UTAH (ABC4) – Here is the most extreme weather ever recorded in Utah, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) and Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC):
- On Sept. 1, 1939 lightning struck 835 sheep that were atop Pine Canyon in the Raft River Mountains of Box Elder County. Rain from a passing thunderstorm wet the ground and sheep, allowing for the lightning to move through the entire herd. Only 15 out of the 850 survived.
- During the summer of 1943, major thunderstorms caused large pelting hail, heavy rain, and severe flooding that killed 23,300 turkeys throughout various Utah counties.
- On April 4, 1983, a severe canyon wind swept through the Wasatch Front from Utah County, with a peak gust of 104 mph recorded in Layton. Utah Power and Light reported 54 transmission towers from the Ben Lomond Substation either damaged or destroyed, 12 Union Pacific railroad cars overturned in Farmington, and almost every glass window in downtown Ogden destroyed.
- During the week of Jan. 6, 1993, a huge snowstorm hit Salt Lake County with snow falling constantly for almost six days. Salt Lake International reported upwards of 3 feet of snow was measured on the east side of the valley. The Utah National Guard was brought in to assist in snow removal.
- On Aug. 13, 1923, one of Utah’s worst floods caused extensive damage to Farmington, Centerville, and Willard, killing a family of six camping in Farmington Canyon. Observers at Farmington Canyon said that the flood crests were 75 to 100 feet high and nearly 200 feet wide.
- On June 10, 1965, a flash flood killed a family of seven in Sheep Creek Canyon of the Uinta Mountains. They were camping in Palisades Campground along Sheep creek, when the heavy rainfall turned the creek into a raging torrent. The flood completely destroyed five miles of newly paved highway, three recreation areas, and seven bridges, causing damages of over a million dollars.
- During the winter of 1948 to 49, Utah experienced the coldest winter on record, causing a near 25 percent loss in livestock herds, and killing a huge amount of wildlife. 10 people died from exposure.
- On Feb 17, 1926, Utah’s most deadly avalanche occurred in Bingham Canyon, demolishing 14 miners’ cottages and a three story boarding house. The avalanche killed 36 people and injured 13 others out of the 65 people that were in its path.
- On Aug. 11, 1999, a major tornado with a width of anywhere from 100 to 200 yards tore a destructive path through Salt Lake City. The path was more than four miles long from west of the Delta Center, to north of Temple Square, through Memory Grove, and the northwest section of the avenues. THe tornado caused one death and injured more than 80 people, destroying 500 trees, and causing $170 million in damage.
- From April to June of 1983, Utah experienced the most severe snow-melt flooding in its history. The flood caused a massive mudslide that blocked the Spanish Fork River just below Thistle. U.S. Highway 6was also completely destroyed, as well as the mainline of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. The town of Thistle was essentially buried by the newly created dam. Record waterflow was recorded at five of the six creeks in the Salt Lake Valley, with City Creek carrying over twice the peak snow-melt flow ever recorded and was, in fact, rerouted along some of the major streets in Downtown Salt Lake. The town of Deseret was entirely shut off due to a failed dam near Delta. At least seven people drowned, and damage estimates were around $300 million.
According to Stacker.com, the all-time highest temperature ever recorded in Utah was in St. George on July 5, 1985, with a temperature of 117 degrees Fahrenheit (St. George is located in the Mojave Desert, which explains its record-breaking heat).
The all-time low was -50 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded on Jan. 5, 1913 in East Portal (East Portal is located in the mountains close to the border of Wyoming, giving it the chance to become excruciatingly cold).
The all-time highest 24-hour precipitation was 5.08 inches at the Deer Creek Dam on Feb. 1, 1963.
Last but not least, the all-time highest 24-hour snowfall was a whopping 38 inches, recorded at Alta on Dec. 2, 1982.