Meteorological events that happened on September 13th:
The temperature at El Azizia, Libya was reported at 136°. This was the world’s hottest temperature until 9/14/2012 when an international team of climate experts from the World Meteorological Organization determined this reading to be invalid because of the combination of a poor weather instrument, a location in a bad spot for accurate readings and an inexperienced record-keeper.
700 were killed and the towns of Kojima and Nakamura near Nagasaki, Japan were destroyed by a typhoon by its tremendous storm surge.
The San Felipe Hurricane crossed Puerto Rico with winds near 150 mph. 300 people were killed and total damage was $50 million dollars. This same storm struck Florida three days later.
The shortest time period between freezes in Cheyenne, WY was set on this day with a low of 30°. The last Spring freeze of that year was on June 18th, thus making the period between freezes just 86 days.
An intense heat wave gripped much of California, Arizona and Nevada. Palomar Mountain, CA tied their all-time record high with 100°. Other record highs included: Borrego Springs, CA: 116°, Palm Springs, CA: 115°, Riverside, CA: 113°, Phoenix, AZ: 108°-Tied, Long Beach, CA: 107°, Downtown Los Angeles, CA: 106°, Victorville, CA: 106°, Sacramento, CA: 105°, Stockton, CA: 105°, Santa Ana, CA: 103°, Bishop, CA: 102°, San Francisco (Airport), CA: 101°, Santa Maria, CA: 98°, Winnemucca, NV: 97°, Reno, NV: 96°-Tied, Idyllwild, CA: 95°, San Diego, CA: 92° and Big Bear Lake, CA: 84°.
Hurricane Frederick roared into the Mobile Bay area of Alabama packing winds over 130 mph. Winds gusts to 145 mph were reported as the eye of the hurricane moved over the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, AL, just west of Mobile along with a pressure of 943 millibars or 27.85 inHg. Frederick produced a 15 foot storm surge near the mouth of Mobile Bay. Winds gusted to hurricane force as far inland as Meridian, MS, over 140 miles from the coast. 500,000 people were evacuated in the face of the storm, with only 5 fatalities recorded. The hurricane was the costliest in U.S. history up to that time causing $2.3 billion dollars damage.
Parts of southern California and the southwest were in the midst of a heat wave. Record highs included: Bakersfield, CA: 109°, Fresno, CA: 106°. Fresno topped the century mark from the 11th through the 18th.
Hurricane Diana, after making a complete loop off the Carolina coast and drifting around the Cape Fear area for two days, made landfall near Bald Head Island as a Category 2 storm and moved across eastern North Carolina with winds reaching 105 mph with gusts over 115 mph at the Oak Island Coast Guard Station. Diana deluged Cape Fear with more than 18 inches of rain, and Wilmington with 13.72 inches. Just the day before, Diana was a Category 4 storm with a central pressure of 949 millibars or 28.02 inHg and maximum sustained winds of 135 mph. There were dire predictions of disaster from nervous emergency management officials. Fortunately, Diana stalled and wobbled away from land as it neared the Cape Fear area. Crickets could reportedly be heard chirping as the calm eye passed over Southport, NC. Three people died and damage totaled $78 million dollars. Diana was the first significant hurricane to strike North Carolina since Donna in 1960.
Showers and thunderstorms produced heavy rain in the northeastern U.S. Flooding was reported in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Greenwood, NY received 6.37 inches of rain. A dike along a creek at Plattsburg, NY gave way and a $2 million dollar onion crop left on the ground to dry was washed away. The prolonged rains in the eastern U.S. finally came to an end late in the day as a cold front began to push the warm and humid air mass out to sea.
Hurricane Gilbert smashed into the Cayman Islands, and as it headed for the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico strengthening into a monster hurricane, packing winds of 185 mph. The barometric pressure at the center of Gilbert reached 888 millibars or 26.13 inHg, an all-time record for any hurricane in the Atlantic Basin up to that time.
Unseasonably cool weather prevailed over the Central Plains, with record lows of 29° at Scottsbluff & Valentine, NE and 34° at Denver, CO.
