National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

On This Day In

                   Weather History

April 1st

Local and Regional Events:

April 1, 1960:

Heavy snow of 4 to 10 inches fell in the eastern half of South Dakota. Some highways were closed mainly due to the difficulty of plowing the heavy, wet snow. Power and phone failures of short duration were caused by the snowfall in the Aberdeen area, which received 7.5 inches, setting the record for April 1st. Snowfall with high water content aggravated floods that were currently in progress on the James, Vermillion and Big Sioux Rivers.

 

April 1, 2011:

Snowmelt flooding in March continued across much of central and northeast South Dakota as the rest of the snowpack melted into early April. Many roads along with many acres of crop and pastureland remained flooded. Roads, culverts, and bridges were damaged across the region. Several roads were washed out with many closed. Many homes were threatened with some surrounded by water. Rising lake levels in northeast South Dakota also threatened and flooded many homes. Many people had to use four-wheelers to get to their homes. A Presidential Disaster was declared for all counties due to the flooding damage. The total damage estimates, including March, were from 4.5 to 5 million dollars for the area. The flooding diminished across much of the area into May. The snowmelt flooding damaged many roads and highways, including U.S. Highway 81, throughout Hamlin County. Many roads were closed throughout the county. In the late evening of April 13th on U.S Highway 81, a car with four people inside went through a flooded area at a high rate of speed and ended up in the flooded ditch. They all got out with no injuries. The snowmelt runoff caused Lake Kampeska to rise to nearly 44 inches overfull. The lake flooded several roads and also threatened many homes. Sandbagging was done to hold off the rising lake. Waves and ice chunks did eventually do some damage to homes. Also, many boat lifts were damaged. Mud Creek near Rauville also went slightly above the flood stage of 9 feet to 9.64 feet for a couple of days in early April.

 

Local Climate Information:

Click HERE for daily climate information for Aberdeen, Mobridge, Pierre, Sisseton, and Watertown.

Click HERE for daily climate information for Sioux Falls, Huron, Mitchell, and Sioux City.

 

U.S.A and Global Events for April 1st:

1875: The London Times published the first daily newspaper weather map. The first American newspaper weather map would be issued on 5/12/1876 in the New York Herald. Weather maps would first appear on a regular basis beginning on 5/9/1879 in the New York Daily Graphic.

 

1960: The first weather satellite, TIROS 1 (Television and Infra-Red Observation Satellite) began sending pictures back to Earth. The TIROS series would have little benefit to operational weather forecasters because the image quality was low and inconsistent. The most critical understanding achieved from the new technology was the discovery of the high degree of organization of large-scale weather systems, a fact never apparent from ground and aircraft observations. 

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Above is the first picture from TIROS 1 on April 1st, 1960. The satellite would cease operations in mid-June 1960 due to an electrical failure. During the 77 days, it operated, the satellite sent back 19,389 good pictures that were used in weather operations. Click HERE for more information from NASA.

 

1973: A tornado touches down near Brentsville, Virginia, then traveled to Fairfax hitting Woodson High School. This F2 tornado injured 37 and caused $14 million in damage.

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The above is a newspaper clipping showing the part of the tornado that crossed Fairfax County on April 1st, 1973. The image is courtesy of the Safety and Security Office, Fairfax County Public Schools.

 

1987: Forty-five cities across the southeastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Lows of 37 degrees at Apalachicola, 34 degrees at Jacksonville Florida, 30 degrees at Macon Georgia, and 22 degrees at Knoxville Tennessee, were records for April. 

 

Click HERE for more This Day in Weather History from the Southeast Regional Climate Center.