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Weather History Archive

On This Day In

                   Weather History

August 20th

Local and Regional Events:

August 20, 1904:

A destructive, estimated F4 tornado moved ESE from 7 miles WNW of Willow Lake, through the town, and on into Bryant. Most of the damaged occurred in those two towns. All buildings on at least three farms were blown away. One woman died in Bryant, Hamlin County, as the tornado swept across the residential west side of town. Another man was killed just west of Willow Lake, as his farm house was scattered for miles.

The image is courtesy of the California Digital Newspaper Collection.


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 August 20th:

1886: The 1886 Indianola Hurricane destroyed the town of Indianola, Texas and as such had a significant impact on the history and economic development of Texas. The storm ended the rivalry between Galveston and Indianola as the chief port of Texas. With the abandonment of Indianola and the unwillingness of the former residents to rebuild close to shore, Galveston became the most important Texan port until the 1900 Galveston Hurricane led to the rise of Houston as a major port. It was the fifth hurricane of the 1886 Atlantic hurricane season and one of the most intense hurricanes ever to hit the United States.


Indianola, Texas. Circa 1875. The image is courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.


1910: The Great Fire of 1910 finally came to an end in Idaho. A record dry August fueled 1736 fires that burned three million acres destroying six billion board feet of timber. The fires claimed the lives of 85 persons, 78 of which were firefighters, and consumed the entire town of Wallace. The smoke spread a third of the way around the world producing some dark days in the U.S. and Canada. The forest fires prompted federal fire protection laws. 

File:Wallace Idaho 1910 fire.jpg

Wallace, Idaho after the fires. The image is courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.


1928: A tornado estimated at F4 intensity initially touched down in Winnebago County, Iowa, moved to Freeborn County, Minnesota, and hit the south side of Austin, MN. Five of the six deaths were in Austin with 60 injuries.

The images above are courtesy of


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