Average Day High
Average Day Low
Days 320 or lower
Days 900 or higher
Wettest 24 hours
AVERAGES AND EXTREMES FOR JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA*
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
55.9 57.5 62.2 68.7 75.8 80.8 82.6 82.3 79.4 71.0 61.7 56.1
67.5 66.9 71.3 73.8 80.7 86.0 85.5 84.8 83.2 78.6 69.2 64.6
1937 1832 1945 1908 1953 1839 1839 1954 1925 1919 1948 1829
45.5 47.6 55.4 63.2 71.9 76.9 79.0 78.8 75.5 66.2 55.4 48.4
1940 1895 1960 1901 1920 1930 1918 1922 1858 1873 1848 1917
67 69 73 80 86 91 92 91 88 80 72 67
85 88 91 93 99 103 104 102 100 96 87 84
45 47 51 58 65 71 73 73 71 62 51 46
15 10 25 34 46 54 64 64 49 37 22 12
4 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4
0 0 0 1 11 18 24 22 11 1 0 0
2.45 2.91 3.49 3.55 3.47 6.33 7.68 6.85 7.56 5.16 1.69 2.22
9.12 9.16 12.52 9.74 14.80 23.32 16.21 16.55 21.79 16.25 7.85 7.76
1881 1920 1948 1944 1903 1932 1960 1953 1908 1880 1947 1885
.01 .13 .12 .11 .09 1.25 .14 .76 .07 .08 .01 Trace
1950 1911 1945 1892 1927 1879 1875 1930 1931 1909 1906 1889
3.43 4.16 4.47 4.88 9.06 7.66 5.49 6.18 10.17 9.62 4.21 4.97
76 72 70 70 70 75 77 79 78 78 77 77
9 10 10 10 9 9 8 8 9 9 9 8
NW WSW NW SE WSW SW SW SW NE NE NW NW
51 76 66 54 57 59 53 51 82 72 60 62
*From U. S. Weather Bureau and Army Signal Corps. data from 1871-1964, and temperature records of Judge F. Bethune and Dr. A. S.
Baldwin prior to 1871, dating back to 1829.
PRESENTING AND PREDICTING THE WEATHER
George Winterling, Jacksonville's Full-time TV Meteorologist
W J X T First in Space-view weather charts.
W J X T First in N.E. Florida Rain Probability Forecasts
W J X T Most up-to-date weather predictions
DESCRIPTION AND DEFINITION OF WEATHER
HISTORY AND FACTS ABOUT THE WEATHER
HISTORY OF HURRICANES
AVERAGES AND EXTREMES For the Jacksonville Area
WEATHER THROUGH THE YEARS, MONTH BY MONTH
WEATHER GUIDE Copyright 1965 George Winterling-WJXT
W J X T's GEORGE WINTERLING,
Jacksonville's Only Full-time
George Winterling knows weather! Although a native of New
Jersey, he has lived in Jacksonville since ten years old, attended Or-
tega and Venetia Elementary schools, Lake Shore Junior High School,
and graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1949. He attend-
ed Jacksonville University and received his Bachelor of Science
degree in meteorology from Florida State University.
He served in the United States Air Force where he led his class
at the Weather Observers course at Chanute AFB, Illinois, and was
second from the top in the Intermediate Meteorological School at
Oklahoma A&M College. He was assigned as a weather forecaster in
Alaska, with other weather assignments in the Aleutians and at Al-
George served with the U. S. Weather Bureau in Jacksonville
for five years, rising through the ranks from weather observer and
radiosonde specialist to aviation and public service forecaster, and
finally Quality Control Officer for the Weather Bureau and Federal
Aviation Agency stations over northeast Florida, south Georgia and
eastern South Carolina.
In June 1962, George left government service to join WJXT. His
thorough analysis and complete presentations were best expressed
with hurricanes Cleo and Dora in 1946. He has been granted the
American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval for his weather
telecasts on Television 4.
~a~J, ~ i
W J XT FIRST IN TELEVISION
WITH A SPACE-VIEW OF
r ,o ?
I.v* ,. r' .... '.. In June 1962, WJXT introduced a
new concept in weather presentation which has expanded the view
of the weather-watcher from a few miles to a few thousand miles.
Prior to each weather telecast, Meteorologist George Winterling stud-
ies and analyzes the latest surface and upper air charts as well as
up-to-the-minute teletype reports and combines this vast amount of
data into this unique chart minutes before it is presented on the air.
R- W JXT FIRST IN RAINFALL
A PROBABILITY FORECASTS FOR
Since June 1962, WJXT's Meteor-
-' ..., i i ,'r:;' 'ologist has incorporated the many
...... influences and variations in rain pat-
Sterns into a rain probability forecast.
In the summer, when showers occur on many days but are widely
separated, the figure gives the chance of rain or a shower for any
particular point in the area, while in the winter when rain develop-
ment depends on frontal movements and atmospheric currents, the
figure gives the likelihood of rain for this area. While there is still
no way to predict whether rain will actually occur or not, WJXT's
"Chance of Rain" forecast is the most useful way of prediction in
W J X T GIVES MOST UP-TO-
DATE WEATHER FORECASTS.
Each weather forecast is based not
only on official Weather Bureau forecasts (which are issued 4 times
daily) but on last minute weather changes which sometimes occur
just before air time. In order to keep up with sudden and unexpected
weather developments, reports are received in the weather office at
Broadcast House from
Direct from the U. S. Weather Hourly and special reports from
Bureau Office in Jacksonville regional and national weather
WEATHER MAPS & CHARTS
From the Weather Bureau anal-
ysis center in Suitland, Mary-
Locally analyzed surface and
upper air charts.
