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Today in Weather History: for this day February 20

Weather History for February 20
The Potomac River was opened after being closed by ice for a period of two months. (Sandra and TI Richard Sanders - 1987)

Eastern Wisconsin experienced their biggest snowstorm of record. Racine received thirty inches, and drifts around Milwaukee measured fifteen feet high. (David Ludlum)

A snowstorm in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota produced drifts ten feet high which derailed trains. (David Ludlum)

A storm system over Arizona spread heavy snow from the Southern Rockies into the Southern Plains Region. Thunderstorms in central Texas produced golf ball size hail about the same time north central Texas was being blanketed with up to 8 inches of snow, closing many schools. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)

Snow and strong northerly winds ushered arctic air into the Great Lakes Region. The temperature at Sault Ste Marie MI plunged from 30 degrees at 5 AM to one below zero by 3 PM, with a wind chill reading of 40 degrees below zero. Five cities in Florida reported record high temperatures for the date. The afternoon high of 90 degrees at Lakeland was just a degree shy of their February record. (The National Weather Summary)

Thunderstorms developing during the early afternoon produced severe weather from eastern Texas to Alabama and northwest Florida. Thunderstorms spawned a dozen tornadoes during the afternoon and evening. Thunderstorms also produced 90 mph winds around Vicksburg MS, and 100 mph winds around Jackson MS. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)

Heavy snow spread into southwestern Kansas and the panhandle region of Oklahoma and Texas. Heavier snowfall totals included 12 inches at Boise City OK, 11 inches at Liberal KS, and 10 inches at Spearman TX. Blowing and drifting snow closed roads in the Oklahoma panhandle. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)

Data courtesy of