LANDMARKS OF WORLD HISTORY

A Chronology of Remarkable Natural Phenomena
20th Century 1911-1920
Numbers show sources
Date
Location
Phenomenon
Description

1911 January
California, United States
Snow
390 inches of snow fell at Tamarack during month. (23)

1911 January 30
Luzon, Phillipines
Volcano
Great eruption of Taal volcano; explosion heard 310 miles away. Most of the island’s inhabitants (1,335 persons) were kllled (4)

1911 February 14 -15
Phillipines
Rain
46 inches (1,168 mm.) of rain fell in 24 hours near Manila. (59)

1911 February 18
Pamir Mountains, Russia
Landslide
‘One of the greatest known landslides’ at Usoy. 5,000 million cubic yards (2.5 cubic kilometres) of rock fell into the Murgab River valley after a minor earthquake. 54 persons were killed. A lake 45 miles long formed behind debris dam. (60)

1911 February 25
New Zealand
Rain
6.32 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Wellington during a cyclone. (45)

1911 March 8 - 10
Tasmania
Rain
18.10 inches of rain fell at Lottah. (8)

1911 April 5
Southern England
Late snow
Snowdrifts 6 feet deep in Kent. A maximum temperature of -0.6
° C. at Tunbridge Wells. (68)

1911 May 31
Surrey, England
Thunderstorm
The Derby Day thunderstorm at Epsom; 159 lightning flashes in 15 minutes. 3 persons killed and 14 injured. (20)

1911 June 28
Egypt
Meteorites
About 40 stones fell at Nakhla after detonations. Total weight 40 kg. One stone killed a dog. (30)

1911 July 4
New Hampshire, United States
Heat
106
° F. at Nashua. (63)

1911 July 10
Maine, United States
Heat
105° F. at North Bridgton. (63)

1911 July 11
Ontario, Canada
Forest fire
A fire 20 miles long destroyed 500,000 acres of trees and killed at least 73 persons near Porcupine. (64)

1911 July 12
Scotland
Heat
A shade temperature of 90° F. (32.2° C.) at Perth. (35)

1911 July 14 - 15
Phillipines
Rain
45.99 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in Luzon during a typhoon. (4)

1911 July 22
Surrey, England
Heat
A shade temperature of 97° F. (36.1° C.) at Epsom. (35)

1911 August 9
England
Heat
98.8° F. at Ponder’s End, London, in a Stephenson thermometer screen. 100.5° F. at Greenwich in a Glaisher stand. (32)

1911 August 13
Denmark
Heat
96.4° F. (35.7° C.) at Antvorskov. (27)

1911 September 6 (c.)
China
Flood
The Yangtze River inundated a 700 square mile area. 100,000 persons were drowned and 100,000 died of starvation. (43)

1911 September 27
Victoria, Australia
Tornado
C. Hoskin took the first known photograph of an Australian tornado near Marong. Tornado moved 12 miles in 30 minutes; several persons injured. (4)

1911 November 11
United States
Temperature extremes: tornadoes
Temperature fell from 76° F. to 10° F. at Kansas City during an invasion of Arctic air. A tornado at Janesville, Wisconsin was followed in an hour by a blizzard.



1912 March 11
Hampshire and Sussex, England
Storm and darkness
“Intense blackness’ and greenish-yellow clouds during thunderstorm; black rain fell. (4)

1912 March 13
Antarctica
Ice
1,000s of tons of ice collapsed into the sea from the Shackleton Ice Shelf, raising huge waves. (38)

1912 April 14
North Atlantic
Ice
The White Star liner Titanic struck an iceberg and sank with great loss of life. (4)

1912 April 17
France
Solar eclipse
The central line of a pearl-ring solar eclipse missed Paris by 12 miles. (53)

1912 April 29
Phillipines
Heat
A temperature of 108.0° F. (42.2° C.) at Tuguegarao. (27)

1912 May 13
Antarctica
Aurora?
“Auroral manifestation’ at Macquarie Island: parallel bands covered whole sky and converged on opposite horizons. (38)

1912 May 24
Adelie Land, Antarctica
Gale
Momentary gusts of 200 miles an hour at Cape Denison. (38)

1912 summer
Europe
Obscuration
Clear daytime sky was white; sun could be viewed with the naked eye. (16)

