LANDMARKS OF WORLD HISTORY
A Chronology of Remarkable Natural Phenomena
20th Century 1931-1940
Numbers show sources
Date
Location
Phenomenon
Description

1931 January 18
United States
Geological event
A block of 75,000 tons broke from the edge of the Niagara Falls. (19)

1931 February 3
New Zealand
Earthquake
The North Island towns of Napier and Hastings ruined: 256 persons were killed. Land near Napier was uplifted over 5 feet. (36)

1931 February 16
United States
Bolide
A meteor fireball left a dust trail 25 miles long and 800 feet wide, which ended 8 miles above Rawlins County, Kansas. Detonations heard up to 50 miles away. (133)

1931 February 21
Fiji Islands
Tornado
A tornado which formed near the Tamavua Hills caused much damage to ships and buildings at Suva. (37)

1931 March 7 and 8
Macedonia
Earthquake
A shock centred between the Struma and Mesta rivers destroyed many buildings. 24 persons were killed. 50 shocks, felt in Bulgaria and Greece, on March 8. (49)

1931 March 20
Greenland
Arctic cold
A temperature of -64.8° C. (-84.6° F.) recorded on the ice cap by Wegener. (127)

1931 March 27
Malaysia
Heat
A temperature of 103° F. (39.4° C.) at Palau Langkawi. (41)

1931 March 31
Nicaragua
Earthquake
A shock lasting ‘only a few seconds’ wrecked the city of Managua. About 1,000 persons were killed. (1)

1931 April 22
W. coast of North America
Fall
A whitish substance fell on the S.S. Wairuna, 40° 04’ N., 124° 22’ W. (4)

1931 May
Australia
Meteorite craters
The Henbury craters in Central Australia described by A.R. Alderman: largest 220 x 120 yards, 60 feet deep. (133)

1831 May 27
Minnesota, United States
Tornado
A tornado struck the Empire Builder train near Moorhead as it was travelling at 60 m.p.h. Five coaches of 70 tons each were lifted from the track. (37, 114)

1931 May 27
Augsburg, Bavaria
Balloon ascent
Prof. A. Piccard and M. Kipfer ascended to a height of 9.5 miles (15.5 km.) to study cosmic rays. Their ballon landed in the Austrian Tyrol.

1931 June 7
Britain
Earthquake
‘Britain’s severest recorded earthquake’, centred in the North Sea, was felt in England, Scotland and Wales. A factory roof collapsed in Surrey. (2)

1931 June 10
Ohio, United States
Meteor impact?
A ‘terrific shock…laid to a giant meteor’ woke thousands of people in 6 Ohio counties. A ‘blast’ threw a tree several hundred feet. (20)

1931 June 14
Birmingham, Warwickshire
Tornado
A powerful tornado caused much damage from Sparkhill to Erdington. One person was killed. (48, 78)

1931 June 17
Westphalia, Germany
Tornado
A tornado killed three persons and did extensive damage to the town of Piettenberg. (141)

1931 June 22
Argentina
Meteorites
Thousands of stones fell over a 5 x 2.5 kilometre area near Malotas. (44)

1931 July 1
United States
Heat
766 persons died in a week during a heatwave. (80)

1931 July 26
China
Floods
Great floods in the Yangtze River valley after the ‘heaviest rains for 50 years’. 10,000 persons were made homeless in Nanking. (81)

1931 August 10
China
Earthquake
A magnitude 8 earthquake killed 10,000 persons in Fuyun County, Xinjiang.

1931 August 11
China
Floods
Over a million persons were drowned when the Yangtze River dykes gave way. 18,000 square miles were flooded. (153)

1931 August 21
Paraguay
Tornado?
Several persons were killed and 400 houses destroyed by a ‘cyclone’ at Villa Rica. (154)

1931 August 24
China
Floods
Continuing Yangtze floods drowned 250,000 persons in Hunan and Hupeth.

1931 August 25
China
Typhoon
Hundreds of persons were drowned by a typhoon in the Yangtze Valley.

1931 August 27
China
Meteorites
A shower of stones fell at Liweipantsun and Chowyantsun. The largest weighed 4.8 kg. (44)

1931 September 7
Indian Ocean
Rare halo
A halo of about 18° radius was seen from the S.S. Karapara, with a possible parhelic circle. (8)

1931 September 11
British Honduras
Hurricane?
A gale and ’tidal wave’ destroyed 70 per cent of Belize. 1,200 persons were killed. (155)

1931 November 10
England
Gale
A gale in the English Channel caused much damage on the South coast by heavy seas and high tides. (156)

1931 December 13
Java
Volcano
A 3-week eruption (Dec.13 to 28) of the Merapi volcano killed over 1,300 persons. (130)

1931 December 28
Portugal
Meteor
An ‘enormous meteor’ passed over Lisbon ‘with a roar like an express train’, lighting up the country around for miles.

