trace of snow fell at Denver, CO. This was the latest last snow of the season of a trace or more. This also marked the end of their longest snow season at 264 days which started with a trace of snow on 9/22/1946. The high of 43° was a record low maximum for the date and the morning low of 33° was a record low for the date.


The Columbia River Basin flood peaked on this date in the Northwest. The flood produced the highest water level in the basin since the flood there in 1894. The damage estimate for the 1948 flood was $101 million dollars and 75 lives were lost.


Las Vegas, NV recorded 0.01 inches of rain, setting a daily record. This was the only measurable rainfall to occur on this date since records began in 1937.


The upper Midwest was in the midst of a six-day stretch of 90 degree plus temperatures. The high of 97° at Chicago, IL and 95° at Rockford, IL set daily high temperature records.


Heavy thundershowers were accompanied by a small tornado at Celeron near Jamestown, NY which caused damage to a boat house and recreation park estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars range. A two inch fall of rain in 75 minutes was recorded in Colden, NY.


The first day of June saw Tropical Storm Abby form in the western Caribbean Sea. The storm moved northeast and crossed central Florida, briefly reaching hurricane status in the Gulf of Mexico. The tropical storm then moved along the coast of Florida and into Georgia, then made a loop as a tropical depression through the Carolinas, moving south to the North Carolina/South Carolina coast. The depression turned northeast and moved along the coast of North Carolina then dissipated on the 12th southeast of the Delmarva. Locations that received record daily rainfalls included: Philadelphia, PA: 3.05 inches, Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.: 2.23 inches, Dulles Airport at Sterling, VA: 1.88 inches, Wilmington, DE: 1.75 inches, Newark, NJ: 1.74 inches and Williamsport, PA: 1.30 inches.


A record late snow blanketed parts of Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska. 5 inches accumulated at Great Falls, MT and just east of Broadus, MT, with 10 inches reported at Deerfield, SD. Traces of snow fell as far south as Kimball, NE. Other snowfall totals included: Leiter, MT: 5 inches, Burgess Junction, WY: 4 inches, Sheridan, WY: 3 inches, Pryor, MT: 1 inch, Red Lodge, MT: 0.5 inches and Miles City, MY: 0.1 inches.

The low at Billings, MT dropped to 32° on the 12th and 13th, tying records for June.


Sydney, Australia's second longest dry spell on record came to an end. The dry spell lasted 34 days which started on May 10th.


Lightning killed a 14 year old boy running home to avoid the rain at Lauderhill, FL. The lightning struck a pine tree near the boy and severely burned his legs and knocked his shoes off.


Flooding and mudslides plagued much of Utah. Streets had to be sandbagged in Salt Lake City. Floods inundated the town of Thistle when a mudslide dammed a river.


Winds of 210 mph measured at a height of 1.84 miles on the mountain Zugspitze in southern Germany.


Thunderstorms in Nebraska produced softball size hail around Fremont and Ames, and 3.5 inches of rain in less than one hour. 4.5 inches in less than an hour caused flooding around Ithica, NE. A tornado destroyed a mobile home near Broken Bow, NE injuring both occupants.


Thunderstorms produced severe weather from Tennessee Valley to the Central Appalachians in the afternoon and evening, and produced severe weather in Oklahoma and Texas during the evening and night. Thunderstorms spawned 10 tornadoes and 164 reports of large hail or damaging winds. Thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 100 mph at Amarillo, TX, and wind gusts to 110 mph at Denton, TX. Hail 3 inches in diameter was reported at Tucumcari, NM.


The largest volcanic eruption of the 20th Century began. Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines injected 15 to 30 million tons of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere. Global dust cloud cooled the planet, reversing for a time the global warming trend. 1992 was globally one of the coolest since the 1970s.

On the same day that Mt Pinatubo awakened from its 635-year slumber, Typhoon Yunya crossed Luzon province. Mudslides and flooding caused many deaths and added with impacts of Pinatubo leaves more than a million homeless.


