Meteorological events that happened on October 2nd:
A hurricane with category 1 winds hit San Diego, CA, the only documented hurricane to strike California in history. This occurred before official weather observations began. Winds of at least 75 mph were estimated based on damage and journalistic accounts. Extensive wind damage to property neared F2 tornado scale damage. Streets were swept clean by heavy rains.
A hurricane struck Galveston, TX with a storm surge that produced $1 million dollars damage.
Louisiana was struck by major hurricane with winds reaching 100 mph and a 12-foot storm surge affecting the coast and bayous. 1,500 people were killed.
An early season windstorm over Oregon and northern California blew down thousands of trees and caused great crop damage in the Sacramento Valley.
A hurricane of at least Category 3 intensity struck the Georgia coast washing away Campbell Island, killing 179 people. The storm was responsible for the highest storm surge on record in the northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia area. The storm became known as the “Privy Hurricane”.
The center of a Tropical Storm crossed Florida from near Fort Myers to Vero Beach. Rainfall totals ranged from 8 to 13 inches along the track, but no strong winds occurred near the center. The strong winds of 50 to 60 mph were all in squalls along the lower east coast and Keys, causing minor property damage. The greatest damage was from rains that flooded farms and pasture lands over a broad belt extending from Naples, Fort Myers, and Punta Gorda on the west coast to Stuart, Fort Pierce, and Vero Beach on the east. Early fall crops flooded out in rich Okeechobee farming area. Many cattle had to be moved out of flooded area, and quite a few were lost by drowning or starvation. Roadways damaged and several bridges washed out.
An unseasonable heat ridge brought record heat from the Plains to the Appalachians. Several locations reported their warmest October temperatures on record including: Evansville, IN: 94°, St. Louis, MO: 94° (later tied), Springfield, IL: 93° (later tied), Louisville, KY: 92° (later tied then broken), Platteville, WI: 91°, Mondovi, WI: 90° and Duluth, MN: 86°.
Other daily record highs included: Topeka, KS: 95°, Omaha, NE: 94°, Lincoln, NE: 93°, Goodland, KS: 93°, Kansas City, MO: 93°, Sioux City, IA: 93°, Waterloo, IA: 93°, Paducah, KY: 93°, Sioux Falls, SD: 92°, Des Moines, IA: 92°, Huntington, WV: 92°, Valentine, NE: 92°-Tied, Little Rock, AR: 92°-Tied, Moline, IL: 91°, Lexington, KY: 91°, Nashville, TN: 91°-Tied, Rochester, MN: 90°, St. Cloud, MN: 90°, Chicago, IL: 90°, Dubuque, IA: 89°, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN: 89°, Indianapolis, IN: 89°, Oak Ridge, TN: 87°, Madison, WI: 87°, La Crosse, WI: 86°, Muskegon, MI: 83°, Green Bay, WI: 83°-Tied and Marquette, MI: 82°.
A tornado struck the town of Ivy, VA, located near Charlottesville. 11 people were killed, including 10 from one family.
Hurricane Flora moved across the south coast of Haiti and then meandered across eastern Cuba for the next 5 days, lashing the island with winds of 100 mph or more for at least 100 hours. Astronomical rainfall amounts as much as 90 inches were reported near Velasco. More rain was reported at Guantanamo Bay from Flora than was reported during the entire year of 1962. Flora remains the 2nd deadliest hurricane ever in the Atlantic, with over 7,000 deaths.
A strong heat ridge continued across the west bringing unseasonably warm temperatures. Mecca, CA set the U.S. October high temperature record with 117°.
Several locations reported all-time October high temperature records including Palm Springs, CA: 116°, Borrego Springs, CA: 113° (This record was tied the next day), Death Valley, CA: 113°, Yuma, AZ: 112°, Medford, OR: 99°, Eugene, OR: 94°, Blue Canyon, CA: 88° and Astoria, OR: 85°- since tied.