From cooperative observers
over North Florida and South
WJXT's rainfall reporting net-
work in the Greater Jacksonville
WAYS OF THE WEATHER
IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO DESCRIBE IN THIS BOOKLET THE
BEHAVIOR OF THE ATMOSPHERE IN DETAIL . BUT HERE ARE
A FEW BASIC EXPLANATIONS.
-r CLOUDS ARE FORMED BY CON-
DENSED WATER VAPOR, usually
,'"'r.. caused by rising air currents.
AIR MAY BE LIFTED BY
THE HEAT OF THE SUN
----> 4 ----
CONVERGING WINDS AT
CLOUDS AND RISING AIR CUR-
RENTS are most prevalent around
and to the north and east of LOW
PRESSURE and FRONTAL systems.
DIVERGING WINDS AT
.0;* ""- -" "'
SHOWERS develop when air which is lifted is UNSTABLE. Un-
stable air is usually caused by excessive heat in the lower portion of
the atmosphere, or by the heat released when the invisible water
vapor condenses into visible water or clouds. RAIN forms when the
water droplets in clouds are lifted to a point where they collect into
large drops (in the tropics), or collect on ice crystals in the colder
upper atmosphere, or when descending snow in the upper parts of
towering clouds falls below the freezing level.
.* ~2. WARM AIR RISES
3. MORE HEAT IS RELEASED WHEN
CLOUD FORMS AS MOISTURE
4. UNSTABLE AIR CONTINUES TO RISE
5. MOISTURE FREEZES
6. MIXTURE OF RAIN AND SNOW WITH
7. RAIN FALLS AS SHOWER.
RAIN can cover a vast area when skies are overcast and the
lifting action of the air is caused by a general upslope movement of
warm air over a more dense or cooler layer. This type of rain may
last from a few hours to a day or longer, while rain from scattered
SHOWERS seldom lasts more than an hour.
JET STREAMS of the atmosphere control most fronts and many
weather systems. The jet stream is a band of fast moving air in the
westerlies, much like a swift channel in a broad flowing river. Winds
of the jet stream are often over 200 m.p.h. and occur usually be-
tween 20,000 ft. and 40,000 ft. The jet stream is strongest over the
northern hemisphere in winter, with lesser wind velocities during
The JET STREAM is driven by the excessive heat energy caused by
the sun around the tropical regions of the earth forced against the
cold air center around the polar regions.
COLD weather moves southward when the JET STREAM dips south-
ward. WARM air moves northward when the JET STREAM pushes
'S -. :6'-
rents, such as the
usually occurs with still or descending air cur-
settling of cooler air with the setting of the sun.
CLEAR WEATHER USUALLY ACCOMPANIES HIGH PRESSURE
HOT and COLD WEATHER is caused by huge masses of air covering
thousands of miles.
k 0.L '
A LINE which separates cold air from warmer air is a FRONT. If the
COLD air is advancing, it is a COLD FRONT; if the WARM air is ad-
vancing, it is a WARM FRONT; if neither air mass is displacing the
other, it is a STATIONARY FRONT.
1. Cold front
2. Stationary front
3. Warm front
When a warm front meets a cold front, an OCCLUDED FRONT is
FOG is formed when a cloud rests on the ground. The cloud, or
FOG, is condensed moisture suspended in the air.
FOG forms when the air cools down to its CONDENSATION TEMPER-
ATURE or DEW POINT. This usually occurs during the night or
early morning hours.
FOG also forms when warm moist air is cooled by passing over colder
land or water. The chilly ocean waters of late winter and early spring
often cool the warm spring air to form SEA FOG. FOG sometimes
forms when rain has added more moisture to the air than it can hold,
and the air becomes saturated.
FROST is formed when moisture in the air freezes on objects, usually
grass or vegetation, which have cooled to a temperature of 32 de-
grees or lower. The air temperature may be as high as 40 degrees.
On still clear nights in winter the temperature on the ground is often
5 to 10 degrees colder thah the air, which is the official reading.
Automobiles lose heat rapidly at night, therefore ice, or frost, will
form under certain conditions on cars and windshields when the air
temperature remains several degrees above freezing.
SNOW is similar to frost, except it forms in the air when moist
air is lifted to the upper atmosphere where the temperature is below
freezing. The snowflakes begin to melt as they fall below the freez-
SNOW is rare in Nprth Florida/South Georgia because when snow
is formed in the upper atmosphere the air is usually too warm in
the lower atmosphere for the snow to reach the ground without melt-
ing. When the temperatures are cold enough in the lower atmos-
phere for snow here, the upper atmosphere is usually dominated by
clear, dry weather.
JACKSONVILLE has had snow covering the ground twice in the
past 100 years. On February 13, 1899 nearly 2 inches (1.9 inches),
and on February 13, 1958 one and a half inches blanketed the
A freak of nature caused a SNOWSTORM to extend over most of
Florida in 1774, of which there is very little recorded. The inhabi-
tants long afterwards spoke of it as an "extraordinary white rain."
L*~.3% I ....rr*u~ .:I*r
a~ ..*tL6 :.' rr;.
Ilt''' ' ~! :
.. ri'S" ::.
TORNADOES are the most violent and destructive phenomena
produced by the atmosphere. Winds have been estimated from
200 mph to 500 mph in these vicious whirlwinds. An extremely low
pressure in the center of the tornado causes an explosive effect on
buildings in its path.
