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Weather History: March 29: Record temps, snow, storms, tornadoes & flooding

Meteorological events that happened on March 29th:


A great tide from a coastal storm overflowed Long Beach Island, NJ. The water drowned many cattle. The storm buffeted many ships at sea.


Niagara Falls eased to a trickle during the late afternoon and then was "silent" for 30 hours. This is the only time in recorded history that both falls stopped flowing. An ice jam at the neck of Lake Erie and the Niagara River entrance between Fort Erie, Ontario Canada, and Buffalo, NY, was caused by wind, waves, and lake currents. Most noticeably absent was the roaring sound of the absent falls. People even ventured into the gorge, discovering relics like weapons from War of 1812.


The highest temperature for the month of March was recorded as San Diego, CA soared to 99°.


Atlanta, GA set a rainfall record with 7.36 inches in 24 hours.


A late-season snow storm buried Clear Spring, MD under 31 inches of snow in 24 hours establishing a state record at that time.


The beautiful early spring weather in Washington, D.C. came to an abrupt end as the temperature plummeted from 82° to 29° in just one day.


A severe dust storm blanketed Amarillo, TX for 84 hours. During a six hour period the visibility was near zero.


The "Palm Sunday Snowstorm" buried Baltimore, MD under 21.9 inches of snow in 24 hours. This was the heaviest 24 hour snowfall ever for the city for the month of March as well as the heaviest snow for so late in the season.

Washington, D.C. reported their greatest 24-hour March snowfall of 11.3 inches. Clear Spring, MD had 31 inches to set Maryland’s state record for heaviest 24-hour snowfall. Snowfall totals varied considerably across the Washington, D.C. area. College Park, MD received 15 inches and Tacoma Park and Silver Spring, MD received just over 18 inches. Further north, Laurel, MD received 20.3 inches. An impressive 32 inches of snow fell at Westminster, MD. Up to 40 inches fell at State College, PA: their greatest storm total on record.


A ridge of high pressure off the southeast coast continued to bring unseasonably warm weather to the Mid-Atlantic and northeast. Providence, RI and Baltimore, MD hit 90°, Philadelphia, PA topped at 87° & Boston MA soared to 86°, establishing March records. Other record highs included: Atlantic City, NJ: 87°, Allentown, PA: 86°, Trenton, NJ: 86°, Wilmington, DE: 85° and Mt. Pocono, PA: 79°.


A southwesterly Chinook wind gusted to 52 mph at Denver, CO. These winds pushed the temperature to 79° tying the daily record high.


In the Netherlands, the hottest Dutch temperature in March was recorded as the thermometer soared to 78° in the towns of Gemert and Venlo.


The largest official hailstone ever recorded in Florida measuring 3.5 inches across, fell in Walton County.


Hartford, CT hit 87° to establish a March record.

Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix in the Virgin Islands recorded their all-time lowest temperature with 60°.


Heavy rains produced mudslides in Natchez, MS. The slides covered two buildings on Silver Street, killing three people and injuring four others.


A strong nor'easter battered New England. The central pressure of the storm dropped to 963 millibars (equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane) over the Atlantic east of New Jersey. Winds gusted to 108 mph at Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, MA and to 97 mph at Martha's Vineyard. 8 to 16 inches of heavy wet snow fell in interior southern New England. Numerous thunderstorms also accompanied this spring blizzard. One thunderstorm produced a microburst at Southborough, MA which flattened about five acres of red pines; a most unusual occurrence for a nor'easter.


Thunderstorms spawned tornadoes in Mississippi, and produced high winds and heavy rain in Louisiana. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 92 mph at Houma, LA, and caused a million dollars damage in Terrebonne Parish. Avondale, LA was deluged with 4.52 inches of rain.


Severe thunderstorms in the Lower Mississippi Valley spawned a tornado which injured two people at Bunkie, LA, and produced high winds which down a large tree onto a trailer at Bastrop, LA claiming the life of one child and injuring another.