1931 December 30
South Australia
Summer heat
A shade temperature of 114.8° F. at Adelaide. (82)




1932 January 2 - 3
London
Winter warmth
A minimum temperature of 54° F. at Greenwich. (118)

1932 January 11
Phillipines
Cold
A minimum air temperature of 45.1° F. (7.3° C.) at Baguio City. (41)

1932 January 14
United States
Winter warmth
A temperature of 68° F. in New York City and 78° F. in Maryland. (110)

1932 January 23
Guatemala
Volcano
Sant Lucia, Cotzumalhuapa and other towns were ‘completely destroyed’ by an eruption of the volcano Acatenengo. (111)

1932 February 2
Newfoundland
Winter cold
A temperature of -50° C. recorded in the interior of Newfoundland. (79)

1932 March 14
South Africa
Fall
A rain of ‘manna’ from a cloudless sky covered the ground at Vryheid. A white substance ‘tasted like honey’. (112)

1932 March 21 -22
United States
Tornadoes
Two days of tornadoes killed 246 persons in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina. (157)

1932 March 29
South Africa
Earthquake
A violent earthquake shook Johannesburg. Rockfalls occurred in the Robinson Deep mine. (113)

1932 April 10
Chile and Argentina
Volcanoes
“Violent volcanic outbursts’ in the Andes. Descabazedo, Las Yeguas, Tinguirica and Quizapu volcanoes were reported in eruption. 3,000 tons of ash fell on Buenos Aires, 700 miles away. (53, 84, 85)

1932 April 29
Phillipines
Typhoon
A ‘freak cyclone’ less than 20 kilometres in diameter killed 647 persons in the Sulu Archipelago and Indo-China. (10)

1932 May 4 (reported)
South Africa
Volcanic twilight
Western sky after sunset ‘flaming red to the zenith’. (9)

1932 May 9
Bengal, India
Tornado
Mymensingh Goal, housing 1,348 prisoners, was wrecked by a tornado which killed 22 persons. Many prisoners escaped. (52)

1932 May 26
Siberia
Meteorites
Eight stones with a total weight of 23 kg. fell at Kuznetzovo. (44)

1932 June 1
India
Heat
Hot winds and dust storms accompanied temperatures of up to 117° F. around Delhi. (87)

1932 June 7
Russia
Tornado
A tornado at Murom, Gorki Province, wrecked 47 houses. 50 persons were killed or injured. (37)

1932 June 7 and 8
Sudan
Heat
An air temperature of 120.2° F. at Wadi Halfa. (41)

1932 July 8
India
Meteorites
Many stones fell around Khanpur. (44)

1932 July 12
Kashmir
Lake burst
The Shyok ice dam, 500 feet high and 1,000 feet thick, in the Himalayas burst and released a flood from the glacial lake behind. The level of the Indus rose 12 feet in 40 minutes. (54, 88)

1932 July 26
Baltic Sea
Squall
The German training ship Niobe was sunk by a ‘sudden squall’. 69 of the 109 crew were drowned. (89)

1932 August 4
Finland
Tornadoes
One person was killed at Nurmijarvi during a tornado outbreak. (151)

1932 August 10
Missouri, United States
A shower of stones fell at Archie. The largest weighed 8 pounds. (133)

1932 August 10
Zurich, Switzerland
Balloon ascent
Professor Piccard reached an altitude of 16,700 metres (nearly 10.5 miles). The balloon landed in Italy.

