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Weather History: June 5: Record temps, storms, tornadoes, tropics & flooding

Meteorological events that happened on June 5th:


A group of tornadoes tracked from southeast Missouri across the southern third of Illinois, and may also have moved into Indiana. These moved across the Mississippi River about 20 miles downstream from St. Louis, MO. Fish were reportedly "scattered all over the prairie" on the Illinois side of the river. Some pine tree tops, not native to that area of Illinois, were believed to have been blown in from at least 50 miles away. The easternmost documented damage was south of present-day Albion, in Edwards County. A straight line between these areas would indicate the tornadoes also tracked across present-day Mount Vernon, but an exact track could not be determined due to lack of settlements in the area at the time.


Widespread frost was reported from Iowa to New England, with the temperature dipping to the mid 20s in parts of New York State, and up to two inches of snow blanketed parts of Ohio.


Beginning the day before through this date, Helena, MT was deluged with 3.67 inches of rain to establish their all-time 24 hour rainfall record.


A tornado outbreak across Missouri and Arkansas killed 125 people. Warren, AR was devastated by a tornado that killed 83 people. 36 cities in Arkansas felt the wrath of the widespread tornado outbreak, including Little Rock, Hot Springs and Heber Springs, where 22 people died. The outbreak holds the record for the greatest number of killer tornadoes in a single state in one day at 18.


Residents near Topeka, KS reported disk-shaped hailstones 6 to 10 inches in diameter, and 2 to 3 inches thick. The hailstorm was accompanied by a tornado.

A tornado causing F4 damage killed 16 and injured 68 in Boone and Audrain counties in Missouri.


Washington, D.C. & Philadelphia, PA had their earliest triple digit readings on record.


Unusually cold air moved in to parts of the upper Midwest. Chicago, IL dropped to 37° after setting a record low the previous morning with 35° while Rockford, IL dropped to 35° on both mornings. Both 35 degree readings established June record lows.


When water began leaking from Idaho's new Teton Dam, there seemed to be no cause for alarm. On this date, warnings were frantic that the dam was about to break. As workers tried to shore up the crumbling dam, it crumbled shortly after 11am, sending 180 billion gallons of water pouring through Teton Canyon. 11 people lost their lives, but the toll would have been much higher if the dam had failed at night and residents had been asleep.


A severe thunderstorm containing large hail and damaging winds tore through Fall River County in extreme southwest South Dakota. Strong winds drove baseball sized hail through windows and severely dented mobile homes near Smithwick. In Butte County, also in southwest South Dakota, large hail up to baseball size and some jagged hailstones up to 7 inches in diameter piled up to half a foot deep. The large hail tore limbs from trees, punched holes in roofs, and killed cattle.


A persistent heat wave in the southeast states set many new high temperature records. In Montgomery, AL, the record high reading of 103° is also the hottest ever recorded this early in the season. At Tampa, FL, the 99° high temperature established a new all-time record high, dating back to 1890 when official weather records began.

Wichita Falls, TX reported 5.36 inches of rain, their greatest rainfall ever for a calendar day.


Unseasonable thunderstorms on this date and the 6th produced flash flooding, power outages, and many lightning induced fires in Los Angeles County of southern California, particularly in the Antelope Valley. Over half a million people were without power, some until the morning of the 8th.

International Falls, MN dipped to a record low reading of 34° while Williston, ND and Glasgow, MT reported record high temperatures of 94°.

Major flooding was reported along the Guadalupe River in South Texas, with the water level at Cuero reaching 18 feet above flood stage.


Many cities in the south central and eastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date, including Asheville, NC with a reading of 40°.

Many cities in the north central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. The high of 108° at Glasgow, MT was a record for June. Sheridan, WY had their earliest 100 degree day as they hit 101°.


Thunderstorms produced severe weather from the Lower Mississippi Valley to the Southern Atlantic Coast during the day and into the night. Four tornadoes were reported, along with 87 reports of large hail and damaging winds.


Severe thunderstorms dumped 5 to 7 inches of rain in less than 5 hours over parts of Osage County in Oklahoma. The hardest hit area was between Pawhuska and Shidler. Highway 60 west of Pawhuska was closed, and a few people were forced to evacuate their homes in Pawhuska. A severe thunderstorm produced wind gusts to 70 mph at the Scotts Bluff County airport in Nebraska.


An unusually strong late spring storm moved into California. 3.24 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Lake Gregory, 1.26 inches at Santa Ana, 0.91 inches at Riverside, 0.85 inches at Big Bear Lake and 0.76 inches at Los Angeles, each new rainfall records for June. This was only one of two days Fresno received more than an inch of rain with 1.30 inches. The other day was 6/6/1998 when 1.88 inches fell. An F0 tornado touched down in south Fresno. Lodgepole received 13 inches of snow, their biggest June snowfall on record while Mammoth Mountain Ski Area received over 12 inches of snow.