Severe thunderstorms ripped across central sections of South Dakota. The storms dropped marble to baseball sized hail. One storm developed a waterspout over the Missouri River which then traveled onto land as a tornado. The tornado went just south of Pierre crossing a baseball field and golf course before destroying a house and car. The owner of the house narrowly escaped injury as he hid in the fireplace during the storm. Several other tornadoes touched down around 15 miles south of Pierre.


A weak cold front and an extremely unstable airmass gave the area an incredible amount of severe weather in parts of Iowa. Dickinson County was hard hit when 60 to 80 mph winds struck throwing a sail boat into a tree along the Spirit Lake shoreline. Later, a small tornado touched down at Lake Park. The storms developed into an east to west orientation which began to give very heavy rain over the same areas. Reports from around Emmet, Dickinson and Clay Counties indicated rainfall amounts from 2 to as much as 6 inches within a two hour period. This resulted in flash flooding across those counties. Flash flooding was also reported in Lyon County where an incredible three inches of rain fell in a 30 minute period in the town of George. A tornado formed in Plymouth County and moved through the town of Le Mars, causing about $3 million dollars in damage. Approximately 120 buildings were damaged with 2 x 6 boards driven through neighboring houses. The tornado picked up a dog house with the dog still inside. The dog house was deposited a few blocks away, upside down, with the dog still inside. The dog was not injured. Hail destroyed 70,000 acres of cropland across South Dakota.

In Hand County, South Dakota, a thunderstorm caused an estimated $3 million dollars in crop damage. Hail, the largest being baseball size, was reported in drifts of three to four feet high. About 70 thousand acres of cropland and pastures were completely destroyed. Pheasants and ducks were killed by the hail and many cattle injured. Many windows were broken in homes, holes were punched in mobile homes, damaged occurred to contents of homes from hail which entered through windows, and many vehicles were extensively damaged.

A microburst created very high winds at Cheyenne, WY. A gust of 84 mph was recorded at the airport, with estimated gusts around 100 mph over the northeast part of Cheyenne. The high winds caused major damage to the roof at a local high school.


Extensive flash flooding in and around Mt. Pleasant, MI was the result of 1.82 inches of rainfall in 30 minutes with storm totals exceeding 2 inches. At one point parking lots had water 12 inches deep, several fields and ditches were flooded, and some motor homes and campers were set afloat


On this date through the 17th, two large wildfires developed in the Front Range Foothills in Colorado as careless campers and tinder dry conditions proved to be a dangerous combination. Strong winds gusting in excess of 60 mph on the 13th fanned the flames spreading both wildfires out of control. Winds gusted to 78 mph atop Niwot Ridge near the Continental Divide west of Boulder. The Hi Meadows Wildfire, about 35 miles southwest of Denver consumed nearly 11,000 acres and 80 structures, mostly high priced homes. The Bobcat wildfire, located about 12 miles southwest of Fort Collins consumed nearly 11,000 acres and 22 structures. Late on the 16th, a strong cold front moved south over the Great Plains into northeastern Colorado. Low level upslope conditions developed in the wake of a front producing 2 to 4 inches of snowfall overnight at elevations above 8,000 feet. Firefighters were able to cvontain both fires shortly thereafter.


A supercell thunderstorm dumped copious amount of large hail across Buffalo and Kearney Counties in Nebraska. Hail up to 5 inches in diameter fell, injuring 15 people, and doing $100 million in damages. In excess of 6,000 structures sustained damage. In some cases, hailstones penetrated shingles, sheeting, and interior ceiling drywall. One person reported an 8 inch diameter hole in their roof. Another person reported hailstones landing on the living room couch after falling through the roof.

Large hail pelted parts of Medicine Lodge, KS. The hail size ranged from nickel to softball. More than 20 windshields were broken and vehicles throughout town sustained severe damage.


A tornado in Hammond, WI damaged 22 homes and produced $3.6 million dollars in damage.


Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador Canada soared to 87°, for the high temperature location for the day in Canada.


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Orlando, FL area weather with Dr. Steve Oliver at

Houston, TX area weather & the weekly Weather America Newsletter with Larry Cosgrove at

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