Dan, Dan the Weatherman's World Weather Trivia Page

I've assembled as many interesting weather facts as I can to make this world weather trivia page. Obviously I didn't know all these facts off the top of my head. Some I discovered myself, but the I had to hunt around for the vast majority. The internet was, needless to say, a particulary handy source, especially regarding American weather. Another good source proved to be old weather periodicals, such as The Meteorological Magazine  which seemed much more intent on facts and figures than research. If you scroll to the bottom of this page you'll find a list of sources. Incidentally, if any of these facts turn out to be wrong, or records quoted get broken please  and let me know. Thanks.

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January February March April May June July August September October November December


JANUARY


Jan 1
1886 Norway's coldest night on record; lows drop to -51.4C at Karasjok.
2006 Sydney, Australia records a high of 44.2C, the second hottest day on record here - the highest maximum temperature on record here is 45.3C recorded in 1939 (records date back to 1859). Meanwhile, Sydney Airport recorded its hottest day on record reaching 45.2C. 17, 18, 19

Jan 2
1960 One of Australia's hottest days on record; temperatures reached 50.7C in Oodnadatta in South Australia, the record high for the state. Northern Territory in Australia also records its hottest day on record as highs at Finke peak at 48.3C. 1
1962 Hawaii's coldest night on record; lows drop to -10.0C at Mount Haleakala.
1974 Thailand's coldest night on record; lows drop to -1.4C at Sakon Nakhon.

Jan 3
1095 A great snowstorm affects Ireland killing many. 2
1961 A 3 day long icestorms over northern Idaho comes to an end having left ice up to 20cm accumulated on power and telephone lines. This is a US record! 2

Jan 4
1976 Tasmania's hottest day on record. Highs at Hobart reach 40.8C. 1
1981 Lows drop to -31.3C in Toronto, Toronto's lowest temperature on record.

Jan 5
1904 New Jersey's coldest night on record; lows drop to -36.7C at River Vale. Pennsylvania records its coldest night on record as lows drop down to -41.1C in Smethport. 3
1974 Temperatures reach 15C at Vanda Station on the Scott Coast, Antarctica. This is the highest temperature recorded in Antarctica. 2
1993 Winds on Mount Haleakala on Maui in Hawaii reach 100mph, knocking down power lines on which 45cm ice had accumulated. 2
1999 Illinois' coldest night on record; lows drop to -37.8C at Congerville. 3

Jan 6
1880 Seattle's greatest snowstorm on record. 146cm snow lay on the ground after the storm halting transport and causing hundreds of barns to collapse. 4
2002 Snow fell in Athens for the first time since 1992 bewteen 4th and 6th January. The snow settled and was 4-5cm deep in the city and 10cm deep at the Acropolis. Some Aegean islands were also affected by snow and gale force winds. On the 6th the minimum temperature in Athens was -2.2C and the maximum just 1.8C comapred to the normal of 13C, whilst in Souda on Crete the minimum and maximum was just 0.6C and 3.4C respectively. The average January high there is 16C. It wasn't just cold in Greece though; in Rome and Naples lows on the 5th dropped to -5.3C and -2.8C respectively.

Jan 7
1971 Arizona's coldest night on record; lows at Hawley Lake drop down to -40.0C. 3
1985 La Coruna in the extreme northwest of Spain records its coldest night on record as lows drop to -4.8C. 5
2002 A trace of snow fell in Washington DC on the 6th and 7th, the latest first snowfall of the winter recorded here since Christmas Day 1894.

Jan 8
1937 Nevada's coldest night on record; lows drop to -45.6C at San Jacinto. 3
1966 The world's wettest 24 hour period on record saw 1,825mm rain fall in 24 hours on the 7/8 January at Foc Foc on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion. 6
1979 Lows in Moscow drop to -45C, the coldest night here in almost a century. 2
1982 Denmark's coldest night on record; lows drop to -31.2C at Hørsted/Thy.
2000 Kirensk in Siberia records a low of -58C. 2

Jan 9
1954 Greenland's coldest temperature on record; a reading of -66C is read during the British Greenland Expedition at Northice (78.04N, 38.29W). 2

Jan 10
1939 Victoria in Australia records its hottest day on record when highs at Mildura reach 47.2C. 1
1971 The UK records its joint mildest January day on record when highs reach 18.3C at Aber, North Wales.
1973 54 people are killed and another 350 are injured as a tornado hits San Justo, some 300 miles northwest of Buenos Aries. 7
1982 England's coldest night on record and the coldest January night on record; temperatures drop to a low of -26.1C at Newport, Shropshire. It was also the UK's joint coldest night on record as temperatures in Braemar, Aberdeenshire in Scotland dropped to -27.2C.