A stalled line of thunderstorms produced heavy rains and flash flooding in northeastern Texas. More than 70 bridges were washed out or damaged beyond repair. 14.16 inches of rain fell at Longview, TX. More than 11 inches of rain at Henderson, TX causing a dam to give way, and people left stranded in trees had to be rescued by boat. Total damage in northeastern Texas was estimated between $10 to $16 million dollars.


Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front produced severe weather in southeastern Texas and southern Louisiana. Thunderstorms spawned seven tornadoes, including one which injured seven people at Gray, LA. Thunderstorms also produced golf ball size hail and wind gusts to 70 mph at Port O'Conner, TX, and produced up to 6 inches of rain in Beauregard Parish, LA.


An F1 tornado struck Munford, AL just before sunrise, destroying eight mobile homes. A family of four was killed when their trailer home sailed airborne. Overall five people lost their lives.


A severe thunderstorm dumped 0.73 inches of rain in a little over an hour at the National Weather Service Office in San Antonio, TX. This brought their monthly rainfall to 6.11 inches and this set a new monthly record for rainfall in March. They would finish the month at 6.12 inches. The old record was 5.91 inches set back in 1921.


Widespread severe weather across Oklahoma and western north Texas caused extensive damage on this date and the following day. In Oklahoma, baseball size hail, flash flooding, and high winds caused $1 to 2 million dollars in damage in the town of Waurika. Several weak tornadoes also caused damage in Lincoln and McClain Counties. Over western north Texas, hail larger than baseballs fell at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, and baseball size hail fell in Crowell.


2.9 inches of snow fell on this day at Newark, NJ bringing their seasonal snowfall to 77.7 inches. This broke the old seasonal snowfall record of 75.2 inches that had stood for 128 years.


The eastern seaboard was in the midst of an early spring heat wave courtesy of a southwesterly flow from high pressure off the southeast coast. Temperatures reached the 70s to southern Maine and the 80s to southern New England. Dulles Airport in northern Virginia set a record high of 86°.

75% of the small town of Comfrey, MN was devastated by an F4 tornado that was 1.5 miles wide. St. Peter, MN was hit by an F3 tornado.


A severe thunderstorm moved from Fredericksburg, VA to La Plata, MD between 5 and 7pm ET. Trees were downed in Fredericksburg and quarter sized hail fell near Stafford, VA. The storm strengthened rapidly as it pushed east across the Potomac River. In Charles County, MD, two tornado touchdowns were reported. Near La Plata, a weak F0 briefly touched down just west and again just east of town. Minor tree damage was reported.


The high temperature at Bakersfield, CA hit 94°. This marked the 17th time this March the temperature reached or exceeded 80°, setting a new record.


A late season winter storm brought impressive 24 to 48 hour snow totals to the southern Sierra Nevada and the Kern County Mountains in California. The town of Lodgepole received 34 inches, while 52 inches fell at Big Meadows and 55 inches at Kaiser Point. The town of Piute received 15 inches.

In Canada, most of southern Ontario from Windsor to North Bay and east to the Ottawa Valley lied under a pall of summer-style smog as warm temperatures with southwesterly winds prevailed.


In Illinois, at Carbondale Community High School's first home track meet of the season, a lightning bolt killed an 18-year old.


Spring arrived across parts of the Prairies in central and western Canada. Estevan, Saskatchewan takes the top spot at 69°F, making it the hot spot in the nation. Melita, Manitoba and Weyburn, Saskatchewan soared to 68°F while Winnipeg, Manitoba set a record high of 65°F.

A tornado touched down in at least two places on Grand Bahama Island. One storm uprooted several trees near the tourist area of Freeport and flipped cars and damaged buildings.


In the California high country, Boreal Ski Resort's total snowfall for this season tallied a record 766 inches to date with the season far from over. Over 61 feet of snow fell in the Sierra high country to date this snow season with records already set at many ski resorts, including Squaw Valley where nearly 59 feet.


On this date through the 30th, a tropical area of low pressure brought widespread flooding to parts of Fiji. Among the hardest hit was the western side of the main island Viti Levu. Nandi, home to Fiji's International Airport, received over 11 inches) of rain.


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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