National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

On This Day In

                   Weather History

March 19th

Local and Regional Events:

March 19, 1968:

During a severe weather event, hail up to 1.75 inches in diameter fell 2 miles south of Brookings. Also, hail 1.00 inch in diameter fell 3 miles northeast of Sioux Falls.

 

March 19, 2006:

Heavy snow of 7 to as much as 20 inches fell on the afternoon of the 18th until around noon on the 20th. The South Dakota Department of Public Safety issued a travel advisory for any travel but especially for the State Basketball Tournament travelers. Interstate-90 was closed on Sunday into Monday morning with many people stranded. Many cars and trucks were stuck on the roads. Many schools and meetings were postponed or canceled. Snowfall amounts include 8 inches at Blunt, Onida, and Lake Sharpe, 9 inches at Mission Ridge, 10 inches at Pierre, 11 inches at Fort Pierre and near Stephan, 12 inches at Eagle Butte, 14 inches northwest of Presho, 16 inches at Murdo, and 20 inches near Iona.

 

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 March 19th:

1907: The highest March temperature in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was set when the temperature soared to 97 degrees. Dodge City, Kansas also set a March record with 98 degrees. Denver, Colorado set a daily record high of 81 degrees.

 

1948: An estimated F4 tornado moved through Fosterburg, Bunker Hill, and Gillespie, Illinois, killing 33 people and injuring 449 others. 2,000 buildings in Bunker Hill were damaged or destroyed. Total damage was $3.6 million dollars.

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A view of Meissner School in Bunker Hill, Illinois, one of the few surviving buildings after the 1948 tornado.

 

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A view of the business district of Bunker Hill, Illinois after the 1948 tornado.

 

2003: One of the worst blizzards, since records began in 1872, struck the Denver metro area and Colorado's Front Range began with a vengeance. Denver International Airport was closed stranding about 4,000 travelers. The weight of the snow caused a 40-foot gash in a portion of the roof forcing the evacuation of that section of the main terminal building. Winds gusting to 40 mph produced drifts six feet high in places around the city. Snowfall in foothills was even more impressive. The heavy wet snow caused numerous roofs of homes and businesses to collapse. The estimated cost of property damage alone, not including large commercial buildings, was $93 million dollars, making it the most costly snowstorm on record for the area. In Denver alone at least 258 structures were damaged. Up to 135,000 people lost power during the storm, and it took several days for power to be totally restored. Mayor Wellington Webb of Denver said, "This is the storm of the century, a backbreaker, a record breaker, a roof breaker." Avalanches in the mountains and foothills closed many roads, including Interstate 70, stranding hundreds of skiers and travelers. The Eldora Ski area 270 skiers were stranded when an avalanche closed the main access road. After the storm, a military helicopter had to deliver food to the resort until the road could be cleared. Two people died in Aurora from heart attacks after shoveling the heavy wet snow. The National Guard sent 40 soldiers and 20 heavy duty vehicles to rescue stranded travelers along a section of I-70. The storm made March 2003 the snowiest March on record, the fourth snowiest month on record and the fifth wettest March on record. The total of 22.9 inches is the greatest 24-hour total in March. The storm also broke 19 consecutive months of below normal precipitation for Denver.  The 31.8 inches of snow was recorded at the former Stapleton Airport in Denver for its second greatest snowstorm on record (the greatest was 37.5 inches on 12/4-12/5/1913) with up to three feet in other areas in and around the city and more than seven feet in the foothills. Higher amounts included: Fritz Peak: 87.5 inches, Rollinsville: 87.5 inches, Canin Creek: 83 inches, Near Bergen Park: 74 inches, Northwest of Evergreen: 73 inches, Cola Creek Canyon: 72 inches, Georgetown: 70 inches, Jamestown: 63 inches, Near Blackhawk: 60 inches, Eldora Ski Area: 55 inches, Ken Caryl Ranch: 46.6 inches, Aurora: 40 inches, Centennial: 38 inches, Buckley AFB: 37 inches, Southwest Denver: 35 inches, Louisville: 34 inches, Arvada: 32 inches, Broomfield: 31 inches, Westminster: 31 inches and Boulder: 22.5 inches. This storm was the result of a very moist intense slow moving Pacific system which tracked across the four corners and into southeastern Colorado which allowed a deep easterly upslope to form among the front-range.

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