Meteorological events that happened on September 28th:
The first of three early season snows brought 4 inches to Hamilton, NY and 2 inches to Ashby, MA.
The sloop-of-war H.M.S. Racer encountered a hurricane in the Caribbean and ran with the storm until it reached the Yucatan Peninsula 4 days later. The storm became known as the Racer's Hurricane of 1837 and would be one of the most destructive and famous storms of the century. The storm crossed the Yucatan Peninsula and emerged in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico then stalled off the Mexican coast. The storm then moved northeast slowly, curving along the entire Gulf Coast until it made final landfall between Mobile, AL and Pensacola, FL on the morning of October 7th. Damage was extensive all along the track, including Galveston, TX and New Orleans, LA.
A fierce gale blew across the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick Canada near St. Stephen grounding two ships on Navy Bar.
Albuquerque, NM was soaked with 2.25 inches of rain, establishing a 24 hour record.
A major hurricane made landfall near Cedar Key, FL during the evening. 100 people died.
A hurricane hit Pensacola, FL late on this date with sustained winds near 115 mph and a barometric pressure estimated at 949 millibars or 28.02 inHg. Pensacola, FL reported a minimum central pressure of 965 millibars or 28.51 inHg. Extensive damage occurred along the coast and to crops. The highest reported wind speed was sustained at 103 mph with a gust to 125 mph. Winds at Mobile, AL gusted to 75 mph.
The center of a powerful hurricane passed over Key Largo, FL and crossing extreme south Florida with maximum sustained winds estimated at 110-115 mph with gusts to 150 mph. There was ten-minute lull as the center passed. At the Everglades, the wind was estimated at 100 mph. The storm reached Panama City, FL on the 30th. Although there was enormous damage at Nassau in the Bahamas and many lives were lost there, its course in Florida was such that damage was not excessive. Three lives were lost. This hurricane spawned five tornadoes over Dade and Broward Counties, injuring more than 16 people.
Strong Canadian high pressure building down across the Midwest was responsible for record early autumn chill. Several locations recorded their lowest September temperatures including: St. Cloud, MN: 18°-Tied, Fayette, IA: 20°, Richland Center, WI: 22°, Rochester, MN: 22°, Rockford, IL: 24°, Peoria, IL: 24°, Moline, IL: 24°, Quincy, IL: 26°, South Bend, IN: 29°, Chicago, IL: 29° (since tied), Champaign, IL: 29°, Evansville, IN: 31° (Tied the next day), and St. Louis, MO: 32°.
Other daily record lows included: Grand Forks, ND: 18°, Fargo, ND: 20°, Waterloo, IA: 21°, Norfolk, NE: 24°, Huron, SD: 25°, Goshen, IN: 25°, Sioux City, IA: 25°, Duluth, MN: 26°, Minneapolis-St. Paul: 26°, Des Moines, IA: 26°, Mansfield, OH: 26°, Rapid City, SD: 27°, Sioux Falls, SD: 27°, La Crosse, WI: 27°, Rockford, IL: 27°, Alpena, MI: 27°-Tied, Albion, IN: 28°, Lincoln, NE: 28°, Milwaukee, WI: 28°, Dubuque, IA: 29°, Omaha, NE: 30°, Fort Wayne, IN: 30°, Flint, MI: 30°, Youngstown, OH: 31°-Tied, Cincinnati, OH: 32°, Huntington, WV: 32°, Concordia, KS: 33°, Springfield, IL: 33°, Indianapolis, IN: 33°, Akron, OH: 33°, Toledo, OH: 33°, Lexington, KY: 33°, Charleston, WV: 33°, Kansas City, MO: 34°, Cleveland, OH: 34°, Pittsburgh, PA: 34°, Detroit, MI: 34°-Tied, Columbus, OH: 36°, Louisville, KY: 36°, Nashville, TN: 38°, Huntsville, AL: 38°, Knoxville, TN: 39°, Memphis, TN: 39°, Little Rock, AR: 42°, Birmingham, AL: 42°, Atlanta, GA: 43°, Shreveport, LA: 46°, Dallas, TX: 46°-Tied, Victoria, TX: 48°-Tied, Lake Charles, LA: 49°, Austin, TX: 49°, Mobile, AL: 49°, Pensacola, FL: 50°, Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX: 52° and Brownsville, TX: 55°.