TORNADOES are caused by a clash between warm and cold air,
with other atmospheric conditions such as winds, humidity, and sta-
bility contributing to the development of a vortex. Most tornadoes
develop from a thunderstorm cloud which intensifies in the warm,
humid atmosphere in advance of a cold front. This is frequently
caused by a violent upheaval of the upper atmosphere as a shift or
disturbance on the jet stream shoots cold air into a region which
has been dominated by warm air. The wind pattern in the lower at-
mosphere often cannot shift and accelerate fast enough to support
the heavy cold air aloft, and the thunderstorm, and ultimately tor-
nado funnel, result as the atmosphere attempts to correct the im-
A TORNADO which develops over water is called a WATER-
SPOUT. WATERSPOUTS usually dissipate when they move over
A HURRICANE is a large windstorm composed of numerous rain-
squalls usually in spiralling bands which whirl around a low pressure
center known as the "eye." Winds of over 75 m.p.h. reach their
peak velocities near the edge of the eye, while winds usually dimin-
ish to less than 10 m.p.h. in the eye. In the storm center, rains stop
and clouds thin so that the sun or stars may be seen at times.
Hurricane force winds may be limited to a small area near the
center in a small hurricane, or may extend over a few hundred miles
in a large hurricane.
HURRICANES develop over warm ocean waters between June
and November. A few have developed in other months of the year,
but most hurricanes develop toward the end of August and during
...w ^ f. ... *. '! "i ........
The HEAT and MOISTURE from the tropical oceans provide the
energy for HURRICANES.
HURRICANES usually move in the direction of the wind current
in which they are embedded. The difficulty in hurricane forecasting
results in the fact that these wind currents are always changing, or
have various forces acting upon them which may cause them to
change at any time.
Generally, however, hurricanes in the tropics move toward the
west or westnorthwest, and hurricanes in the temperate latitudes
move toward the northeast to east.
southward every two or three days and attempt to "pick up" the
,,: ...S, .** *"
1 ROPtCAfc EhSTERmrES ; **'6^e^ARO'-- 1
It is during the change from the westward track to the northeast
track that the course is often most uncertain. This is because dis-
turbances, or troughs, in the westerlies of the upper atmosphere dip
southward every two or three days and attempt to "pick up" the
hurricane, but in between times the tropical easterlies try to steer
the storm toward the west or northwest. Other low and high pressure
systems have varying influences on the hurricane movement.
A wind that blows from the ocean across the land to replace ris-
ing air currents over the land is a SEABREEZE. When the sun heats
the land mass to a temperature higher than the water temperature,
a wind will blow from the ocean toward the land, provided there are-
no other winds to counteract this movement.
When the land cools at night to a temperature less than that of
the ocean temperature, a LANDBREEZE results, provided there are
no other winds to counteract this force.
LIGHTNING is results following the generation of opposite
charges of electricity in the atmosphere. When these charges be-
come too great, and when the insulating air between the charges
can no longer keep them apart, a huge spark jumps from one charge
to the other, which is a LIGHTNING STROKE. The sound of the
lightning stroke is THUNDER. Thunder is heard after the lightning
because it travels much slower .. taking five seconds to travel just
one mile. If thunder is heard 15 seconds after the lightning strikes,
the lightning struck three miles away.
SkNU rowu sTkAVEL
A (11'JAKE O& 1 MILE!
FULL HURRICANE FORCE WIND
Monday, August 31, 1964
WJXT Meteorologist George Winter-
ling points out that Jacksonville is
not immune to the full force of a
hurricane, as commonly believed.
Jacksonville's greatest danger would
be from a hurricane coming in from
Tuesday, September 1, 1964
A tropical storm named DORA is
spawned in the tropical Atlantic, and
heads on a course toward Bermuda.
Monday, September 7, 1964
Another hurricane named ETHEL
heads toward hurricane DORA. Me-
teorologist George Winterling ex-
plains what happens when two
hurricanes meet. DORA should be
deflected in the direction of the
mainland. WJXT prediction states
that 100 m.p.h. winds could reach
Hurricane DORA was the first full-force hurricane to hit the
northeast Florida coast since weather records began in 1871. DORA
was steered by an unusual persistence of the tropical easterly winds
at a latitude usually occupied by the Bermuda high. At the surface,
a large high over the middle Atlantic coast blocked any northward
trend, while in the upper atmosphere the prevailing westerlies, which
could have turned the storm out to sea, flowed along the Canadian
border. The easterly current prevailed for an exceptional duration
of four days to steer DORA along a course perpendicular to the ma-
jority of storms in this area.
Jacksonville Cecil FId
NORTHEAST FLORIDA SOUTHEAST GEORGIA
September 10, 1565
The French Captain, Jean Ribault, attempted to take St. Augus-
tine from the Spanish who had just settled there. Waiting for high
tide to permit his ships to enter the harbor, he was driven southward
by a strong north northeast wind with heavy seas. His ships were
wrecked on the coast below St. Augustine.
September 8, 1854
A severe Atlantic hurricane passed inland between Jacksonville
and Savannah, but much nearer Savannah, where there was great
destruction of property. No record of damage in Jacksonville, but
there probably was some.
September 8-11, 1878
Northeast gales prevailed on these dates in connection with a
hurricane in the Atlantic. Lowest barometer was 29.19 on the 11th,
when the river backed up and came in the streets.
August 27, 1881
A hurricane from the Atlantic went in near Savannah with great
property loss and 335 lives.