1912 June 5
Alaska
Volcano
Eruption of Mount Katmai begins. Three great explosions heard 730 miles away on June 6; ash 10 inches deep at Kodiak, 98 miles away. (25, 41)

1912 July
Uzbekistan
Heat
A temperature of 122.0° F. (50° C.) at Termez. (27)

1912 July 19
Arizona, United States
Meteorites
About 16,000 stones fell over a 2 x 3 mile area at Holbrook, following a great fireball. The largest stone weighed 9 pounds. (47)

1912 August 23 (c.)
North Carolina, United States
Meteor?
Fiery object fell into Pamlico Sound with roaring noise. Water boiled. (66)

1912 August 26 - 27
East Anglia, England
Rain and floods
8.25 inches of rain fell at Sprowston: damaging floods. (4)

1912 September 10
Sussex, England
Early snow?
’Sharp snow showers’ at Horsham. “Probably hail’. (19)

1912 September 16
Formosa
Hurricane
A typhoon at Taito killed 107 persons and destroyed 91,400 houses. (56)

1912 November 18
Jamaica
Hurricane
A hurricane in the Black River area killed 100 persons. (43)

1912 December 5
Adelie Land, Antarctica
Meteorite
Douglas Mawson’s expedition discovers a meteorite on the snow near Commonwealth Bay. (38)



1913 February 9
North America
Meteors?
A ‘meteor procession’ passed from Canada to beyond Bermuda; 6,000 miles at 10 miles a second. 10 groups, each with 20 or 40 meteors. (4)

1913 March 23
Kansas, United States
Dust storm
Windmills, wires and fences became highly charged with static electricity during a dust storm in western Kansas. Vegetation killed. (4)

1913 March 23
Nebraska, United States
Tornado
A tornado with a path 5 miles long and a quarter of a mile wide killed 94 persons at Omaha. (22)

1913 April 8
Norway
Aurora
Carl Störmer obtained a cine film of an aurora at Bossekop. (18)

1913 May 9
Ireland
Tornado
A tornado near Crosshaven, Co. Cork, did much tree damage on a track a few miles long. (10)

1913 July 10
California, United States
Heat
A shade temperature of 134° F. (57° C.) in Death Valley. (28)

1913 September
Portugal
Heat
The temperature at Coimbra was said to have risen to 158° F. (70° C.) for 120 seconds. (29)

1913 September 9
North Sea
Squall
The German Navy’s first rigid airship, L1 (LZ14) was wrecked by a line squall off Heligoland. 14 crew were drowned. (17)

1913 October 16
Malta
Rain
16.30 inches of rain fell at Vittoriosa in 24 hours. (4)

1913 October 27
Wales and England
Tornado
A tornado in South Wales with a track up to 984 feet wide killed 5 persons. Buildings destroyed in Cheshire. See here. (10)

1913 November 7 - 8
Great Lakes
Gale
‘The Great Storm of 1913’ sank 19 ships and stranded 20 on the Great Lakes. 250 sailors were drowned. (12)

1913 December 29
Burma
Cold
An air temperature of 31° F. (-0.56° C.) at Mayayo. (27)




1914 January 14
Japan
Volcano
Eruption of Sakura-jima volcano. Lava flows turned the island into a peninsula. The 23,000 inhabitants were evacuated. (4)

1914 April 6
India
Meteorites
A shower of stones at Kuttippuram after detonations. Total weight 100 its., largest stone 71 lbs. (30)

1914 April 24
Nevada, United States
Earthquake
A Richter mag. 6.4 shock toppled chimneys in Reno. Felt over 100,000 square miles. (54)

1914 May 24
Hungary
Meteorites
30 stones fell at Kisvarsany. (30)

1914 May 30
California, United States
Volcano
First eruption of Lassen Peak. Nuee ardentes on August 22, 1914 and May 19, 1915. Activity continued to 1921. (50)

