July 4 Weather History

...1776... Thomas Jefferson paid for his first thermometer, and signed the Declaration of Independence. According to his weather memorandum book, at 2 PM it was cloudy and 76 degrees.

...1874... 6 people were killed and 20 injured by a tornado that hit near Lewistown, Pennsylvania.

...1876... Centennial Day - a heat wave brought temperatures in excess of 90 to the East. Boston hit 92, New York city was 94, and Washington, DC recorded 96 degrees. -Severe thunderstorms hit the Midwest and a dam failed at Rock Dale, Iowa. The flood destroyed a railroad bridge and swept through the town. 42 people were killed.

...1898... An F1 tornado moved across Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, killing 3 people and injuring 120. No one at the beach, in the panic caused by the thunderstorm, noticed the funnel. However, from a distance, one observer saw the tornado and thought there was a fire at the beach

...1911... The northeastern U.S. experienced sweltering 100 degree heat. The temperature soared to 105 degrees at Vernon VT and North Bridgton ME, and to 106 degrees at Nashua NH, to establish all-time records for those three states. Afternoon highs of 104 at Boston MA, 104 at Albany NY, and 103 at Portland ME, were all-time records for those three cities.

...1914... The low temperature fell to 52 degrees at Newport, Rhode Island, breaking the old record of 53 degrees set in 1938 and 1986.

...1932... A massive F4 tornado struck Washington, Kansas, destroying 50 homes and killing 5 people.

...1949... At Newport, Rhode Island the high temperature peaked at 95 degrees on this day, breaking the old record of 94 degrees set back in 1919.

...1956... A world record for the most rain in one minute was set at Unionville MD with a downpour of 1.23 inches.

...1969... Severe thunderstorms produced high winds to 100 mph, 3 tornadoes, and very heavy rains across northern Ohio. Anywhere from 4 to 15 inches of rain fell from the late evening into the morning of the 5th. Major flash flooding occurred. 41 people were killed, 559 were injured, and damage exceeded 66 million dollars.

...1976... Bicentennial Day - much of the United States enjoyed good weather. A large high dominated the great lakes and northern plains, bringing sunny weather. Clouds and showers covered a frontal area from north Carolina to Texas, and much cloudiness prevailed in the northwest. Conditions in the southwest were warm and clear.

...1977... A severe thunderstorm produced vicious downburst winds (up to 135 mph) across northern Wisconsin. Damage was extensive in Price, Sawyer, and Oneida Counties with a downburst damage path of 166 miles long and up to 17 miles wide. 1 person was killed and 35 were injured. Total damage was 24 million dollars.

...1978... A violent (F4) tornado moved slowly through Grant County in North Dakota. The tornado tracked 28 miles in about one hour. 5 people were killed in the town of Elgin.

...1987... Thunderstorms around the country provided extra fireworks for Independence Day. Thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 82 mph at Clearwater KS, eight inches of rain in four hours at Menno SD, and three inches of rain in just fifteen minutes at Austin KY. Morning thunderstorms drenched Oneonta AL with 8.6 inches of rain, their greatest 24 hour total in thirty years of records. The heavy rain caused mudslides and serious flooding, claiming two lives.

...1988... Thunderstorms produced heavy rain over the Central Gulf Coast Region for the second day in a row. Monroe LA was deluged with 3.75 inches in two hours. Aberdeen SD and Rapid City SD reported record high temperatures for the date, with readings of 105 degrees.

...1989... Independence Day was "hot as a firecracker" across parts of the country. Nineteen cities, mostly in the north central U.S., reported record high temperatures for the date, including Williston ND with a reading of 107 degrees. In the southwestern U.S., highs of 93 at Alamosa CO, 114 at Tucson AZ, and 118 at Phoenix AZ, equaled all-time records for those locations.

...1999... The dew point peaked at 75 degrees at Newport, Rhode Island, breaking the previous record of 74 degrees set in 2002 and 2013.

...2002... At Newport, Rhode Island the heat index was a hot 100 degrees, setting the record high for the date; the previous record was 94 degrees, set in 1983.

...2014... Hurricane Arthur dumped 3.01 inches of rain and a wind gust of 36 mph was recorded as it passes to the south of Newport, Rhode Island establishing the record rainfall for the date. The previous record was 1.93 inches set in 1978.

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