Meteorological events that happened on May 13th:
A tornado destroyed a toll bridge near Barnet, VT.
An F4 tornado ripped through Gilliam, Bolinger, and Belcher, LA. 49 people were killed and 135 were injured.
A mid-afternoon hailstorm dropped hailstones 0.5 inches in diameter at Montpelier, VT. Along the 550 yard wide and 3 to 4 mile long hail swath, ice laid 4 inches deep with local piles up to two feet deep.
A man was killed when caught in an open field during a hailstorm northwest of Lubbock, TX. It was the first, and perhaps the only, authentic death by hail in U.S. weather records.
The latest significant snow, 2 inches or more, for Sioux Falls, SD occurred as 2 inches fell.
A late season storm covered Cheyenne, WY with 10.3 inches of snow.
Severe thunderstorm winds lasting 20-30 minutes damaged over 90 of the 600 planes based at the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport. The FAA tower measured winds gusting to 101 mph. Tied down aircraft were ripped from their moorings. The roof of the terminal was slightly damaged, hail was reported and two inches of rain fell in an hour.
Tennis-ball size hail fell at Wernersville, PA. Hail accumulated to a depth of 10 inches.
An F3 tornado ripped directly through the center of Kalamazoo, MI, killing five people, injuring 79, leaving 1,200 homeless and causing $50 million in damage. The tornado passed directly over the American Bank, where a barograph reported a pressure drop of 0.59 inches.
A tornado 450 yards in width destroyed 90% of Emberson, TX. People did not see a tornado, but rather a wall of debris. Homes were leveled, a man in a bathtub was hurled a quarter of a mile, and a 1,500 pound recreational vehicle was hurled 500 yards. Miraculously no deaths occurred.
A thunderstorm dumped 5 inches of rain in less than one hour just south of Platte, SD. The runoff from the rain was sufficient to move a 54 foot cultivator up against a fence.
15 to 20 inches of snow fell near Fort Collins, CO.
Widespread severe weather occurred for two days across the state of Oklahoma on the 12th and this date. The city of Moore reported baseball size hail and winds of 70 to 80 mph. Even larger hail fell in south Oklahoma City, with some stones as large as grapefruits. Hail larger than baseballs fell as far southwest as Sterling, in Comanche County. Two weak tornadoes also occurred, but caused little additional damage.
A Kentucky State Trooper’s car was hit by lightning as he was on patrol near Carrolton, TX. The strike burned a hole in the trunk lid and rear tires. The trooper was unhurt.
A cold front brought an end to the early season warm spell in the north central U.S., but not before the temperature at Sioux City, IA soared to a record high of 95°.
Strong southwesterly winds ahead of the cold front gusted to 52 mph at Marais, MI. Evening thunderstorms produced golf ball size hail at Rockford, MN, and wind gusts to 75 mph at Belmond, IA.
Strong winds along a cold front ushering cold air into the northwestern U.S. gusted to 69 mph at Myton, UT. Temperatures warmed into the 80s ahead of the cold front, as far north as Montana.
Thunderstorms developing along a warm front produced severe weather across the southern Plains during the afternoon and night. A thunderstorm at Killeen, TX produced wind gusts to 95 mph damaging 200 helicopters at Fort Hood causing nearly $500 million dollars damage. Another thunderstorm produced softball size hail at Hodges, TX.
A spring storm brought heavy rain and snow to the northern Colorado Foothills. Denver, CO was soaked with 1 to 2 inches of rain. In the foothills, Echo Lake received 20 inches of snow. A 30-ton boulder slid onto a section of I-70 closing the freeway for two hours.
Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front spawned 10 tornadoes from eastern Wyoming to northern Kansas, including seven in western Nebraska.
Thunderstorms forming ahead of a cold front in the eastern U.S. spawned five tornadoes from northeastern North Carolina to southern Pennsylvania.
Thunderstorms over southeast Louisiana deluged the New Orleans area with 4 to 8 inches of rain in five hours during the morning. Over 8 inches of rain poured over Brookhaven and Port Gibson, MS while more than 10 inches of rain were measured at Collins, MS.
Severe thunderstorms were widespread across the Mississippi Valley from Arkansas northward to Iowa and east to Indiana. This outbreak produced tornadoes extending from the Mississippi River near Burlington, IA, to west of Bloomington, IL. Two violent tornadoes, each ranked at F4 intensity, were reported. The first tornado traveled 60 miles from near Fort Madison, IA, to southeast of Galesburg, IL producing over $10 million dollars damage. The second violent tornado traveled 7 miles across Fulton County from Ipava to Lewistown, IL producing $6 million dollars damage. Another strong tornado took a 25 mile path across parts of Fulton, Mason, and Tazewell Counties. The storms also produced softball-size hail south and northwest of Macomb. Five men were injured in Lawrence County, Indiana when lightning struck one of them and traveled to the other four. There were 184 reports of severe weather, including over three dozen tornadoes. A thunderstorm produced a downburst over Grissom AFB in Peru, IN where a wind gust to 136 mph was recorded. Softball sized hail was reported at Terre Haute, IN and at Monte, AR.
Several towns near Tangail in northwest of Dhaka, Bangladesh were leveled by a large tornado that lasted about 20 minutes. The final death toll exceeded 1,000, with 34,000 injuries and 100,000 are left homeless.
A tornado hit Homeland, CA damaging mobile homes. Funnel clouds were observed in Homeland as well and in Moreno Valley. 1.14 inches of rain fell at Santa Ana, the greatest daily total on record for May. 7.9 inches of snow fell at Big Bear Lake, the greatest daily snowfall on record for May.
Two brothers hiking with their family in the Zion National Park in Utah were swept away when flash flooding suddenly struck after a burst of heavy rain. The youngsters were ahead of the rest of their family when they came to a part of the trail that was underwater. They were swept away as they attempted the cross the flooded part of the trail.
Water runoff from storms on the 12th caused a continuation of flooding problems across central and southeast Illinois. Several state highways in southeast Illinois were closed due to flooding. In Jasper County, an elderly woman had to be evacuated from her home due to rising flood waters, and another person had to be rescued after driving into a flooded area. In Effingham County, several motorists drove into flooded roadways and had to be rescued. In Douglas County, several people in Villa Grove had to be evacuated via boat due to rising waters. Near Riverton, a levee breeched on the Sangamon River, flooding nearby farmland. Several water treatment plants around Sangamon County and the power plant in Springfield had to be sandbagged, to prevent flooding of the facilities.
A torrential rainstorm dumped 1.97 inches of rain near the Qumran archaeological site in the Judean desert close to the Dead Sea in Israel. The resulting flash flood drowned four Israeli hikers. The area typically receives about 2 inches of rain each year.
Torrential rainfall broke several records, including the most rain to fall in a 20-minute interval and the most rainfall in a 180-minute period. More than 10 inches of rain deluged the Shreveport area, flooding at least 125 homes. The National Weather Service reported 4.43 inches fell in one hour breaking the old record of 3.16 inches.
Ashcroft, British Columbia Canada reported the highest temperature in Canada with 88.5°.
Two British tourists died and at least six others suffered heat related illnesses as temperatures soar to over 104° in the Canary Islands in the eastern Atlantic.
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