Meteorological events that happened on September 26th:
A tornado struck the Niagara Peninsula in Merritton, Ontario Canada, during the late afternoon. The storm resulted in 5 deaths, many injuries and hundreds of thousands of dollars of property damage.
The heaviest snowfall ever recorded in September and the heaviest for so early in the season dumped 16.5 inches on downtown Denver, CO and 21.3 inches at the Denver Airport. The 15 inches measured from 6pm on the 27th to 6pm on the 28th is their greatest 24-hour September snowfall. The storm produced property damage estimated at $7 million dollars.
A severe freeze was experienced across the upper Plains and Midwest from the 26th to the 28th. The temperature at Parshall, ND dropped to a record low of 4° on this date.
Winona, MN dropped to 25°, their coldest September temperature. Also on this date, snow fell across parts of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Locations recording their earliest measurable snowfall included: Caledonia, MN: 5 inches, Fayette, IA: 1 inch and La Crosse, WI: 0.2 of an inch. Snow fell in early morning, mostly melting as it fell.
Smoke particles from large forest fires burning in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada crossed from the northeastern U.S. into northwestern Europe due to strong upper-level winds that lead to the widespread appearance of a very rare blue moon event. The pollutant cloud base was around 12,000 feet high and the top from 20,000 to 25,000 feet.
The center of Hurricane Florence hit the northwest Florida coast between Valparaiso and Panama City near midday with wind maximum sustained winds near 80 mph with gusts to 90 mph and heavy rainfall. The Pensacola Weather Bureau Office reported winds of up to 75 mph early the next morning. The storm passed inland over a sparsely settled area of Florida and this probably accounts for the rather small amount of damage. In Franklin and Okaloosa Counties the Red Cross estimated that 273 homes were destroyed, 145 other buildings damaged, and three destroyed. A fishing trawler, the "Miss Tampa" was reported missing in the storm's wake.
Only four reconnaissance aircrafts have ever been lost during hurricane hunting missions. On this date, the only one ever lost in the Atlantic basin ”Snowcloud Five” went down while investigating Hurricane Janet and was never heard from again. Seven crew members were lost.
Meanwhile, Category 4 Janet moved west-northwest in the Caribbean south of Jamaica. By days end, maximum sustained winds had increased to 150 mph. Janet continued to intensify reaching maximum sustained winds of 175 mph late on the 27th. The cyclone weakened slightly still making landfall near Chetumal, Mexico with wind gusts to 175 mph recorded before the instruments were destroyed. Janet would emerge in the southern Bay of Campeche as a much weaker Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 105 mph late on the 28th. Janet only managed to strengthen slightly thereafter to 110 mph before making landfall between Veracruz and Nautla, Mexico. Janet rapidly weakened to remnant low later on the 30th. Janet killed over 680 people and caused an estimated $48 million dollars in damage.
Typhoon Vera ravaged Honshu, Japan's largest island leaving over 5,000 dead, more than 40,000 injured, 1.5 million homeless and 40,000 homes destroyed. It is Japan's greatest storm disaster.
Record heat blasted most of the west coast. It was the hottest day on record west of mountains in San Diego County, California. The high temperature of 111° on this day established an all-time record high for San Diego. It was 95° at 8am. El Toro, CA hit 113°, the hot spot in the nation for the date. Other records included: El Cajon, CA: 112°, Santa Ana, CA: 110° (their highest temperature on record for September), Long Beach, CA: 110° (their highest temperature on record for September), Los Angeles (LAX), CA: 110° (their highest temperature on record for September), Yuma, AZ: 110-Tied, Downtown Los Angeles, CA: 109° (their highest temperature on record for September), Imperial Beach, CA: 109°, Carlsbad, CA: 108°, Oceanside, CA: 107°, Santee, CA: 107°, Chula Vista, CA: 107°, San Diego State University, CA: 107°, Lemon Grove, CA: 107°, La Mesa, CA: 107°, Escondido, CA: 107°, Fresno, CA: 107°, Bakersfield, CA: 107°, Sacramento, CA: 104°, Medford, OR: 104°, Stockton, CA: 100°, Coronado, CA: 96°, Bishop, CA: 95°, Boise, ID: 93°, Burns, OR: 91° Reno, NV: 91° and Ely, NV: 86°. In southern California, crops were damaged and animals were killed. Surf temperature dropped from 70° to 64° in one day due to the increased upwelling caused by offshore winds. Santa Ana winds gusted to more than 50 mph in the mountains of San Diego County.