August 27, 1893
A hurricane in the Atlantic passed east of Jacksonville going in
near Savannah. Jacksonville barometer was 29.04 inches. At May-
port 9 cottages blew down. All wires down and railroad traffic sus-
Georgia and South Carolina coasts devastated. A tremendous
wave submerged the islands near Savannah and Charleston; at least
1,000 lives lost; property damage $10,000,000. The ravage at
Charleston was reported as terrific, "Hundreds of corpses were
strewn among farms, unknown except to the vultures which flocked
about them. Whole families were wiped out in some places. The
coroner has sworn in an army of deputies and these are hunting for
October 12, 1893
Not so much damage for Jacksonville, but Mayport suffered
September 22, 1894
A storm came across the state entering the Atlantic near Daytona.
Jacksonville barometer was 29.27, wind 41 m.p.h. The St. Johns
River was 3 feet above normal at high tide. Brick work at the new
Union Station was blown down. Damage in the city placed between
30 and 40 thousand dollars. Great damage was done at Mayport,
Pablo Beach and St. Augustine.
October 9, 1894
Winds up to 56 m.p.h.; barometer 29.29 inches.
September 29, 1896
A storm from the Gulf came across Columbia, Baker and Nassau
counties and caused the highest wind for Jacksonville until DORA
... 76 m.p.h.
October 19, 1910
This hurricane made a loop around the western end of Cuba,
then headed north, passing about 30 miles west of Jacksonville.
Lowest barometer was 29.09, wind 51 m.p.h. Much flooding was re-
ported from a very high tide.
September 18, 1928
The great Palm Beach-Okeechobee storm passed just west of
Jacksonville causing the lowest barometer on record for the city ..
28.90 inches. Winds were 48 m.p.h. Damage to the city $10,000;
the county $25,000. Trees were uprooted; much damage at the
September 4-5, 1933
Little damage, except the wind drove the St. Johns River over
bulkheads in Riverside up to two blocks from the river.
October 19, 1944
A tropical storm moving northward passed Jacksonville with the
center only a short distance to the west. Lowest barometer was
28.94, the lowest on record for October. Forty-six mile an hour winds
subsided from 12:30 P.M. to 4 P.M. due to a large eye which ex-
tended from near Jacksonville to Gainesville. Many large trees and
branches were blown down; WJHP radio tower went down; some
plate glass windows blown in. Tides were very high. Jacksonville
area damage set between $100-200,000. One life was lost by electro-
September 18, 1945
A tropical storm passed east of the city. Barometer 29.41; gusts
at the airport to 60 m.p.h.; rainfall total 6.74 inches.
October 8, 1946
The center of a tropical storm passed west of the city. Barometer
29.21 inches; wind only 33 m.p.h. Some houseboats and small river-
front buildings were demolished.
August 27, 1949
A tropical storm from the Gulf passed west of the city causing
considerable damage to trees, wires, etc. Barometer 29.58 inches;
wind gusts to 85 m.p.h.
September 6-7, 1950
A tropical storm entered the coast near Cedar Key, moved south
southeast on a curving path north of Lakeland to Clermont, Eustis,
Camp Blanding and Glen St. Mary. Jacksonville barometer 29.47
inches; wind to 52 m.p.h., rainfall 10.17 inches.
October 18, 1950
A hurricane which entered the coast at Miami passed between
Jacksonville and Lake City. Jacksonville barometer 29.43 inches;
wind 72 m.p.h. with gusts to 85 m.p.h.
This storm did more damage to Jacksonville and the surround-
ing area than any previous storm. Damage to Duval county placed at
well over a million dollars, of which half a million was for the Beach
municipalities. Public utilities, telephone and electric wires suffered
severely, many streets were washed out, much damage to trees and
September 10-11, 1960
Hurricane DONNA came up the state moving into the Atlantic
between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine. The center passed 45
miles southeast of Jacksonville about 8:20 A.M. Several large oaks
were blown down in St. Augustine. Damage in Jacksonville mostly
limited to billboards, poles, wires, and trees. There were four roofs
reported lost by homes in the city. Approximately 100 homes showed
minor damage. Highest winds 67 m.p.h. at Jacksonville airport, 75
m.p.h. at Jacksonville Beach.
August 27-28, 1964
Hurricane CLEO hit Miami with wind gusts to 135 m.p.h. caus-
ing millions of dollars of damage. This was the first hurricane to hit
Miami since 1950.
CLEO moved up the state with the center remaining a few
miles inland, causing the storm to lose most of her force before
reaching northeast Florida. The eye passed over Jacksonville Beach
shortly after noon of the 28th. Highest winds 50 m.p.h. in gusts at
Jacksonville Beach, 43 m.p.h. at Jacksonville airport.
September 9-10, 1964
JACKSONVILLE'S FIRST FULL FORCE HURRICANE moved in
from the Atlantic on the night of September 9. The eye passed over
St. Augustine shortly after midnight followed by winds up to 125
m.p.h. from the southwest. The tide at Anastasia Island was 12 ft.
above normal . 4 ft. higher than any others known . Jackson-
ville's highest sustained wind was 82 m.p.h. with gusts estimated to
85 m.p.h. Squall damage in some parts of the city gave evidence of
100 m.p.h. winds. The St. Johns River rose about 5 feet above
normal, flooding many low sections of the city.
Damage to northeast Florida was estimated about 200 million
dollars. The storm caused over 90% of the city to be without power,
some sections going without electricity for over a week.
Tuesday, September 8, 1964
WJXT interrupts regular pro-
gramming to broadcast hurri-
cane precautions and prepa-
rations. Meteorologist George
Winterling begins three day
sleepless vigil, predicts the
storm will take a track toward
St. Augustine with winds up
to 125 m.p.h. near the eye.
