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On This Day In

                   Weather History...

March 20th

Local and Regional Events:

March 20, 1982:

A winter storm dropped 10-20 inches of heavy wet snow across the northern two-thirds of South Dakota. Five persons were killed and eight others injured in indirect accidents. Downed power lines caused isolated power outages. A half dozen newborn calves died of exposure near Lemmon in Perkins County. In addition, 5% of the pheasant population in Brown, Edmunds, and Faulk Counties were killed. The weight of the snow collapsed a canopy of a grocery store in McLaughlin, Corson County, tearing out part of the brick front and breaking windows in the store.

 

March 20, 2008:

An upper-level disturbance coupled with an area of low pressure moving across the Central Plains brought widespread heavy snow from the late afternoon through the early morning hours to north-central and northeast South Dakota. Heavy snow of 6 to as much as 18 inches fell in this area resulting in school delays and cancelations along with treacherous travel conditions. Some snowfall amounts included: 6 inches at Bowdle, South Shore, and Bradley; 7 inches at Eureka, Chelsea, Bristol, and Pollock; 8 inches near Hosmer, Osaka, and Roscoe; 9 inches at Victor; 10 inches at Westport and Ipswich. Locations with a foot or more of snowfall included: 12 inches at Columbia, Milbank, and Waubay; 13 inches at Sisseton and Webster; 14 inches at Big Stone City; 15 inches at Summit; 16 inches at Roy Lake; 18 inches at Wilmot and Pickerel Lake State Park.

 

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 20th:

1948: The city of Juneau received 31 inches of snow in 24 hours, a record for the Alaska capitol. (20th - 21st)

 

Also on this day, an F3 tornado tracked through Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, OK just before 10 p.m. destroying 54 aircraft, including 17 transport planes valued at $500,000 dollars apiece. Total damage amounted to more than $10 million dollars, a record for the state that stood until the massive tornado outbreak of 5/3/1999. Major Ernest W. Fawbush and Captain Robert C. Miller were ordered to see if operationally forecasting tornadoes were possible. The tornado prompted the first attempt at tornado forecasting. Forecasters at Tinker believed conditions were again favorable for tornadoes, and issued the first recorded tornado forecast. Five days later on 3/25 at 6 pm, a forecasted tornado occurred, crossing the prepared base and damage was minimized. The successful, albeit somewhat lucky forecast, paved the way for tornado forecasts to be issued by the U.S. Weather Bureau after a long ban. Click HERE for more information from NOAA.

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Airplanes destroyed by the first Tinker Air Force Base tornado. Image courtesy of NOAA.

 

1986: Great Britain recorded their highest wind gust ever as the summit of Scotland's Cairngorm Mountains, at 4,085 feet had a gust of 172 mph.

 

1998: A deadly tornado outbreak occurred over portions of the southeastern United States on this day. Particularly hard hit were rural areas outside of Gainesville, Georgia, where at least 12 people were killed during the early morning hours. The entire outbreak killed 14 people and produced 12 tornadoes across three states with the town of Stoneville, North Carolina being also hard hit by the storms.

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Photo of F3 Stoneville tornado as it crossed US 220 and began entering Stoneville, NC from the southwest. The photo is a courtesy of the NWS Office in Blacksburg.

 

 

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