Listed are Meteorological events that happened on October 15th:
Snow fell on the backside of a coastal storm from Virginia to New England. New York City, NY had its earliest 32° temperature and a half inch of snow. Fall River, MA reported 3.5 inches of snow.
On this date through the 16th, a violent early season blizzard raked Minnesota and the Dakotas. Winds gusted to 70 mph at Yankton, SD, and snow drifts 10 to 15 feet high were reported in northwest Iowa and southeast South Dakota. Saint Paul, MN reported a barometric pressure of 28.65 inHg on the 16th. Railroads were blocked by drifts of snow which remained throughout the severe winter to follow. Gales did extensive damage to ship on the Great Lakes. This was the earliest blizzard on record for the state of Iowa.
People question attempts to weaken a hurricane by seeding it with dry ice after it made an unexpected turn off the coast making landfall near Savannah, GA with winds of 100 mph. One person was killed. Damage totaled $3 million dollars.
Hazel made landfall near Cape Fear, NC as a Category 4 Hurricane with top winds of 150 mph and a central pressure of 938 millibars or 27.70 inHg. A record storm surge of 18 feet caused extreme destruction at Calabash along the North Carolina Coast. The tide height was enhanced by the highest lunar tide of the year. 300 homes vanished without a trace at Long Island, NC. After the storm, no fishing piers were left standing from Myrtle Beach, SC to Cedar Island, NC. Hurricane Hazel also destroyed 1,500 homes as it moved inland. Winds between Myrtle Beach, SC and Cape Fear, NC gusted to 150 mph. The storm quickly lost tropical characteristics after moving inland, but still brought high winds and flooding all the way into New York state and across the border into Toronto, Canada. The storm accelerated as it moved inland, crossing the entire state of Virginia in just 4 hours. Heavy rains fell over western Maryland dumping 5 to 6 inches in 12 hours over the Allegheny Front. Luke, MD reported a record stage on the North Branch of the Potomac. Storage of rainfall behind the new Savage River Dam was believed to have prevented a record flood from occurring at Cumberland, MD. Tides reached 2 to 6 feet above normal around the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay. At Baltimore, MD, high tides in the harbor flooded basements and streets adjacent to it. Waves pounded the docks and shoreline. About 18,000 homes and a considerable number of farms and business buildings were damaged. Hundreds of thousands of trees were damaged or destroyed. Half of the phone and electric lines in Virginia were knocked out equaling about $2 million dollars in damages. A 150-foot microwave telephone tower was toppled near Warsaw, VA. 200 plate glass storefronts in Richmond, VA were broken. In the Shenandoah Valley, turkey growers lost between 150,000 and 250,000 turkeys when poultry sheds were wrecked. Small crafts were driven ashore or sank. 4 people died when a tugboat capsized on the James River about 25 miles from Richmond, VA. Piers were demolished and private docks swept away in the Tidewater Rivers. The Potomac rose to 5.4 feet above Mean Sea Level at Dahlgren and Colonial Beach, VA. The Potomac at Alexandria, VA rose to around 7.5 feet. In Maryland, six people were killed and many injured. $8 to $10 million dollars in damage was reported. Homes mainly suffered damage from roofs being blown off, windows broken or trees falling on them. A few homes floated off their foundations in the high tides. An estimated $750,000 dollars in damage occurred to boats on the Maryland Chesapeake Bay and another $1 million dollars to wharves and private docks. Utilities suffered about $1.26 million dollars in damage alone. There was half a million dollars in damages to bridges and roads in tidal areas. An estimated half a million trees fell. There was $9 million dollars in damages to farms and another $300,000 in damages to apple and tobacco crops. The total damage to the poultry industry in Maryland was about $5 million dollars. Erosion damage caused by the spray of salt water to adjacent land areas and flooding of low-lying areas in counties bordering the Bay and coast caused appreciable damage to the soil, trees, and shrubs. Total salt damage and loss of land by erosion were estimated at $1 to $1.5 million dollars. Total damages in Maryland were about $28 million dollars. In the District of Columbia, there were three fatalities. Damage occurred to houses, power facilities, telephone services, and trees. Hazel caused a total of 98 deaths in the U.S. and $251 million dollars (1954 dollars) in damage.
As Hazel moved into southern Ontario, Canada it interacted with a strong cold front and dumped over 8 inches of rain on already saturated soil in the Toronto area and major flash flooding occurred. Another 78 people were killed in Ontario with damage around $100 million dollars.
Hazel produced record wind gusts at a number of locations:
Hampton, VA: gusted to 130 mph.
New York City, NY: gusted to 125 mph.
Norfolk, VA: sustained winds of 78 mph with gusts to 100 mph.
National Airport in Washington, D.C.: sustained winds of 78 mph with a gust of 98 mph.
Baltimore, MD: sustained winds of 73 mph with gusts to 79 mph.
Salisbury, MD: sustained winds of 52 mph with a gust to 101 mph.
Philadelphia, PA sustained winds of 73 mph with a gust to 94 mph.
Allentown, PA: gusted to 81 mph.
Reading, PA: gusted to 78 mph.
Delaware Breakwater: gusted to 75 mph.