On this date through the 29th, one of the heaviest September snowstorms on record began in the Denver, CO area and surrounding areas as rain changed to heavy wet snow. Denver received 10.6 inches. There was heavy damage to trees and shrubs which were still in full leaf. Falling trees and limbs disrupted traffic, caused power outages and damaged buildings and cars. Total damage was estimated at $5.5 million dollars. Five people lost their lives; one by a falling tree limb and the other four by heart attacks either by shoveling or removing heavy tree limbs.
A heat wave gripped the west bringing record high temperatures including: Palm Springs, CA: 116°, Long Beach, CA: 108°, Yuma, AZ: 108°-Tied, Riverside, CA: 107°, Santa Ana, CA: 107°, Downtown Los Angeles, CA: 106°, Los Angeles (LAX), CA: 104°, San Diego, CA: 99° (Record high minimum: 73°), Sacramento, CA: 99°, Bishop, CA: 96°, Winnemucca, NV: 95°, Boise, ID: 95°, Lewiston, ID: 95°, Yakima, WA: 91°, Reno, VA: 91°, Burns, OR: 91, Pocatello, ID: 89°, Elko, NV: 89°-Tied and Flagstaff, AZ: 82°-Tied.
A complex of tornadoes tracked from south of Boyd, WI to 7 miles south of Thorp, WI, to one mile south of Dorchester, to near Athens, to north of Merrill, WI. A brick school lost its roof and a wall. Three people were injured when their car was blown 200 feet off the road. About 60 farms along the track were damaged. The livestock loss was severe. Damage was estimated at $2 million dollars. At least three different tornadoes were involved.
A strong tornado moved across Lake County, from North Chicago to Lake Michigan, around sunrise. $1 million damage was reported, much of it to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, where many barracks were destroyed.
Canadian high pressure settled in across the northern Plains and Midwest bringing record cold temperatures including: Jump River, WI: 14° (their coldest September temperature), Sioux Falls, SD: 24°-Tied, North Platte, NE: 24°-Tied and Green Bay, WI: 27°.
Two chilly areas of high pressure; one across northern New England and the other across the Rockies brought record chill. Washington, D.C. had a record low maximum when the high only reached 52°. Other areas reported record low temperatures for the date including: Havre, MT: 18°, Sheridan, WY: 19°, Missoula, MT: 22°, Valentine, NE: 23°, Great Falls, MT: 25°, Grand Island, NE: 25°, Billings, MT: 26°, Lincoln, NE: 28°-Tied, Cleveland, OH: 34°-Tied, New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 45° and New York (LaGuardia Airport), NY: 45°-Tied.
Meanwhile, an offshore flow helped Santa Maria, CA reach a record high of 98°.
An unusually cold air mass extended for the Rockies eastward bringing snow and record cold temperatures. The metro Denver, CO area reported 8 to 12 inches of snow which closed roads, airport delays and power outages in Denver and Boulder, CO. The morning of the 29th, Denver dropped to 17°, a record low for September followed by a record low maximum of just 29°.
Scottsbluff received their greatest daily snowfall on record for September when 4.5 inches fell as did Cheyenne, WY with 4.9 inches of snow.
Further north, as south central South Dakota was in the midst of an early season snowstorm Sioux Falls picked up a measly nine-tenths of an inch of snow. This amount is significant, however, as it is the earliest measurable snow on record for Sioux Falls. The total of nine-tenths of an inch also makes it the snowiest September on record.
This snow tied the date of the earliest measurable snowfall on record which was originally set in 1945 when one-tenth of an inch fell.
Record low temperatures on this date included: Kalispell, MT: 18°, Cheyenne, WY: 19°, Denver, CO: 21°, Lander, WY: 22°, Great Falls, MT: 25°-Tied, Goodland, KS: 26°, Lewiston, ID: 33°, Knoxville, TN: 37°, Bristol, TN: 39°, Jackson, KY: 41°, Columbia, SC: 41°, Oak Ridge, TN: 41°-Tied, Augusta, GA: 44°, Macon, GA: 45° and Columbus, GA: 48°. Across the east, the record lows were on the backside of Hurricane Gloria.
