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


May 1
1986 Hailstones weighing up to 5kg are reported in China. The storm kills 16 and injures another 125. 7

May 2
1935 On the 1st and 2nd southeastern Minnesota is affected by snow, including a fall of 7.5cm snow in Minneapolis. 7

May 3
1999 A gust of 508.8km/h gets recorded in a tornado at Oklahoma City in the USA. This is the world's highest ever recorded wind speed. It was also the largest tornado outbreak ever in Oklahoma, and the USA most estructive tornado on record was recorded. 38 people were killed, and among the places affected was Oklahoma City itself. Damage estimated at $1,200,000,000 was caused. 21

May 4
Watch this space!

May 5
1995 North America's most destructive hailstorm on record. 510 people were injured and damage estimated at $2 billion occurred around Dallas, Texas. 7
2002 In the 24 hours up to 1200GMT the rainfall equivalent of 12mm rain and snow fell at Ulan Bator, Mongolia. In the whole month of May the average precipitation is just 12mm.

May 6
1933 The wettest day on record in Charleston, South Carolina as 268.5mm rain falls in 24 hours.

May 7
1840 317 are killed by a tornado at Natchez, Mississippi. This is the greatest tornado disaster in early America and the Deep South's greatest natural human tradgedy. It's also the USA's second most deadly tornado disaster. 19, 21

May 8
1360 Thousands of people are reportedly killed by a severe hailstorm in Chartres, France. 7

May 9
1927 The USA's joint 16th deadliest tornado on record strikes Poplar Bluff, Missouri killing 98 people. 22
1978 Britain records its largest ever 24 hour temperature range as temperatures in Tummel Bridge, eastern Scotland rise from an overnight low of -7C to a high of 22C. 7

May 10
1899 Mexico's deadliest known tornado. At least 22 people were killed and cars were thrown more than 100m at the Hondo coal mine. 21
1905 A tornado cuts a 40 mile path of desctruction across southwestern Oklahoma killing 97 people, 87 of which were killed at Snyder. This tornado is the 18th deadliest on record in the USA. 7, 22

May 11
1953 114 people are killed by a tornado at Waco, Texas. This is the joint 10th deadliest tornado on record in the USA. 19, 22

May 12
1916 The world's wettest quarter of an hour on record; plumbing at Plumb Point in Jamaica gets put to the test when 198mm rain falls in just 15 minutes. 6
1929 Virginia's worst tornado on record. 6 tornadoes touched down, including two west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, killing 22 people and destroying 4 schools. 13 of the victims were killed at Rye Cove in Scott County.

May 13
1922 During a 30 minute period in the mid afternoon a hailstorm affected an area half a kilometre wide and 5-6 kilometres long in Montpelier, France. Hail 10-15mm in diameter fell and immediatly after the storm hail lay 10cm deep, locally 50-60cm deep. 7
1930 A severe hailstorm kills a man caught in an open field close to Lubbock, texas. It's the first authenticated death by hail in US weather history. 7
1996 Several towns near Tangail, Bangladesh are destroyed by a large tornado that lasts about 20 minutes, kills more than 1,000, injures 34,000 and leaves another 100,000 homeless. 7

May 14
1965 Temperatures reach 28.9C in London. Nothing special you might think, but this turns out to be the hottest day of the year, the earliest in the year this has occured since at least 1875.

May 15
1968 Alaska's only tornado on record touches down near Anchorage. 7

May 16
Watch this space!

May 17
1935 Snow falls in the central Netherlands, the latest in the spring that snow has been observed here.
1979 Hawaii's coldest night on record; lows drop to -11.1C at Mauna Kea. 9

May 18
1902 The USA's joint 10th deadliest tornado on record strikes Goliad, Texas killing 114 people. 22
2002 Snow affects an area extending from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts and in Albany, NY snowfall here is the latest in the season that it's snowed. The weather system responsible for this unseasonable snow also dumped up to 50mm rain on New York, Philapdelphia and Washington DC and heralded a record breaking cold wave.

May 19
1955 New Mexico registers its record maximum 24 hour precipitation as 286.5mm rain falls at Lake Maloya. 11
2002 Key West in the Florida Keys recorded 102mm rain in 24 hours as a slow moving band of thundery rain lingered over the area. The average May precipitation here is 84mm. Meanwhile on the same day Fairbanks, Alaska reached 25C against the May average of 17C.

May 20
1918 What are the odds on this? On this day in 1918 a F4 tornado tocuhed down in Codell, Kansas. The year before on exactly the same date a F3 tornado touched down here, whilst the year before that in 1916 a F2 tornado touched down here. 7
1999 A cyclone with winds up to 170mph hits the Sindh Province in southern Pakistan killing more than 400 and leaving 600 villages devastated. 7
2002 A cold wave across the eastern and central USA led to 80 cities recording record low temperatures for this day. Among them was Hartford, Conn where the low of -1C was the latest in the season below freezing temperatures have been recorded. This cold wave began two days earlier with 54 record daily lows set, followed by another 96 on 19th May.

May 21
1860 Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio are struck by tornadoes. 7
1950 The UK's longest lived tornado on record started in Wendover, Bucks. at 4pm-ish and tracked around 100 miles before dying out on the Norfolk coast at 8pm-ish. Tornadoes usually last a few minutes at most. This tornado devasted parts of Wendover, Aston Clinton, Puttenham, Linslade, Lidlington, Bedford and Blakeney. 14

May 22
1922 The UK records its joint hottest May day on record when highs reach 32.8C at Camden Square, London.

May 23
Watch this space!

May 24
1964 480 homes in the southwestern suburbs of Tokyo are damaged by a tornado. Estimates suggest that between 5 and 35 tornadoes affect Japan per year. 21

May 25
1920 Fussen in Bavaria, southern Germany records 126mm rain in just 8 minutes during what must have been a particularly torrential cloudburst. 6
1922 The Netherlands records its hottest May day on record when highs reach 35.6C in Sittard and Gemert.
1955 80 are killed by a tornado in Udall, Kansas. This tornado is the 23rd deadliest on record in the USA. 19, 22

May 26
1917 The USA's 13th deadliest tornado on record strikes Mattoon, Illinois killing 101 people. 22

May 27
1896 USA's 3rd deadliest tornado on record; 255 are killed and 1000 are injured as a tornado tears through St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois. 21

May 28
1887 San Francisco records its hottest May day on record as highs reach 36C. 19

May 29
1944 The UK records its joint hottest May day on record when highs reach 32.8C in and around London.

May 30
Watch this space!

May 31
1935 D'Hanis in the USA records 559mm rain in just two and three quarter hours. 6
1985 A tornado in Barrie, Ontario killed 8 people, injured another 155 and caused $100 million damage. This tornado also had a 200km long track, the longest on record in Canada. Tornadoes were also reported in Grand Valley, Orangeville and Tottenham in central Ontario killing a further 3 people. 13 tornadoes were reported over Ontario on this day.

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