On this date through the 29th, Santa Ana winds brought fires to Los Angeles County, California, and points south and east. Los Angeles with 105° at the Civic Center and Long Beach hit 103° on the 27th was hottest since 1963. Over 500,000 acres burned, along with 1000 structures. 20 firemen were injured.
The Project Stormfury experiments, in which scientists attempted to weaken the strength of a tropical cyclone by seeding its clouds was conducted on Hurricane Ginger in the Atlantic east of Florida with inconclusive results.
Tropical Storm Paul made landfall in western Mexico. Rains from this system ranged from 5-15 inches in a 24 hour period. The Rio Grand River swelled up to 25 feet in some places or 12 feet above flood-stage.
In the midst of a hot September for Death Valley, CA, the afternoon high was 104° for the second of three days, the coolest afternoon highs for the month.
Hurricane Gloria weakened briefly while moving from northeast of the Bahamas to just off the southern North Carolina coast by days end. Gloria peaked the previous day with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and a minimum central pressure of 920 millibars or 27.17 inHg. Gloria weakened during this date to 90 mph at 06z and 12z before regaining strength intensifying to 100 mph by days end.
Five to eight inches of rain fell during the overnight hours causing widespread street flooding across Lake and McHenry Counties in northern Illinois. Water was up to six feet deep in places and forced the evacuation of 70 residents. In metro Chicago, 1 to 2 inches of rain fell in just 30 minutes flooding expressways briefly covering low places with 1 to 3 feet of water.
Freezing temperatures were reported in the Northern and Central Appalachians, and the Upper Ohio Valley. Record lows included: Concord, NH: 27°-Tied, Islip, NY: 40° and Bridgeport, CT: 43°-Tied.
Temperatures soared into the 90s across South Dakota. Pierre, SD reported an afternoon high of 98°.
Unseasonably warm weather prevailed across Florida producing record highs for the date including: Fort Myers: 95°-Tied, Apalachicola, FL: 92° and Vero Beach, FL: 92°.
Rain spread from the southeastern states across New England during the overnight hours. Cape Hatteras NC reported measurable rainfall for the 14th straight day, with 15.51 inches of rain recorded during that two week period.
Phoenix, AZ reported a record high of 108°, and a record 134 days of 100 degree weather for the year while afternoon temperatures were only in the 40s over parts of northwest Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.
September 25th through September 27th saw the northern portion of Canada's Northwest Territories experienced a ferocious blizzard. Winds were clocked at 87 mph at Alert and a school at Clyde River was closed because of flying debris.
Record warm weather across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley fueled a severe weather outbreak as a cold front arrived during the late afternoon. A severe thunderstorm produced softball-sized hail in Clare County which smashed skylights, dented automobiles, and damaged roofs and antennas. Damage was estimated at up to half a million dollars. Record highs for the date included: Toledo, OH: 92°, Columbus, OH: 92°, Detroit, MI: 91°, Cleveland, OH: 91°, South Bend, IN: 91°-Tied, Flint, MI: 90°, Chicago, IL: 90°, Grand Rapids, MI: 89°, Lansing, MI: 89°, Jackson, KY: 87° and Mansfield, OH: 87°-Tied.
The remnants of Hurricane Rita merged with low pressure and brought record-breaking rainfall across Quebec, Canada. Deschambault topped the list with a one-day rainfall total of 4.9 inches.
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