Weather History: October

Scott Doering
Oct 5, 2017 · 16 min read

1–1890: The U.S. Weather Bureau was created when Congress passed an act transferring the meteorological responsibilities of the Signal Service to the Department of Agriculture. Click HERE for more information from

The image above is from

1–2, 1893: On this day, the village of Caminadaville, Louisiana was wiped out by a massive hurricane. Caminadaville was a vibrant fishing community in the late 19th century, located on Cheniere Caminada, adjacent to Grand Isle in coastal Jefferson Parish in Louisiana. It took 5 days for the news of this devastating hurricane to reach New Orleans.

1–1938: Grannis and Okay, Arkansas set an all-time high temperature record for the month of October for Arkansas with 105 degrees.

1–1945: While investigating a Category 1 typhoon over the South China Sea, the typhoon hunter plane was lost. This marks the first of only a few instances of the Hurricane/Typhoon plane was lost during their flight into the storm.

1–1999: A narrow band of heavy snow fell across portions of South Dakota. Snowfall amounts of 4 to 8 was common in the narrow band.

1–2017: Ice fog from hail developed following a thunderstorm in Kansas.

Large hail was also observed during the severe storms in Kansas.

2–1858: The only hurricane to impact California struck San Diego on this day. Two researchers with NOAA, Michael Chenoweth and Christopher Landsea reconstructed the path of the storm using accounts from newspapers of the high winds. They estimated that if a similar storm were to have hit in 2004, it would have caused around $500 million in damage.

2–1898: A Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Georgia on this day. This is the most recent major (Cat 3 or stronger) hurricane to make landfall in Georgia.

1–5, 2015: Unprecedented rainfall fell throughout South Carolina from October 1st — 5th, 2015. Storm total amounts greater than 20" were observed in Columbia and Sumter.

2–1894: A tornado passed over the Little Rock, Arkansas Weather Bureau office on this day.

3–1780: A hurricane, which formed on October 1st, destroyed the port city of Savanna-la-Mar on the island of Jamaica on this day. By some estimates, this stormed cause 3,000 deaths.

3–1903: A devastating tornado ripped through St. Charles, Minnesota, killing 7 and injuring 30.

3–1979: An F4 tornado struck the towns of Windsor, Windsor Locks, and Suffield in Connecticut, causing an estimated $400 million in property damage, on this day. The New England Air Museum, which housed more than 20 vintage aircraft, was destroyed. This tornado also caused a United Airlines flight to abort a landing at the Bradley International Airport because the pilot saw the tornado.

The newspaper article was from the Spokane Daily Chronicle on October 5th, 1979

3–4, 1987: A storm brought record snows to the northeastern U.S. Snowfall totals ranged up to 21 inches at North Springfield, VT. It was the earliest snow of record for some locations. The storm claimed 17 lives in central New York State, injured 332 persons, and in Vermont caused seventeen million dollars damage. The six inch snow at Albany, NY was their earliest measurable snow in 117 years of records.

3–2002: Hurricane Lili made landfall between White Lake and Vermilion Bay, Louisiana as a Category 1 storm.

3–2017: The City of Houston had it’s wettest year on record with 73.51 inches. The previous wettest year was in 1900 when 72.86 inches were measured.

4–1777: The Battle of Germantown was fought in a morning fog that grew denser with the smoke of battle, causing great confusion.

4–1925: San Diego received 2.95 inches of rain, setting a single day record for October.

4–1957: Sputnik 1 was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on 4 October 1957.

4–1987: A major winter storm produced heavy snow around Albany, New York and interior of New England.

4 — 2005: Hurricane Stan made landfall near Punta Roca Partida, Mexico as a Category 1 storm. While not a particularly strong hurricane the torrential rains caused flooding and landslides, which resulted in 1,513 deaths in Guatemala.

4–2013: The tri-state area of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Iowa saw tornadoes, including an EF-4 tornado near Pierson, Iowa.

This same storm produced record snowfall in western South Dakota, particularly the Black Hills area. This blizzard killed at least 21,000 cattle.

4–2017: A possible meteorite was seen over China.

5–6, 1786: The famous “Pumpkin Flood” occurred on the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers. Harrisburg PA reported a river stage of twenty-two feet.

5–1864: A devastating cyclone kills at least 60,000 in Calcutta, India.

5–2010: Large hail pounded Phoenix, Arizona, causing nearly $3 billion in damage.

5–2017: GOES-16 time lapse of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season from August 7th through October 5th.