1932 August 19
England
Summer heat
A maximum temperature of 97° F. (36.1° C.) at several places in London and Essex. A minimum (night) temperature of 73° F. (22.8° C.) at Lympne, Kent. (75)

1932 August 24
Manchuria
Flood
A flood inundated Harbin and made over 50,000 persons homeless. (56)

1932 August 30 (after)
Bahamas
Hurricane
Winds of over 200 miles an hour were estimated by an experienced observer during a hurricane at Great Abaco Island. Stone churches were demolished, with blocks carried half a mile. (139)

1932 September 26
Puerto Rico
Hurricane
The centre of a hurricane passed over Puerto Rico. Pressure fell to 27.70 inches. 225 persons were killed. (139)

1932 September 26
Greece
Earthquake
The villages of Hierissos, Stratonikon and Stagira in the Chalcidice district destroyed. Over 140 persons were killed. (91)

1932 September 28 - 29
France
Storm
A storm accompanied by tornadoes, waterspouts and a ‘tidal wave’ devastated parts of the Riviera. Several persons were drowned. (15)

1932 October 1
California, United States
Flood
A ‘cloudburst’ flood carried away 15 bridges and two goods trains at Bakersfield. 93 persons were drowned. (56)

1932 November 5
West Indies
Hurricane
“One of the most intense tropical cyclones ever recorded’ passed across Cuba. A storm surge at Santa Cruz del Sur drowned 2,500 persons. A ship’s barometer off Cuba fell to 27.01 inches (914.6 millibars). (139)

1932 November 11 (reported)
Valencia, Spain
Waterspout
Ten fishermen were reported drowned when their smack was capsized by a waterspout. (119)

1932 November 21
Germany
Earthquake
Shocks with ‘heavy rolling noises’ at Essen, Dortmund and other towns in the Rhineland and Westphalia. The tremors were felt in Belgium and Holland. (92)

1932 December 14
Minnesota, United States
Haloes
A solar halo complex observed at Moorhead. (7)



1933
North America
Clouds
E. Vestine made the first observations of noctilucent clouds in North America. (25)


1933 January 8
Kuril Islands
Volcano
The cone of the volcano Kharimkotan was wrecked by an explosion. An avalanche created a sea wave which drowned 2 persons on neighbouring islands. (40)

1933 January 18
Wyoming, United States
Dust storm
A dust storm stripped paint from cars and disrupted their ignition systems by static electricity. (33)

1933 January 19
California, United States
Snow
60 inches of snow fell at Giant Forest. (114)

1933 January 28
Europe
Cold
River Thames frozen at Windsor. The River Seine also frozen. Ice floes disrupted traffic on the Rhine. (5)

1933 February 2
Lithuania
Meteorites
22 stones, total weight 44.1 kg, were collected at Zemaitkiemis after a fall. (44)

1933 February 6
Siberia
A minimum temperature of -90.4° F. at Oymyakon. (42)

1933 February 6 - 7
Pacific Ocean
Sea wave
A wave 112 feet from trough to crest was measured from the USS Ramapo during a storm. (42)

1933 February 8
Europe
Earthquake
Three shocks caused much damage in Baden and Wuerttemburg. They were felt in Basle, Strasbourg and towns on the Swiss - German frontier. (158)

1933 February 8
Texas, United States
Cold
A temperature of -22° F. at Seminole.

1933 March
Hawaii
Tornado
A waterspout became a tornado and damaged harbour buildings at Honolulu. (135)

1933 March 3
Japan
Earthquake
Over 3,000 persons were killed by a submarine earthquake and tsunami on Japan’s N.E. coast. 1,458 fishing boats were washed away. (94)

1933 March 10
California, United States
Earthquake
A shock affecting Los Angeles and Long Beach killed 115 persons. (95)

1933 March 24
United States
Bolide
A huge meteor fireball 6 miles in diameter passed over 9 southern states. 75 stones, totalling 9 pounds, were collected on a 28-mile track at Pasamonte, New Mexico. (114)

1933 April 4
Atlantic Ocean
Thunderstorm
The U.S. Navy rigid airship Akron struck the sea after a ‘terrific downrush of wind’ during a thunderstorm off New Jersey. 72 of the crew were lost. (58)

1933 summer
Russia
Fall
Live jellyfish fell with salt rain at Kavalerovo, near Vladivostok, during a thunderstorm. (129)

1933 July
Chile
Cold
A temperature of -6.16° F. (-21.2° C.) at Longuimay. (41)

1933 July 7
Brazil
Cold
A temperature of 12.2° F. (-11° C.) at Xanxere. (41)

1933 July 9
Sweden
Heat
A temperature of 100.4° F. (38° C.) at Ultana. (41)

1933 July 10
Bihar, India
Fall
A shower of fish in the Muzaffarpur district during heavy rain. (6)

1933 July 25
Japan
Heat
A temperature of 105° F. (41° C.) at Yamagata. (41)

1933 August 4
England
Planet
Will Hay discovered a great white spot on Saturn. On Aug. 9 it was 29,000 miles long and 8,000 miles wide. (96)