Jan 11
1911 Temperatures at Rapid City, South Dakota drop 26 degrees Celsius in just 15 minutes. 2
1939 New South Wales in Australia records its hottest day on record when highs at Wilcannia reach 50.0C. 1
1979 Temperatures drop to a low of -9.4C in Milan, Italy. Since then a colder night has not been registered. During the day temperatures climbed no higher than -4.2C. A colder day hasn't been recorded here since then. 13

Jan 12
1939 Adelaide's hottest day on record; temperatures peak at 46.1C. 16
1981 Massachusetts' coldest night on record; lows drop to -37.2C at Chester. 3
1985 34cm snow falls in San Antonio, Texas. This was more snow than had ever fallen before in an entire winter season.
1987 Switzerland's coldest night on record; lows drop to -41.8C at La Brévine.

Jan 13
1903 Tahiti and the Society Islands are struck by a tropical cyclone. The associated storm surge is as high as 12m and kills 1,000 people. 2
1912 Maryland's coldest night on record; lows drop to -40.0C at Oakland. 3

Jan 14
1939 Sydney records its hottest day on record as the maximum temperature reaches 45.3C. To put this in some kind context, the average January high here is 25.8C and on average just 3 January days per year have a maximum temperature above 30C. A high of 40C is to be expected on average once every ten years or so! 19

Jan 15
1932 Los Angeles' greatest snowstorm on record; approx 5cm snow falls, covering the ground to a depth of 2.5cm at the Civic Center and Santa Monica beach was also covered with snow. 4
1957 Montreal lowest temperature on record, -37.8C, was recorded.

Jan 16
1889 Cloncurry in Queensland, Australia records a high of 53.3C, the hottest day on record both here and in Australia. 2
1947 The Netherlands records its hottest January day on record when highs reach 17.2C in Maastricht.

Jan 17
1490 Freezing rain damages many trees in Florence in Italy. 2
1974 Scotland's wettest day on record; 238mm rain fell in 24 hours at Sloy Main Adit, Loch Lomond. 8

Jan 18
1930 Oklahoma's coldest night on record; lows drop to -32.8C at Watts. 3
1943 Idaho's coldest night on record; lows drop to -51.1C at Island Park Dam. 3
1990 Hong Kong's coldest night on record; lows drop to freezing.
2002 Desert areas in the north of Saudi Arabia were affected by snow for the first time in 40 years. Snow fell to a depth of 10-20cm in some places. The snow melted away pretty quickly but reports say that nomads in the area aren't at all used to snow and were rather confused as to what to do with it. Not unlike British people on a sunny summers day. Ha Ha.

Jan 19
1925 Maine's coldest night on record; lows drop to -44.4C at Van Buren. 3
1977 Snow falls in Miami, Palm Beach, Miami Beach and Homestead (22 miles south of Miami), the first and thus far the only time snow has been observed south of Fort Myers. The snow melted on contact with the ground but nevertheless snow's snow! 4
1994 Indiana's coldest night on record; lows drop to -37.8C at New Whiteland. 3

Jan 20
1493 A blizzard hits Florence in Italy leaving streets blocked with snow. 2
1606 2,000 people killed in the Severn Estuary area. This is the UK's deadliest flood.
1933 Phoenix, Arizona records its joint greatest snowfall ever when 2.5cm snow falls. In 1937 the record is equalled on the same day when 2.5cm snow falls again. 2
1937  California's coldest night on record; lows at Boca drop down to -42.8C. 3
1954 The coldest night on record in the 48 continugous states of the USA; lows in Roger's Pass, Montana drop to -56.5C.

Jan 21
1940 Wales' coldest night on record; lows drop to -23.3C at Rhayader, Powys. 8
1985 South Carolina's coldest night on record; lows at Caesars Head drop down to -28.3C. It's also North Carolina's coldest night on record. Low's Mount Mitchell drop down to -36.7C. 3

Jan 22
1985 Virginia's coldest night on record; lows at Mountain Lake drop down to -34.4C. 3
1994 The 24 hour period ending on the 22nd became the wettest such period on record in New Zealand when Colliers Creek recorded 682mm rain. 473mm of this rain fell in just 12 hours on the 22nd making it also the wettest 12 hour period on record in New Zealand. 9

Jan 23
1943 California registers its record maximum 24 hour precipitation as 663.4mm rain falls at Hoegees Camp. 10
1971 The USA's coldest night on record; lows at Prospect Creek, Alaska drop to -62.0C.

Jan 24
1922 Wisconsin's coldest night on record; lows drop to -47.8C at Danbury. 3
1942 Romania's coldest night on record; lows drop to -38.5C at Bod.
1996 Prolonged freezing rain, glaze and ice pellets affected much of central England and Wales and parts of southern England during the evening and night of the 23rd/24th. It was probably the most widespread prolonged spell of freezing rain, glaze and ice pellets since late January 1940.

