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Weather History: September 2: Record temps, storms, flooding, tropics & snow

Meteorological events that happened on September 2nd:


The U.K. recorded its hottest September day on record when the temperature reached 96° in Bawtry. It was also one of the 10 hottest days on record in the U.K.


The "Labor Day" hurricane struck the Florida Keys. The storm was only 40 miles in diameter, but the barometric pressure measured at Long Key was 892 millibars or 26.35 inHg. Sustained winds reached 160 mph with gusts to 200 mph resulted in tides 15 feet above normal. Henry Flagler had built his Florida East Coast Railroad from Miami to Key West several years before. As part of the Works Progress Administration program of the New Deal, 700 men were working to build a highway alongside Flagler's railroad to Key West. A rescue train sent to remove World War I veterans and residents from the Florida Keys was swept from the tracks. The tracks of the Flagler Railroad were washed from the Long Key viaduct at an elevation of 30 feet above mean low water. A survey by the US Corp. of Engineers sometime after the storm found that the tide level never reached the rails there, but the hurricane surge and wind driven waves superimposed on the tide probably helped in carrying the tracks away. As many as 423 people lost their lives, mostly due to drowning, but the death toll may have been much higher. Following the storm, the Florida East Coast railroad was abandoned, but the Overseas Highway would eventually be completed and still stands today.


A storm surge pushed in by a typhoon flooded villages along the coast of Tolo Harbour. Thousands of lives were lost and about 3.6 miles of embankment between Sha Tin and Tai Po are destroyed.


The temperature at Mecca, CA soared to 126° to establish a U.S. record for the month of September. The low that morning was 89°. Other daily records included: Idyllwild, CA: 96° and Palomar Mountain, CA: 95°.


This was the second day in a row with extreme heat across parts of the Midwest to the East. Fort Wayne, IN & Boston, MA had their all-time hottest September temperatures with 100°. Angola, IN rose to 99°, Goshen, IN 101°, and Albion, IN 102°. Chicago, IL hit 101° for the second day in a row and the tenth of 11 consecutive days with a high temperature at 90° or higher.


Denver, CO picked up 4.2 inches of snow, the earliest measurable snow for the Mile High City.


Thunderstorms moved across western New York. Pea-sized hail and strong winds were reported in West Seneca knocking down trees and cutting power to over 2,000 customers. A wind gust of 121 mph was reported at the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown, NY causing an estimated half million dollars in damages to the terminal building, planes, cars and landing instruments. Rainfall totals exceeded two inches in places.


Ontario Canada's tornado alley extending from Windsor to London was hit with 8 confirmed tornadoes throughout the Labor Day weekend.


After teasing residents along the Gulf of Mexico for two days, Hurricane Elena finally came ashore at Biloxi, MS. The hurricane, packing winds of 125 mph, caused more than a billion dollars damage. The storm produced wind gusts up to 120 mph from Florida to Louisiana and gusts up to 135 mph were recorded at Gulfport, MS.


Late evening thunderstorms in the Northern Plains produced wind gusts to 75 mph at Jordan, MT, and a "hot flash" at Redig, SD. The temperature at Redig rose from 66° at 10pm to 86° at 11pm as thunderstorm winds gusted to 36 mph.

Several cities in the Upper Ohio Valley, the Tennessee Valley and the Central Gulf Coast States reported record low temperatures for the date, including Elkins, WV with a reading of 38°.


Unseasonably hot weather prevailed in the northwestern U.S. Afternoon highs of 110°, 105° at Portland, OR and 98° at Medford, OR established records for the month of September. Quillayute, WA equaled their September record with a high of 97°.

A narrow squall line associated with a cold front moved through eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. Especially hard hit was the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area where thunderstorm winds averaged 60 mph. Power line and tree damage was common.

With Meteorological summer drawing to a close, many cities across the nation's heartland and throughout the east will remember the past season as one of the hottest ever. Philadelphia, PA recorded 49 days of 90 degree-plus heat and five days over the century mark. Salt Lake City, UT averaged 77.7° throughout June, July, and August, establishing this summer as the hottest on record in 115 years. Milwaukee, WI recorded an average 3 month temperature of 73.8°, shattering previous record of 72.8° set in 1955.


Sydney, Australia's longest dry spells came to an end. Between July 18th and September 2nd no measurable precipitation fell. August 1995 is the only dry calendar month on record for that location.


After teasing the entire Atlantic coast with winds as high as 140 mph, Hurricane Edouard skirted New England without making landfall. Hurricane force winds were recorded on Nantucket and Cape Cod, but wind damage was relatively minor. While physical damage was relatively light, many businesses had closed on the busiest holiday weekend of the year.

Large swells from Hurricane Fran knocked five people out of an 18-foot fishing boat in Jupiter Inlet, FL. The Coast Guard rescued all five people.


Thunderstorms in parts of southern California brought one inch diameter hail to Mount Mesa and dropped 1.11 inches of rain in just 30 minutes at Ridgecrest. The heavy rain at Ridgecrest caused numerous intersections in town to flood and some were covered with 2 to 6 inches of mud. An automated weather station just west of Ridgecrest recorded 0.90 inches of rain in just 8 minutes.

Further south, a thunderstorm at Pine Cove, CA dropped 3.7 inches of rain in just one hour. Strong storms produced wind gusts of 104 mph at Twentynine Palms. Apple Valley reported a wind gust to 62 mph.


A series of severe thunderstorms hit Southern California with high winds, lightning and heavy rains. Widespread flash flooding was reported along with downed power lines. A funnel cloud was reported near Pomona, CA. The lightning sparked several large wildfires, with the largest consuming over 1,500 acres of grass near Bakersfield, CA.


An F3 tornado roared into downtown Ladysmith, WI at mid-afternoon, heavily damaging 64 blocks of the business district. Fortunately, it was Labor Day, and most of the stores were closed for the holiday or the toll would have been much worse. The National Weather Service came under fire for not issuing a tornado warning before the storm struck.

The peak temperatures soared to 87° at Goose Bay, Labrador Canada where the average September high is 55.4°. The low temperature the following morning dropped only to 68.7°. Their average September low is 40.5°.

Indianapolis, IN was drenched with 7.20 inches of rain on this date for its greatest single day rainfall on record.

Tropical Storm Ernesto dumped 8.93 inches of rain on Norfolk, VA for the city's greatest single day rainfall on record.


In Chicago the thermometer at O'Hare IAP hit 94°, and Midway topped out at 95°, the first such high there in 761 days, and the warmest day of the year.


Talas moved across Japan as a strong tropical storm. The Kii peninsula south of Osaka received the most damage with a record breaking rainfall of 70 inches in some places. Rainfall in Totsukawa measured 23.29 inches, the highest for a single day in the area. Talas became Japan's worst tropical cyclone in 20 years as 100 people were dead or missing.


Check out my colleague Weather Examiners:

Baltimore, MD area weather with Tony Pann at

Orlando, FL area weather with Dr. Steve Oliver at

Houston, TX area weather & the weekly Weather America Newsletter with Larry Cosgrove at

NOAA Headlines Examiner with Dr. Steve Oliver and IPR at

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