1933 August 8
Nebraska, United States
Bolide
A meteor fireball as bright as the Sun, accompanied by explosions and earth tremors, over Sioux County. About 30 meteorites were found. (133)

1933 August 11
Sonora, Mexico
Heat
A temperature of 136.4° F. (58° C.) at San Luis ‘is not internationally accepted’. (43)

1933 August 21
Tennessee, United States
Bolide
A blue meteor fireball as large and bright as the Moon travelled 144 kilometres before bursting near Knoxville, 45 kilometres high. (28)

1933 September 30
Russia
Balloon ascent
The balloon U.S.S.R., commander Prokofiev, reached an altitude of 62,320 feet (almost 12 miles). Outside temperatures fell to -120.6° F. (97)

1933 October 4 - 5
Massachusetts, United States
Rare haloes
Lunar haloes of 19° and 24.33° radius. (77)

1933 October 9
Europe
Meteor shower
A great Draconid meteor storm was seen from Britain, Germany, France and Italy. At Omagh ‘thousands of meteors’ were seen, with 100 during 5 seconds. (59)

1933 November 12
United States
Dust storm
A great dust storm from Lake Superior to Montana and south to the Ohio and Missouri valleys. (47)

1933 November 20
United States
Balloon ascent
T.W.G. Settle reached an altitude of 61,237 feet on an ascent from Akron. He landed near Salem, New Jersey. (93)

1933 December 26
United States
Snowstorm
A blizzard on the Atlantic seaboard paralysed transport. Over a foot of snow in New York City. (63)

1933 December 26
Vladimir, Russia
Meteorites
A shower of stones fell near Pervomaisky. A total of 97 stones, weight 108 pounds, were collected. (44)

1933 December 30 - 31
California, United States
Floods
After a ‘terrific rainstorm’, floods killed over 40 persons in the Los Angeles area. (60)




1934 January 15
India
Earthquake
An earthquake centred in Nepal flooded ‘vast areas’ as water gushed from fissures. 6,000 persons were killed. (66)

1934 January 30
Russia
Balloon ascent
The balloon Osoaviakhim Syrius reached an altitude of 13.67 miles (22 km.) before the gondola tore away, killing the three crew. (98)

1934 February 9
United States
Winter cold
A minimum temperature of -14.3° `F. in New York. Hudson River frozen, East River ice-filled. (61)

1934 February 18
Rinconada, Spain
Tornado?
A ‘column of air and smoke’ struck a cottage, which burst into flames. (162)

1934 February 21
United States
Snowstorm
An ‘unparalleled’ blizzard left New York snowbound for 18 hours. (121)

1934 March 7
Rhodesia
Meteorite
A 60 pound stone fell at Mangwendi. (44)

1934 March 18
Canada
Bolide
An exploding meteor over central Alberta shook houses. (115)

1934 April 4
Azores
Snow
The first snowfall ‘in living memory’. (99)

1934 April 7
Aalesund, Norway
Landslide
8 million cubic metres of rock fell into Korsnaes Fiord, raising huge waves which drowned 40 persons in Taiford and Fioeraa villages. (62)

1934 April 24
New Hampshire, United States
Wind
A gust of 231 miles per hour (371 km/h) at Mount Washington Observatory (6,288 feet). (114)

1934 May 11
United States
Dust storm
A dust storm 2 miles high and 900 by 1,500 miles in area ’smothered almost one-third of the United States’. (65)

1934 May 14 and 15
Palestine
Floods
A ‘cloudburst’ near Tiberias created floods which drowned 24 persons. 53 mm. of rain fell in 45 minutes. (64)

1934 June 2
Atlantic Ocean
Ice
An iceberg was sighted in 30° 50’ N., 45° 06 W. (42)

1934 June 11
San Salvador and Honduras
Hurricane
Several towns were destroyed in a hurricane lasting ‘several days’. (100)

1934 July 20
Iowa, United States
Summer heat
A temperature of 118° F. at Keokuk. (150)

1934 September 21
Japan
Typhoon
A typhoon at Kobe and Osaka killed 1,600 persons ashore: 2,500 fishing boats were lost. The wind was estimated at 135 m.p.h. (11)

