Meteorological events that happened on May 1st:
Which state has the warmer all-time high temperature record, Alaska or Hawaii? It is a tie. The warmest temperature ever recorded in Alaska is 100° which occurred 6/27/1915 at Fort Yukon. The warmest temperature on record for Hawaii is also 100° which was set on 4/27/1931 at Pahala. Record low temperatures are a different story. The United States record low temperature of -80° was recorded 1/23/1971 at Prospect Creek, AK. By contrast the coldest temperature on record in Hilo, HI is 53° set on 2/21/1962.
The Great New England Flood followed 66 hours of steady rain. The Connecticut River crested at Hartford at its highest point ever to that time. The high water mark would be exceeded in 1936.
The Washington Evening Star published the first national weather roundup. Observations from 19 telegraph stations were collected by volunteers who were part of the Smithsonian Institution's cooperative network.
Cleveland Abbe, Director of the Cincinnati Astronomical Observatory hoped that he would help his facility achieve a place among the great observatories of the world by providing weather forecasts to the public. On this date, he shared his vision with his staff. Abbe would issue his first forecast, the Daily Weather Bulletin, later that year. Weather forecasting in the United States was born.
Sedgewick and Harvey counties in Kansas hard hit by a tornado that was reportedly one mile wide. The total path was 22 miles. 8 people died and 25 were injured. 25 farms were completely destroyed.
The coldest May temperature ever recorded in Wichita Falls, TX occurred on this date as the temperature only reached 36°. The May record of 36° was later tied on 5/3/1954 and on 5/12/1979.
A tornado with F3 damage skipped from two miles south of Holmen, WI to Tomah, WI. Most of the damage was north of West Salem, WI and the west and north edges of Sparta, WI. Homes and barns were destroyed. 15 injuries resulted and damage estimates were $150,000 dollars. In addition to this tornado, two tornadoes causing F2 damage occurred. The first tornado moved east from southeast of Ettrick, WI to near Melrose, WI. Cottages and barns were leveled in the South Beaver Creek valley. 10 people were injured in one home. Estimated damage costs were $50,000 dollars. The second F2 tornado moved through Westby, WI. Losses in the business district were about $100,000 dollars as 35 buildings were damaged or destroyed. A nine-year old boy was killed by a flying store front as he ran for home. Also, 11 people were injured.
The most deadly tornado in Louisiana's history struck Minden. 28 people were killed and 400 were injured. 500 homes were damaged or destroyed with $1.3 million dollars in damage. The tornado reportedly sounded like "mad lions on a speeding train".
On this date through the 2nd, snow, ice and sleet brought winter back to parts of southeast Minnesota. Minneapolis received 3 inches of snow to tie their May record which was established in 1892.
The earliest 100 degree high temperature in Las Vegas, NV was reached on this date. The official high temperature was 102°.
The temperature at Polebridge, MT dipped to -5° to establish a state record for the month of May.
The temperature only reached 31° at Scottsbluff, NE. This still stands as the latest day in spring that the temperature remained below freezing there.
Dense fog was observed at Bakersfield, CA, the latest such occurrence on record.
An unusually late snowfall was observed at Dulles Airport, VA, Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD. All three reporting stations reported a trace.
Fort Wayne, IN's all-time May low temperature: 27°.
A May Day snowstorm drops 4 inches of snow at Lansing, MI. Cook, MN dropped to 5°.
A blizzard was in progress across the Dakotas. Wind gusts reached 70 mph at Dickinson, ND. 16 inches of snow fell at Lemmon, SD and 30 inches was reported in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota. Frequent vivid lightning displays also accompanied this storm.
Big Bear Lake, CA dipped to 18°; tying with 5/8/1964 for lowest May temperature. Edwards Air Force Base, CA dropped to 32°, the latest freeze on record. Other record lows included: Idyllwild, CA: 23° and Palm Springs, CA: 44°.
