This Day in National/World Weather History ...
 21 September 1588 → After an unsuccessful battle with the English fleet, the Spanish Armada encountered strong storms and high winds off the coast of Ireland on its way back to Spain. 26 ships are believed to have been lost. The remaining ships limped back to Spain defeated and demoralized, ending the reign of the once unbeatable Spanish Armada.
 21 September 1894 → A huge tornado outbreak swept from Iowa through Minnesota to Wisconsin, with an unusual number of extremely violent tornadoes. The tornado that rampaged through Kossuth County, MN, was likely an F5 as homes and farms were wiped clean from the earth.
 21 September 1909 → A category 3 hurricane crossed the Gulf of Mexico and came ashore in southern Louisiana. The storm inflicted 120 mph winds on southeast Louisiana and took its storm surge 2 miles inland. There were about 371 fatalities despite the Weather Bureau having issued its first warnings for the storm three days earlier.
 21 September 1938 → The New England Hurricane was one of the most destructive and powerful storms ever to strike southern New England. The storm roared ashore over Long Island, NY at nearly 60 mph at the time of high tide. This created a deadly tidal surge, which submerged downtown Providence, RI under 20 feet of water. Hurricane force winds were felt throughout New England, with a gust to 186 mph at the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, MA. The Great New England Hurricane of 1938 was responsible for over 500 deaths.

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January 3, 1997:

A powerful area of low pressure and deep Arctic high pressure brought almost all winter elements to central and northeast South Dakota as well as west central Minnesota from the afternoon of the 3rd to the morning of the 5th. The storm first began with widespread freezing rain, especially over northeast South Dakota and west central Minnesota, where significant accumulations of ice occurred on roads, trees, and power lines. Late in the evening of the 3rd, the freezing rain changed to sleet and then snow, with substantial snowfall accumulations of 6 to as much as 27 inches by late on the 4th. As the deep Arctic high pressure pushed in through the morning and afternoon of the 4th, northwest winds increased to 25 to 45 mph gusting to 55 mph creating widespread blizzard conditions, drifts up to 20 feet, and wind chills from 40 to 70 below. The heavy accumulation of ice and snow across parts of central and mainly across northeast South Dakota resulted in the roof collapse of over 150, mainly rural, buildings. The roofs collapsed onto farm machinery and livestock with a lot of the machinery damaged and a lot of livestock injured or killed. The collapse of so many buildings from snow and ice was believed to be the first in this area. On most other buildings, the snow had to be shoveled or blown off. One man was killed in west central Minnesota as he was trying to shovel snow off the roof of a building. One roof collapse near Lake Poinsett, 7 west of Estelline, killed four horses, damaged a boat, and flattened a car. A few homes during the storm were buried by the huge snow drifts. Many power outages also occurred across parts of central and northeast South Dakota as power lines and poles were downed from the heavy ice accumulation. Some people were without power for several days in the extreme cold conditions. The cities of Miranda, Rockham, Zell, Garden City, Bryant, Vienna, Glenham, Hazel as well as other cities were without power for many hours. Some of the communities were out of power for up to 2 days.

In Aberdeen, heavy snow blocking a furnace exhaust vent, sent 3 family members to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, in Aberdeen, the snowmobile club, the drift busters, were called upon for the first time in several years to deliver medicine, take patients to the hospital, and carry essential workers to work and home. Emergencies were difficult to respond to, taking many hours to short distances. Throughout central and northeast South Dakota, many businesses and grocery stores were closed. Interstates 29 and 90 were both closed for a few days along with most state highways. The rest of the roads were either blocked by huge drifts or had one-lane traffic. Snow plows were called off the roads until conditions improved and when they did start to clear the roads, they worked 12 to 18 hour days. Many vehicles went into the ditch, with mainly minor injuries. Some people had to be rescued. Travelers and truckers were stranded for several days until the roads opened. When Interstate-29 was opened, there was a log jam of vehicles for 3 miles. One Watertown policeman said he has never seen a log jam as bad as this in 28 years. Area airports were closed or flights were canceled or delayed. The mail was delayed for several days, most activities were canceled or postponed, and many schools closed on the 6th. The heavy snowfall from this storm brought the widespread snowpack up to 2 to 5 feet. For the winter season so far, the area had record snowfall and record cold. Some of the snowfall amounts include, 6 inches at Mclaughlin, 8 inches 22 SSW Keldron and 4 NW Onida, 9 inches at Pollock, Timber Lake, Highmore, Mobridge, and Kennebec, 10 inches at Castlewood, Clear Lake, Miller, Fort Thompson, and Clark. Snowfall amounts of 1 to over 2 feet include, 12 inches at Eureka, and Redfield, 13 inches at Selby and Aberdeen, 14 inches at Pierre and Roscoe, 15 inches at Ortonville MN,16 inches at Mellette and Browns Valley, MN 18 inches at Faulkton and 1 ENE Stephan, 20 inches at Webster, 22 inches at Britton, 24 inches at Sisseton, 26 inches 10 NW Britton, and 27 inches at Wheaton.

Record Highs: Record Lows:
Aberdeen: 51 (1962) Aberdeen: -34 (1912)
Kennebec: 66 (1962) Kennebec: -30 (1919)
Mobridge: 58 (2012) Mobridge: -32 (1912)
Pierre: 62 (1962) Pierre: -24 (1968)
Sisseton: 49 (2012) Sisseton: -25 (2010)
Timber Lake: 59 (1962) Timber Lake: -31 (1919)
Watertown: 45 (1987) Watertown: -30 (1919)
Wheaton: 43 (1987) Wheaton: -32 (1919)

Record Precipitation: Record Snowfall:
Aberdeen: 0.55" (1943) Aberdeen: 5.8" (1950)
Kennebec: 0.63" (1997) Kennebec: 3.0" (1949)
Mobridge: 0.61" (1949) Mobridge: 7.8" (1949)
Pierre: 0.67" (1997) Pierre: 9.7" (1949)
Sisseton: 0.45" (1943) Sisseton: 3.6" (2009)
Timber Lake: 1.02" (1949) Timber Lake: 10.0" (1949)
Watertown: 0.35" (1943) Watertown: 3.5" (2009)
Wheaton: 0.94" (1943) Wheaton: 3.5" (1975) is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.