1934 October 13 - 14
New England, United States
Snowstorm
“The most severe early blizzard in New England’s history’. (120)

1934 October 31
Lincolnshire, England
Early snow
Two inches of snow fell at Grantham. (34)

1934 November 1
Europe
Snow
Snow 4 feet deep in Holland; Alpine passes in Switzerland blocked.

1934 November 7
Australia
Thunderstorms
Storms with torrential rain and probable tornadoes caused great damage in West Victoria. (145)

1934 late November - early December
Australia
Storms and floods
Gales, rain and floods in Melbourne and Victoria killed 36 persons by lightning and drowning. (68)

1934 December 5
Alaska, United States
Winter warmth
A temperature of 58° F. at Anchorage. (26)



1935 January 21
Washington, United States
Snow
52 inches of snow fell at Winthrop. (114)

1935 February 11
Morocco, North Africa
Cold
A temperature of -11.2° F. (-24° C.) at Ifrane. (41)

1935 February 24
Scotland
Snowstorm
A blizzard forced down 7 Hawker Hart bombers near Newbiggin. (67)

1935 March 4
New England, United States
Haloes
Complex halo phenomena were seen at the Mt. Washington and Blue Hill Observatories on March 4, March 20 and April 4. (27)

1935 March 23
United States
Dust storms
Dust storms in Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming killed 10 persons. (67)

1935 April
Atlantic Ocean
Ice
An iceberg was sighted in 28° 44’ N., 48° 42’ W. (43)

1935 April 14
United States
Dust storm
A huge dust storm moved from Wyoming into Kansas and Oklahoma at 80 m.p.h. (147)

1935 April 21
Formosa
Earthquake
A shock centred near Tobun killed 3,185 persons. (159)

1935 May 9
Central Africa
Hail
A tornado near Chad was accompanied by a hailstorm covering a square mile. The hailstones ranged from pea size to blocks two and a half feet thick near the centre. (114)

1935 May 13
Denmark
Late snow
31 centimetres of snow fell at Tisvilde. (76)

1935 May 17
British Isles
Late snow
Snow fell from Glasgow to the Scilly Isles. A temperature of 28° F. at Greenwich. (67, 75)

1935 May 31
India
Earthquake
An earthquake destroyed the city of Quetta: 60,000 persons were killed. A mud volcano appeared in the desert near Thok. (71)

1935 June 8 - 9
Hertfordshire, England
Summer cold
A minimum temperature of 28° F. in the Rickmansworth frost hollow. (23)

1935 July
China
Flood
A Yellow River flood inundated 6,000 square miles: ‘numberless’ persons were drowned. (146)

1935 July 8
Russia
Bolide
An exploding meteor over Krasnovishersk, Urals, shook houses. (115)

1935 July 29
Pakistan
Meteorites
A shower of stony-iron meteorites fell at Patwar: total weight 82 pounds (37.35 kg.) (44)

1935 August 13
Italy
Flood
A dam burst near Ovada, Piedmot, after violent thunderstorms: a ‘wall of water’ swept away villages, drowning 120 persons. (69)

1935 September 2
Florida, United States
The barometer fell to 26.35 inches at Long Key during the ‘Labor Day’ hurricane. About 180 persons were killed. (139)

1935 September 5
Virginia, United States
Tornado
A tornado near Norfolk changed to a waterspout and back repeatedly, doing much damage on land. It ended as a waterspout on Chesapeake Bay. (128)

1935 September 22
Northamptonshire, England
Hail
Cricket ball-sized hailstones fell during at storm in the Nene Valley. (114)

1935 October 21
West Indies
Hurricane
A hurricane with a ‘hairpin’ track killed 2,000 persons in Haiti. (139)

1935 November 11
Hawaii
Volcano
An eruption of Mauna Loa. A lava stream 2,000 feet wide flowed at a mile per day towards the city of Hilo. It was bombed by Keystone aircraft on Dec. 27. The flow halted on Jan. 2, 1936. (35)

1935 November 11
United States
Balloon ascent
The balloon Explorer II reached an altitude of 72,395 feet (13.7 miles). (131)



1936 January 10
Germany
Tornadoes
A tornado in Dusseldorf killed 2 persons. Tornadoes felled factory chimneys at Oberkassel, broke an 150-foot church tower at Hamm, and made 300 persons homeless at Neuss. (16)

