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Today JULY 17TH, 1974-After striking a tree and passing through a chain, lightning kills Norma Jean, a 6500 lb. performing elephant tethered to a tree in the town square at Oquawka, IL where a circus had pitched a big top.
JULY 17TH, 1941-A prolonged heat wave over Washington State finally came to an end. Lightning from untimely thunderstorms was responsible for 598 forest fires.
Jul 16 JULY 16TH, 1946-The temperature at Medford OR soared to an all-time high of 115 degrees to begin a two week heat wave. During that Oregon heat wave the mercury hit 100 degrees at Sexton Summit for the only time in forty years of records.
JULY 16TH, 1975-An early afternoon thunderstorm raked the east side of Tucson AZ with gale force winds, heavy rain, and numerous lightning strikes. A thirteen year old boy was swept through a forty foot long culvert by raging waters before being rescued.
Jul 15 JULY 15TH, 1980-The suburbs of Minneapolis are hammered by powerful thunderstorms, hailstorms and small tornadoes, leaving 100,000 without power. Downward rushing winds cause an estimated $43 million in damages in Dakota County.
JULY 15TH, 1916-A dying South Atlantic Coast storm produced torrential rains in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Altapass NC was drenched with more than 22 inches of rain, a 24 hour rainfall record for the state. Flooding resulted in considerable damage, particularly to railroads.
Jul 14 JULY 14TH, 1936-Extreme heat prevailed across the central U.S. as severe drought raged from Texas to the Dakotas. Record high temperatures were established in sixteen states that summer, including readings as high as 120 degrees in the Great Plains Region. On this particular date, afternoon highs for 113 stations across the state of Iowa averaged 108.7 degrees.
JULY 14TH, 1987-Severe thunderstorms in Iowa produced eight inches of golf ball size hail near Grafton IA, completely stripping corn stalks in the area. Hail caused more than a million dollars damage to crops in Worth County and Mitchell County, and another million dollars damage in Ada County and Crawford County.
Jul 13 JULY 13TH, 1980-Afternoon highs of 108 degrees at Memphis TN, 108 degrees at Macon GA, and 105 degrees at Atlanta GA, established all- time records for those three cities. The high of 110 degrees at Newington GA was just two degrees shy of the state record.
JULY 13TH, 1895-A tornado struck Cherry Hill in New Jersey causing fifty thousand dollars damage. It also descended into the Harlem and Woodhaven areas of New York City killing one person, and finally ended as a waterspout in Jamaica Bay.
Jul 12 JULY 12TH, 1951-The Kaw River flood occurred. The month of June that year was the wettest of record for the state of Kansas, and during the four days preceding the flood much of eastern Kansas and western Missouri received more than ten inches of rain. Flooding in the Midwest claimed 41 lives, left 200 thousand persons homeless, and caused a billion dollars property damage. Kansas City was hardest hit. The central industrial district sustained 870 million dollars property damage.
JULY 12TH, 1961-South of Clinton, SC, lightning strikes nine tobacco workers, aged 13 to 70, seeking safety in a tobacco barn; eight are killed. Outside three other workers survive unharmed.
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