The lowest temperature for the month of June was recorded at Columbia, MO as they dropped to 40°.


An approaching cold front spawned thunderstorms over South Dakota and northern Nebraska. The storms rolled eastward into much of northwest Iowa creating small tornadoes and a lot of strong straight-line winds. The first report of severe weather came from Plymouth County. Winds of 70 to 80 mph toppled trees and caused damage to a farm about ten miles north of Sioux City. The storms then moved into Sioux City, uprooting trees and downing power lines. Also, a mobile home park was hit with high winds overturning several mobile homes. Two small tornadoes were spawned. One was near Galva in Ida County which caused minimal damage. The other touched down in Buena Vista County, just south of Sulphur Springs, where it destroyed a garage at a farm. The last report of damage was near Newell, where several trees were downed.


Hurricane Allison became the earliest hurricane on record to cross the Florida coast at when it came ashore in Taylor County at Apalachee Bay with 75 mph winds. Hardest hit was Dixie County, but damage was relatively minor. Minor storm surge flooding was reported along the eastern shoreline of Apalachee Bay. Minor wind damage was reported in northwest Florida.


An F1 tornado touched down near the town of New Hope, MS creating a path one mile long and 50 yards wide. 13 houses had major damage and another 129 homes had minor damage. 22 mobile homes were either damaged or destroyed. Damages were estimated near $250,000 dollars. Another F1 tornado created a path two miles long and 50 yards wide 10 miles southeast of Hattiesburg, MS. This tornado blew down trees and a couple of signs as well as part of a roof building. Numerous trees and power lines were blown down across Hattiesburg, MS blocking many of the roads and highways. Winds heavily damaged 25 homes and 25 mobile homes. 45 people were injured and two people were killed. The two fatalities were both in automobiles which ran into falling trees or the trees fell on them.


Winds gusting to 74 mph knocked down several trees throughout Groton. One tree took out a major transmission line and ripped the electrical service line off of a house. Power was out for parts of Groton for several hours. The high winds shattered the windows at a store on Main Street and also tore a sign loose which damaged five new vehicles at a dealership in Groton. The high winds also destroyed a small service building and the surrounding fence at a main juncture of natural gas pipelines in Groton. In Henry, winds around 70 mph brought several trees and many large tree branches down. Winds gusting to 80 mph snapped off several trees, blew a garage down, and brought power lines down in Hazel. In Watertown, winds gusted to over 70 mph, blowing a portion of a roof off a house and destroyed the attached garage on another house. Near Watertown, a pole barn was destroyed, a hay bale was blown into a basement window of a house and part of their deck was torn away. Near Florence, winds up to 80 mph tipped over and damaged a small shed, destroyed another storage shed, and also completely demolished a three stall garage.


Tropical Storm Allison sprang to life in the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall near Houston, TX with top winds of 60 mph. But the story did not end there. Allison dumped heavy rains all the way from the Texas coast to the northeast during a two week period, causing $2.5 billion dollars in damage. This made Allison the costliest tropical storm in U.S. history.

As the Northern Hemisphere is approaching summer, the Southern Hemisphere is coming up on their winter season. The warmest June day since 1957 pushed the temperature to 69.6° at Melbourne, Australia.


Tornadoes and nickel-sized hail hit the Edmonton, Alberta Canada area late in the afternoon. Residents observed one twister west of the city. A second tornado touched down south of Stony Plain. Heavy rain fell in the Edmonton neighborhood of Castle Downs: 2 inches in just 30 minutes.


Very heavy rains of 3 to 7 inches caused extensive flooding throughout Dewey County, South Dakota. Many roads, bridges, dams, culverts, along with some buildings were damaged or destroyed by the flooding. One man, west of Promise, used a boat to get back and forth from his ranch. A federal disaster declaration was issued for Dewey County and the Cheyenne River Reservation.


Several thousands of people were still stranded in northern Hungary as the flooding situation remained critical after over a month of near-continuous rainfall. Along the banks of the Hernad, Sajo and Boldva rivers some 2,300 people were evacuated due to the water flooding homes in the towns and villages in the northeast region. Over 12,000 police officers, soldiers and firemen are involved in the rescue operation, which has enjoyed a rare dry spell since Friday that is forecast to last for the next week. In Budapest the docks of the flooded river Danube were shut and the banks of Margaret island, a major tourist destination in the capital, were protected by sand bags.


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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