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Weather History: June 8: Record temps, wind, storms, tornadoes, tropics & floods

Meteorological events that happened on June 8th:


A killing frost occurred at Fargo, ND. This date remains the latest on record.


Residents in Oklahoma who were in the right place at the right time, were treated to a rare spectacle, a total eclipse of the sun. The narrow path of totality extended roughly from near Alva, to Enid, to Henryetta, to Poteau, with Oklahoma City and Tulsa being near the south and north edges of the path. Totality lasted about a minute in Oklahoma. This was the last total solar eclipse to be visible from anywhere in the Oklahoma and north Texas area. Local residents who do not want to travel very far to see one, will have to wait until April 8, 2024, for the next one in this area.


Yosemite Valley, CA plunged to 14°; their coldest June temperature on record.


Two inches of snow fell at Billings, MT. This is their latest measurable snowfall on record. The high for the day was only 42°, a record low maximum.


Two tornadoes, one rated F4 and the other F2, were caught on 16mm film at Corn, OK. This was the first film ever taken of a tornado in the U.S.


The worst tornado in Michigan's history struck the city of Flint. The F5 tornado was part of the worst weather system to affect the United States in the deadly year of 1953. The next day, the same storm system would produce another deadly tornado that would devastate Worcester, MA. The Flint tornado was one half mile wide and killed 116 people, the last single tornado to kill more than 100 people in the United States.


A tropical storm moved in from the Gulf of Mexico and crossed northwest Florida, spawning a tornado outbreak and flooding rainfall. Five people drown in the Gulf of Mexico when a small fishing vessel capsized in high seas. A shrimp boat was sunk off Ft. Myers, and several other boats were driven ashore south of Tampa. At least 9 Tornadoes were reported in Alachua, Marion, Clay, Putnam, and Duval counties (Jacksonville area). Tornadoes damaged roofs and uprooted trees. Heavy rains of up to 19" in 48 hours caused much local flooding and considerable agricultural damage, closed many roads and washed out several small bridges. Two hundred people were evacuated from flooded residential areas in Taylor County.


In Montana, the Gibson Dam, which feeds the Sun River, overflowed. The result was 34 deaths due to drowning.


Legend said that Burnett's Mound would always protect the city of Topeka, KS from tornadoes. That legend was debunked when an F5 tornado destroyed a large part of Topeka. 820 homes were destroyed and 16 people killed. The twister passed directly over Burnett's Mound. It was the first tornado to produce $100 million in damage. Television station WIBW covered a tornado live, dispatching crews to the southwest of Topeka, KS when the tornado warning was issued. Newscaster Bill Kurtis would be lauded for sounding the alarm with urgent warnings as the tornado cut a path across the city. The death toll would certainly have been higher without the station's coverage.

Alma, the second earliest hurricane on record to cross the Florida coastline, moved northward out of the Caribbean Sea and through the Gulf of Mexico from 20 to 60 miles off the west coast before making landfall near Alligator Point on the afternoon of the 9th. Highest winds of 125 mph and lowest pressure, 28.65 inHg, were reported at Dry Tortugas on the afternoon of the 8th. Sustained winds remained below hurricane force at all reporting stations in Florida except in a small area around Alligator Point where winds were estimated between 75 and 90 mph. Storm tides along the Gulf Coast ranged from two to 3 feet above normal in the Keys to 7 to 10 feet above normal between about New Port Richey and St. Marks. Part of the fishing village of Cedar Key was inundated by rising tides and wave action. Rainfall ranged from 2-4 inches on the southwest peninsula and north of Lake Okeechobee to 5-8 inches in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. There was no serious flooding from rainfall in the state. Principal damages were downed utility lines, beach erosion and salt water flooding. Agriculture sustained some damage, notably the late season vegetables in the central Gulf coast counties and the tobacco crop, both fine cured and shade grown, in north Florida. There were four tornadoes reported in the state; two in Dade County and two in the Marianna area. Four other tornado-like storms were reported; three in the Sarasota area between 1030 and l100 pm on the 8th and one near Jacksonville on the afternoon of the 9th. Eight deaths were attributed to Alma.