Flash flooding swept a car off the Kamehameha Highway on Oahu, HI, and into a swollen stream. The driver held onto some branches until help arrived, but the current stripped him of his clothes and watch.
Thunderstorms produced up to 10 inches of rain in southern Kansas and north central Oklahoma during the overnight hours. The Chikaskia River rose 2.5 feet above flood stage at Blackwell, OK during the day causing flooding in Kay and Grant Counties in north central Oklahoma.
Early morning thunderstorms in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas produced 3.07 inches of rain in six hours at McAllen. Another round of thunderstorms produced up to six inches of rain in southeastern Texas later in the day.
Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front in the central U.S. produced severe weather from northern Texas to the Lower Missouri Valley during the late afternoon and evening hours. Hail 3 inches in diameter was reported at Nolan, TX, and wind gusts to 80 mph were reported at Lawrence, KS. Thunderstorms drenched downtown Kansas City, MO with up to 4 inches of rain, leaving some cars stranded in water 6 feet deep.
Thunderstorms over northeastern Florida drenched Jacksonville with 4.28 inches of rain in six hours during the overnight. This created a nightmare the next morning for morning commuters.
Unseasonably cool weather prevailed in the northeastern U.S. Many cities reported record low temperatures for the date, including Binghamton NY with 30°. Morning lows were in the 20s in northern New England. Other record lows included: Toledo, OH: 32°, Sterling (Dulles Airport), VA: 34°, Pittsburgh, PA: 34°-Tied, Lynchburg, VA: 38°, Islip, NY: 38°, Baltimore, MD: 40°, Wallops Island, VA: 43° and New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 44°.
Unseasonably mild weather prevailed in the northwestern U.S., with afternoon highs in the upper 70s and 80s. Record highs included: Salem, OR: 90°, Portland, OR: 89°, Quillayute, WA: 86° and Astoria, OR: 83°.
A record freeze hits parts of the Great Lakes & Ohio Valley with record chill to parts of the Mid-Atlantic and southeast. Record lows included: Lansing, MI: 22°, Marquette, MI: 24° (September record tied), Flint, MI: 26° (September record), Grand Rapids, MI: 27° (September record), Muskegon, MI: 27° (Tied September record), Youngstown, OH: 29°, Toledo, OH: 30°, Detroit, MI: 31°, Reading, PA: 34°, Trenton, NJ: 37°, Bristol, TN: 39°-Tied, Wallops Island, VA: 43°-Tied, Norfolk, VA: 49° and Vero Beach, FL: 66°.
A complex of severe thunderstorms produced widespread wind damage over northwest Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle. Measured wind speeds of 65 mph occurred from near and west of Buffalo, down through Arnett, resulting in downed power lines and trees.
Hurricane Georges made its final landfall as a Category 2 hurricane with top winds of 105 mph near Biloxi, MS. A 10 foot storm surge caused extensive destruction along the coastlines of Mississippi, Alabama and Northwest Florida. Georges killed over 600 people in the Caribbean. Only one U.S. fatality was reported; in Alabama. Total damage was nearly $6 billion in the U.S.
Thunderstorms developed late in the evening in southeast Kansas and moved into the Missouri Ozarks into early the next morning. The thunderstorms developed into a squall line as it moved across the area. 69 mph gusts were reported in Barton County and numerous other reports of tree damage from high winds was reported.
Some areas across the west enjoyed a very warm early autumn day with a few locations reporting record high temperatures including: Miles City, MT: 95°, Sheridan, WY: 92°, Winslow, AZ: 91°-Tied, Livingston, MT: 88°, Billings, MT: 87°, Valentine, MT: 86° and Red Lodge, MT: 84°
It wasn’t quite so warm across parts of the south. Montgomery, AL set a record low of 44°.
Hurricane Juan slammed into Nova Scotia with strong winds and heavy rain, causing extensive damage. Halifax received a direct hit, recording winds of 89 mph. Power outages on Prince Edward Island did not postpone the provincial election.
Hurricane Lorenzo's pounding rains caused mudslides and floods that killed at least five people, washed out roads and drove tens of thousands from their homes in eastern Mexico.
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