1914 June 16
Crete
Heat
An air temperature of 114.3° F. (45.7° C.) at Heraklion. (27)

1914 July
Inner Mongolia
Meteorite
AN 18 kg. (40 lbs.) iron fell at Palinshih. (30)

1914 July 9
Finland
Heat
An air temperature of 96.6° F. (35.8° C.) at Turku. (27)

1914 November 14
California, United States
Tornado
A waterspout near the Blunts Reef Light Vessel was 100 feet high and 700 feet wide. (31)



1915 January 10
Germany
Snow
Round dish-like snowflakes 3 t0 4 inches (8 - 10 cm.) in diameter fell in Berlin . (5)

1915 January 13
Italy
Earthquake
An earthquake centred at Avezzano killed 29,970 persons. (27)

1915 February 16
Denmark
Gale
A S’ly gale drove the Zeppelin LZ4 into the sea off Blaavands Huk: 4 men were lost. (62)

1915 March 4
Japan
Fall
A quarter of an inch of dust fell in Etchu Province during a ‘sand mist’ or bai. (55)

1915 May 5
Texas, United States
Tornado
A tornado near Nugent was stationary for half an hour and excavated a 75 x 40 feet depression up to 2 feet deep. (26)

1915 May 6
London
Rain
3 inches of rain fell in central London between 8.30 and 10 pm during a violent thunderstorm. (4)

1915 May 13
England
Late snow
Up to 2 inches of snow fell in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. (34)

1915 May 19 (or May 22)
California
Volcano
A nuee ardente blast from Lassen Peak swept a valley clear of trees for a distance of over 4 miles. (36)

1915 May 21
Sudan
Earthquake
An earthquake in the province of Equatoria shattered buildings, agitated the Nile and caused rockfalls. (2)

1915 May 25
Gibraltar
Fall
“Millions of small frogs’ fell during a thunderstorm. (44)

1915 June 2
Java
Meteorite
A 25 kg. stone fell at Meester-Cornelis after detonations. (30)

1915 June 22
Maryland, United States
Hail
‘Hailstones the size of baseballs’ fell at Annapolis. (24)

1915 June 27
Alaska, United States
Heat
A temperature of 100° F. at Fort Yukon. (63)

1915 July 7
United States
Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms in the upper Mississippi Valley killed at least 38 persons. (26)

1915 August 16 - 17
Texas, United States
Hurricane
A hurricane ‘of great diameter and fearful violence’ killed 275 persons on the Texas coast. (56)

1915 September 29
Louisiana, United States
Hurricane
A hurricane on the Louisiana coast killed 275 persons. Barometer fell to 28.11 inches at New Orleans; maximum gust of 130 miles an hour. (56)

1915 October 3
Nevada, United States
Earthquake
A Richter mag. 7.8 earthquake was felt over a 500,000 square miles area. A surface fault 15 feet high and 20 miles long near the Tobin Range. (54)

1915 December 19
Kent, England
Landslide
Nearly the whole of Folkestone Warren slid: a railway line was carried up to 165 feet. A passenger train was derailed. (60)



1916 March 28
England and Wales
Blizzard
A gale and snowstorm throughout England and Wales; drifts 40 feet high, snow 10 feet deep in the Black Mountains. (4)

1916 April 3
Germany
Meteorite
A brilliant daylight fireball seen 100 kilometres away; a 63 kg. iron found at Treysa 11 months later. (30)

1916 May 26
India
Solar event
An eruptive prominence rose about 500,000 miles above the Sun’s surface at up to 290 kilometres a second (photographed from India). (1)

1916 June 5
Tennessee, United States
Tornado
A steamer moored on the Mississippi River near Memphis was struck by an ‘electric tornado’; 19 passengers drowned. (26)

1916 July 19
West Virginia, United States
Aurora?
A ‘dirigible’ shaped ‘auroral cloud’ sen from Huntingdon. (24)

1916 July 31
Ireland
Aurora
A ‘wonderful light…like an immense fire’ just above the horizon for 5 hours. (14)

1916 August 28
Canada
Aurora
An arc of light crossed the sky from the E. to the W. horizon for an hour. (15)

1916 October 16
Wales
Aurora?
A red cigar-shaped ‘auroral meteor’ seen from Glamorgan. (15)

1916 October 26
Essex, England
Tornado
A tornado 100 feet wide did much damage to buildings in Writtle. (4)

1916 November 3
California, United States
Fall
‘Heavy fall of white ashes’ on San Francisco. ‘Not from Lassen Peak’. (67)

