Dan, Dan the Weatherman's World Weather Trivia Page

I've assembled as many interesting weather facts as I can to make this world weather trivia page. Obviously I didn't know all these facts off the top of my head. Some I discovered myself, but the I had to hunt around for the vast majority. The internet was, needless to say, a particulary handy source, especially regarding American weather. Another good source proved to be old weather periodicals, such as The Meteorological Magazine  which seemed much more intent on facts and figures than research. If you scroll to the bottom of this page you'll find a list of sources. Incidentally, if any of these facts turn out to be wrong, or records quoted get broken please  and let me know. Thanks.

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January February March April May June July August September October November December


Dec 1
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Dec 2
1896 The southeastern USA is affected by an early season snow and ice storm. 28cm snow fall at Charlotte, North Carolina and 15cm at Atlanta, Georgia. 7
1948 The UK records its mildest December day on record when highs reach 18.3C in Achnashellach, Scotland.

Dec 3
1982 Arkansas registers its record maximum 24 hour precipitation as 357.1mm rain falls at Big Fork. 11

Dec 4
1953 The Netherlands records its hottest December day on record when highs reach 17.8C in Buchten.

Dec 5
1953 39 people are killed when a tornado strikes Vicksburg, Mississippi. A further 270 are injured. 19

Dec 6
1971 The wettest day on record in Barcelona with 196.0mm rain falling. 10

Dec 7
1987 493mm rain falls at Las Piedras, Puerto Rico causing about $5 million in damage. 7

Dec 8
1938 Temperatures reach 37.8C (100F) at La Mesa, California. 7

Dec 9
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Dec 10
1946 New York City records its warmest December day on record when highs reach 21C. 19

Dec 11
1905 The hottest day on record in both Argentina and South America. Highs reach 48.9C at Rivadavia. 13

Dec 12
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Dec 13
1941 Sweden's coldest night on record; lows drop to -53.0C in Malgovik.
1987 64cm snow falls at Cedar Quest, New Mexico. This early season snowfall dumps as much as 90cm at higher elevations whilst winds up to 75mph gusting 124mph are recorded in the region northeast of Albuquerque. 7
1997 Northern Mexico is hit by a rare cold snap and snowstorm. In Guadalajara it snows for the first time since 1881 whilst in Chihuahua temperatures drop to -15C. 12 people die and the area is left paralyzed. 7

Dec 14
1987 Record snowfall in El Paso. Almost 57cms snow falls on the 13-14 December. Click here to see a photo of the snow!

Dec 15
1997 Freak snowstorms and bitterly cold weather hit northern Mexico, killing 12 people. In Guadlajara in snowed for the first time since 1881 and as much as 40cms snow fell whilst temperatures in Chihuahua state fell as low as -15C. 34
1999 Cyclone John hit the sparsely populated northwest coast of Australia with winds gusting to 185mph. John was the strongest cyclone to hit Australia in over 100 years. 29

Dec 16
1897 807.8mm rain falls in 24 hours on the 15th and 16th at Nedunkem, Sri Lanka. 23
1988 Some wierd weather in Fairbanks, Alaska. Freezing rain is reported but later in the day highs reach 5C, some 23.9C above normal for the time of year. 7
2001 93.5mm rain falls in 24 hours in Little Rock, Arkansas, the wettest 24 hour period here since 18 August 1997.

Dec 17
1997 Typhoon Paka crossed Guam on the 16th-17th. 535mm rain fell at Tiyan before the rain measuring equipment failed 2 hours before the eye passed close by whilst unofficial sources at Andersen Air Force Base beleive winds gusted to 380kmh (236.7mph) during the storm. 7

Dec 18
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Dec 19
1924 The Riverside Ranger Station in Yellowstone Park, Wyoming records a low of -50.6C, the coldest December low on record in the USA. 7
2001 Highest sea level pressure on record recorded; barometers in Tosontsengel, about 700km west of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia recorded 1085.6mb.