Jan 25
1902 Japan's coldest night on record; lows drop to -41.0C at Asahikawa.
1956 Hawaii registers its record maximum 24 hour precipitation as 965.2mm rain falls at Kileuea Plateau. 10
1990 The Burn's Day Storm. 47 people were killed when gusts peaking at 108mph affected the UK. This is one of the worst storms ever to affect the UK.

Jan 26
1978 Ohio's worst winter storm on record; heavy snow and strong winds combined to dump several inches of snow and whip up huge snowdrifts across the state. Winds gusted to more than 100mph at some spots, and the peak gust of 82mph at Cleveland Airport is the strongest gust on record here. 51 people died as a result of this storm. 11
2003 Aboyne, Aberdeenshire in Scotland records a high of 18.3C to equal the UK's record January maximum temperature. 12

Jan 27
1940 Georgia's (USA) coldest night on record; lows drop to -27.2C at North Floyd County. 3
1942 The Netherlands' coldest night on record; lows drop to -27.4C in Winterswijk in the east of the country.
1958 The UK records its joint mildest January day on record when highs reach 18.3C at Aber, North Wales.
1967 58.4 cms snow falls in 29 hours in Chicago, at the time (and possibly still now) the greatest snowfall for one storm here. With just over 50cms snow falling in 24 hours it was also the greatest 24 hour snowstorm on record here at the time (and again possibly still now) The storm started on the 26th and ended by the mid morning of the 27th. 14
2000 Parts of Jordan and Israel received a rare taste of winter; 45cm snow fell on the city and snow fell in parts of the Negev Desert whilst the town of Beer Sheba recorded it's first snow in 50 years. 15
2003 The 26th and 27th were very mild across the UK. The 26th saw the highest temperatures on record in January in both Scotland and Northern Ireland with highs of 18.3C at Aboyne, Scotland and 16.1C at Silent Valley, Northern Ireland. On the 27th England recorded its warmest January day on record when East Malling, Kent reached 17.4C. On the same day temperatures in both London and Paris reached 16.5C. 12

Jan 28
1887 The bigest snowflake ever recorded falls at Fort Keough, Montana. The flake measured 38cm by 20cm. 2
1922 A storm known as the "Knickerbocker" storm hits Washington DC. 71cm snow falls in 32 hours. 96 people are killed when the roof of the Knickerbocker cinema collapses under the weight of snow. 2
1963 Kentucky's coldest night on record; lows drop to -36.7C at Cynthiana. 3
1999 Finland's coldest night on record; lows drop to -51.5C at Kittilia.
2002 A storm over western Europe killed 17 people. 6 were killed in the UK, 3 in Germany and the rest in Denmark, Poland and the Baltic States. The storm generated winds up to 193km/h on the top of Ben Nevis, Scotland and blew over lorries in Scotland. In the UK this storm is the worst in more than a decade.

Jan 29
1934 Temperatures at Mount Washington, New Hampshire drop down to -43.9C, the state's coldest night on record. 3
2001 Lows drop to -61C at Oimekon in Siberia. During the day temperatures rise to just -54C.
2002 309.9mm rain falls in 24 hours at Hilo on Hawaii, the wettest January day on record here and also the wettest January day since 1990 when 241.6mm rain fell. In the whole of January 2002 Hilo went on to record 684.5mm rain. Elsewhere on the island it was even wetter; Glenwood recorded 373.1mm rain whilst 443.5mm rain got dumped on Pahala.

Jan 30
1966 Alabama's coldest night on record; lows at New Market drop down to -32.3C. It's also Mississippi's coldest night on record as lows here drop down to -28.3C at Corinth. 3

Jan 31
1949 San Antonio, Texas records its coldest night on record when lows drop to -18C. 2
1963 Nevada registers its record maximum 24 hour precipitation as 181.1mm rain falls at Mount Rose Highway Station. 10



 
January February March April May June July August September October November December



Sources
1 World weather records
2 The Weather Doctor's website
3 USA Today Weather Almanac
4 LUDLAM, D.M. (1989): The American Weather Book, American Meteorological Society, p.296.
5 Spanish weather records
6 The Notable Point Rainfall Events webpage at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology
7 GRAZULIS, T.P. (2001): The Tornado, University of Oklahoma Press, p.324.
8The Journal of Meteorology (UK)
9 New Zealand national meteorological service
10 US state by state 24 hour precipitation records
11 SCHMIDLIN, T. W. and SCHMIDLIN, J.A. (1996). Thunder in the Heartland. Kent State University Press, pp362.
12 Weather Log, January 2003
13 Meteorological Centre Lombardy, Italy
14Weatherwise
15 Wildweather
16 Bureau of Meteorology, Australia
17 Bureau of Meteorology page for Sydney Observatory Hill, Australia
18 Bureau of Meteorology 2006 climate summary for Sydney, Australia
19 Bureau of Meteorology Sydney climate summary, Australia

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Dan Suri, last updated 3 March 2007