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Weather History: March 14: Record temps, storms, snow, wind & tornadoes

Meteorological events that happened on March 14th:

The amount of water that evaporates through the pores of plant leaves every year is roughly the same as that which flows through all of the earth's rivers combined.


The term "blizzard" was first applied to a storm which produced heavy snow and high winds in Minnesota and Iowa. The "new" word appeared in the "Easterville, Iowa Vindicator".


The worst blizzard in decades hit Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada pushing drifts six feet high.


A strong F3 tornado cut through the center of Nashville, TN. 1,400 homes were damaged or destroyed. Windows were blown out of the State Capitol Building. 11 people were killed and total damage was $1.5 million dollars.


Suffocating dust storms occurred frequently in southeast Colorado between the 12th and the 25th of the month. Six people died, and many livestock starved or suffocated. Up to six feet of dust covered the ground. Schools were closed, and many rural homes were deserted by tenants.


A single storm brought a record 21.6 inches of snow to Salt Lake City, UT.


Northern Georgia was between snowstorms. Gainesville, GA received 17 inches of snow during the month, and reported at least a trace of snow on the ground 22 days in March. Snow was on roofs in Hartwell, GA from the 2nd to the 29th.


A coastal storm dumped very heavy snow over northern New England. Caribou, ME received 28.6 inches of snow in 24 hours, by far its greatest 24-hour snowfall on record. 36 inches of snow fell at Telos Lake, ME. Some sections of Vermont received 30 inches and up to 26 inches fell in portions of New Hampshire.


Spokane, WA set the record for longest duration of snow cover at 107 straight days of at least 1 inch.


A powerful storm in the western U.S. produced 15 inches of snow in the Lake Tahoe Basin of Nevada, and wind gusts to 50 mph at Las Vegas, NV. Thunderstorms in the Sacramento Valley of California spawned a tornado which hit a turkey farm near the town of Corning.


Squalls in the Great Lakes Region continued to produce heavy snow in northwest Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, and produced up to 14 inches of snow in northeast Ohio. Poplar, WI reported 27 inches of snow in two days.


High winds in Colorado and Wyoming gusted above 120 mph at Horsetooth Heights, CO. High winds in the Central Plains sharply reduced visibilities in blowing dust as far east as Kansas City, MO. Winds gusting to 72 mph at Hill City, KS reduced the visibility to a city block in blowing dust. Soil erosion in northwest Kansas damaged nearly five million acres of wheat.


Many cities reported record high temperatures for the date as readings warmed into the 70s and 80s from the Gulf coast to the Great Lakes Region. Charleston, WV was the hot spot in the nation with a record high of 89°. It was the fourth of five consecutive days with record warm temperatures for many cities in the eastern U.S. There were 283 daily record highs reported in the central and eastern U.S. during between the 11th and the 15th of March.

Meanwhile further west, 60 tornadoes occurred across the central and southern plains states. Ten of the tornadoes were in Oklahoma, along with widespread large hail and high winds. One tornado touched down near Bradley, then struck the Noble area, just south of Norman. The stadiums press box at Noble High School was destroyed, as was the scoreboard. Several light poles were also snapped. A second tornado overturned a five-ton crane near Ratliff City, in Carter County. Hail larger than golf balls fell on many locations across Oklahoma and northern Texas.


The "Superstorm" was exiting the East Coast, leaving record low temperatures in its wake from Texas to Florida to the Great Lakes. Many cities had record low temperatures for the date including Birmingham, AL with 2°, shattering its previous March record low of 11°. Orlando, FL dropped to 33° to smash its old daily record low by nine degrees. It was also the coldest temperature ever recorded for so late in the season.

Grantsville, MD recorded a state record snowfall of 48 inches in less than 24 hours, beating the 44 inch record set only three months earlier during a December 1992 blizzard.


Marquette, MI was buried under 28 inches of snow for its greatest 24-hour snowfall on record. Overall, 32.4 inches fell. Snow depth reached 63 inches, also a new record for the city. Rochester, MN measured 12.6 inches from the storm to push its seasonal snowfall total to 78.1 inches; its snowiest winter ever. Green Bay, WI recorded 17.5 inches and Wautoma, WI checked in with 28 inches.


Choking sandstorms battered the Middle East, claiming four lives, leaving 29 people injured, and forcing the Suez Canal, airports and seaports to close.


The fourth longest streak of sub-freezing days in the history of Fairbanks, AK came to an end at 139 days.


A tropical depression dropped 8.93 inches of rain in 24 hours at Ouanaham, Lifou of the French Loyalty Islands in the south Pacific. Their average March rainfall is 6.50 inches.


A severe thunderstorm hit Canberra, Australia during the evening dumping 1.49 inches of rain in just one hour. Their average March rainfall is 2.07 inches. March 2003 in Canberra was notable for the high frequency of thunderstorms: thunder was heard on nine days at the airport, the most March thunder days on record.


Concord, New Hampshire's temperature soared to a record high of 74°. This occurred less than one week after a record low temperature of -7° on March 8; an 81 degree temperature swing in six days.

A rare winter storm drops as much as 4 inches of snow on parts of Jordan in the Middle East, closing roads, schools and businesses. Most banks and some government offices close in Amman within hours of opening.


Tornadic winds rushed through downtown Atlanta, GA shortly before 10 pm damaging the Georgia Dome where the SEC men's basketball tournament was underway.


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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