Wednesday, Sept. 9, 1964
DORA turns toward St. Au-
gustine, slows down to give
coastal residents a few more
hours preparation. DORA's
eye makes a feeble attempt
to remain over warm Gulf
stream waters offshore, then
moves across the coastline
under cover of darkness.
Thursday, September 10, 1964
The storm moves into north Florida and South Georgia.
JANUARY is the coldest month of the year, although in mild winters
it may resemble an early spring month. The hazard of a sudden
freeze is great, as a sudden arrival of blustery westerly winds may
be the forerunner of a hard freeze within 12 to 24 hours.
1852-January 13. Snow fell all morning, accumulating a
depth of one half inch. Lowest temperature was 20.
1857-January 19. Low temperature of 16 degrees was the
coldest since 1835. On the 20th, a low of 18 formed ice
up to 2 inches thick on ponds and along the margin of
the river. Some people tried to skate.
1879-January 4. The first ice storm in the history of Jackson-
ville. Sleet began at 7 P.M., turned to rain at 8:30 P.M.,
freezing as it fell. Freezing rain continued until 9:30 A.M.
of the 5th as trees, wires, shrubs, etc. were covered
with a thick coat of ice.
1915-January 3. The Weather Bureau Office in the Dyal-Up-
church Building (southeast corner of Bay and Main)
burned. All of the instruments and some of the records
1924-January 6. Jacksonville's highest barometer . 30.67
1935-January 23. A considerable amount of snow fell from
7:56 A.M. to 9:05 P.M. The air was full of snow, but it
melted as it fell. Unquestionably the heaviest snow
since February 1899.
1958-January 8. Today's high was only 35 degrees.
1959-January 17. A low of 230 was followed by a high of
1960-January 21-26. Six consecutive days with temperatures
dropping to freezing or lower.
1962-January 11-12. Nearly 16 hours of freezing rain pro-
duced the city's worst glaze storm. Traffic was halted as
bridges and overpasses iced over. Electrical power was
disrupted in many places as wires snapped and trans-
formers shorted due to the ice.
FEBRUARY has the distinction of being Jacksonville's snowiest
month, and also the month in which the coldest temperature of the
year was recorded. It is during this month that the occasional ad-
vance of tropical air from the south clashes with the wintery air
masses over the continent, resulting in Gulf disturbances that on
rare occasion develop snow, but more frequently mark the beginning
of windstorms and possible tornado conditions over parts of Florida
and the Gulf Coast.
1835-February 8. A most severe freeze in Florida. Fort King
(near Ocala) reported 11 degrees with snow. Jackson-
ville had 8 degrees. The St. Johns River froze several
yards from shore. All fruit trees were killed to the
ground, and many never started again.
1895-February 7-10. A severe freeze with a low of 14 on the
8th and 19 on the 9th. Ice formed in the St. Johns
River 8 feet from shore.
1899-February 12-15. This was the "Big Freeze". The low of
10 degrees in Jacksonville on the 13th is the coldest
day since 1835. Tallahassee had 2 degrees below zero.
Fruit trees which were beginning to recover from the
freeze of 1895 were killed. This freeze marked the end
of the growing of citrus fruit on the commercial scale in
Jacksonville, except where protected to the north and
west by the river.
On the 13th, the temperature was below freezing all day
with a high of only 27. Rain on the evening of the 12th
changed to sleet, then snow, ceasing before sunrise of
the 13th. At 7 A.M., the ground had a 1.9 inch cover
of snow, the heaviest ever recorded for Jacksonville. In
some places it remained for days.
1903-February 16. Wind gust to 76 m.p.h. highest wind out-
side of hurricane season.
1920-February 1-2. A heavy 4.16 inch rain flooded streets and
caused much damage to the northeast Florida potato
1943-February 6. A small tornado downed trees and fences
along with an open air theatre in a business section five
miles east southeast of downtown Jacksonville.
1958-February was a bitter month with 13 days of minimum
temperatures of freezing or below . seven of them
consecutively. Six days did not have a reading above
450 On the 13th, a one and a half inch snow fell on the
anniversary of the 1899 snow.
1960-February 25. A tornado struck near Lake City, another
damaged seven or eight homes on a skipping path north-
east of Imeson Airport.
1963-February 3-5. Another million dollars damage to north-
east Florida beaches by a northeaster.
MARCH is the month of changeable weather. Rapid moving masses
of warm and cold air, the shifting, development, or dissipation of
pressure systems with sudden changes in rising and sinking currents
of air make this month's weather among the most unpredictable of
the year. For the fisherman, the winds are a problem; and for the
farmer, there may be no more freezing temperatures, but the danger
still exists up to the last day of the month. Damaging windstorms,
and a few tornadoes, have struck on occasion during one of this
month's more violent changes.
1872-March 10. Shortly after midnight, a violent wind and
rain storm passed over the city, accompanied by a tor-
nado whose path varied from 3/4 to one mile in width
and whose length extended from a point near Panama
Road to the St. Johns River. Buildings were demolished,
Some stock was killed.
1907-March 21-24. Unseasonably warm weather with tem-
peratures reaching 90 degrees or higher for four con-
secutive days saw a high of 91 on the 24th marking the
highest March temperature every recorded for Jackson-
1924-March 19-20. A heavy rain of 3.25 inches in 16 hours
caused heavy damage to local bridges and streets.
1926-March 14. The minimum of 280 this date was the lowest
for the whole year, causing heavy damage to tender
vegetation and corn, melons, strawberries, peas, etc.
1927-March 24. The beginning of a 72 day dry spell of only
.37 inch of rain from March 24 to June 4.
1931-March 28. Winds up to 65 m.p.h. blew the yacht Beryl
from moorings against the docks, demolishing the docks,
boat slips, and the yacht.
