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The History of Extreme Weather on Fourth of July

NYC fireworks
What better symbol of our independence? (Image credit: CREDIT: © Warren Rosenberg |

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1911: Record heat blasted New England. The mercury soared to 104 degrees in Boston, Mass. Other extreme temperatures recorded include 106 degrees in Lawrence, Mass.; 105 degrees Vernon, Vt. (an all-time record high for the state); and 106 degrees in Nashua, N.H.

1956: Unionville, MD., set the world record for the most rain ever recorded in one minute at 1.23 inches.

1975: Flash flooding stranded more than 100 motorists on The Strip in Las Vega, Nevada. One casino owner exclaimed: "We'll have to have floating crap games before we interrupt any of the gamblers.!"

1980: Severe weather with hail up to the size of baseballs and tornadoes hammered Omaha and Lincoln, Neb.

1984: Pea-sized hail accumulated 4 inches deep near Kimball, Nebraska.

1988: Extreme drought conditions gripped Wisonsin. The state declared every county a disaster area.

1989: The first of a record five consecutive days of 100 degrees or higher was recorded in Denver, Colo. In fact, highs soared across the entire Southwest. Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., set new record highs for the date, reaching 118 and 114 degrees, repectively.

1993: Snow fell in the Wasatch Mountains at an elevation of 9,000 feet.

1997: One man was hospitalized after being struck by a falling tree in an area 5 miles west of Hendersonville, N.C., as thunderstorms hit. Boats capsized at Rock Lake, while 500 trees were downed across Graham County.

1999: Strong thunderstorm winds blew down an estimated 12.5 million trees at the Boundary Waters Canoe and Wilderness in Minnesota. Thousands of hikers and canoeists were trapped by the fallen trees.

2001: At least seven people were struck by lightning on Bear Can Islan in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area.

2007: Fireworks were banned in many places across the Southwest due to extreme fire danger during an extended stretch of dry, very hot weather. Numerous record highs were reached in California, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Temperatures in the deserts approached the 120-degree mark and many highs at least reaching 100 degrees.

2008: A wildfire burning near Goleta, Calif., caused the evacuation of 1,700 homes and forced the cancellation of the Rotary Club's annual fireworks display.

2009: At a July Fourth gathering, a lightning strike killed on person and injured more than two others in Lakeland, Florida.

2010: Kennedy Airport tied their record high of 101 degrees, set in 1966.

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