This Date in Weather History

AccuWeather

In this daily podcast, you’ll learn something new each day. AccuWeather Meteorologist, Evan Myers takes a look back on weather events that impacted this date in the past, uncovering history that were shaped by unbelievable weather conditions.

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1802: Massive snowstorm dumps up to 4' in New England
Feb 23 2022
1802: Massive snowstorm dumps up to 4' in New England
On February 23, 1802 a great snowstorm raged across New England, by nightfall when the snow stopped flying, drifts in places near Boston piled up to 4 feet high. In those early days of the republic how did people get around in cities? How were the streets cleaned? According to Marketplace.org; before the mid-1800s, there wasn’t really any effort to get snow off roads. Before 1862, people didn’t use snow plows, they used snow rollers. The way people travelled through snow was by attaching skis to their horse-drawn carts and carriages. Snow rollers were huge, horse-drawn wheels that would flatten out the snow, making it easier for the carts with skis to move on the winter roads. But by the mid-19th century, as cities were rapidly growing in population, city streets needed to be entirely clear of snow for the business of the city to continue. And with this, came snow plows, first used by the city of Milwaukee in 1862. Early snow plows were horse-drawn, and would deposit the compacted snow in huge piles on the city’s streets and sidewalks. Not all cities used plows though. Some just used shovels. In New York, clearing the snow was the responsibility of the Police Department and officers would have to shovel. On February 23, 1802 in Boston, people where then left to fend for themselves in dealing with a massive snowstorm and it took more than a week to literally dig out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
1980: Pineapple Express leads to over 10" of rain falling in LA
Feb 19 2022
1980: Pineapple Express leads to over 10" of rain falling in LA
The Pineapple Express is a non-technical term for a meteorological phenomenon characterized by a strong and persistent flow of moisture and associated with heavy rain and snow from the waters near the Hawaiian Islands and extending to locations along the Pacific coast of North America, mainly California. Such weather patterns set up every few years during the winter, the winter is the rainy season on the west coast of the US. In February of 1980 an extreme version of this pattern set up and lasted for almost a week reaching its height on February 19. Rain had been falling in Los Angles since February 13th, in the first in a series of storms pushed along by the Pineapple Express. Downtown L.A. recorded more than 12" of rain from the 13th to the 19th. In the mountains south of Monterey, more than 22 inches of rain totaled by the 19th. Unofficially, 19 deaths were attributed to the storms in Southern California alone, with more than $100 million in damage, $325 million in 2022 dollars. Estimates in Arizona indicate at least 4 storm related deaths and an additional $35 million in damage. There was also flooding in Arizona, especially in Phoenix. Shortly after 2:00 PM on February 19, 1980 a tornado touched down at the Fresno Airport, which broke the plate glass windows and damaged the roof at the terminal building. Trees were uprooted and cars overturned. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
1895: The greatest snowfall event to hit Gulf Coast
Feb 15 2022
1895: The greatest snowfall event to hit Gulf Coast
The Texas Gulf coast is known for hot steamy weather and has been the site of some of the most destructive and deadly hurricanes ever to strike the United States, but on February 15, 1895 a weather extreme of another sort struck the region. In the days leading up to the February 15th artic cold plunged into the south with a vengeance. At the same time a storm was spinning inland in southern California. The cold weather was firmly established by the 14th and that western storm was forced southward into northern Mexico. It set the scene for the greatest snowfall event to ever hit the Gulf coast. Snow began to fall in some places on the evening of the 14th and by the time it stopped in the afternoon of February 15, 1895 record snowfall was measured from Texas to Alabama: Rayne, Louisiana recorded 22" a state record; Houston, also had, 22"; an incredible 15.4” fell on the beaches of Galveston, Texas, there was 8.2” in New Orleans, Louisiana, 6” in Brownsville, Texas and Mobile, Alabama. All land travel came to a halt for days and the extreme cold and snow killed many livestock. No accurate accounting of the impact on the people of the region was recorded, but estimates are than many perished in the cold and snow that was more usual for the northern plains states. Most homes had inadequate heating and people attempted to heat their homes with fires inside and that led to further disaster. The scale of winter weather was unprecedented. Nothing like it has been seen since. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
1899: The coldest airmass to move into the US
Feb 12 2022
1899: The coldest airmass to move into the US
February 1899 marked the arrival of perhaps the coldest airmass in move into the United States in recorded history. For more than a week the bitter arctic cold ravaged North America with Blizzards and ice. Records were established that hold even today more than century later. By February 12, 1899 the cold was already firmly established. In previous days the mercury had already dipped to minus 20 in Columbus and Pittsburgh. The day before on the 11th parts of Montana had seen temperatures below minus 60. In Tallahassee 2 below was recorded, a state of Florida record that still stands today. A foot and a half of snow had not only fallen in Philadelphia and Baltimore, but Richmond and Raleigh. By February 12 the storm was in full swing, in Boston winds gusted to 65 mph and maintained an average of 50 mph throughout the entire day. 24-36" of snow just north of Boston in Beverly. The Boston Herald declared: "Rarely, if ever, has Boston been so completely snowbound as it has been by this blizzard." At the end of the storm, the snow depth measured 23" in Boston. But the snow extended far southward bringing unheard of snow totals including 4 in Charleston SC and 2.8” in Tallahassee. The cold persisted well behind the storm, Tulia, Texas recorded a morning temperature of minus 23, a state record. The arctic grip was not lessening, far from it, some places would suffer even more from the cold in coming days. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