1932-March 6. Winds of over 50 m.p.h. blew two large freight-
ers aground at Commodore Point. Barometer of 29.05
inches the lowest outside of hurricane season.
March 10. Low temperature of 26 the coldest reading
for the year and for the winter of 1931-32.
1939-March 30. A small tornado struck Dinsmore. The path
of the tornado was 11 miles long and 100 yards wide at
the widest point. Four persons were killed, several were
1943-March 6. A severe squall crossed the county with winds
up to 65 m.p.h. Damage $500,000; Thirty people re-
1948-March 31. A heavy squall hit parts of the city, damaging
roofs and toppling trees along a two mile path 300 yards
wide in the southwest section of the city.
APRIL is not the month of "April showers" in this part of the country,
as rising temperatures and increasing sunshine are accompanied by
less frequent rains to often cause dry spells. When the rains do
come, however, they may be extremely heavy, sometimes accom-
panied by high winds and hail. While the occasional cool snaps of
April may cause chilly nights, the strong sunshine causes most days
to be rather mild.
1828-April 6. Heavy frost. The temperature at Picolata on the
St. Johns (23 miles south of Jacksonville) was 28 de-
grees. The Army post at St. Augustine had 30. This is
the latest recorded freeze for the Jacksonville area.
1884-April 2. High winds blew the river steamer, Seminole,
ashore at Grassy Point. Considerable damage to roofing.
1907-April 18. A heavy hail storm with stones of varied shapes
and sizes, ranging from 1/2 inch to 1 inch. The hail
accumulated several inches deep with drifts as deep as 6
inches. Hundreds of window panes were broken, foliage
whipped to shreds. Persons exposed to the storm suf-
fered lacerated faces, heads, and hands. A tugboat was
sunk, the captain drowned; a man was blown from a pile
driver and drowned. On the Southside, the storm seemed
1916-April 10. Morton's farm, a few miles west of the city re-
ported a low of 32 with a killing frost.
1918-April 2. Hailstones up to 1/2 inch in diameter piled as
high as three inches deep in a few places.
1929-April 15. During high winds of up to 54 m.p.h., the
Methodist church in Murray Hill was razed, damage-
1935-April 12. One of the dust storms of the '30s reduced
Jacksonville visibility to one and a half miles.
1958-April 10. Heavy rain, accompanied by hail, dumped 3.83
inches of rain during early morning.
1961-April 9. Sunday afternoon thunderstorms swept over
Duval County, spawning a tornado over the lower Jack-
sonville Beach area. Damage was confined to mostly
trees, fences, and a few houses.
MAY is the month which begins to see the hot daytime temperatures
in the 90's. The seabreeze along the coast provides a pleasant re-
lief on the hotter days, since the coastal waters still retain much of
the coolness of the preceding months. Showers are about as in-
frequent as in April, and the higher temperatures increase the evapo-
ration from the soil, often causing plants and grass to suffer from
the dryness. On the other hand, May has been the month of very
heavy rains, with most of the month's rainfall deposited on but two
or three days.
1901-May 3. This was the date of the great fire which de-
stroyed nearly the whole city. The Astor Building, in
which the Weather Bureau was located, was one of the
few buildings to escape the fire.
1903-May 12-13. A 9.06 inch rain covered all low places in
the city with a sheet of water. From Broad St. to the
Union Depot and throughout the railroad yards was a
lake caused by the overflow of McCoy's Creek. Spring-
field Park, the Waterworks and Electric Plant were
flooded. Damage to railroad tracks and city streets was
1906-May 21-25. During these five days 12.90 inches of rain
1929-May 2. A severe wind storm seemed tornadic in the
Jacksonville Heights-Ortega section of Jacksonville. Sev-
eral houses were unroofed and large oaks were up-
rooted. One man was killed. The track of the storm was
about 400 yards wide and extended about 2 miles.
1948-May 28. A severe thundersquall struck the city. Winds at
the Naval Air Station reached 64 m.p.h. A motor court
in north Jacksonvillle was damaged, and 25 transform-
ers were knocked out by lightning.
1952-May 11. Heavy thunderstorms caused county-wide dam-
age. There was much damage at Craig Field where
a few small tornadoes were seen. Four hundred tele-
phones were knocked out of service. WMBR-TV, now
WJXT, was off the air for nearly 7 hours. Three women
were hurt in the Riverside Baptist Church from a glass
window that blew in, and a train was stopped by a tree
across the tracks.
1959-May 20-21 Torrential rains submerged low sections of
Jacksonville. Up to 15 inches fell on the Southside. Ho-
gans Creek, near the State Board of Health, flooded to
car tops. Some roads, bridges and yards were washed
out. There was little rain reported at Waycross or St.
1962-May 20-28. A nine-day heat wave began with 99 degrees
on the 20th, the hottest temperature ever recorded so
early in the season.
JUNE marks the beginning of the summer shower season. June's
rainfall is nearly twice that of May as thundershowers may be nor-
mally expected on one out of every three days. Occasional cold fronts
during this month have little effect on the daytime temperatures, but
bring drier and consequently more comfortable conditions. Night-
time temperatures are not oppressive, on most nights, as readings
may still lower to the middle or upper 60's.
1885-June 10. Very heavy rains dumped 5.11 inches in less
than 5 hours.
1919-June 29-30. A 7.66 inch rain caused water to stand 2
feet deep on Bay St., covering the floor of the Union
station. Street car service was abandoned on several
1924-June 11. Lightning from a severe thunderstorm struck
the Masonic Temple, breaking windows in adjacent
1924-June 23. Lightning killed a man on a pier off Talleyrand
Ave. and injured two others.