1936 January 20
Italy
Tornado
A tornado in Florence became a waterspout on the River Arno. (143)

1936 February 1
South Africa
Hailstorm
A hailstorm in the Northern Transvaal killed 19 persons and many cattle. (132)

1936 February 4
France
Tornado
A tornado near Bordeaux stripped roofs and uprooted trees. (142)

1936 March 14
Meteor
United States
A ‘blinding white’ meteor the apparent size of the Moon passed over New Jersey and fell into the Atlantic, 3 a.m. Followed by a tremor and ‘deep rumbling’. (163)

1936 April 2
Ukraine
Meteorite
A 509 kg. stone pierced a house roof at Yurtuk. (44)

1936 April 5
Mississippi, United States
Tornado
A tornado 400 yards wide killed 216 persons at Tupelo. A photograph was carried 60 miles. (37)

1936 April 6
Georgia, United States
Tornado
A tornado killed 203 persons at Gainesville. Two funnel clouds ‘came together’. (37)

1936 May 8
Oregon, United States
Bolide
A meteor exploded over Roseburg, causing an earth tremor. (20)

1936 June 29
Belgium
Tornado
A tornado in the Mouscron district did much damage and injured many persons by flying debris. (14)

1936 July 6
North Dakota, United States
Heat
A temperature of 121° F. at Steele (elevation 800 feet). (150)

1936 July 24
Kansas, United States
Heat
A temperature of 121° F. near Alton (elevation 1,651 feet). (150)

1936 August 10
Arkansas, United States
Heat
A temperature of 120° F. at Ozark (elevation 396 feet). (150)

1936 September 3
Staffordshire, England
Tornado
A tornado between Lichfield and Uttotexter tore off roofs and uprooted trees. (138)

1936 September 13
Norway
Landslide
A huge rock avalanche fell into Lake Loen after heavy rains. A wave 230 feet high destroyed a village on the far bank, drowning 73 persons. (146)

1936 September 15
Atlantic Ocean
Hurricane
A hurricane 1,000 miles in diameter off Cape Hatteras. (139)

1936 October 19
St. John’s Newfoundland
Meteor impact?
“Balls of fire’ exploded and struck the sea: A ‘large flame and heavy explosion’ seen from Placentia Bay. (115)

1936 November 24
Malta
Tornado
A tornadic waterspout demolished stone houses in Ghaxaq and destroyed over 12 aircraft at Hal Far. (134)



1937
Australia
Squall
R.V. Deering observed the “Morning Glory’ squall in the Gulf of Carpentaria. (31)

1937 January 6
Malaysia
Cold
A temperature of 36° F. (2.2° C.) in the Cameron Highlands. (41)

1937 January 19 - 27
California, United States
Cold
Polar air from Canada caused a ‘freeze’ in southern California. Streets and highways were ice-covered. (152)

1937 February 8
Ohio Valley, United States
Flood
407 persons were killed and a million made homeless by floods. One-fifth of Cincinnati was underwater. The flood began to subside on Feb. 8. (71)

1937 March 2
United States and Canada
Earthquake
An earthquake was felt in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky and Canada. Chimneys fell at Anna, Ohio. Another shock caused damage on March 9. (22)

1937 May 29
Rabaul, New Guinea
Volcano
Three volcanoes, including Vulcan Island, erupted near Rabaul. 427 persons were killed. Vulcan Island rose 1,000 feet in 4 days. (72)

1937 July
Central Australia
Meteorite
A stony-iron meteorite weighing over two tons was found at Huckitta. (44)

1937 July 5
Saskatchewan, Canada
Heat
A temperature of 113° F. (45° C.) at Midale and Yellow Grass. (17, 150)

1937 July 21
Turkey
Heat
A temperature of 115.2° F. (46° C.) at Dlyarbakir. (41)

1937 August 8
Iraq
Heat
A temperature of 125° F. (52° C.) at Shaibah. (41)

1937 September 1 - 2
Hong Kong
Typhoon
A typhoon with an ‘unofficial’ wind speed record of 160 miles an hour killed over 400 persons. (73)

1937 October 25
Lincolnshire, England
Tornado
A tornado demolished buildings at South Kelsey. (78)

1937 October 30
----
Asteroid
The asteroid Hermes passed within 400,000 miles of the Earth, ‘missing collision by five and a half hours’. (101)



1938
---
Stellar event
A nova appeared in the globular cluster M14. This was the second known nova in a globular cluster: the first was in M80 in 1860. (116)

