National Overview - Annual 2010
2010 National Top 10 Weather/Climate Events

« National Overview - Annual 2010

2010 National Top 10 Weather/Climate Events

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2010 National Top Ten List

Rank Event When Occurred Event Description More Information
1 Consecutive Winter Blizzards/ Extreme Snow Season Winter / February Winter 2009-10 brought seasonal and storm-total snow records to much of the eastern United States. These were typified by the popularly-named "Snowmageddon" and "Snowpocalypse" events of February. NESIS/NCDC Cold Season Report
2 Nashville & Central Tennessee flooding May 1-5 A stagnant storm system brought 13.53 inches of rain to Nashville May 1-2. By May 2, Nashville had already recorded its wettest May and fifth wettest month on record. Several rivers reached record stages, causing about $1 billion in damage to the area. NCDC Hazards, NCDC U.S. Report
3-tie Hot Summer in the Eastern U.S. April - September Warmest summer (June-August) on record for the Southeast U.S. and 10 states. Warmest April-September for 19 states and Southeast, Northeast and Central climate regions. The summer also saw records for energy demand index and the footprint of extreme warm temperatures. NCDC U.S. Report, Residential Energy Demand Index, Climate Extremes Index
3-tie Midwest Super Storm October 26-27 This intense storm system brought heavy rain, hurricane-force winds and tornadoes from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Maximum wave heights exceeded 20 feet on Lakes Superior and Michigan. Wisconsin reported its lowest sea-level pressure in state history. NWS Duluth Report, NCDC Hazards, NCDC U.S. Report
5 Hawaiian Drought Throughout 2010 Quite possibly/probably the Drought of Record in modern Hawaiian history. Easily the most significant Hawaiian episode of the U.S. Drought Monitor era (2000-). Nearly one-third of the state in D3+ for most of the year. U.S. Drought Monitor, NCDC Hazards
6 No hurricanes made U.S. landfall despite active season June - November Tied for second-most storms in satellite era (starting in 1960s). Despite 19 named Atlantic storms in 2010, only Bonnie made U.S. landfall (July 23, Miami, as a minimal tropical storm). Hermine existed as a tropical storm over Texas, but made landfall in Mexico. NOAA's Nat'l Hurricane Center, NCDC hurricane reports
7 Near Eradication of U.S. Drought January-September, peaking in July This was the first year in the ten-year history of the U.S. Drought Monitor, that drought conditions covered less than 10% of the country. Drought contracted to about 6.6% in January, near the end of winter and again in mid-summer. The mid-summer minimum represents the smallest drought footprint during the history of the USDM. U.S. Drought Monitor Archive
8 Vivian, SD Hailstone July 23 This enormous hailstone set national records for diameter (8.0 inches) and weight (1lb. 15 oz). It was preserved for posterity by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Another stone found Sept. 15 in Wichita, Kan. would have set the national record for diameter if not for the Vivian stone. NWS Aberdeen, SD, National Climate Extremes Committee
9 New England Flooding February-April New England had a wet February, and a profoundly wet March when several states had their wettest March on record. This culminated in several historic flood events lasting into April. NCDC U.S. Report
10 Minnesota as tornado leader calendar year Minnesota's 104 tornadoes not only shattered its annual record, but easily led the nation for tornadoes reported (and confirmed) in 2010. In the 60 years prior, Minnesota had finished in the top five just four times, peaking with fourth-most. NWS Minneapolis, MN, Storm Prediction Center, NCDC Tornado Summary