1945-June 24, 26. Rain in connection with a tropical storm
passing into the Atlantic just north of Daytona Beach
dropped 4.69 inches of rain on Jacksonville, but two
days later on the 26th, a violent thundersquall did more
damage than the tropical storm.
1949-June 8. Hail covered the ground on Southside at Love-
grove Road (University Blvd. West).
1950-June 27. Hottest June day on record, 1020 downtown
with 103 at the airport.
1954-June 25 July 4. One of the hottest spells on record
began with 97 on the 25th, reaching 101 on the 27th
and 103 on the 28th. Daily highs continued 97 or
higher each day through the 4th of July.
1957-June 8-9. Rain over north Florida was accompanied by
nine tornadoes or damaging windstorms, due to a trop-
ical disturbance in the Gulf. Two tornadoes touched
down in Duval County, one in the Springfield section of
1960-June 11. Low of 57 degrees the coldest June tempera-
ture since 1913.
1961-June 30. A hailstorm extended from the southwest to
northwest sections of Jacksonville, hailstones ranging
from 1 to 21/2 inches in diameter. High winds caused
about $20,000 damage to homes in southwest sections.
1964-A severe windstorm, classified as a tornado, caused dam-
age in excess of $300,000 in southwest Jacksonville,
from the Normandy section through Hyde Grove Acres to
Avondale. Many large trees snapped and uprooted;
WPDQ radio tower toppled by the high winds estimated
up to 125 m.p.h.
JULY is normally the hottest and wettest month of the year. Wind
patterns of the upper atmosphere may cause dry, scorching heat
for a week or longer, or may draw enormous amounts of heat and
moisture upward to produce severe electrical storms and locally
torrential rains. While these are the extreme weather developments
that may occur during the month, most days are a lesser combina-
tion of summer heat with afternoon or evening thundershowers on
about half of the days of the month.
1875-A hot month saw the temperature reach 900 or higher
on every day of the month and 100 or higher on 5 days.
The mercury reached 100 on the 19th, 101 on the 20th,
100 on the 21st, 101 on the 25th, and 100 on the 29th.
This was the driest July on record with a total of only .14
inches of rain.
1879-July 8-13. A heat wave during these six days caused
the highest temperature on record for Jacksonville. All
six days saw readings of 100 or higher .. the hottest
day was the 11th with 104 degrees.
1896-July 20-August 19. A hot spell with 31 consecutive
days of readings 90 degrees or higher.
1917-July 27. A severe electrical storm and heavy rain caused
$8,000 damage to Miller Piano Company and collapsed
the roof of the Savoy theatre at Main and Forsyth Sts.
1924-July 25. Lightning struck the Sulfuric Acid Plant of the
Armour Fertilizer Co. on Talleyrand Avenue causing
1927-July 27. Lightning shattered the cupola of the Main St.
1937-July 28. Lightning killed two men and injured 9 at the
1943-July 14. Hurricane Forecast Center moved from Jack-
sonville to Miami.
1957-July 9. A small tornado or waterspout developed over
Ribault River in the Lake Forest section.
1959-July 12. A waterspout" formed about 3 blocks inland
from Jacksonville Beach, reportedly lifted a 3-year-old
boy about a foot off the ground until he was pulled down
by two men. The waterspout then moved a few hundred
yards offshore, remaining stationary for about a half
AUGUST is almost identical to July, as far as the averages show.
It is during this month, however, that the humidity is highest and the
summer heat can become very oppressive. While the hurricane sea-
'son officially begins in June, it is during the last week in this month
that hurricanes in the tropics become more active and pose a po-
tential threat to the Gulf and Atlantic states.
1859-August 28. The Aurora Borealis (northern lights) were
plainly visible during early evening.
1878-Fifteen days saw readings of 95' or higher.
1886-August 31. This was the date of the Great Charleston
Earthquake. Shocks were felt in Jacksonville from 8:52
P.M. to 9:03 P.M. Windows, doors, and furniture rattled.
The earthquake caused much excitement and was noted
over a large part of the state.
1894-August 20-21. An unusually severe and long thunder-
storm began on the evening of the 20th and ended dur-
ing early morning of the 21st. Many trees were struck
by lightning, but damage was small, except to the Stand-
ard Oil Company storehouse on the river in Riverside,
which burned at a loss of $16,000.
1937-August 13. Lightning struck the Lutheran Church at
Post and Cherry Sts.
1946-August 5. Lightning struck the tanker "Homestead" at
the Standard Oil dock. The ship was almost completely
destroyed with a cargo loss of nearly 4 million dollars.
Three men were killed, thirty injured.
1954-August 17. Temperature 1020, highest August reading
1961-August 22. A locally heavy downpour flooded the San-
1962-August 23. Numerous waterspouts were sighted along
the Jacksonville Beaches.
SEPTEMBER is the month of hurricanes. While Jacksonville is in a
position that causes most storms to pass over land and weaken be-
fore reaching the city, a blow from the east, such as hurricane Dora,
can be extremely devastating. Although Dora caused Jacksonville's
highest wind on record, the hurricane slowed and weakened slightly
before landfall, which means that this area is not immune to more
severe hurricanes than Dora. September is also characterized by
occasional northeasters, warm humid days and nights, and unset-
tled showery weather with less sunshine than any other month of
1565 and other hurricane dates-See HURRICANE HISTORY,
1859-September 2. Brilliant Aurora during the evening and
night illuminated the entire heavens. Some imagined the
end of the world was at hand.