Other daily records highs included: Tucson, AZ: 101°, Fresno, CA: 101°, Stockton, CA: 101°-Tied, Victorville, CA: 100°, Las Vegas, NV: 100°, Sacramento, CA: 98°-Tied, San Francisco (Airport), CA: 96°, Bishop, CA: 95°, Idyllwild, CA: 90°, Flagstaff, AZ: 81°, Eureka, CA: 80°, Olympia, WA: 80°, Quillayute, WA: 80°-Tied.
Severe thunderstorms raked Phoenix, AZ with heavy rain, high winds and hail up to an inch and a half in diameter, for the 2nd day in a row. Thunderstorms on the 1st deluged Phoenix with 0.68 inches of rain in 5 minutes, equaling their all-time record.
A city street in Prospect, CT was cratered by a lightning bolt that worked its way into buildings via a water main. Numerous water leaks resulted.
Severe thunderstorms brought winds of 80 to 90 mph to parts of southwest Oklahoma. The winds destroyed 17 mobile homes and damaged 74 others in Comanche County, leaving eight people injured. Damage was estimated at $500,000.
A fast moving cold front produced snow flurries from Minnesota to the Appalachian Mountains, and gale force winds behind the front ushered cold air into the Great Lakes Region. Valentine, NE reported a record low of 25°. Temperatures recovered rapidly in the Northern Plains Region, reaching the lower 80s by afternoon. Jackson, WY warmed from a morning low of 21° to an afternoon high of 76°.
Early morning thunderstorms in Georgia produced 3 inches of rain at Canton and Woodstock.
Flooding due to thunderstorm rains in the southeastern U.S. on the last day of September and the first day of October caused the Etowah River to rise 7 feet above flood stage at Canton, GA. Thunderstorms produced up to 10 inches of rain in northeastern Georgia, with 6 inches reported at Athens, GA in 24 hours. One man was killed, and another man was injured, when they were pulled by floodwaters into drainage lines.
The remnants of Tropical Depression 10 moved from the northeast Gulf of Mexico, across the Florida Panhandle, and into Georgia on the 2nd. High winds produced rough seas along west central and northwest Florida coasts causing minor tidal flooding and beach erosion. 18 people had to be rescued from sinking boats in the northeast Gulf of Mexico. Heavy rains in the Florida Big Bend and Panhandle accompanied the system causing extensive flooding to roadways, creeks and low lying areas and minor flooding of rivers. Damage estimates to roadways was more than $l million dollars. Flooding was slow to recede in Leon, Wakulla and Hernando Counties where homes and roadways remained flooded through the 15th.
A strong cold front with a Canadian blast and moisture combined to bring snow to parts of the upper Midwest. Elgin & Harmony, MN had their earliest measurable snowfall with 2 inches and half an inch respectively.
Tremendous rains fell across South Florida due to a developing sub-tropical storm. Miami picked up 12.24 inches of rain in 24 hours and 15 inches in 2 days. The storm would go on to become Tropical Storm Leslie.
On this date through the 3rd, while remaining nearly stationary off the coast, Hurricane Keith battered the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize with torrential rain, damaging winds and storm surge. Keith dropped 32.67 inches at the Philip Goodson International Airport in Belize City.
An early snowfall dumped 9.4 inches of snow at Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in Canada.
Record warmth continued in parts of Alaska due to strong southerly winds. The following locations set all-time record highs for October: Chalkytsik: 75° (broke the previous record high by 16 degrees), Delta Junction: 74°, Fort Yukon: 70°, Gulkana: 69°, Eagle: 69° and Northway: 68°.
Other daily record highs included: Fairbanks: 70°, Homer: 60° and Bettles: 57°.
On this date through the 3rd, Typhoon Longwang slammed into the coastal province of Fujian, China with maximum sustained winds near 90 mph, destroying barracks housing for paramilitary police. The raging floodwaters swept away 142 officers.
A tornado touches down southwest of Leipzig, Germany ripping the roofs off at least 20 buildings and injuring two. A separate tornado is seen in rural Belgium which pulls roofs off a dozen homes and three businesses, uproots trees and overturns several cars.
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