Pat Shingleton: "Early May Statistics..."
Scanning the weather almanac, we showcase a few early May weather events. On May 2, 1955, heavy rain and snow loosened a boulder above the highway at Wood Camp in Utah's Logan Canyon. The 225 ton boulder caused such a crash that a transportation employee reported dust clouds and swaying trees. May 3, 1994, lightning sliced through a tree in Prichard, AL next to the cafeteria of the Eight Mile Elementary School. Three students using an electric pencil sharpener were injured and 22 windows were shattered. That same day in 1905 found a spring blizzard in western South Dakota. 8,000 cattle were blinded and disoriented by the heavy, wet, wind-blown snow and walked over a cliff in the Badlands. Lightning destroyed the city pump house in Fort Smith, AR on May 2, 1929 and on December 17, that same year, a tornado destroyed the pump house again. Also in May, 2003, the largest number of tornadoes for any month since 1950 was recorded with 516 recorded twisters. This episode shattered the statistics for the super-outbreak on April 3 and April 4, 1974. Looking back to May 3, 1999 we remember an outbreak of tornadoes in Moore, OK. In addition to 5,500 left homeless, the massive episode of tornadoes killed 44 and injured 795. More than 3,000 buildings were destroyed with 5,000 damaged. May of 2003 also logged the largest number of tornadoes in the first twelve days of any month at 354. The final numbers included 393 tornadoes reported in 19 states with 1,587 episodes of large hail. Wind damage outbreaks totaled 740 with more severe weather outbreaks during this weekly period than any other week in U.S. history. The old record was 245 tornadoes during the week of March 30 through April 5, 1974