1938
Estonia
Meteorites
Discovery of two meteorite craters at Ilumetsy: largest 80 metres in diameter. (46)

1938 January 10
Libya, North Africa
Cold
A temperature of 15.8° F. (-9° C.) at Hon. (41)

1938 January 25
Europe
Aurora
A brilliant aurora seen from Britain and Western Europe: “a crimson glow (with) two glowing red arcs”. (32, 102

1938 January 27
Niagara Falls, United States
Ice
The Falls View Bridge was destroyed by a gale-driven ice jam. (12)

1938 February 6
Murmansk Province, Russia
Snow
Russia’s largest airship, the V-6, crashed in a snowstorm. 13 of the crew were killed. (103)

1938 March 3
California, United States
Floods
Floods after 3 day’s torrential rain killed 126 persons. Most of the Hollywod film lots were flooded. (3)

1938 April 29
Washington D.C., United States
Hail
A destructive hailstorm with stones ‘as big as baseballs’. (137)

1938 May 1
Aberdeen, Scotland
Rare halo
Observers recorded the ‘Clarke-Watson halo’, with a radius of 11°. (39)

1938 May 9
----
Rare halo
An elliptical lunar halo; major axis 46°, minor axis 40°. (148)

1938 May 29
England
Ball lightning?
A fireball falling from a clear sky injured 9 men. (38)

1938 June 11
Europe
Earthquake
Earthquake shocks were felt in England, France, Germany, Belgium and Holland. Houses collapsed in the Nord department of France. (104)

1938 June 16
Phillipine Islands
Meteorites
Thousands of rice-grain sized stones fell on roofs at Pantar. (44)

1938 June 24
Pennsylvania, United States
Bolide
A 500-ton meteorite exploded at an altitude of 12 miles: Pittsburgh was ‘rocked by a terrific explosion’. A fragment injured a cow at Chicora. (114)

1938 July 7
Hertfordshire, England
Tornado
A tornado with a track over 8 miles long uprooted hundreds of trees. (114)

1938 July 27
Lancashire, England
Ball lightning
A ‘blinding ball of blue light’ fell on the Bold Colliery in St. Helens; an explosion killed one man and injured 2. (39)

1938 July 28
Arabian Sea
Marine luminescence
Two ‘light wheels’ revolving at 90 r.p.m. were observed from the S.S. Serbino. (117)

1938 July 29
Lapland
Ball lightning
Fireballs fell from an overcast sky onto the town of Parajeevarra. 1 person killed, others burned. 5 houses were destroyed. (39)

1938 August 4
Devon and Cornwall, England
Thunderstorm
An early morning thunderstorm lasted 11 hours. At Paington 2.71 inches of rain fell in 45 minutes. (149)

1938 August 31
Japan
Typhoon
A typhoon at Tokyo and Yokohama killed 99 persons. 34 freight and passenger ships were driven ashore. (122)

1938 September 18
Siberia
Obscuration
A black ‘cloud of cosmic dust’ moved E.N.E. at about 100 km/h. A darkness like deep twilight lasted several hours. (136)

1938 September 19 - 21
New England, United States
Hurricane
A hurricane affected Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York State. 700 persons were killed, 400 in Rhode Island. (161)

1938 September 29
South Carolina, United States
Tornadoes
Five tornadoes struck Charleston during the morning. 32 persons were killed. (130)

1938 September 29
Illinois, United States
Meteorite
After a ‘great roar’, a 4-pound meteorite pierced a garage roof and damaged a car. (133)

1938 October 10 (or 9)
Ukraine, Russia
Meteorite
A 107 kg. stone fell at Zhovtnevyi. (44)

1938 November 5
England
Autumn warmth
A maximum temperature of 70° F. (21.1° C.) was recorded at Cambridge and various locations in London. (75)




1939
Northern Ireland
Ball lightning?
‘The White Light of Crom”, a large ball of white light, was seen rolling upon the surface of Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh. (18)

1939 January 26
Chile, South America
Earthquake
The cities of Concepcion and Chillan wrecked; an estimated 20,000 persons killed. (106)

