|The effect of too much rain is shown in this scene of Jordan Creek near the Jefferson Avenue footbridge in the 1920's.|
Everyone talks about it.
The weather has always been a popular topic for discussion and Springfieldians have had their choice. Weather records are scattered throughout the city's history.
The coldest day was minus 29 degrees on Feb. 12, 1899; the deepest snow, 20 inches in February, 1912; the wettest year, 1927, with 62.45 inches of rain; the hottest day, July 14,1954,113 degrees; heaviest rain in a short period, July 6 and 7, 1958, 6.85 inches; the driest year, 1953, 25.21 inches compared to a median rainfall of 39.70 inches.
The sesquicentennial year will be remembered by many as the year of the big winter. Two records were broken: the most snow in a given January, 23.3 inches; and the longest period with snow cover, 46 days.
Although not immune to damaging weather, the city has been hit by only a few tornadoes. The most devastating was recorded in 1883, hitting in the Grant Beach area . . . where the woolen mill was then located . . . and continuing east, killing eight people, injuring many others and damaging at least 40 structures.
The city has had a local weather bureau since the first official government observer came in 1887 with many of the observers becoming personalities. One of the best remembered was C. C. Williford, who was the weatherman from 1935 to 1956, and is credited with starting the first radio broadcasts of weather information in the country.
|A severe drought during the summer of 1953 left the water level low (above) in McDaniel Lake, the city's primary water reservoir. When the drought continued into through the winter, the community called in rainmakers (below) in February.|
|The winter of 1979 was a particularly harsh one during which several records were broken.|
Page maintained by - Last updated March 14, 2001