Weird weather history now includes Isaias

This week in weather history: Isaias ends in Canada and other odd weather moments

Isaias Leaves Six Dead, Millions Without Power

National – Post-tropical storm Isaias is almost history, thank goodness.

Quick recap: the storm came close to us in Central Florida before making landfall late Monday in North Carolina.

During this time, Isaias generated the most Accumulated Cyclone Energy, or ACE, for an Atlantic storm that formed in July since 2008. ACE accounts for intensity and duration of storms. The prior record holder was Bertha in 2008.

Isaias then decided to keep chugging and ended up in eastern Quebec. Yes, Canada.

According to the Canadian Hurricane Centre, 23 storms ranging from hurricane to post-tropical have hit parts of Canada since 1951. That’s roughly one storm every three years. Although it has been happening more frequently since 2000, often the colder water usually doesn’t support big storms or those that last very long. The last post-tropical system to impact parts of Canada was Dorian last September. Very interesting stuff.

Path history for Hurricane Isaias 2020. (WKMG)

On to more weird weather.

August 6, 1890, in Union and Adair counties, Iowa, thunderstorms flared up, producing a lot of hail. According to the files from the Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, the hail drifted into 6-foot mounds. That’s a weird sight in August when typical temperatures are in the mid-80s. What makes it even more odd was the length of time the mounds stuck around. Records show the mounds sitting around for 26 days!

New Englanders probably recall August 7, 1986, when seven tornadoes ripped through the area. It just doesn’t happen that often. In fact, the NWS reports show that Rhode Island hadn’t reported a tornado in twelve years prior to this event. On that day, the record was broken when three of the seven storms touched down within 24 hours. Luckily, there were no fatalities, but there was $2.5 million in damages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics that would be roughly $5.8 million in damages today.

(pic description: A four-story, jewelry manufacturing building in Providence that had its top story blown off by the tornado. Photo in NOAA Archives courtesy of the Providence Journal.) (NOAA)

Three years later, on the same date, more weird weather happened. Forty cities reported record low temperatures, including 37 degrees in Belcourt, North Dakota. Meanwhile about 1,100 miles just to the west, in Walla Walla, Washington, the NWS reported record heat, with a high of 103 degrees.

Two days later, on the ninth of August, Yuma, Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert, was flooded. Thunderstorms packing torrential rains produced 5.25 inches of rain in a 24-hour timeframe. Floridians are used to seeing high rain amounts, but that’s not the case in Yuma. This rain was nearly double what the NWS reports in a year! Keep in mind, due to the lack of rain there, the ground is hard and dry and it doesn’t absorb water well. Many homes during this time were left in about 4 feet of water.

The sun is often said to be yellow or golden, sometimes even orange, but on August 13, 1831, the sun was blue. Yes, blue. Mariners reported their sails appeared to have a light blue color, according to the NWS. Why? The Great Barbados Hurricane. It was a Category 4 hurricane that was so intense that it disturbed the upper levels of the atmosphere, causing the scattering of the light rays to produce a blue reflection. It’s said that the blue sun was a sign to Nat Turner, a black American slave, to go forward with what would be one of the largest slave insurrections in American history, a week later.

Check out other weird weather phenomena, including underwater lakes in the ocean, here.


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