Meteorological events that happened on October 16th:
No measurable rainfall has fallen at Las Vegas, NV on this date since records began in 1937.
The long drought finally ended in northern New England as rains arrived, extinguishing wildfires that had been very damaging during an extremely dry September.
A severe Category 4 Hurricane, known as "El Huracan de Los Cinco Dias" hit extreme western Cuba with an estimated central pressure of 924 millibars. This hurricane hit Florida two days later.
An early season winter storm produced as much as 10 inches of snow in Minnesota and Iowa.
A cyclone devastated the Bengal region of India, killing 40,000 people.
Memorable Hurricane Hazel slashed into Canada with high winds and extremely heavy rainfall. Toronto recorded wind gusts to 110 mph and 8.43 inches of rain. 80 people died in Canada.
An area of level high pressure brought record heat from parts of the Rockies to the West Coast. Santa Ana, CA set a record high for October with 106°. Other daily record highs included: Palm Springs, CA: 107°, Yuma, AZ: 106°, Long Beach, CA: 106°, Borrego Springs, CA: 105°, Riverside, CA: 104°, Downtown Los Angeles, CA: 104°, Los Angeles, (LAX), CA: 103°, San Diego, CA: 97°, Las Vegas, NV: 95°, Palomar Mountain, CA: 88°, Billings, MT: 84°, Portland, OR: 79°, Grand Junction, CO: 79°-Tied, Alamosa, CO: 74° and Astoria, OR: 74°-Tied.
Severe weather across northwestern Oklahoma resulted in a 5-inch hailstone collected in Woodward County.
Hurricane Gladys moved northward just west of Dry Tortugas in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico around midday with maximum winds of 75 mph. It moved slowly north- northwestwards before turning toward the northeast on the 18th about 75 miles west of St. Petersburg, FL and made landfall near Homosassa, FL late on the 18th. Gladys continued northeast across the peninsula, passing just south of Ocala and moved into the Atlantic near St. Augustine on the morning of the 19th. Total damage of about $6.7 million dollars was concentrated mostly in and just north of the Tampa Bay area and in the Ocala area. A tornado unroofed a house and damaged several other homes near Tallevast in Manatee County on the evening of the 18th.
A tropical depression that formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on the 14th moved inland on the Louisiana coast late on this date and merged with a cold front. The low pressure system intensified and moved up through the Appalachian Mountains with the trailing cold front moving through Florida. Northwestern Florida received heavy rainfall, at least two small tornadoes, high winds, rough seas and high tides. Wind gusts to 45 mph and tides 4 feet above normal were reported. No deaths or injuries were reported. Heaviest rainfall amounts ranged from 4 to 6 inches. Widespread street flooding occurred and some state roads were closed briefly. Most of the damage occurred in the Panama City area. Also, a tornado in Panama City Beach damaged several buildings.
The first GOES geosynchronous weather satellite was launched.
A squall line packing damaging winds developed across portions of central South Dakota and raced into Minnesota during the afternoon and evening hours. The line of thunderstorms developed and moved east and northeast at over 50 mph. A large portion of southeast South Dakota was belted with winds of 50 to 70 mph. Yankton, SD reported winds of up to 70 mph while Sioux Falls, SD was hit with a 62 mph gust. Considerable damage was done in southeast South Dakota to trees, farm structures, and small buildings. West of Sioux City, Knox County Nebraska also received heavy damage from straight line winds and a tornado. The twister caused extensive damage to a farm house 12 miles north of Bloomfield.
By late afternoon the thunderstorms were roaring through southwest Minnesota with 50 to 70 mph winds. Numerous outbuildings and many trees were downed or damaged. In Redwood County two combines and a 24 foot travel trailer were tipped over and damaged.
An early season blizzard with winds between 30 to 50 mph and near zero visibility produced 11 inches of snow in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada.
Several cities in the southeastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. The low of 34° at Augusta GA marked their 3rd straight morning of record cold. Other record lows included: Columbia, SC: 32°, Meridian, MS: 33°, Jackson, MS: 35°, Macon, GA: 35°, Chattanooga, TN: 35°-Tied, Montgomery, AL: 38°, Mobile, AL: 43°-Tied and New Orleans, LA: 45°.
