This Day in Weather History

This Day in Weather History

"This Day In Weather History" is a daily podcast from The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories written and produced by host Chris Mei. Weather happens every day. It can be sunny, cloudy, stormy or maybe just unsettled, but it is always happening! It’s when severe weather strikes that it captures the attention of those affected…and the imagination of everyone else who follows the story. So it is with good reason to expect that after over a century of news and weather information gathering and record keeping, there would be a "special" weather or natural phenomena event to mark each day of a calendar. Do you remember the first recorded tornado in Canadian history? No, you don’t because none of us were there...so we dive into that! How about when Prince played the Super Bowl halftime show? It’s possibly the best performance ever for that event….and the backstory made it all the more special! Or how about the 25th Anniversary Woodstock Festival back in 1994? It’s all here - all year - in one podcast.... "This Day In Weather History"!

Episodes

May 28, 2022 7 min

Among the excited skywatchers were teams of scientists and volunteers who stood ready to document a variety of atmospheric conditions with the hope of advancing meteorological science. They not only had a perfect location but they forecast an area with ideal weather conditions for viewing the eclipse along much of its incredible over 1500KM track!!

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The City of Toronto deployed more than 45,000 sandbags, 1,000 metre bags, and more than a dozen industrial pumps to try to control and in any way lessen the effects of the rising water. But now there were reports surfacing of water coming up through the ground inland from any shoreline.  Land liquefaction!! This was getting real bad, real fast!

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The plane pitched and rolled violently as it ran into this severe inter-cloud turbulence with huge hailstones pounding the exterior.  One passenger said that it felt like a showering of bullets and then came a mighty thump. What hit this plane?

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One of those hit by a bolt at this picnic was Florida high school student Ernie Perez.  He was thankful to be alive after being struck down by a lightning bolt during a family picnic, leaving him with those tell-tale fascinating burn marks on his neck and shoulder.

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This was the first tornado widely documented by science as part of a storm chasing field research. You heard me right, this started the Storm Chasers!! This was out of Norman, Oklahoma where they placed teams of storm chasers around it to capture its life cycle on film.

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The Timmins 9  grew to 39,524 hectares, resulting in the evacuations of areas around both Timmins and Gogama.  Evacuations had also been underway in Kirkland Lake as well.  This was the largest wildfire this area had experienced in decades.   But again, it was closing in on city centres so it was now national headlines.

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Tornadoes are fierce and unpredictable.  Chasers know this all too well.  Especially those who came back with research and images from the EF5 that crushed Joplin Missouri in 2001 and those 200 MPH winds literally picked up the air-lift helicopter and blew it away on this day in weather history.

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The rain had started light in the early evening but much heavier bands set in fast and downtown had a storm of walnut sized hail unleashed on them. But then at 5:45 p.m. an F4 rated Tornado hit Sarnia straight on!

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Today’s story is as shocking for the sheer devastation of property as it is because of its toll on human life. This was to be a storm that would prove to be bigger than anyone could have feared; from the moment of that first alert, there was a watch or warning of some type in effect somewhere in the NWS Norman county warning area for what would go on to be nearly 30 hours straight!!!



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The Dark Day, as it is known, happened on May 19, way back in the year 1780 in New England...as well as the eastern parts of an English territory that would one day come to be known as Canada.  Midway through the morning of this day in weather history, the sky turned a creepy jaundice-yellow. Animals began to run for cover and the darkness started to overtake the land. By noon, it was night. What Happened?

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It was on the morning of May 18, this day in weather history, when Mount St. Helens was shaken by an earthquake of about 5.0 magnitude, and the entire north side of the summit began to slide down the mountain. The giant landslide of rock and ice, one of the largest recorded in history, was followed by and then actually overtaken by an enormous explosion of steam and volcanic gases, which surged northward along the ground at high sp...

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The Faraz Qeshm Airlines Yak-40, suddenly found itself flying through what had become rapidly deteriorating weather conditions.  The rain got real heavy real fast, but then it was struck by a bolt of lightning that was suspected to have possibly knocked out its navigational equipment.

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It came from three scientists from the British Antarctic Survey who made the chilling announcement of what they had found. This discovery became a look into the mirror for all humans of its ability to damage the Earth's atmosphere. But in the decades that have followed, this near extinction level event, became one of the most famous success stories in the history of climate activism.

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May 15, 2022 6 min

The season overall was already awake as we had already registered one tropical cyclone but this was the first hurricane of 1951, and seeing as how the letter A opens up the alphabet, we had a storm named Able.  Later, on May 22, Hurricane Able reached its peak wind speeds for its lifespan when it hit 90 mph (150 km/h) about 70 miles (115 km) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

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There were only 5 more weeks to go to the first official day of Summer! On Wednesday, May 14, back in 1986, a very late season snowstorm made its way through Calgary that overwhelmed most of southern Alberta. The freak storm caused power lines to fall, there were power outages associated with that, plus the roads were a disaster with poor driving conditions, and it closed schools!

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This was confirmed by Environment Canada as Ontario's first tornado of the 2014 season! This outbreak was seen long in advance and it was warned by Canada’s Governing Body for weather and climate change.

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They called it the Great Miami Tornado of 1997, but that was really, a bit of a stretch.  It was an F1 tornado, so people in Oklahoma and Kansas were likely reading about it in the next days paper, thinking “oh how adorable”. It showed up like a proper Miami celebrity.  It made possible some of the most haunting pictures which actually became the subject of worldwide media coverage.

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That year, a severe drought spread across the region. Crops were scorched and withered and died.  And as that spread like a virus to the entire Great Plains collection of States, wind began to carry dust from the over-plowed and over-grazed lands. The over-plowed and abused land was too weak to recover and there was no rain so it was hopeless. It was so intense and so dangerous that it forced thousands of families from Texas, Arka...

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In this onslaught, there were over 60 tornadoes! Some of these twisters were large and multi-vortex in nature, meaning they had several centres of rotation within one massive system of rotation.  Think tornadoes within tornadoes!!

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On Thursday May 9th, 2019, this version of their outdoor commencement service got walloped with up to 3 inches of snow, over 7.5 cm of snow on that field, on that day and on those 20,000+ people in Boulder at the University of Colorado. This is one of my favorite episodes of this podcast!



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