Severe thunderstorms spawned up to 26 tornadoes in Oklahoma during the afternoon and evening hours. One of the tornadoes struck the town Drumright killing 16 people and injuring 150 others. Thunderstorms in Tulsa also produced as much as 10 inches of rain. Overall, 26 twisters were reported, 22 in Oklahoma and four in Kansas.Total damage from the storms was around $30 million dollars. It was the worst natural disaster of record for Tulsa. The NWS office at Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma City was damaged by the storm. Two F3 tornadoes ravaged the city of Tulsa.

A late spring storm dumped 1.79 inches of rain at Denver, CO causing local flooding. Strong gusty winds of over 55 mph accompanied the storm downing some trees and power lines. There was also a trace of snow reported at the airport with snow reported in the suburbs south of Denver. Some people were stranded in the mountains west of Denver. Denver tied a record low of 37° and a record low maximum of 50°.


A hailstorm covered the ground across a swath up to 7 miles wide and 80 miles long in southeastern Wisconsin. Snowplows had to be called out to clear the roads.

High winds and hail struck northeastern Illinois during the afternoon. Winds of 60 mph and large hail caused the tower at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to be abandoned for the first time in its history.

It was a chilly morning across pasts of the Blue Ridge in Virginia. Naked Creek & Luray, VA dropped to 31° and Dulles Airport dropped to 36°.


Severe thunderstorms in northeast and central Illinois produced hail the size of grapefruits at Kankakee. One tornado traveled along a 77 mile intermittent path from Brooklyn, in Schuyler County, east-southeastward to near Springfield. A second tornado was on the ground intermittently for 80 miles, originating southeast of Pekin and traveling to Mahomet, northwest of Champaign. Minor damage resulted from both tornadoes.


Violent early morning thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 80 mph which caused considerable structural damage and power outages in Topeka, KS and Kansas City, MO.

In Callaway County, Missouri, a severe thunderstorm dropped hail that measured up to 4 inches in diameter. Severe winds reached 100 mph in Randolph county, MO.


Record cold prevailed across parts of Michigan. Sault St. Marie dropped to 28° and Alpena fell to 30°; both establishing record lows for the date.


An F3 tornado tracked 68 miles through Price and Oneida Counties in Wisconsin. Two people were killed and 42 were injured. Damage was set at $6 million dollars. Huge hailstones, up to 6 inches in diameter, accompanied the tornado.

The high of 110° tied the all-time high at Garden City, KS while Osage, IA set their all-time June record with 101°.


Thunderstorms in the northeastern U.S. produced large hail and damaging winds in Vermont injuring two persons. Thunderstorms in Ohio produced wind gusts to 75 mph near Akron, and deluged Pittsfield with two inches of rain in 30 minutes.

Torrential rains produced extensive flooding across Denver, CO. Lightning hit a power plant in Denver that supplied electricity to storm drain pumps which exacerbated flooding in some areas. Up to 2 inches of rain fell in many areas. Lakewood, CO received 2.25 inches in about two hours and 1.62 inches of rain fell in just one hour at the airport.


Overnight thunderstorms in Iowa produced 5.20 inches of rain at Coon Rapids. Thunderstorms in the Florida Keys drenched Tavernier with 7.16 inches of rain in 24 hours.


Thunderstorms produced severe weather over the Central Gulf Coast Region during the day and evening. Severe thunderstorms spawned 17 tornadoes, including one which injured 10 people and caused a million dollars damage at Orange Beach, AL. Thunderstorm winds gusting to 90 mph killed three people and injured four others at Mobile, AL. Thunderstorms also deluged Walnut Hill, FL and Avalon Beach, FL with 8 inches of rain. 8 tornadoes struck southeastern Louisiana during the early morning hours. A strong F2 tornado hit Baton Rouge and damaged 60 homes and 35 mobile homes. 60 people were injured. A tornado destroyed or damaged 27 homes, trailers and businesses, and a dozen vehicles and boats at Apalachicola Bay, FL. 60 acres of trees were destroyed. Three people in a frame house were killed when thrown 500 feet.


Two-day total rainfall topped 30 inches at Bombay, India. This was the heaviest in four decades.


Severe thunderstorms moved across northern and central Illinois during the early evening hours. The storms produced winds near 70 mph south of Springfield and west of Pawnee. A small tornado developed from the system and moved through Illiopolis, damaging over 5 dozen buildings. Other tornadoes touched down near Decatur and Champaign.

