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Weather History: June 23: Record temps, storms, tornadoes, tropics & flooding

Meteorological events that happened on June 23rd:


Sir Francis Drake ran into the Roanoke Island Hurricane off the Mid Atlantic coast. The result of the three-day storm and the settlers complaining about thunderstorms with hail the size of hen's eggs and great spouts at sea, caused Drake to evacuate the settlers back to England.


A large seiche (a wave caused by seismic or atmospheric activity) rolled into Cleveland Harbor, OH and caused an 8 foot surge of water.


The temperature at Volcano Springs, CA soared to 129° to set a U.S record for June. This was tied on 6/30/2013 at Death Valley, CA.


Six men at a rock quarry south of Winston-Salem, NC sought shelter from a thunderstorm in a structure which contained a large quantity of dynamite. As fate would have it, lightning struck a nearby tree igniting the supply of dynamite.


Lethbridge, Alberta Canada had their hottest June day on record with 101°.


Four tornadoes killed 153 people and caused $5 million dollars damage in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. The tornadoes formed during the evening and moved southeast along parallel paths flattening everything in their way. The town of Shinnston, WV was leveled, and was left with the majority of the casualties. Until that time it was believed that damaging tornadoes did not travel across mountainous terrain.

An F3 tornado, probably a family of tornadoes, moved east-southeast from Dorchester County, Maryland into Sussex County, Delaware. However, the tornado in Delaware was only F1.


12 inches of hail broke windows, destroyed roofs, and dented automobiles, causing more than $14 million in damage as thunderstorms left a path of destruction over 200 miles long, from Kingmond County, Kansas to the Missouri border. The Wichita, KS area was hardest hit. This hailstorm was the worst recorded hail disaster up to this time.


Cheyenne, WY equaled their warmest day ever recorded with a high of 100°. It still remains the most recent of four dates that Cheyenne has officially reached 100°. The other days were 7/11/1939 and 7/14 & 7/15/1881.

Denver, CO set a record high of 102°.

Further west, grapes in the Fresno, CA area suffered serious damage from a 3-day heat wave that lasted from the 21st through the this date. Highs of 106°, 108° and 107° degrees were recorded respectively.


A few miles west of Fort Stockton, TX, softball size hail injured 21 people unable to find shelter, mostly farm laborers. Some livestock was killed.


During the morning, over 9 inches of rain soaked the Salt Lick Creek watershed. In Red Boiling Springs, TN, a wall of water 7 feet high tumbled, swirled, and crushed houses, vehicles, street pavement, and small buildings. Two people died.


Massive flooding was underway in parts of Pennsylvania as the result of a three day deluge caused by the remnants of Hurricane Agnes. Several Mid-Atlantic States were affected, but Pennsylvania ended up being the hardest hit state with $2.1 billion in damages and 48 deaths. The damage was so extreme that President Richard Nixon declared the entire state a disaster area. Agnes was retired from the Atlantic's list of tropical storm and hurricane names.

Rainier Park Ranger Station in Washington State had 4.4 inches of snow on this day. This turned out to be the last snowfall for the 1971-72 season and brought the seasonal total to 1,122 inches, a new single season snowfall record for the U.S. until 1999.


On this date through the 28th, torrential rains, high winds, and severe beach erosion buffeted west central and southeast Florida. The subtropical storm moved rapidly across the central portion of Florida from the Gulf of Mexico on the 25th and the depression moved from the southern Gulf of Mexico across central Florida on June 27th. Tides were 2 to 4 feet above normal from Everglades City to Tampa and 30 to 40 knots sustained winds produced widespread beach erosion in this area. Four day rainfall totals were 10 inches or more over most of west Central and Southwest Florida, with around 20 inches in portions of the Tampa Bay area. There were three deaths by drowning. Flooding by high tides, heavy rains and beach erosion damaged public roads, bridges, sewers and drainage systems, utilities, and beaches.


A fairly innocuous looking thunderstorm at JFK airport in New York City produced a microburst that caused Eastern Airline 66 to crash 2,400 feet short of the runway. 112 people were killed. The control tower, only 1.2 miles away, was never affected by the microburst as the outflow was held back by a sustained sea breeze front.


This was the first day of a string of 100+ maximum temperatures at Dallas, TX that did not end until August 4. Over 1,200 people succumbed to the heat and died during the summer in the American southwest.