Many record low temperatures occurred across the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region. Record lows for the date included: Jump River, WI: 12°, Mauston, WI: 18° (Coldest May temperature), Madison, WI: 19°, Green Bay, WI: 25°, Youngstown, OH: 25°, Detroit, MI: 26°, Flint, MI: 26°, Mansfield, OH: 26°, Platteville, WI: 26°, Rockford, IL: 27°, Akron, OH: 28°, Toledo, OH: 28° and Columbus, OH: 30°.
Victorville, CA hit 100°, the earliest 100 degree reading on record while Big Bear Lake, CA had a record high of 77°.
A tornado outbreak produced 9 separate tornadoes that caused F2 and F3 damage in Osage, Warren, St. Charles and St. Louis City counties in Missouri and Greene, Jersey, Madison, and St. Clair counties in Illinois. The outbreak was responsible for 49 injuries, and over $30 million dollars in damage.
Several tornadoes occurred in the eastern St. Louis metropolitan area. The strongest originated in Missouri and moved across the Mississippi River, passing through Granite City and Edwardsville. This storm caused $400,000 damage. Another tornado near Lebanon injured 20 people. Further north, a tornado in Greenfield injured 15 people and caused extensive damage.
Thunderstorms produced large hail and heavy rain in Texas. Baseball size hail pounded Dublin, and 3.75 inches of rain soaked the town of Brady.
Strong southerly winds ahead of a cold front crossing the Rocky Mountain Region gusted to 90 mph at Lamar, CO. High winds created blinding dust storms in eastern Colorado, closing I-70 east of Denver and roads around Limon. The temperature at Denver plunged from a high of 76° at midday to 36° at midnight as light rain changed to light snow.
Thunderstorms produced heavy rain in the southeastern U.S. Rainfall totals of 1.84 inches at Charlotte, NC and 2.86 inches at Atlanta, GA were records for the date. Strong thunderstorm winds uprooted trees in Twiggs County, Georgia.
Thunderstorms produced severe weather from northern Alabama to North Carolina. There were 63 reports of large hail or damaging winds, with hail 4 inches in diameter reported near Cartersville, GA.
Late night thunderstorms over central Texas produced up to 10 inches of rain in southern Kimble County and northern Edwards County.
A few cities in the southeastern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date as readings warmed into the 90s. Jacksonville, FL reported a record high of 96°.
A strong cold front crossed the area producing severe thunderstorms, two of which spawned two small tornadoes. A tornado touched down in Eden in Erie County. Several dozen trees were downed or damaged. Another tornado touched down in the Town of Java, Wyoming Co., and was embedded in a larger area of strong downburst wind. About thirty trees were damaged or destroyed in the mostly wooded area. The thunderstorm winds uprooted trees and downed power lines across the area. A small plane parked at Monroe County Airport, Rochester, was overturned.
Severe thunderstorms moved through Madera, Fresno and Tulare Counties, spawning an F0 tornado near the Fresno fairgrounds causing minor damage. Hail at least ¾ inch in diameter caused locally heavy losses to fruit crops in eastern Fresno County.
Record low temperatures for the date were broken in the Deep South. Mobile, AL dropped to 46°, Miami fell to 58°, Miami Beach bottomed out at 61°, and Vero Beach dropped to 47°, all new records. Other stations in Florida also set record cold maximums for the date, including 61° at Jacksonville and Daytona Beach with 66°.
This was an unusual year for tornadoes in the central United States, as most outbreaks occurred during the first two weeks of the month. A record breaking 384 tornado's occurred in 19 states during these first two weeks, which resulted in 42 fatalities. Included in these record breaking events were the tornados which hit the Oklahoma City metropolitan area for two day.
Heavy wet snow fell across southeast Montana through the 2nd. Snowfall accumulations included: Ekalaka: 26 inches, Alzada: 12 inches and Sonnette/Lame Deer: 10 inches. Widespread power outages were reported in Powder River and Carter Counties.
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