1871-September 11. The Army Signal Service opened an
office in the Jacksonville Masonic Hall to take weather
1882-September 10. A tornado at Darbyville (30 miles west
of Jacksonville) destroyed several buildings, killed one
man, and injured several others. A number of cattle and
hogs were killed.
1884-September 15-18. Unusually high tides in the St. Johns
River did considerable damage. Wharves were flooded,
freight damaged, and the well supplying the city water
1885-September 26. A heavy 6.20 inch rain washed out parts
of the railroad and flooded Bay Street stores. Rains on
the 27th and 28th brought the September total to 16.93
1889-September 23. A severe thunderstorm produced heavy
rain and a tornadic wind which unroofed the Murray Hall
Hotel and killed one man.
1908-September 9-11. A 12.79 inch rain fell in 3 days.
1937-September 30 October 1. Heavy rains and high tides
inundated parts of Atlantic Blvd., said to be the highest
water in 34 years.
1945-September 4. September record broken for heaviest one
hour rain ... 3.10 inches.
1947-September 26-29. A severe northeaster at the beaches
washed out long stretches of sea wall, carried out beach
sand, and undermined several homes. Damage--/2 mil-
1949-September 24-25. Flooding rains. Murray Hill worst.
Airport had 10.13 inches in 24 hours.
1961-September- December. Driest fall on record 2.65
1964-September 9-10. Hurricane DORA. See pages 19 and 24.
OCTOBER is a month which brings cold weather to the northern
states, but seasonably mild temperatures continue in the northeast
Florida until about the last week in the month, when the first cold
snap often arrives. The last hurricanes of the season usually move
over tropical waters during this month, and if Jacksonville were to
have a tropical storm, it would most likely come out of the Gulf.
Stagnant fronts and disturbances in a moist easterly flow of air
sometimes produce heavy rains, but this month is moving toward
the driest month of the year.
1880-October 8-10. A torrential rain totalled 8.15 inches in
1886-October 22. An earthquake shock was felt throughout
the city at 4.24 A.M. lasting 15 seconds and strong
enough to rattle dishes and windows.
1890-October 1. Five inches of rain fell between 5 P.M. and
1933-October 23-24. Heavy rains dumped a total of 6.48
inches, 3.22 of which fell in one hour. Crops, highways,
and city streets were damaged by the water.
1938-October 23-24. Another heavy rain total of 5.79 inches
in 24 hours.
1941-October 19-21. Over five inches of rain fell in 24 hours,
bringing a 48 hour total of 7.40 inches.
1947-October 7. A tornado struck in north Jacksonville about
8 P.M. moving south to north. The path was 50 to 150
yards wide and 3/4 mile long. It damaged several roofs
and a trailer camp. Total damage around $100,000.
Ten people were injured.
1947-October 24. Heavy rains totalled 4.69 inches in 24
1954-October 31 November 4. One of the earliest cold waves
on record for Jacksonville. The low on the 31st was 39,
followed by a low of 29 on November 3.
NOVEMBER is normally the driest month of the year. The first freez-
ing temperature of the winter often occurs in this month. Pleasant
temperatures are usually experienced during many days this month,
but occasional cold snaps usually require furnaces to be turned on
several times during the month. Cold fronts pass into central, and
sometimes south, Florida and become stationary. This produces the
overcast conditions, and sometimes northeasters, accompanied by a
drizzle or rain, but rainfall accumulations are not as much as the
previous months, since cool air does not hold as much moisture as
1906-November 2 December 10. The driest November with
only .01 inch of rain during this period.
1932-November 27-29. A three-day northeaster eroded 3 to 5
feet of sand from the beaches, advancing the ocean some
60 to 75 feet. Bulkheads, docks, and some cottages
on the oceanfront were wrecked. Damage was placed
around a half million dollars. Tides were reported the
highest in 30 years.
1940-November 16. A minimum of 22 degrees with a killing
frost was the lowest temperature for so early in the sea-
son. The next day saw another record low . 23 de-
1950-November 25-26. The coldest Thanksgiving! A low of
23 on the 25th and 27 on the 26th.
1962-November 29-December 1. A severe northeaster eroded
many feet from Jacksonville Beach and other northeast
Florida beaches, causing damage of about 2 million dol-
DECEMBER brings some of the coldest weather of the year, but like
January, it may be as mild as any early spring month during some
years. During normal winters, a few days of mild weather are experi-
enced between cold snaps.
1868-December 25. A hard freeze destroyed much fruit;
young trees were frozen to the ground. This was the
coldest Christmas on record . 20 degrees.
1870-December 24. A severe freeze . low temperature 19
1876-December 1-6. Low temperatures were in the 20's on
these six consecutive days, the lowest being 240 on the
1894-December 28-30. This cold wave brought a low of 140
on the 29th and 210 on the 30th. This was the coldest
outbreak since 1835.
1917-December 30-31. A cold wave on these dates produced
lows of 21 on the 30th and 19 on the 31st. The cold
wave continued into January with minimums in the 20's
through January 4th.
1925-December 1-2. A storm of tropical origin passed east
of Jacksonville, dumping 3.44 inches of rain and wind
gusts to 50 m.p.h.
1927-December 17-23. A seven day cold wave. The coldest
night was 270 on the official thermometer atop the Gra-
ham Building. It was colder in the suburbs.
1934-December 7-15. A cold spell of nine days duration
caused the temperature to average 11 degrees below
normal for this period.
1957-December 13. The lowest temperature since January
1940 was recorded on this date . 17.3 degrees.
1962-The coldest outbreak since the turn of the century. The
severe freeze extended to south Florida. Jacksonville's
low .. 12 degrees.
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. 32207
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