1994: Airmass brings 1-2' of snow to the I-95 corridor
Feb 11 2022
1994: Airmass brings 1-2' of snow to the I-95 corridor
February 11, 1994 dawned cold across the Tennessee Valley, an air mass that originated in the arctic snow fields of the Yukon had in previous days blasted across the northern plains state and by the 11th had settled into much of the nation east of the Rockies. Far to the south a storm was brewing on the Texas Gulf coast and pulling plenty of moisture northward out ahead of it. The cold air was holding on stubbornly in the lowest several thousand feet of the atmosphere in the Tennessee and Ohio valleys even as it began to warm up higher up in the air. As the moisture form the Gulf of Mexico was forced to rise up and over that cold layer of air near the ground it began to rain – but with temperatures still well below freezing at the surface the rain froze on everything. The result was Severe ice storm across parts of Tennessee, Alabama, and much of Kentucky. 1.45" of rain fell at Memphis --all with a temperature below freezing. Power was knocked out in many areas as ice accumulated on tree limbs and wires. In some cases, power was not restored for as much as 2 weeks. As the storm turned northward and into deeper cold air snow broke out on a wide front along the I-95 corridor and dumped heavy snow reaching depths of close to 1-2’ from Harrisburg and Allentown Pa into New England, including New York City, snar Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
1835: Bitter cold kills orange trees in Florida
Feb 8 2022
1835: Bitter cold kills orange trees in Florida
Citrus, namely oranges have been farmed commercially in Florida groves since the early 1800s. The first citrus was brought to the Western Hemisphere in 1493 by Christopher Columbus. In the mid-1500s one of the early Spanish explorers, most likely Ponce de Leon, planted the first orange trees around the current location of St. Augustine, Florida. Florida's unique sandy soil and subtropical climate proved to be ideal for growing the seeds that the early settlers planted and have flourished ever since. Today it is a $9 billion industry, employing nearly 76,000 Floridians. In 1835 the citrus industry was just getting on it’s feet, but it almost ended before it got going. On February 8, 1835 a bitter cold arctic blast reached into the southern part of the United States and produced low temperatures unknown in that region. The mercury reached below zero as far south as Savannah Georgia and on the morning of February 8 the temperature read 8 degrees in Jacksonville killing most of the orange trees and setting back the citrus industry more than 10 years. The first groves were originally planted in northern Florida far from where they currently exist. As time went on and more killing freezes occurred the groves were moved further and further south and are now hundreds of miles south of their original loculation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
1961: Massive snowstorm strikes Northeastern states
Feb 3 2022
1961: Massive snowstorm strikes Northeastern states
The winter of 1960-1961 was one of the harshest on record for the northeastern states. Winter came early with a massive snowstorm in the beginning of December then was punctuated by the John K Kennedy Inauguration storm of January 20, 1961. The last of 3 monumental snowstorms that winter hit on February 3, 1961. The deepest snow fell from just north of Baltimore to New England and paralyzed the region for days. The storm did not come without warning, in fact schools from Philadelphia northward were cancelled a day before the storm hit to prepare. Snowfall totals reached 10 inches in Philadelphia 14” in Boston more than 20” across the New York City area and an incredible 40" in Cortland, New York. The wind reached 73 mph winds at Long Branch, NJ. The storm was proceeded by an intense period of record cold starting just after that storm on Inauguration day. In Philadelphia the mercury remained below freezing from January 20 all the way to February 3. That period of continually below freezing temperatures is one of the longest on record in that city. Both major rivers that flow through the city were frozen solid. Many cities set or were close to setting their all-time winter snowfall records – but then the winter ended as abruptly as it began. There were no more snow storms or intense cold the rest of the winter. Two intense winter months that went down in history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
1952: The Groundhog Day Storm
Feb 2 2022
1952: The Groundhog Day Storm
Wednesday, February 2The extraordinary 1952 Groundhog Day Storm was the only Atlantic tropical cyclone on record in February. First observed in the western Caribbean Sea on February 2, it moved rapidly throughout its duration and struck southwestern Florida early the next day as a gale-force storm. The 1952 Atlantic hurricane season was the last Atlantic hurricane season in which tropical cyclones were named using the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet. It was a near normal Atlantic hurricane season, although it was the least active since 1946. The season officially started on June 15; however, that pre-season storm formed on Groundhog Day, becoming the only storm on record in the month of February. On February 2 1952, a low-pressure area formed in the western Caribbean two months after the end of the1951 hurricane season. It moved quickly north-northwestward and acquired gale-force winds as it brushed the northern coast of Cuba. Early on February 3, the storm struck Cape Sable, Florida and quickly crossed the state. The Miami National Weather Bureau office recorded a wind gust of 68 mph during its passage. The winds damaged windows and power lines. The storm also dropped 2–4 inches of rain along its path, causing crop damage in Miami-Dade County. Then the storm continued rapidly northeastward, reaching peak winds of 70 mph. On February 4 it moved by off the coast of North Carolina. Later that day, it passed over Cape Cod, and dissipated after crossing into Maine. The storm caused scattered power outages and gusty winds across all across New England.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.