Meteorological events that happened on May 24th:
10 inch diameter hail was reported at Knoxville, TN. In addition, a tornado reportedly sucked fish out of a creek.
A severe hailstorm near Olathe, KS reportedly caused one fatality.
Heavy snows occurred over parts of the northeast and New England. 4 inches of snow fell in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
Six inches of snow blanketed parts of Kentucky. Just four days earlier, up to 10 inches had fallen across the Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
An F4 tornado passed just north of Des Moines, IA during the late evening. As many as 7 members of one family were killed at the north edge of Valeria, IA. They were caught in the open, running to the storm cellar. Five others died in a nearby home. A steel railroad rail was reportedly driven 15 feet into the ground. The death toll was at least 21.
Yosemite Valley, CA received their latest measurable snow as a half inch fell.
Cool weather settled in across the upper Midwest causing low temperatures to fall near the freezing mark in some locations. On this date, Chicago, IL dropped to 37°.
A tornado touched down near the town of Pratt, KS, and traveled at the incredibly slow speed of just 5 mph.
Hail fell near Ada, OK to a depth of 6 to 8 inches, and rainfall runoff left drifts of hail up to five feet high.
A windstorm with gusts reaching 55 mph damaged lobster traps and fishing equipment around Prince Edward Island, Canada.
An 8.5 magnitude earthquake hit Chile in South America. Waves 8 feet above normal hit San Diego, CA destroying docks near Point Loma and extensively damaged the harbor from tide currents estimated at 20 to 25 knots.
A tornado struck Tokyo Japan's southwestern suburbs damaging 480 homes.
The Union City, OK tornado was the first storm to be studied in detail by the National Severe Storms Laboratory Doppler Radar Unit at Norman, OK and an armada of researchers in the field. Research of the radar data from the storm would lead to discovery of the “TVS”, or Tornado Vortex Signature. The presence of a TVS on Doppler radar data is a very strong indication of tornadic potential in a severe thunderstorm.
San Francisco, CA shattered their record high temperature for the date by 12 degrees with a high of 91°.
Severe thunderstorms in southwest Texas spawned a couple of tornadoes near Silverton, and produced golf ball size hail east of the town of Happy. Thunderstorms also produced large hail and damaging winds in Louisiana and Texas.
Thunderstorms produced severe weather in the southeastern U.S. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 88 mph at Columbia, NC. Baseball size hail was reported near Tifton, GA.
Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front produced severe weather across the Upper Midwest through the day and night. Thunderstorms spawned 30 tornadoes, and there were 158 reports of large hail and damaging winds. One storm over southwest Iowa spawned an F3 tornado one mile east of Corning. The tornado lifted a few times along its 50 mile path before lifting for good 3 miles west of Davis City. Near Prescott, this tornado was about one mile wide and totally destroyed a farm. Damage was estimated at $5 million dollars. A powerful F4 tornado caused $5 million dollars damage at Traer, IA. Thunderstorm winds gusting to 88 mph killed one person and injured five others at Stephensville, WI.
Across Illinois, in Carlinville hail of 2.5 inches in diameter caused $1 million dollars damage, including 55 broken windows at the Macoupin County Courthouse. Six people were injured. Tennis-ball size hail fell at Litchfield. In Vandalia, baseball size hail caused $4 million damage at the correctional center. The hail caused major roof damage and 1,000 broken windows, and even cracked 19 bullet-proof windows. Baseball size hail was also reported south of Effingham.
Severe thunderstorms spawned two dozen tornadoes from Montana to Oklahoma. Four tornadoes carved a 109-mile path across central Kansas. The third of the four tornadoes blew 88 cars of a 125-car train off the track, stacking them three to four cars high in some cases, and the fourth tornado caused $3.9 million dollars damage. The third tornado injured six people who were trying to escape in vehicles.
The largest known tornado outbreak in Wyoming occurred over northern and eastern Laramie County. A dozen tornadoes were produced by a group of severe storms, with the largest tornado about a quarter mile wide. Fortunately damage was limited due to the tornadoes remaining over open country, though hail up to 2.5 inches in diameter was reported in Albin, WY.
Philadelphia, PA experienced dramatic temperature drop from early afternoon high of 80° to late afternoon readings in the 40s.
On this date through the 26th, a late spring snowstorm dumped 4 to 10 inches of snow over the Front Range foothills in Colorado. Conifer picked up 10 inches, Aspen Springs: 9 inches and Central City: 8 inches. The heavy wet snow brought down tree branches and caused scattered power outages; some taking up to 6 hours to restore.
A significant flood began over parts of Kimball and Cheyenne counties of the Nebraska panhandle. Over 7.5 inches of rain was reported over western Kimball County from thunderstorms which caused major flooding along Lodgepole Creek from Bushnell east to the Cheyenne County line.
Strong severe thunderstorm downburst winds estimated at 60 to 80 mph, caused estimated damages of $1 million dollars in the Los Lunas-Belen area of New Mexico. After the storm, the National Weather Service in Albuquerque became concerned about the lack of public awareness of what to do when a tornado warning was issued. Schools in the area correctly evacuated trailers during the warning, but moved the students to gymnasiums, which is a mistake in a tornado situation.
Lubbock, TX soared to 109° for their hottest May temperature on record. Midland, TX tied their highest May temperature record with 108°.
Severe thunderstorms developed across the Las Vegas valley in Nevada through the afternoon. A wind gust of 64 mph was recorded at McCarran International Airport and a wind gust of 66 mph was recorded at the National Weather Service office. Several trees were blown down and power outages were reported in Primm, Jean, and Goodsprings. A sign was also blown over on the south end of The Strip and visibility was reduced to near zero in blowing dust.
Firefighters battling a lightning-induced blaze near Deckers, CO in the Pike National Forest received a little help from a 4 inch blanket of snow. But snow can actually hinder the efforts of firefighters by hiding hot spots from their infra-red cameras. The snow can also act as an insulating blanket, actually keeping smoldering embers burning. The late-season storm dumped 9 inches of snow on Estes Park and brought a dusting to the Denver area.
The last measurable snow for the season fell at Marquette, MI. This brought the city's seasonal snowfall to 319.8 inches, by far the city's snowiest winter ever.
A hailstone measuring 6 inches in diameter with a circumference of 16.5 inches fell from a supercell thunderstorm at Meadville, MO.
Residents of Calgary, Alberta Canada awoke to trees bending and breaking under the weight of a heavy, wet snow that measured 4 inches at the Calgary International Airport to 6 to 8 inches in surrounding areas.
Huge hail stones drop onto sections of Nebraska and South Dakota, including two reports of hail reaching grapefruit size. Hail nearly the size of softballs was reported in Kimball County, Nebraska and Fall River County, South Dakota.
High temperature records for the day were obliterated in several Northern Ontario communities. Kapuskasing soared to 93°, which set a May record and Moosonee, on the southern tip of James Bay, hit 91°.
This was the fourth straight day with double-digit reports of tornadoes across the south-central Plains with 47 tornado reports from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Arkansas. The number of severe weather reports for the day tallied 476. The latest storms killed at least 13 with eight people in Oklahoma and two in Kansas--- before moving in to Arkansas claiming three more lives. One tornado headed for the NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK before veering off.
Tropical Storm Bud reached tropical storm status on the 22nd, it marked the earliest date since record keeping began in 1949 for formation of the season's second named storm. Bud, with 115 mph sustained winds, reached Category 3 status on this date marking the earliest Category 3 hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific.
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