What the US weather map looked like when the Weather Channel launched 40 years ago | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel
- Conditions in the United States were generally calm when The Weather Channel launched on May 2, 1982.
- Bad weather hit in the days that followed.
May weather is often associated with severe storms that can produce tornado outbreaks, large hail, wind damage and flash flooding, but for The Weather Channel’s launch 40 years ago, the atmosphere was taking a break in most parts of the country.
According to NOAA Daily Weather Map Archive. These systems were mostly ordinary or on the weaker side of the spectrum.
Several areas experienced scattered pockets of rain in the 24 hours ending at 7 a.m. EDT on May 3. Rainfall reports were generally light, ranging from a traces within a few tenths of an inch in most casesNOAA records show.
High temperatures were warm across much of the country, with high 70s and some 80s in the South, Plains and Midwest. Northeastern temperatures were mostly in the 60s and 70s, with mid 50s on the New England coast.
The desert southwest was the nation’s hotspot, with Phoenix peaking at 95 degrees and Death Valley hitting 100. Meanwhile, the Pacific Northwest was on the colder end of the spectrum, with a high of only 54 degrees in Seattle.
Overall, the weather in the United States was fairly benign, allowing the new television network to begin its first show that evening.
There was no severe weather reports, including tornadoes, wind or hail damage, on May 2, 1982, according to NOAA’s Storm Event Database. However, extreme weather conditions developed the following day.
Two tornadoes hit the United States on May 3, 1982, but not in the Plains states where you might expect. An F1-rated twister hit just northeast of Omak, Washingtonand an F0 tornado briefly struck Beaver County, Utah.
Large hail up to the size of golf and tennis balls also bombed a few locations in northwestern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota later that day.
He had some strong tornadoes in the days that followed network launch. F2-rated tornadoes hit Liberty County, Texas and Outagamie County, Wisconsin on May 6. The following day, there was an F2 tornado in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, and a pair of F3 tornadoes in southern Mississippi.
Had the network launched exactly a month earlier, it would have coincided with a major tornado outbreak in the central United States. On April 2, a total of 56 twisters landed in 11 states, killing 30 people, according to the National Weather Service. The strongest tornado was a rare F5 that struck near Broken Bow, Oklahoma.
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