1916 November 8
New Zealand
Rain
11.2 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Endeavour Inlet. Serious floods in Nelson and Marlborough. (46)

1916 November 27
Argentina
Heat
A temperature of 119.8° F. (48.8° C.) at Rivadavia. (27)

1916 December 27 - 28
Queensland, Australia
Hurricane
A tropical cyclone flooded Clermont: 62 persons drowned. (48)



1917 January 20 - 30
London
Cold
The air temperature was at or below freezing point continuously for 10 days at Hampstead. (37)

1917 February 5
Luxembourg
Cold
An air temperature of -11.7° F. (-24.3° C.) at Wiltz. (27)

1917 April 1
New Zealand
Geyser
The Waimangu geyser erupted violently, killing 4 persons, then ceased activity. (29)

1917 April 1
Ireland
Snow
Heavy snow up to 9 inches deep fell in western Ireland, blocking all roads. Two men in a mountain pass froze to death. (4)

1917 April 2
Scotland
Cold
A minimum temperature of 4° F. (-15.6° C.) at Eskdalemuir, Dumfries. (33)

1917 April 3
Queensland, Australia
Rain
17 inches of rain fell in 4 hours at Lyndon. (8)

1917 April 26
Texas, United States
Meteorite
A 2 1/4 lbs. stone fell at Troup after detonations. (30)

1917 May 26
United States
Tornado
A tornado travelled 293 miles in 7 hours 20 minutes through Illinois and Indiana. 101 persons were killed. Possibly a tornado ‘family’. (42)

1917 June 6
El Salvador
Volcano
Eruption of Boqueron. 450 persons were killed. The crater lake burst and flooded 5 towns. (43)

1917 June 28
Somerset, England
Rain
9.56 inches of rain fell at Bruton; most between 11 p.m. on 28th and 1 a.m. on 29th. (4)

1917 July 11
China
Meteorite
A 117 ibs. stone fell at Nan Yang Pao after detonations. (30)

1917 November
Canada
Rain
223.54 centimetres (88 inches) of rain fell at Swanson, British Columbia, during the month. (7)

1917 December 27
North Africa
Snow
Snow lay 12 inches deep near the bay of Algiers. (6)



1918 January 12
Detroit, United States
Wind and cold
Average hourly wind speed of 41.4 m.p.h. with 70 m.p.h. gusts. Temperature fell from 26° F. at midnight to 16° F. below zero by noon. (40)

1918 January 20 - 22
Queensland, Australia
Hurricane
A barometer reading of 933 millibars was reported near Mackay during a tropical cyclone. 30 lives were lost. (48)

1918 January 31
London
Fog
Dense fog in London; rail and road traffic paralysed between Hammersmith and Twickenham. (4)

1918 February 2
Victoria, Australia
Tornado
A waterspout in Port Phillip Bay came ashore at Brighton, causing much building damage. 2 persons were killed. (58)

1918 March 22
Iceland
Cold
An air temperature of -48.2° F. (-44.6° C.) at Grimstaoir. (4)

1918 May 20
Kansas, United States
Tornadoes
The town of Cordell was struck by a tornado on May 20th for the third time in three years. (22)

1918 June 7
-
Nova
Nova Aquilae rose from mag. 11 to mag. -1.4 for a few hours on June 9/10. (51)

1918 June 30
North Dakota, United States
Meteorites
After a brilliant fireball and explosion, many stones fell at Richardton. 71 were recovered: total weight 123 lbs. 6 oz. (47)

1918 July 22
Utah, United States
Lightning
A flock of 504 sheep were killed by lightning in the Wasatch National Forest. (36)

1918 August 4
Sunderland, England
Fall
Hundreds of ‘stiff and hard’ sand eels fell at Hindon during thunder and rain. (24)



1919 May 29
Principe Island, Africa
Solar eclipse
Photographs taken by Eddington of a total eclipse confirmed Einstein’s prediction that light would bend near a massive body. (52)

1919 May 29
-
Solar event
A solar prominence appeared as ‘a great vortex connecting two points on the limb’. The prominence rose about 500,000 miles above the Sun. (1)

