Local Weather History: The Historic Bomb of October 9-10, 1949

A historic, massive windstorm raked the Plains, Midwest & our region in October 1949. This storm also caused a historic October Plains severe weather outbreak.

Posted: Oct. 8, 2018 9:29 PM
Updated: Oct. 8, 2018 10:42 PM

As we move into early October, we look back at one of the great, historic weather events for the Plains & Midwest; the historic early October bomb of 1949…..

A bombing surface low blew up a violent tornado outbreak in the Plains & then brought a massive, historic wind storm to the Plains/Lakes/parts of the Corn Belt October 9-10, 1949.

Winds gusted to 100 mph southern Minnesota to northern Iowa for several hours. Mason City, Iowa measured numerous gusts +60 mph with gusts to 90 mph. This was just from the pressure field of the tremendous low pressure, not any severe weather. With this, power was out for a month over parts of Minnesota, Iowa & Wisconsin & complete crop destruction occurred. According to the U.S. Weather Bureau at the time, 10% of Iowa farms sustained significant property losses. It was reported that wind insurance claims were the greatest on record for the state of Iowa.

14 people were injured by the actual severe weather outbreak (one tornado tracked 35 miles). Amazingly, there were no deaths (mainly due to sparse settlement) despite the magnitude of the event. Contrastingly, 13 were killed by the wind event. 81 were injured in Minnesota alone.

The wind field brought gusts to 45-50 mph & near/record warm to the area with highs in the 80s to 90 with wind damage as far south as central Illinois.  There most of the corn was mowed down by the wind.

This severe weather & then historic wind event would be a billion-dollar disaster today. Complete crop loss with structural damage made this one event for the record books for our nation, with its impacts even here in our viewing area.

At first I thought this system might be the remnants of the early October 1949 Galveston Hurricane, but this storm was a different entity.  However, the Galveston hurricane did bring heavy rainfall & gusty winds to the area.

The Galveston Hurricane remnants (with even a PRE [Predecessor Rainfall Event]):

The '49 Bomb:

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West Lafayette
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