Unseasonably warm weather prevailed across the Pacific Northwest, with a record high of 96° at Eugene, OR. Thunderstorms over south Texas produced wind gusts to 69 mph at Del Rio, and 2 inches of rain in 2 hours.
Today marked the 37th and final day of the longest streak of consecutive 90-degree temperatures in Birmingham, AL.
A strong, winter-type storm moving through the Rockies and the western Plains produced record early season snowfall. Denver, Colorado recorded 5.4 inches of snow for its greatest snowstorm ever for so early in the season, after reaching 92 degrees the day before. The same record was also set at both Cheyenne, Wyoming and Scottsbluff, Nebraska with 5.5 and 2.5 inches of snow, respectively. Along with the snow came record lows including: Cheyenne, WY: 29°, Rapid City, SD: 29°-Tied, Colorado Springs, CO: 32°-Tied and Denver, CO: 33°.
Hurricane Fausto moved across Baja on Friday night the 13th and continued moving north-northeastward, striking mainland Mexico early Saturday morning.
Bands of heavy rain circulating around low pressure became enhanced by the relatively warm waters of Lake Erie. The activity focused in the northwest portion of Erie County with the cities o Kenmore, Tonawanda, and north Buffalo, NY bearing the brunt of the heavy downpours. Rainfall totals of 6 inches were reported from the town of Tonawanda, NY in a 36 hour period from 9pm on the 13th to 9am on the 15th. Rain fell at over an inch an hour at times. Storm sewers and drains could not handle the runoff forcing the closure of over 30 streets and resulting in serious basement flooding in thousands of homes. Thousands of homes lost both their natural gas and their power.
Heavy rain of 5 to 12 inches fell over portions of extreme southeast Kansas. Unofficial reports of rainfall amounts as high as 14 inches was reported in Bourbon County, Kansas. The hardest hit areas were along the Marmaton River in Bourbon County including Ft. Scott. The highest estimated stage of the Marmaton River at Ft. Scott reached 50.05 feet on the 14th which is the second highest stage ever recorded. Many businesses had to close for two or three days due to the flooding and associated clean up. In addition, 200 head of cattle were lost. Farms along the Marmaton River also suffered damage to grazing land and damage to fencing.
Hurricane Floyd on the verge of Category 5 status steamed steadily westward about 250 miles east of Miami. Forecasters warned that Floyd was much more dangerous than 1992's Hurricane Andrew due to its size.
Hurricane Humberto made landfall just east of High Island, TX in the McFadden National Wildlife Refuge with maximum sustained winds near 90 mph and a minimum pressure of 985 millibars or 29.09 inHg. Humberto made history due to its rapid intensification from a tropical depression the morning of September 12th, to a hurricane early on this date, as no other hurricane has ever strengthened so quickly close to landfall. Humberto attained hurricane status strengthening 20 miles south of High Island, TX. Rainfall totals generally ranged from 2 to 8 inches. Tides generally ran 2 to 4 feet above normal. Damage was estimated near $60 million dollars. Only five other storms in Atlantic Basin history has grown from a depression to a hurricane within 24 hours: Arlene & Flora in 1963, Blanche in 1969, Celia in 1970 (from depression to a Category 3) and Harvey in 1981.
Hurricane Ike made landfall around 0700z along the northern end of Galveston Island, TX as a strong Category 2 storms with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph and a minimum central pressure of 953 millibars or 28.14 inHg. Prior to landfall, Ike covered an extensive area of the Gulf of Mexico with the largest radii of hurricane-force winds: 125 miles out from the center and tropical-storm force winds: 275 miles out from the center, ever measured. This posed a major public communication challenge, as the vast swath of wind was expected to stir up a storm surge in the Galveston area far worse than people might expect from a Category 2 storm. The worst of Ike's surge struck less populated areas just east of Galveston Island. Much of Galveston and nearby coastal towns were left in shambles, and storm-surge damage extended well east into Louisiana. Ike resulted in 103 deaths across Hispaniola, Cuba and parts of the United States Gulf Coast and total damage at $32 billion dollars.
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