National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

On This Day In

                   Weather History

February 19th

Local and Regional Events:

February 19, 2000:

Due to the extremely dry and windy conditions, a fire believed to be started by a discarded cigarette, burnt about 40 square miles of grassland between Kennebec and Lower Brule. The fire threatened a ranch but changed directions before anyone had to be evacuated.

 

February 19, 2008:

An Arctic airmass along with blustery northwest winds brought extreme wind chills during the evening and early morning hours to northeast South Dakota. Wind chills ranged from 35 to 50 degrees below zero. The winds diminished in the early morning hours of the 20th allowing air temperatures to fall to record or near record lows across northeast South Dakota. Ten new record lows, ranging from 23 to 30 degrees below zero, were set for February 20th. Several water pipes were broken in Aberdeen and Roslyn. In Roslyn, 225 people were without water for much of the day on the 20th as the water main broke during the night. Also, many vehicles did not start along with late school starts or closings.

 

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 February 19th:

1884: Severe thunderstorms spawned sixty tornadoes in the southeastern U.S., killing more than 420 people and causing three million dollars damage. The tornado outbreak hit Georgia and the Carolinas the hardest.

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The image above shows the remarkable number of tornadoes of February 19th, 1884. This picture is from "Tornadoes. What They are and how to Observe Them; with Practical Suggestings for the Protection of Life and Property," by John P. Finley. Click HERE to read this book.

 

1888: Severe thunderstorms over southern Illinois spawned a violent tornado which touched down in Jefferson County and devastated the southeast half of Mount Vernon. The tornado killed 24 people, injured 80 others, and destroyed or damaged 300 homes and 50 businesses. Overturned wood stoves ignited many fires in the wreckage. This tornado currently stands as the 9th deadliest Illinois tornado on record. This event was one of the first disasters to which the American Red Cross responded.

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The tornado destroyed Mt. Vernon, the Old Courthouse built in 1871. The courthouse was rebuilt in 1889. This image is courtesy from courthousehistory.com

 

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