1919 June 12
Pakistan
Heat
An air temperature of 127° F. (53° C.) at Jacobabad. (30)

1919 June 22
Minnesota, United States
Tornado
A tornado which destroyed half of Fergus Falls killed 59 persons. (22)

1919 July 1
Wales
Ball lightning
During a thunderstorm at Cardiff, a fireball fell and exploded, breaking windows and leaving holes in the ground. (65)

1919 July 15
-
Solar event
A solar prominence was photographed ‘connecting two eruptive centres and…in rapid vortical motion’. (1)

1919 September 2 - 14
Caribbean Sea
Hurricane
A hurricane ‘of great diameter and tremendous force’. Near the Dry Tortugas on Sept. 9 a shipboard barometer fell to 27.36 inches. About 772 lives were lost. (56)

1919 September 3
Germany
Bolide
A meteor twice the apparent size of the Moon moved 194 miles in less than 6 seconds over N.W. Germany. (4)

1919 September 20
Scotland and England
Early snow
Snow covered low levels in Scotland and N. England; 2 inches fell on Exmoor and Dartmoor. (19)

1919 November 12
Scotland and England
Blizzard
A severe snowstorm left 17 inches of snow at Balmoral and 12 inches on Dartmoor. (19)

1919 November 14
Scotland
Cold
A temperature of -10° F. at Braemar, Aberdeenshire. (33)

1919 November 26
United States
Meteor impact?
A ‘great ball of fire’ fell into Lake Michigan, raising clouds of steam. Telegraphs disrupted. (14)



1920
South West Africa
Meteorite
An iron meteorite weighing about 60 metric tons (the Hoba iron) found near Grootfontein. (47)

1920 January 2 - 7
Europe
Rain and floods
68 mm. of rain fell in 24 hours at Lugano on 7th. The Rhine rose to its highest level in 40 years. The Seine in Paris rose 24 feet 3 inches above normal. (39)

1920 January 27
Ireland
Gale
A gust of 111 m.p.h. during a severe gale at Quilty, County Clare. (4)

1920 February 6
United States
Blizzard
A N.E. gale and snow blocked the streets of New York for nearly two weeks. (39)

1920 February 8 - 13
Near East
Blizzard
29 inches of snow fell in 6 days at Jerusalem. (4)

1920 March 8
South Dakota, United States
Halo complex
A solar halo display at Ellendale; 22° and 46° haloes, circumscribed arcs, parhelia, anthelion of 180° and other phenomena. (4)

1920 March 9 (c.)
Black Sea
Gale
A storm sank a Red Cross steamer with the loss of 500 invalided soldiers. (39)

1920 March 23
England
Aurora
‘One of the most magnificent auroral displays on record…enormous sun-spot activity and great magnetic storms’. (11)

1920 March 28
United States
Tornadoes
A tornado outbreak killed 220 persons in the south and mid-west United States. (43)

1920 April 23
India
Tornado?
A ‘violent cyclone’ at Manikgani, Bengal, killed 93 persons. (39)

1920 May 10
Estonia
Tornado
A tornado beginning at Odenpah moved 35 kilometres. It was up to 800 metres wide. (42)

1920 May 21
Italy
Heat
A temperature of 91° F. at Rome, the highest in May since 1834. (39)

1920 May 29
Lincolnshire, England
Rain and floods
4.59 inches of rain fell in 3 hours at Elkington Hall. A flood at Louth drowned 22 persons. (4)

1920 July 14 (c.)
Argentina
Snow
Buenos Aires experienced its second snowstorm in 300 years. (39)

1920 August 30
India
Meteorites
6 stones fell at Merua after detonations; total weight 71 kg. (30)

1920 October 8
United States
Solar event
A solar prominence 517,000 miles high was photographed from Yerkes Observatory. (13)

1920 November
Sicily
Rain
530.5 mm. of rain fell at Rumacca during the month: normal November total 66.4 mm. (39)

1920 December 16
China
Earthquake
A magnitude 8.5 earthquake in Kansu killed 200,000 persons. The landscape in a 280 x 95 mile area was ’totally altered’. (57)