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Weather History: March 9: Record temps, storms, snow, wind, quake & flooding

Meteorological events that happened on March 9th:


On this date through the 13th, a blizzard struck southern England and Wales with gale force winds. 220 people were killed; 65 ships foundered in the English Channel and 6,000 sheep perished. Countless trees were uprooted and trains buried. Up to a foot of snow and snowdrifts of 11.5 feet were reported at Dulwich, London, Torquay, Sidmouth and Dartmouth.


The coldest temperature ever was recorded on the island of Puerto Rico as the town of Aibonito, elevation 1,998 feet dropped to 40°.


Dodge City, KS set its all-time 24-hour snowfall record as 17.5 inches fell.


Two major rainstorms combined with melting snow caused severe flooding in New England. $100 million dollars in damage resulted with 24 deaths.


The temperature at Lac Frontiere, ME fell to -40°. This is the coldest ever March reading in New England. Boston, MA recorded a barometric pressure reading of 31.02 inHg. Further south, Baltimore, MD and Philadelphia, PA recorded high barometer readings of 30.96 inHg. Further west, Grand Rapids, MI fell to -13°; a March record low.


367 inches of snow was measured on the ground at the Rainier Paradise Ranger Station in Washington. The snow depth was a state record and the second highest total of record for the continental U.S.


An earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale struck the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. A Pacific-wide tsunami was generated that caused $5 million dollars of damage in Hawaii, but fortunately, no lives were lost. Hardest hit was the island of Kauai, where houses were damaged and roads washed away. Waves reached 52.5 feet high at Haena, HI.


A winter storm produced a narrow band of heavy snow from north central Kentucky into Virginia and the mountains of North Carolina. Snowfall amounts ranged from 12 to 24 inches, with drifts up to 11 feet high in western Virginia. Morristown, TN reported 22 inches and 18 inches at Bowling Green, KY, both state records for 24-hour snowfall.


Temperatures plunged 50 degrees from the previous day's readings across the north central U.S. behind an arctic cold front. Northeast winds behind the front gusted as high as 60 mph, raising 8 to 15 foot waves on Lake Michigan. The battering waves caused significant damage totaling more than a million dollars along the shores of southeastern Wisconsin.


A cold front brought high winds to the southwestern U.S. Winds in the Las Vegas Valley of Nevada gusted to 70 mph, with one injury.


Many cities in the southwestern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date. In New Mexico, afternoon highs of 72° at Los Alamos, 76° at Ruidoso, and 79° at Quemado, were records for March.


Evening thunderstorms produced severe weather in West Texas. Thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 71 mph at Lubbock, and golf ball size hail at several other locations. Strong thunderstorm winds injured 2 people north of the town of Canyon.


Unusual late-winter warmth occurred at Cincinnati, OH. For the first nine days of the month, the temperature averaged 58.7°, which was an astounding 21 degrees above normal for the period. The temperature reached 70° or higher on five of the nine days, the earliest that has ever occurred there.


Scientists discovered that reflected sunlight off a full moon actually causes the Earth to be warmed by an amount equal to 0.09°.


Destructive cold temperatures occurred across Alabama and Georgia affected fruit crops and most vegetables. Low temperatures over these regions were in the single digits in the north, low teens across central portions and mid to upper teens in the south. These temperatures were cold enough to wipe out any fruit crops that had reached the blooming stage.


A daily record low of 25° at Houston, TX was 5 degrees below the previous record.

High winds reaching 40 mph lashed Victoria, British Columbia and south Vancouver Island Canada. Trees were toppled and 15,000 people were without power.


Severe flooding struck South Alabama after overnight storms dump as much as 12 inches of rain in some locations. The small town of Elba, AL suffered severe flooding with the downtown entirely under water after a levee gave way. At least two people died and over 2,000 people were evacuated.


In Washington, D.C., schools and some government offices closed as 7 to 12 inches of snow from a "surprise" storm covered the streets and made travel hazardous. The northern side of Baltimore received only 2 inches of snow while Charlottesville and Richmond received very light accumulations. The heavier than expected snow surprised forecasters who had called for 2 to 4 inches.


The rain-swollen Tisza River at Zahony, Hungary reached its highest level in 100 years peaking at 25 feet. 20 villages are evacuated and more than 30,000 individuals fled their homes.


A powerful wind storm blasted across southern Ontario Canada. Wind gusts to 86 mph snapped tree branches, toppled signs, and caused power outages and accidents. Snow squalls created whiteout conditions as temperatures plummeted from 70° to 19° in just a few hours.


Residents of New Brunswick, Canada arose to a fierce battering of rain, wind and snow. At St. Leonard, 19.7 inches of snow fell while St. John saw 1.10 inches of rain. Moncton reported wind gusts up to 70 mph. Nearly 25,000 customers across the province lost power during the storm.

In the west coast town of Greymouth, New Zealand, a tornado cut a 1,000 feet wide path of destruction through the town. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.


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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