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Weather History: June 3: Record temps, storms, tornadoes, snow, wind & tropics

Meteorological events that happened on June 3rd:


The Great Camanche Tornado or the Great Tornado of the Northwest was actually a group of tornadoes that moved across Iowa and Illinois. It was one of the most damaging group of tornadoes ever to strike the US and resulted in more farm fatalities than any other tornado except for the TriState tornado. The town of Camanche, IA on the Mississippi River was completely destroyed. The greatest death toll of 124 people occurred in an area extending from near Cedar Rapids, IA, to Albany, IL. A total of 175 people were killed and 329 were injured. Total damage was $945,000 dollars.

Several tornadoes struck northern Illinois killing 100 people and injuring 220 others. The death toll included 23 people on a raft which was destroyed as a tornado moved across the Mississippi River. The twisters destroyed numerous businesses and farms and even threw several homes into the Mississippi River where 10 occupants drowned.


A tornado or waterspout touched down on the Wabash River, about 5 miles north of its mouth with the Ohio River. Three people drowned when a boat was overturned at Old Shawneetown.


The widest-known tornado in Europe raced across Javaugues, France. Although the path length was only 4.4 miles long, it was 3,270 yards wide. Remarkably, there was only one fatality.


Seattle, WA received their heaviest ever 24-hour June rainfall as 1.42 inches fell.


A cloudburst near Pikes Peak, CO killed 120 people. Pueblo, CO was flooded by a 25 foot crest of the Arkansas River, killing 70 people. 14 inches of rain was reported at Boggs Flat, where a hard surface road through nearly level country was washed out to a depth of 7 feet.


Sheridan, WY dropped to 27°; their coldest June temperature on record. Denver, CO received a trace of snow.


Thunderstorms in northwestern Kansas produced up to 18 inches of hail near Salden during the early evening. Crops were completely destroyed, and total damage from the storm was about half a million dollars. Hail fell for a record 85 minutes. The temperature dropped from near 80° prior to the storm to 38° at the height of the storm.


Edmonton, Alberta's Municipal Airport in Canada broke their high temperature record for June when the mercury soared to 94°.


Severe thunderstorms erupted across central sections of South Dakota. During the evening hours the storms stretched from the southern border to the northern border of the state and were packing strong winds and large hail. In several areas, including Mobridge, hail as large as baseballs did damage to crops, homes, and vehicles and in some areas piled up to two feet deep. Strong thunderstorm winds also uprooted trees, and damaged numerous farm buildings. Numerous funnels and small tornadoes were observed, including three in Charles Mix County, but little additional damage occurred. Four small tornadoes touched down very late in the day. One landed in a park near Elk Point, SD that damaged a house and trees. Another tornado touched down four miles southeast of Le Mars which lifted a car off the road and uprooted trees. The third tornado was five miles southeast of Le Mars and it destroyed four farm buildings. Finally, the fourth twister destroyed two livestock sheds and damaged two grain bins in McNally southeast of Hawarden.


The Grand Island, NE area was plagued by a slow moving supercell thunderstorm that produced 7 tornadoes over a 3-hour period. One of the twisters was an F4 while 3 others rated as F3’s. Five fatalities and 193 injuries resulted from the storm. Damage exceeded $300 million dollars.

Damaging thunderstorms marched across southeastern Pennsylvania during the afternoon accompanied by high winds. Reading reported a wind gust to 70 mph and Allentown gusted to 69 mph. Thousands of trees were felled. One man was killed when a tree fell on his pick-up truck in Philadelphia. Many roads were completely blocked by fallen trees.


The worst tornado to ever hit Denver, CO struck Thornton. Coming from the same thunderstorm, the Thornton tornado tore a swath through the heart of the city. 87 homes were destroyed and 110 others sustaining at least moderate damage. In all, 600 homes in a 100 block area sustained some damage. The twister also hit shopping centers, several restaurants and other buildings. Seven of the 42 injured were serious. The storm was strong enough to snap lamp posts in half and drive a 6-inch slab of wood two feet into the ground. Damage was estimated up to $50 million dollars.


Alberto was a minimal hurricane west of the Florida Keys for about six hours on this date, before gradually dissipating off the southwest coast on the 6th. Maximum winds observed at a land station were 70 mph at Dry Tortugas at 1800z on this date, with the center less than 20 miles from the island. Key West measured 6.25 inches of rain during the 24 hours ending at 1200z on the 4th. Two tornadoes occurred in the lower Keys, producing the only damage from the storm. The lower Keys were the only parts of Florida directly affected by Alberto.


Six days of flooding in South Texas culminated with 5 to 6 inches of rain from Bexar to Bandera County, and 5 to 9 inches rains in Gonzalez and Wilson Counties. Total crop damage was estimated at $500 million dollars.

Four tornadoes were reported in Virginia. Quantico, VA received 2.40 inches of rain in one hour. Potomac, MD was deluge


Early morning thunderstorms in southern Texas produced wind gusts to 86 mph at Port Isabel, and wind gusts to 83 mph at South Padre Island.