1939 February 11
Germany
Cold
A minimum temperature of -28.8° F. (-33.8° C.) at Ziottau-Hirschfelde. (41)

1939 March 17
India
Hail
Hailstones weighing up to seven and a half pounds fell in Hyderabad State. (114)

1939 April 15 - 16
----
Comet
THe comet Yurlov-Akhmarov-Hassel reached 3rd magnitude, with a ‘considerable tail’. (105)

1939 April 24 - 25
British Isles
An aurora was seen from Kent (an arc with streamers) to Edinburgh. From Cumberland a pulsating aurora filled the sky. (24)

1939 June 22
Africa
Earthquake
A submarine earthquake ‘devastated’ the Gold Coast. (21)

1939 July 11
Ontario, Canada
Meteorite
After a detonating fireball, an 88 pound (40 kg.) stone fell at Dresden. (44)

1939 July 17
Off Iceland
Mirage
A mirage of the Icelandic volcano Snaefells was seen at sea 350 miles away. (43)

1939 July 24
Off Grenada, West Indies
Volcano
An eruption of the submarine volcano Kick-‘em Jenny. (40)

1939 August 2
Ontario, Canada
Fall
A rain with frogs in a thunderstorm at Alexandria. (129)

1939 August 23
Albania
Summer heat
A temperature of 113.5° F. (45.3° C.) at Lezhe. (41)

1939 autumn
London, England
Lightning
Lightning destroyed 80 barrage balloons in the air over London. (13)

1939 September - November
China
Floods
Great floods in China’s northern provinces were followed by a famine in which over 200,000 died. (130)

1939 December 27 - 28
Turkey
Earthquake
An earthquake destroyed 12 towns and many villages in Anatolia. 32,741 persons were killed. (107)

1939 December 31
Turkey
Floods
Torrential rains caused floods in the earthquake region of Anatolia. Two million persons were made homeless. (108)



1940 January 13
Turkey
Cold
A temperature of -45.8° F. (-43.2° C.) at Karakose. (41)

1940 January 26 - 29
British Isles
Blizzard
A snow and ice storm left most of the country ‘paralysed’. Twigs were loaded with 3.5 pounds of ice near Cirencester. (34)

1940 February 14
Switzerland
Cold
An air temperature of -34.4° F. (-35.8° C.) at Jungfraujoch. (41)

1940 February 16
Hungary
Cold
An air temperature of -30.8° F. (-34.9° C.) at Asofugod. (41)

1940 March 22 - 27
New York State, United States
Blizzard
The ‘worst blizzard for 52 years’, with winds of 50 m.p.h., stranded thousands of persons. Snowdrifts were up to 30 feet high. (126)

1940 March 24
Europe
Aurora
‘One of the greatest magnetic storms ever recorded’. An auroral corona over Penrith (Cumberland). An aurora over Scandinavia was visible from Corfu. (24)

1940 May 1 - 2
Illinois, United States
Late snow
2.2 inches of snow fell in Chicago. (123)

1940 June 17
Gorky Region, Russia
Fall
Over 1,000 16th century silver coins fell at Mescheri during a thunderstorm. (129)

1940 July 1
Oklahoma, United States
Hail
Hailstones the size of oranges fell at Weatherford. (114)

1940 July 30
Turkey
Earthquake
Over 1,000 persons were killed by an earthquake in Anatolia. (161)

1940 August
Hungary
Ball lightning?
A ‘fiery cartwheel’ was often seen rolling along hilltops near Beta. (45)

1940 August 17
Morocco, North Africa
Heat
An air temperature of 125° F. (52° C.) at Agadir. (41)

1940 October 18 and 20
Spain and France
Floods
Floods in the Spanish provinces of Barcelona and Gerona killed 182 persons on the 18th. Floods in S.W. France on the 20th drowned about 100 persons. (161)

1940 November 7
Washington State, United States
Wind
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed due to vibrations caused by winds gusting to 31 m.p.h.

1940 November 9 - 10
Rumania
Earthquake
‘The worst earthquake in Rumania’s history’, centred in the Vrancea mountains., killed 400 persons. The Ploesti oilfields were badly damaged. The shock was felt in Bulgaria and Russia. (109)

1940 November 10 -12
United States
Blizzard
A sudden snow and ice storm killed 122 persons in Minnesota and Michigan. (124)


1940 November 20
Madagascar
Heat
An air temperature of 111.9° F. at Behara. (41)

1940 December 22
Tunisia, North Africa
Cold
An air temperature of 15.8° F. (-9° C.) at Fort-Saint. (41)

1940 December 26
Cuba
Tornado?
A ’tornado’ killed 40 persons at Bejucal. (161)