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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Weather Blog Talks About The World Record Rainfall In Smethport In 1942

The WeatherMatrix Blog
Friday, July 18, 2008 3:41 PM

Blog reader Matt writes:

In the 7/17/08 edition of the Syracuse Post Standard (Syracuse, NY), the weather history column states that "Excessive rain hit north-central Pennsylvania in the early morning hours of 7/17/42. Smethport received 30.8 inches in 4.5 hours, a state record." I have a hard time fathoming this. Do you know anything about this event?

Matt, it sounds unbelievable, but in times like these I turn to Chris Burt [JessePedia], Author of "Extreme Weather" . The latest edition of his book says this about "The Deluge at Smethport, PA" says on Page 116 and 119:

Perhaps the most extraordinary rainfall ever measured in the world... [snip] Over 600 sheets of data were compiled to substantiate this record. [snip] All told, 34.50" fell in an 18-hour period, of which... 30.70" in 4 hours, 30 minutes. No such rain intensity has ever been recorded anywhere else in the world.

Categories: Extreme Weather
Posted by Jesse Ferrell on Friday, July 18, 2008 3:41 PM

James Jones, Editor of Solomon's words comments:
The entire North Central PA area suffered devastating flooding in this 1942 event. Water flooded areas of Coudersport, Roulette, Port Allegany, Smethport etc.

In Roulette, the house I live in had water up to the kitchen window, portions of hillsides washed out in chunks, 3 people were reported drowned in the Allegheny River when a large rescue boat hit a cable and overturned in the river behind my home. Residents could hear people screaming from the trees next to the river, but were helpless to get to them.

In Port Allegany, a man had to swim for his life as water from Lillibridge Creek washed the milk cans from his pickup as he drove down the street.

I was almost two years old at the time, but I remember flooded areas in the flat behind where I lived in Bolivar , NY.

It was definitely the Flood Of A Lifetime. Other major floods in the area in 1972 and 1996 could not compare to that '42 Flood.

Nick said...

Very interesting. I remember the 1996 rainstorm very well. It was said to be the most rain that ever fell in an hour, in this hemisphere. But didn't come close to the 7 inches per hour we're talking about here. I can't imagine breathing. In that '96 storm it was as if lakes were dropping from the sky. My house was and is high on a hill in Bradford, so I never expected to see my yard flooded, but water was coming down the hillside like a river, carrying away boulders and pieces of road. It was an afternoon thunderstorm I will never forget. If you come across more info on ANY of these big storms please let me know. I THINK that 1996 storm was on June 30. Or am I thinking of a different event in 1998??

1 comment :

Nick said...

Very interesting. I remember the 1996 rainstorm very well. It was said to be the most rain that ever fell in an hour, in this hemisphere. But didn't come close to the 7 inches per hour we're talking about here. I can't imagine breathing. In that '96 storm it was as if lakes were dropping from the sky. My house was and is high on a hill in Bradford, so I never expected to see my yard flooded, but water was coming down the hillside like a river, carrying away boulders and pieces of road. It was an afternoon thunderstorm I will never forget. If you come across more info on ANY of these big storms please let me know. I THINK that 1996 storm was on June 30. Or am I thinking of a different event in 1998??