Thunderstorms developing over the Southern Plains Region during the afternoon hours produced severe weather into the night. Thunderstorms spawned 11 tornadoes with 169 reports of large hail and damaging winds. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 80 mph at Newcastle and Wilson, OK. Softball size hail was reported at Monahans, Childress and Groesbeck, TX. Monahans, TX reported $6 million dollars damage. Five inches of rain deluged Geronimo, OK.

Fort Wayne, IN set a June 24-hour rainfall record as 4.40 inches fell.


Deep low pressure across the upper Great Lakes brought strong southwest winds to the extreme western end of New York. Peak gusts of 63 mph at Niagara Falls and 59 mph at Buffalo were recorded. Several cars were damaged when large tree limbs, and in two cases uprooted trees, fell on them. About 6,000 were without power as many scattered power outages were reported. A local public television station was knocked off the air for just over an hour when falling trees disrupted power to their transmitter. Wind damage was reported in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Grand Island, Batavia, Medina, Dunkirk and Chautauqua.


Early morning severe thunderstorms dumped huge hailstones across northern Oklahoma. Hail up to 6 inches in diameter in Enid went through roofs of homes, damaged three jets at Vance Air Force Base, and did $500,000 in damage at a car dealership. Winds gusts reached 70 mph at Vance Air Force Base as well. Hail damage to the wheat crop was estimated at $70 million dollars.

Heavy snow blanketed the higher elevations of west central Wyoming. Worthen Reservoir west of Lander picked up a foot of new snow.


Hurricane Allison formed in the northwest Caribbean Sea and moved north through the eastern Gulf of Mexico, weakening to tropical storm strength before crossing the coast at St. Teresa, near Alligator Point in the Florida Big Bend area at 0900z on the 5th. At landfall, maximum sustained winds were 69 mph with a minimum central pressure of 990 millibars. Maximum rainfall amounts were between 4 and 6 inches. Storm surge heights were estimated at 6 to 8 feet from Dixie through Wakulla counties. Damage was greatest in the coastal sections of Levy, Dixie, Taylor and

Wakulla counties, mainly from storm surge effects, with 60 homes and businesses damaged. About 5,000 people evacuated from the coast. Most beach erosion was minor, except locally heavy in Pinellas County, with damage to sea walls and coastal roadways.

Several small boats were sunk. Four confirmed tornadoes, associated with outer rainbands, touched down in Polk, Duval and Nassau counties. Otherwise, minor wind damage to roofs, signs, power lines and trees occurred over north Florida. Total storm damage in Florida was estimated at $860,000 dollars.

This was the beginning of our current multi-decadal period. The 1995 Atlantic Hurricane Season went down in the record books as one of the busiest hurricane seasons since 1871. There were a total of 19 named storms, 11 of which reached hurricanes.

Heavy rain resulted in significant flooding in Wheatland, WY, with water up to 3 feet deep reported on some streets.


It was a chilly day in the East. The high temperature at Philadelphia International Airport, PA was only 59°, tying a record-low maximum for the date set back in 1881. The mercury at Middletown, PA only rose to 58°, breaking the record-low maximum for the date of 59° set back in 1915. Washington D.C. only reached 58°, breaking the old record-low maximum of 59° set back in 1915. At Williamsport, PA, the high temperature of 52° tied the old record-low maximum, which was set in back in 1945. Central Park in New York City only reached 61°.


June snow in Southern California is a rare event, only occurring in the mountains of Los Angeles County a few times in recorded history. On this date, light snow was reported at Frazier Park, north of Los Angeles. The snow melted on contact with the ground and there was no accumulation. Three inches of snow was reported at Mt. Laguna and one inch at Wrightwood. The high temperature at Mount Wilson, CA was only 38°, breaking the record for the coldest high temperature in June of 43° set back in June 1968. Palomar Mountain and Mt. Laguna only reached afternoon highs of 42°.


An impressive heat burst at Amarillo, TX caused the temperature to jump to 90° at 3:21 am. The heat burst was accompanied by winds of 55 mph.


As low pressure moved east from the western Great lakes, the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry moved northeast from the Carolinas. Severe thunderstorms developed along a lake breeze over Niagara County in western New York State. The thunderstorm winds downed trees and power lines in North Tonawanda and Lockport. As the localized storms crossed the Finger Lakes region, several inches of rain fell in a short amount of time washing out roads and driveways.


Across western Canada, Victoria, British Columbia's temperature reached 86° for the second straight day. Across the waters, the mercury also climbed to 86° in downtown Vancouver.


An EF-1 water spout-turned-tornado struck the Australian coastal town of Lennox Head in northern New South Wales. Unseasonably warm ocean temperatures created a pocket of warm air which collided with a cold air mass, leading to a cluster of severe thunderstorms that spawned the twister. This was an extremely unusual event, as it occurred during austral winter and the region's severe thunderstorm season is typically November - April. With wind speeds reaching more than 90mph, dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed.


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