6–1952: Sleet fell at several locations, making it the earliest documented winter precipitation in Arkansas.

6–1959: The Soviet spacecraft, Luna 3, captured the first images of the far side of the Moon. The first image was taken at 3:30 UTC on the 7th of October.

6–1972: Tropical Storm Joanne arrived in Arizona (formerly Hurricane Joanne in the eastern Pacific Ocean). This was the first documented occurrence of a tropical storm making it across northern Mexico and into Arizona with it’s circulation intact. Joanne caused gale force winds in Yuma and heavy rain/flooding in other areas of southern Arizona.

6–1981: The Netherlands fourth worst aircraft accident (at the time) occurred on this day. At 5:09 PM, the crew noted heavy rainfall in thunderstorms on the weather avoidance radar and received clearance to avoid this area. At 5:12 pm, the aircraft entered a tornado, which caused the right wing to separate from the plane. All 17 occupants of the aircraft perished in the accident.

6–2010: A major severe weather event struck northern Arizona with 8 confirmed tornadoes.

6–2016: Around a half dozen tornadoes struck Kansas, including an EF-2 and EF-3 in Saline County.

6–2016: The center of Hurricane Matthew passed withing 100 miles of Miami.

7–1825: Raging forest fires in Miramichi region of New Brunswick, Canada, destroy over 3 million acres of forest. As many as 500 people were killed. The blaze has been partly attributed to unusually hot weather in the fall and summer of 1825, coupled with outdoor fires by settlers and loggers.

7–1849: High winds swept the passengers of the St. John out to sea. This resulted in the loss of 143 people.

7–2016: Hurricane Matthew was off the coast of north Florida around noon.

7–2017: Hurricane Nate was spinning in the Gulf of Mexico during the morning hours.

7–2017: An EF-0 tornado occurred on the east side of Madison, Wisconsin.

7–2017: A tornado touched down near Jenner in Alberta, Canada.

7–2017: Red sprites seen over Oklahoma.

8–1871: The Great Chicago Fire burns much of the city to the ground, fanned by strong southwest winds. An estimated 250 were killed. On the same night, forest fires swept through Peshtigo, Wisconsin. An estimated 1,500 to possibly as many as 2,500 dies as gale-force winds push flames across town. Severe drought blamed for tinder-dry conditions. An additional 200 die in Michigan fires.

8–1946: A Category 1 hurricane made landfall near Tampa, Florida.

8–2016: Hurricane Matthew made landfall over the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as a Category 1 storm.

8–2017: Remnants from Hurricane Nate produced at least 17 reports of tornadoes in North and South Carolina.

8–2017: Ashe County, North Carolina had its’ first confirmed tornado since records begin in 1950.

9–1804: The famous Snow Hurricane moved ashore near Atlantic City on this day. After briefly passing through Connecticut and into Massachusetts, cold air moved into the circulation with heavy snow falling between New York to southern Canada. Berkshires Massachusetts and Concord New Hampshire record two feet of snow with this hurricane.

9–2001: An unusually strong outbreak of tornadoes spawned at least 23 twisters across parts of Nebraska and Oklahoma.

9–2013: The Puglia region of southern Italy saw tornadoes on this day.

9–2017: GOES-16 showing the wildfires in California.

8–9, 2017: Heavy snow fell over portions of Colorado.

10–1780: The Great Hurricane of 1780 made landfall on Barbados on this day. This hurricane is the deadliest on record in the Atlantic, killing over 22,000 people.

10–1949: A rapidly deepening area of low pressure produced hurricane force winds across much of Upper Midwest.

10–1979: Hartford, CT saw their earliest snowfall on record.

10–2009: A band of snow dropped a dusting to over 6 inches of snow in central to western Iowa, in into central Nebraska.

10–11, 1846: A major hurricane, likely a Category 5, moved through the Caribbean Sea. This Great Havana Hurricane struck western Cuba on 10 October. It hit the Florida Keys on 11 October, destroying the old Key West Lighthouse and Fort Zachary Taylor.

11 — 1737: On the night of October 11, 1737, a severe tropical cyclone struck the port city of Calcutta (Kolkata) leaving an incredible trail of death and destruction.

11–1846: The Great Havana Hurricane, likely a Category 5 storm passed between Key West and the Marquesas Keys.

11–1906: Games 1–3 of the 1906 all Chicago World Series were played with cold temps and snow flurries.

11–1909: A Category 3 hurricane made landfall near Long Key, Florida with maximum sustained winds around 115 mph.