2010 National Honorable Mention

Event When Occurred Event Description More Information
Upper Midwest and Western Great Lakes Summer Wetness June - August A persistent storm track across the northern tier of the U.S. brought the Upper Midwest and Western Great Lakes a very wet summer. Wisconsin had its wettest summer (JJA) on record. Widespread flooding was prevalent in the region. NCDC U.S. June, July and August Reports
Record Flip in Seasonal Temperature Anomalies for Southeast Dec-Feb vs Jun-Aug The Southeast U.S. began the year with one of its ten coldest winters on record. Summer 2010 was the warmest on record for the region. The difference in Summer (JJA) and Winter (DJF) temperatures is the region's largest since records began in 1895. Regional Temps Difference, NCDC Winter Ranks, NCDC Summer Ranks
Los Angeles All Time Warmth September 27 Downtown Los Angeles set its all-time high temperature record of 113°F on September 27th. Almost as noteworthy, this temperature record came on the heels of the second coolest summer (JJA) as recorded at LAX. NCDC Hazards / NCDC National Report
New York CIty Tornadoes September 16 Two tornadoes touched down in New York City on September 16 (one in Brooklyn, one in Queens), bringing the total number of tornadoes in NYC in 2010 to three. Prior to 2010, only seven tornadoes had been recorded in the city since 1950. NCDC Hazards
Florida Freeze January 11 Freezing temperatures plunged into the heart of Florida bringing 32°F readings as far south as St. Petersburg/Vero Beach, FL. Iguanas fell catatonic from trees in South Florida. NCDC Hazards
Western U.S. Severe Weather Early October A strong low pressure system generated heavy rains and severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes, in parts of Arizona, Nevada and California. Arizona had its all-time greatest one-day tornado outbreak on October 6, with eight confirmed tornadoes. NCDC Hazards
Record Low Barometric Pressure January 20 Strong low-pressure systems brought all-time low barometric pressure readings to several locations in the western U.S. including Eureka, CA and Reno, NV. Widespread wind damage was reported. NCDC Hazards
Alaskan Ice Storm November 22-24 A strong low pressure system and an associated fetch of warm, moist air from the south combined with below-freezing air at the surface to cause a widespread freezing rain event. This event affected an area of Alaska as large as Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico combined. Nearly all of Alaska's road system was affected. NCDC Hazards
EF-4 Tornado, Milbury, OH June 5 Severe weather occurred across several states in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley during June. One of the strongest tornadoes of the season occurred in Milbury, OH causing widespread damage and several fatalities. NCDC Hazards
Fourmile Canyon Fire September 6-13 In a down year for fires nationally, this large wildfire in Boulder, Colorado forced the evacuations of thousands of people. After a week of uncontrolled burn in and around populated areas, this became the costliest fire in Colorado history. NCDC Hazards, Wildfire Report
Arkansas Flash Flood June 10-11 More than 7" of rain fell in just a few hours, resulting in flash flooding in the Albert Pike Recreation Area, where 200 to 300 campers were confronted by several feet of water. The Little Missouri River in Pike County observed a 20' rise in 3 1/2 hours; 20 deaths were attributed to the flash flood, later estimated to be a 500-year event. NCDC Hazards, Little Rock NWS
Tropical Storm Hermine Flooding September 8-9 The remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine drenched Texas, Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas. Rainfall amounts upward of 16" in Texas and 14" in Oklahoma led to widespread flash flooding and property damage. Several deaths were attributed to the event. NCDC Hazards,Corpus Christi NWS, Tulsa NWS
Dallas Snow February 11-12 A slow-moving storm caused record breaking snowfalls of approximately 15" in Central and North Texas. Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW) set records for most snowfall in a calendar day and in 24 hours. The event contributed to DFW's second snowiest winter on record. NCDC Hazards,Lake Charles NWS
Northern Plains Tornado Outbreak June 17 In less than a 4 hour period, 39 tornadoes were confirmed, 3 of which were EF4. In all, there were 74 tornadoes. NCDC Hazards, Chanhassen NWS, Grand Forks NWS
California Flooding** December 17-22 A series of "Pineapple Express" storms inundated California with rain, snow and high winds. Several locations broke daily precipitation records on both the 19th and the 20th. Downtown Los Angeles recorded a total of 6.72 inches of rain, which is equivalent to more than one-third of its annual average precipitation. NCDC Hazards
Holiday Blizzard** December 25-27? A strong winter storm brought record breaking snowfall along the U.S. East Coast from December 25th through 27th. Snow accumulation in excess of 6 inches was reported from Georgia to Maine, and many locations in the Southeast had their first white Christmas on record. Based on NESIS, the storm ranked as a Category 3 (4.92). Boston and New York City both experienced top ten storm snow accumulations, with 18.2 inches and 20.0 inches, respectively. The 20.1 inches which fell at the Atlantic City International Airport was a single snowstorm record. NCDC Hazards, NESIS

** These events occurred after the top ten voting, but may have warranted top ten placement.