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This Day in Weather History

1957 - An outbreak of 23 tornadoes, of which 14 were F3 or stronger, tore through eastern Missouri and much of Illinois. In South Central Illinois, an F5 tornado struck the town of Sunfield with such ferocity, that the town literally vanished. It is the latest occurrence of an F5 tornado in any given year on record. Remarkably only one person was killed and only 6 were injured. Ten minutes later, a vicious F4 tornado developed. It closely paralleled the track of the infamous Tri State Tornado of March 18, 1925. Sprinting east northeast around 60 MPH, the twister roared across 3 counties. It possessed a track 30 miles long and around 300 yards wide, killed 11, and injured around 200. The most serious damage occurred in Murphysboro, where 10 of the fatalities occurred and power was lost for 3 days.
1944 - The ships of U.S. Navy Task Force 38, consisting of 7 fleet and 6 light aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 15 cruisers, and around 150 destroyers were operating around 300 miles east of Luzon in the Philippine Sea when a small, but violent, typhoon overtook the task force with little warning. Many of the ships were caught near the center of the typhoon and buffeted by extreme seas and winds that briefly reached 145 mph. Three destroyers capsized and sank with nearly all crew, while a cruiser, 5 aircraft carriers, and 3 destroyers were seriously damaged. Approximately 790 men were killed. Fires occurred on 3 carriers when planes broke loose in their hangars and 146 planes on various ships were lost or damaged beyond repair, some of which were swept overboard.

Weather Word of the Day

Downburst - A strong wind that is the result of a strong downdraft that occurs beneath a severe thunderstorm. Downdrafts are pockets of air that accelerate downward from a thunderstorm, and then spread horizontally when they reach the ground. The resultant strong winds that are experienced at the surface is the downburst.

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