11–1918: The island of Puerto Rico was struck by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, centered off the island’s northwestern coast, in the Mona Passage.

12–1918: Wildfires spread thru northern Minnesota. The fires killed about 450 and destroyed Cloquet, MN.

12–1979: Aircraft measured a pressure of 870 mb in Typhoon Tip — the lowest pressure ever recorded in a tropical cyclone.

12–2017: Ophelia is the 10th consecutive storm to reach hurricane strength this season, tying the all-time record set in 1878, 1886 & 1893.

12–2017: Hail covered highway 16 near Purdy, Washington, or northwest of Gig Harbor.

12–2017: An observation at the Aurora, Oregon reported a tornado.

13–1893: A hurricane made landfall just north of Charleston as Cat 3 with 120 mph winds and minimum central pressure of 955 mb.

13–27, 1947: From October 13 to October 27, firefighters tried to fight 200 Maine fires, consuming a quarter of a million acres of forest and wiping out nine entire towns.

14–1941: America’s first television weather forecast was broadcast on New York’s WNBT (later WNBC).

14–1964: Category 3 Hurricane, Isbell progressed to the north-northeast, just west of the Marquesas Keys.

14–1966: A half-mile wide F5 tornado struck Belmond, Iowa just after the homecoming parade.

14–2014: Tornadoes touch down near the Blue Ridge in the Carolinas.

14–2017: Ophelia is a major hurricane at 35.9°N-the farthest north an Atlantic major hurricane has existed this late in the calendar year since 1939.

14–2017: Heavy rain fell over the Chicago area causing flooding.

15–1608: Happy Birthday, Evangelista Torricelli, the inventor of the 1st barometer.

The portrait above is Evangelista Torricelli by Lorenzo Lippi, circa 1647.

15–16, 1987: Beginning on the night of October 15th, an unusually strong weather system caused extremely high winds in the United Kingdom. This storm became known as the Great Storm of 1987. It was the worst storm to hit the UK since the Great Storm on 1703.

16–1975: GOES 1 was launched on this day.

16–1988: An F2 tornado carved a 6 mile long, east-northeast path through a mostly rural area of north-central Indiana. The extremely slow-moving tornado touched down 1.5 miles north of Nappanee, just 300 yards north of a high school, and shortly after that moved through a subdivision where 11 homes sustained damage.

16–2017: Post tropical cyclone Ophelia hitting Ireland, wind gusts reaching 96 mph this morning. Imagery from Meteosat10.

17–1910: A Category 4 hurricane impacted the Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys.

17–18, 1998: During the weekend of October 17–18, 1998, torrential rains fell over south and southeast Texas. Up to 22 inches of rain fell which first resulted in deadly flash flooding from San Antonio to Austin followed by record-breaking river floods along several South Texas rivers the following week.

17–2007: Severe weather impacted Tulsa, Oklahoma, injuring at least 50 people.

17–2016: An EF1 tornado hit Stayner, Ontario.

17–2017: Before and after aerial imagery from the west end of Dauphin Island following Hurricane Nate.

18–1844: Strong winds caused a storm surge into downtown Buffalo, New York.

18–1950: Hurricane King made landfall in downtown Miami as a Category 4 hurricane.

18–1984: Lake effect snow impacted Salt Lake City from the 17th through the 18th. This storm produced a record breaking snowfall of 18.4 inches in Salt Lake City. It was the biggest pounding Salt Lake City took in 24 hours of snow until February 1998, when accumulations reached 18.9 inches.

18–2005: Hurricane Wilma rapidly intensified into a Category 5 hurricane.

18–2004: Tornadoes hit portions of central and northeast Arkansas on this day. An F2 tornado produced $12 million in damages at the Stuttgart Airport.

18–2007: 16 tornadoes occurred across the Paducah, Kentucky forecast area. The strongest tornado was rated an EF3.

19–1982: An early fall snowstorm dropped 3 to 12 inches of wet snow over the southeastern corner of South Dakota and the northwest corner of Nebraska.

17–19, 2007: 87 tornadoes were reported in the US from October 17–19th, 2007, a new record outbreak for the month.

20–1770: One of the most violent and destruction storms impacted the New England coast.

20–2012: A look back at Hurricane Sandy, 5 years ago today.

20–2013: A tornado was spotted and photographed near Bray-sur-Somme, France by Florian Delpanque on October 20, 2013 at 16:30 UTC. The tornado touched down over agricultural land, no damage has been reported.

