Pat Shingleton: "A Dark Day and Severe Lightning..."
It was a dark New England day on September 3, 1881. Only 10% of available sunlight was found that day as smoke from fires in Michigan, New York, and Ontario closed schools and businesses. The "fire season" will continue in California and on September 4, 1910, forest fires in northern Idaho and Washington burnt three million acres of land and killed 82 people, 72 were firefighters. Ships at sea were lost when the smoke drifted into the ocean. September 5, 1933 found a hurricane making landfall north of Brownsville, TX, with 106 M.P.H. winds. Drifting citrus clogged area roads with reports of floating houses for ten miles. Due to the salty storm surge farmland to this day is still unusable.A final "strange" item. During violent thunderstorms, ball lightning sometimes occurs, especially in England. Witnesses describe spheres of glowing light often the size of bowling balls. On this date in 1786, during a hurricane, a fiery ball of light remained visible for forty minutes. “The Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible, and the Ignored” reported that in 1876, two women on a cliff in Ringstead Bay, experienced 20,000 peach-sized spheres of light. In Cheltenham, in 1961, Mrs. D. Will, experienced a fireball in her kitchen. It chased her upstairs and exited through a bedroom window. Ball lightning the size of a bus was reported over Dyfed, Wales by the coast guard in 1977. In Lancashire, a golfer was uninjured but his false teeth were shattered after being struck in 1991.
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