Atlantic City, NJ: gusted to 72 mph.
A low pressure center moved north from Cuba just off the east coast bringing high winds and tides, and heavy rain to the entire east coast of Florida. The heaviest rain fell in Osceola County where some 48 hour amounts approached 20 inches. Flooding was most severe, including some bridges and roads washed out, in Kissimmee/St. Cloud, Taft, and Fellsmere. Two persons died in heavy surf.
Fort Lauderdale, FL was deluged with 25.28 inches of rain in a 48 hour period causing considerable road and street damage and inundating numerous recently planted vegetable fields and homes.
Iowa experienced its worst late season tornado on record. In just one minute a twister tore through the town of Belmond leveling 75% of the businesses, and 100 homes, causing more than $11 million dollars damage.
As the remnants of Pacific Hurricane Tico moved through Lubbock, TX six inches of rain fell in less than 12 hours, people to water ski behind four-wheel-drive vehicles down city streets.
The Monday Night Football game in Denver, CO was played in a raging blizzard. 15 inches of snow fell with up to 34 inches reported in the nearby mountains. The Air Force Academy cancelled classes for the first time in its' recorded history.
Unseasonably cold weather continued in the eastern U.S., with several cities reporting record low temperatures for the date. The low of 34° at Montgomery, AL was their coldest reading on record for so early in the season. Daily record lows included: Sterling (Dulles Airport), VA: 28°, Trenton, NJ: 30°, Allentown, PA: 30°-Tied, Columbia, SC: 32°-Tied, Harrisburg, PA: 32°-Tied, Macon, GA: 33°, Baltimore, MD: 33°-Tied, Parkersburg, WV: 34°, Chattanooga, TN: 34°, Islip, NY: 34°, Montgomery, AL: 34°, Bridgeport, CT: 36°, Augusta, GA: 36°-Tied and New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 39°.
On this date through the 16th, 'The Great Storm' affected much of southern England. Among the peak gusts were 112 mph at Shoreham, Sussex 107 mph at Langdon Bay, Kent, 106 mph at Sheerness, Kent, 105 mph at Ashford, Kent and 94 mph at the London Weather Centre, central London.
The cold area of high pressure responsible for the record low temperatures in the eastern U.S. began to move out to sea, giving way to a trend toward "Indian Summer". However, not before some record lows were set including: Augusta, GA: 32°, Columbia, SC: 32°-Tied, Athens, GA: 35°, Wilmington, NC: 35°, Cape Hatteras, NC: 38°, Charleston, SC: 40°, Wallops Island, VA: 40°-Tied and Savannah, GA: 41°.
Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front produced golf ball size hail at Altamont, KS and hail 2 inches in diameter at Yates City, IL.
Hurricane Jerry made landfall at Galveston, TX during the early evening hours. Winds at the Galveston Airport reached 75 mph, with gusts to 100 mph. Tides along the island were 6 to 8 feet, and rainfall totals ranged up to slightly more than 6 inches north of Beaumont. Three people were killed when their vehicle was blown off the Galveston seawall into the pounding surf. Total damage along the Upper Texas Coast was estimated at $15 million dollars. It was the latest that any hurricane had affected this region.
Thunderstorms produced severe weather across Lower Michigan during the late morning. Two people were injured when a tree fell on their camper at the Traverse City State park. While strong northerly winds ushered much colder air into the central U.S., unseasonably warm weather continued in the south central and eastern U.S. The afternoon high of 82° at Bluefield, WV was a record for October. Other daily record highs included: Sterling (Dulles Airport), VA: 89°, Oak Ridge, TN: 89°-Tied, Baltimore (BWI Airport), MD: 86°-Tied, Jackson, KY: 83°, Reading, PA: 83° and Mt. Pocono, PA: 77°.
A strong 588 decameter heat ridge covered areas from the Rockies to the West Coast bringing record heat. Daily record highs included: Borrego Springs, CA: 109°, Palm Springs, CA: 108°, Phoenix, AZ: 103°, Tucson, AZ: 98°, Daggett, CA: 98°, Redding, CA: 94°, Bishop, CA: 90°, Reno, NV: 89°, Medford, OR: 89°, Eugene, OR: 88°, Boise, ID: 87°, Winnemucca, NV: 86°, Burns, OR: 84°, Pendleton, OR: 84°-Tied, Helena, MT: 83, Elko, NV: 83, Glasgow, MT: 83-Tied, Ely, NV: 82, Lander, WY: 81, Missoula, MT: 81°, Olympia, WA: 80°, Portland, OR: 80°, Casper, WY: 80°-Tied, Kalispell, MT: 79°, Pocatello, ID: 79°-Tied, Flagstaff, AZ: 78°, Yakima, WA: 78°, Seattle, WA: 77° and Alamosa, CO: 75°.
Early morning rains of up to 3 inches in Travis County, TX resulted in flash flooding. One woman drove three long nails into a tree in order to climb the tree and escape the rising waters. Two people drowned after their cars stalled in low water crossings.
On this date through the 17th, the summit of Mt. Washington, NH reported 34 inches of snow. The 24-hour record for the most snowfall occurred when 25.5 inches fell in 24 hours.
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