Dec 20
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Dec 21
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Dec 22
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Dec 23
1924 A storm at Sydney, Australia produced winds up to 70mph which disrupted traffic. 23

Dec 24
1972 Queensland in Australia records one of its hottest day on record when highs at Birdsville reach 48.0C. 13

Dec 25
1836 The UK's heaviest Christmas snowstorm on record leaves drifts more than 7 metres high in some places and many are killed. 14
1974 Cyclone Tracey destroys much of Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia. 60 people are killed and winds peak at 217 km/h. 7
1988 A winter snowstorm over Las Vegas produces a white Christmas here for the first time on record. 7

Dec 26
1924 It snowed in Baghdad, the first snow here since 1916. Snowfall was followed by a low of 8F. 23
1927 The UK's worst Christmas blizzard in 100 years or so started on the 25th and ended on the 26th. Southern England was worst hit and snow drifted up to 4.5 metres in places. 7
1947 A snowstorm over New York dumps 61cm snow on Central Park and 81cm in the New York City suburbs. This snowstorm is the worst on record at Central Park. 7
1999 Temperatures at this time of the year are usually in the mid 20's Celsius in Phnom Penh and many other parts of Kampuchea, but on this day a temperature of just 16C was reported in Phnom Penh, the lowest temperature recorded here since 1934. 29

Dec 27
1998 Severe gales on the night of the 26th/27th over the UK. Worst affected was southern Scotland, northern England, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland. Winds gusted to 109mph at Malin Head (northwestern Eire), 106mph at Belmullet (northwestern Eire), 103mph at Prestwick, southwestern Scotland and 100mph at Capel Curig, north Wales.

Dec 28
1879 The Tay Bridge Disaster, caused by a waterspout and gales. This is the UK's deadliest waterspout; 74 were killed when 2 or 3 waterspouts hit a train crossing the River Tay in Scotland during a storm.

Dec 29
1894 A severe cold snap over Florida destroys fruit and damages trees. 7
1964 Winds reach 209km/h during a severe non-tropical storm at Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. 7

Dec 30
1917 The coldest night on record in both Tennessee and West Virginia. Lows drop to -35.6C (Mountain City) and -38.3C (Lewisburg) respectively. 9
1930 Vermont's coldest night on record; lows drop to -45.6C at Bloomfield. 9
1968 Washington's coldest night on record; lows drop to --44.4C at both Mazama and Winthrop. 9
1995 The UK's joint coldest night on record and the coldest December night on record; temperatures drop to a low of -27.2C at Altnaharra, Highland in Scotland.
2003 Cold winds with temperatures of just 0.6 Celsius brought snow to Las Vegas. This snow deposited 4mm water equivalent of rainfall. The average December rainfall for Las Vegas is just 6.3mm. Snow accumulation is rare in Las Vegas. Flurries are observed once or twice during most winters, but snowfall of an inch or more occurs only once every four to five years. However, freezing temperatures do occur with some regularity. Based on the 1961-90 period of record, the average first occurrence of 32 degrees in the fall is November 25; the average last occurrence is February 28.

Dec 31
1882 A snowstorm over San Francisco dumps close to 10cm snow on the city. This is the second biggest snowstorm on record here. 19

January February March April May June July August September October November December

1 KROLL, E. (1995): De Wereld van het Weer, Teleac, p.188.
2 The Journal of Meteorology (UK)
3 The Tornado Project
4 FUKUI, E. eds. (1977): The Climate of Japan, Elsevier, p.317.
5 LUDLAM, D.M. (1989): Early American Hurricanes, American Meteorological Society, p.198.
6 The Notable Point Rainfall Events webpage at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology
7 The Weather Doctor's website
8 Weatherwise
9 USA Today Weather Almanac
10 Spanish weather records
11 US state by state 24 hour precipitation records
12 New Zealand national meteorological service
13 World weather records
14 WILSON, F. (1990): The Great British Obsession. Jarrold Publishing, pp144.
15 DAVISON, M. & CURRIE, I. (1996): The Surrey Weather Book. Frosted Earth, pp120.
16 EDEN, P. (1995): Weatherwise. MacMillan, pp323.
17 Finnish Meteorological Institute
18 NOAA past US weather page
19 LUDLAM, D.M. (1989): The American Weather Book, American Meteorological Society, p.296.
20 Intellicast past US weather page
21 GRAZULIS, T.P. (2001): The Tornado, University of Oklahoma Press, p.324.
22 SPC Tornado FAQ
23 The Meteorological Magazine
24 Bureau of Meteorology, Australia
25 Meteorological Centre Lombardy, Italy
26 Meteo89, Italy
27 Boston Weather History
28 National Hurricane Center
29 Wildweather
30 GRAZULIS, T.P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991. Environmental Films, pp1324.
31 SCHMIDLIN, T. W. and SCHMIDLIN, J.A. (1996). Thunder in the Heartland. Kent State University Press, pp362.
32 British Rainfall
33 Hong Kong climatology
34 Canadian Weather Trivia Calender 2003

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Dan Suri, last updated 28 July 2003