21–2010: A tornado was spotted north of Rosewell, New Mexico.

21–1966: An avalanche of mud and rocks buries a school in Aberfan, Wales, killing 148 people, mostly young students. The elementary school was in a valley below where a mining operation dumped its waste. In the days leading up to October 21, there was heavy rain in the area. After five months of investigation and the deposition of more than 100 witnesses, it was determined that the tip had blocked the natural course of water down the hill. As the water was soaked into the tip, pressure built up inside until it cracked, with devastating results.

22–1998: Tropical Depression 13 formed. It would become Hurricane Mitch four day later. Mitch is the 2nd deadliest storm in the history of the Atlantic.

22–2012: Tropical Depression 18 formed in the Caribbean Sea south of Jamaica. It would later intensify and become Hurricane Sandy.

22–2017: The GOES16 lightning mapper captured an impressive lightning flash that propagated for about 250 miles across portions of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri on October 22, 2017.

23–1920: Happy Birthday Ted Fujita. Born of this date in 1920.

23–2005: Hurricane Wilma produced a large waterspout near the Florida Keys.

23–2013: Snow falls over parts of Michigan.

23–2014: A rare, EF1 tornado touched down in Longview, Washington.

23–2015: Hurricane Patricia became the 2nd most powerful tropical cyclone ever measured at 872 mbar.

24–1946: The first photo of Earth was taken from a Navi V2 rocket launched by the US.

24–26th, 1997: A blizzard impacted Colorado with 52 inches of snow in Palmer Lake. Many school districts were closed for a part, or all of the following week, as the digging out process continued.

24–2005: Hurricane Wilma made landfall in southwestern Florida as a Category 3 storm.

25–1921: On this date in 1921, a devastating category 3 hurricane struck near Tarpon Springs, FL.

25–1975: GOES-1, which was launched on October 16th, produced its first image of the earth on this day.

25–1977: Dutch Harbor in Alaska reported a barometric pressure reading of 27.31 inches (925 millibars) to establish an all-time record for the state.

25–2003: A fire began in the Cuyamaca Mountains spread quickly due to Santa Ana Winds. This fire, called Cedar Fire, remains the largest recorded wildfire in California history, burning 273,246 acres.

25–2017: The high temperatures in Denver, Colorado was 84 degrees. By the morning hours on the 27th, the temperature fell to 13 degrees, a 71 degree change.

26–1865: A hurricane sank the steamship USS Mobile off the Georgia coast. The wreck, laden with 20,000 gold coins, was found in 2003.

26–1996: Minnesota saw 14 tornadoes on this day in 1996. Five tornadoes were rated F2.

26–2007: The town of Dunoon in New South Wales, Australia was hit with an EF-1 tornado.

26–2012: On this date in 2012, Hurricane Sandy passed thru the Bahamas. Tropical storm force winds extended >350 miles away from center in NE quadrant.

26–2017: A rare clear image of Florida today almost completely cloud free from a cooler dryer air mass.

26–2017: Officials in the central Argentina province of Cordoba said a fierce hailstorm struck several towns Thursday afternoon, dumping as much as five feet of hail in just 15 minutes.

26–27, 2017: The Duluth International Airport received 10 inches of snow, a new daily record for the city in October. Winds in excess of 60 mph produced huge waves on Lake Superior.

26–27, 2017: The remnants of Typhoon Lan impacted Juneau, Alaska.

27–1913: A tornado struck an area from Edwardsville to Cilfynydd in South Wales, UK.

28–2017: A tornado report in Miami-Dade from Tropical Depression Eighteen.

29–1942: An estimated F4 tornado struck Berryville, Arkansas, killing 29 and injuring 200 others.

28–30, 2011: Heavy snow impacted the Northeast.

29–2012: Hurricane Sandy moved devastated the northeast.

30–1917: Gravette, Arkansas recorded a temperature of 12 degrees. This is the coldest October temperature recorded in the state.

30–1991: The Perfect Storm, also known as the No-Name Storm reached maximum strength on this day with a low pressure of 972 mb. Click HERE for more information.

30–2012: Hurricane Sandy brought high waves on Lake Michigan.

31–1950: The warmest Halloween since 1900 for the Contiguous US was 1950.

31–1991: A major winter storm pounded the upper Midwest from October 30th into November 2nd with some of the most severe effects occurring on Halloween.

Halloween tornado history from US Tornadoes.

More Weather History for October Coming Soon…

Scott Doering

Written by

A contributor to This Day in Weather History on Facebook and Twitter.

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