The all time record low temperature at the South Pole Weather Station of -117° was recorded. This is not the record low for the Antarctic Continent. It was -128.6°, set on 7/21/1983 at Vostok.


A massive hailstorm hit from Pueblo to La Junta, CO. Hail up to 4.5 inches in diameter fell. An estimated 8,000 homes and 11,000 cars were damaged in the Pueblo area alone. Total property damage was estimated between $60 to $70 million dollars.


Many cities reported record high temperatures for the date. The reading of 90° at Bluefield, WV equaled their record for the month of June. The record high of 104° at Billings, MT was their thirteenth of the month.


Several cities in the High Plains Region reported record low temperatures for the date, including Sheridan, WY with a reading of 38°.

Many streams in western New York were still swollen from previous rains when heavy thunderstorms again crossed the area during the afternoon of the 22nd. Lockport, Albion and Arcade reported rainfall of 3.3, 3.0, and 2.9 inches respectively. States of emergency were declared for the village of Arcade in Wyoming county and for Albion in Orleans county. In Arcade, trees were uprooted and moved 500 feet by the flood waters. The raging waters ate away the roadbed of the Conrail line in the town of Dale in Wyoming county. Genesee county had three bridges washed away. There were numerous reports of road, basement and yard flooding throughout the above counties. Orleans and Genesee counties reported crop losses amounting to $22 million dollars. Tonawanda, Oatka and Black Creeks all reached flood stages. The Allegheny River crested about 3.5 feet above flood stage at Olean and Salamanca. A bridge in Franklinville was washed out.

Oklahoma City, OK received 1.06 inches of additional rainfall, bringing the monthly total to 14.47 inches, almost half the annual rainfall and over three times the normal for June at that location. The previous record for the wettest month was 14.12 inches set in June of 1932. The normal rainfall total for June averages 3.87 inches.

Showers and thunderstorms in the eastern U.S. deluged New Castle, DE with 2.5 inches of rain in one hour.


Record heat occurred from Texas west to Arizona. An all-time record high was set at Beeville, TX as a remarkable weather phenomenon occurred. In one hour, the temperature made a rapid climb from 103° to 114° to establish the new record high.


More incredible rains fell across the Upper Midwest as the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1993 continued. 10 inches of rain fell in four hours near Armstrong, IA. Hamms Park, MN picked up 11 inches of rain during the afternoon and an incredible 9 inches in two hours. Meteorologists recorded over 175 such rain blasts during the flooding over the nine state area.


Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands set their all-time highest temperature with 99°.


An upper-level low-pressure system that had brought extreme amounts of rain to parts of Texas began to lift north. In its wake, extensive flooding has crippled many small towns and made some roads impassable. Doppler storm total rainfall estimates west of San Antonio showed a maximum of 22.4 inches in southwestern Kendall and northeastern Bandera counties. San Antonio itself saw 4.28 inches of rainfall in the previous two days, bringing its total to 6.08 inches for the month, which is 206% more than normal. The capital of the Lone Star State, Austin, had received 293% of its normal June precipitation to date, after receiving 2.86 inches over the past two days. In Texas, hundreds of families evacuated their homes along swollen river and lakebeds from Hondo, west of San Antonio, to Lakeway, west of Austin. After driving weekend rain, the Llano River rose to its highest point, 38.59 feet, near the town of Llano. That broke the record of 32.60 feet set on 9/10/1952, and caused the worst flooding in 100 years along the Llano. Three people perished in the flooding and many roads were impassable.


Several training thunderstorms moved through Needles, CA producing over an inch of rain in less than an hour causing roads to become flooded over much of the town. Several people were stranded for about two hours on Highway 95 between Ft. Mohave and Needles due to the flooding.


A postal delivery truck was struck by lightning at Venice, FL. The postman, who was slightly injured reported that he felt the hair on his arm stand up before the strike.


After going 15 years since its last tornado fatality, Nebraska recorded its second in as many days as a tornado killed a man near Coleridge. Even though Nebraska is in the middle of “tornado alley,” experiencing an average of 52 tornadoes per year, the state’s sparse population and tornado-wary citizenry help keep the death toll low each year.


Severe thunderstorms associated with a strong cold front affected parts of Germany. A tornado struck the village of Micheln injuring at least six people and tearing roofs from homes.


A new high temperature record was set in the country of Niger when the town of Bilmar hit 118.8°.


As intense heat wave baked parts of the Rockies. Las Animas tied the June state record in Colorado with a 114°.


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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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