A cold front brought showers and thunderstorms to parts of the central U.S. Lightning struck a bull and six cows under a tree near Battiest, OK.
Tropical Storm Joan, a very small storm, continued on its westward track in the extreme southern Caribbean. The storm already had survived strong upper level shear and now was scraping the coast of Venezuela. The storm then passed over the Guajira Peninsula in Columbia which has 2,000 foot mountain tops. Despite this, the storm held its own and eventually became a Category 4 hurricane just prior to landfall on the Nicaragua coast on the 22nd.
Late afternoon thunderstorms produced severe weather in southwestern Lower Michigan and northern Indiana. One thunderstorm spawned a tornado north of Nappanee, IN which caused half a million dollars damage.
A few locations from the Rockies to the West Coast reported record high temperatures for the date. The afternoon high of 100° at Red Bluff, CA was the latest such reading on record for so late in the autumn season. Other daily records included: Redding, CA: 98°, Santa Maria, CA: 97°, San Francisco Airport, CA: 88° and Colorado Springs, CO: 80°.
Heavy snow blanketed the foothills of Colorado. Up to 3 inches was reported around Denver. Echo Lake was buried under 19 inches of snow.
Temperatures again warmed into the 80s and lower 90s in the eastern and south central U.S. Several cities reported record high temperatures for the date, including Waco, TX: 94°-Tied, Corpus Christi, TX: 92°-Tied, Houston, TX: 92°-Tied, Austin (Bergstrom), TX: 91°, Fort Smith, AR: 89°, Columbia, SC: 89°, Sterling (Dulles Airport), VA: 85°, Atlantic City, NJ: 84° and Cape Hatteras, NC: 83°.
The temperature reached 90° for 136th day in Tampa, FL.
Record heat continued across the west for a second straight day as a dominant heat ridge covered the Great Basin. Record high temperatures included: Phoenix, AZ: 101°, Tucson, AZ: 100°, Las Vegas, NV: 96°, Pueblo, CO: 94°, Denver, CO: 89°, Sheridan, WY: 87°, Clayton, NM: 86°, Colorado Springs, CO: 85°, Glasgow, MT: 86°, Salt Lake City, UT: 85°, Reno, NV: 85°, Winslow, AZ: 85°-Tied, Casper, WY: 83°, Lander, WY: 83°, Cheyenne, WY: 82°, Grand Junction, CO: 80°, Ely, NV: 80°, Helena, MT: 80°-Tied, Flagstaff, AZ: 78°, Pocatello, ID: 78°-Tied, Alamosa, CO: 77° and Missoula, MT: 75°.
One of the costliest hail storms to ever hit metro Denver caused an estimated $87.8 million dollars in damage to homes, buildings and vehicles. The hailstorm, rare for so late in the season began over portions of Arvada, Wheat Ridge and northeast Denver where mostly pea sized hail accumulated up to a depth of 6 inches near I-70. Snowplows had to be called out to clear several streets and many accidents were reported. The storm intensified as it moved to the east into the Denver and Aurora areas. Hail up to two inches in diameter pelted the Denver metro area and one inch diameter hail in northern Aurora.
A major Pineapple Express flow dropped torrential rains across the North Pacific Coast from Oregon through British Columbia, Canada. Victoria received 5.4 inches of rain in 24 hours setting a new record.
Starting on April 18th and through this day, San Diego, CA recorded no measurable precipitation, a period that spanned 182 days. This is their longest dry period on record.
A blinding sandstorm in the high desert north of Los Angeles, CA wreaked havoc with local traffic causing a highway pileup involving dozens of vehicles. Two people died and 16 others were injured as a result of the storm which reportedly raised dust to 1,000 foot high.
A tropical depression made landfall on the northern coast of Honduras bringing torrential rains that caused dangerous mudslides and rivers to overflow their banks. The resulted flooding destroyed 62 bridges. The storm was responsible for 29 fatalities.
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