An F2 tornado struck four farmsteads, damaging one severely, just southeast of Osage, IA. Several small out buildings and barns were damaged but the farm houses were spared. Two F0 tornadoes touched down in Olmsted County, MN in Dover and Pleasant Grove, three F0 tornadoes in Mower County, Minnesota in Dexter and just south of Leroy and Grand Meadow, and an F0 tornado touched down ten miles south of Spring Valley. On this same date, 18 other tornadoes touched down in Wisconsin. Prairie du Chien, WI had 3.22 inches of rain.


Classic supercell thunderstorms spawned 21 tornadoes in the north Texas Panhandle. 5 of the tornadoes were rated F4 on the Fujita scale, one which tracked through the center of Pampa injuring 7 people and causing $30 million in damages. The Project Vortex team (20 vehicles, including a state of the art truck-mounted Doppler Radar, and two P3 aircrafts) were all over the storms, collecting an incredible storm dynamics, structure, and environment data set, on the last day of the two year funded project no less. The team witnessed one of the F4 tornadoes near Allison, and said it was one of biggest and meanest appearing tornadoes they had ever seen.

At Crane, TX, four inch diameter hail fell for 10 minutes.


A 16 year old male received an indirect lightning strike. He was taken to Ward Memorial Hospital at Monahans, MS and transferred to Odessa Medical Center for testing, and was released late that night. The boy and his mother were walking across their porch leaving the house when lightning struck a metal pipe along the side of the house. The boy was struck in the head by a glancing blow from the bolt, knocked to the ground, but sustained no burns. He was dazed but never lost consciousness; said he remembered feeling the shock as the bolt went through his body. They said the lightning came seemingly from nowhere as all the previous thunder had seemed quite distant. Light rain was falling at the time of the incident.


Heavy rain and large hail caused flooding and flash flooding in parts of Colorado. In Golden, heavy rains triggered a small mudslide. Automated rain gauges measured 2 to 3 inches of rain in an hour. Numerous streets were inundated with 1 to 3 feet of water and hail. Many windows in home and auto were shattered by the large hail.


Denver recorded two records for the date. The low of 31° established a record low for the date and became the latest freeze on record.


After heavy rains and severe weather the previous day, a lingering warm front across upper Midwest lead to further storm development on this date, resulting in more heavy rains. This rainfall exasperated the already dangerous flooding conditions across parts of southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and southwest into central Wisconsin ¦resulting in a flood of historic proportions. Many roads were already closed from the previous days rain due to water over the roadways, mudslides, or partial washouts. Rains on this date worsened the conditions, leading to more road closures, sandbagging, and some evacuations. Some area rivers responded with a foot per hour rises, while others eventually exceeded their river gauges ability to record the river levels. These gauges were under water themselves. All-time record crests were set at a few locations, with top five records at many others. A listing of some of the record crests with all-time rank, at the time of this event: Upper Iowa River at Dorchester 22.5 feet (all-time record) and Decorah 17.9 feet (all-time record), The Turkey River at Elkader 30.9 feet (all-time record), El Dorado 22.11 feet (all-time record), and Garber 29.13 feet (4th highest on record), The Cedar River at Charles City 25.55 feet (all-time record), The Kickapoo River at La Farge 15.88 feet (all-time record), Viola 21.25 feet (all-time record), Readstown 19.65 feet (all-time record), Soldiers Grove 21.21 feet (2nd highest on record), Gays Mills 20.44 feet (all-time record), and Steuben 19.15 feet (all-time record). Two-day rainfall amounts totaled from generally from 4 to 7 inches.


Vostok, Antarctica shivered with a late autumn low of -108°.


A flash flood swept away a municipal worker helping in evacuation efforts in Turkey's biggest city Istanbul. Heavy rains, which have been pounding the city since the weekend, caused a river on the city's Asian side to burst its banks, inundating dozens of houses.

At least 12 people have died and five are missing after a packed ferry capsized in storms in north-east Bangladesh. The ferry was carrying about 35 passengers including many school children. The accident took place in Sunamganj district, about 87 miles north of Dhaka.


A "heat burst" hit Wichita, KS near midnight as the temperature jumped from around 80° to 100°, then back down. The relative humidity dipped from around 55% to 7%, then back up, all in less than two hours.


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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