One of the most tragic volcanic eruptions in modern time blasted into the historical record on May 8, 1902.
About 30,000 people died at Saint-Pierre, Martinique, when a fiery hot cloud of ash burst down from Mont Pelee volcano.
A town of some 30,000 people, Saint-Pierre was utterly destroyed by the powerful blast of hot gas and ash, known as a "pyroclastic flow".
Pelee began its eruptive cycle on April 23, when, amid "sharp underground shocks," the volcano lightly rained cinders along its southern and western sides, the Mount Pelee Wikipedia entry says.
A large cloud of ash and rock was emitted from the top of the volcano on the 26th. Further apparent signs of impending major eruption were witnessed at April gave way to May, when a pillar of "dense black smoke" shed fine pumice over the northern half of Martinique on the 2nd and 3rd.
The volcano claimed about 150 victims on May 5, when collapse of a newly formed crater lake sent a volcanic mudflow, or lahar, down a nearby river. The lahar struck a sugar works.
Volcanic lightning lit the sky on the 7th, as activity ramped up.
The climactic eruption burst clouds both upward and outward from the volcano's summit on the morning of May 8, and speeds estimated above 400 mph.
It was the horizontal, ground-hugging pyroclastic flow, literally glowing-hot on the inside, that swept through Saint-Pierre, both blasting and incinerating it, according to Wikipedia. Reportedly, only two or three people in the direct path of the blast survived.
So notorious was this eruption that the volcano became the namesake for fiery ground-hugging pyroclastic flows. Such blasts are known to volcanologists as "Pelean" eruptions.
Saint-Pierre and Mount Pelee. (Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program/Lee Siebert 2002)
On the two-year anniversary of the EF-5 tornado that leveled Joplin, Mo., the town has deployed assistance to Moore, Okla.
The tornado tore through a path 17 miles long on Monday and had wind speeds as high as 200 mph.
Wednesday will be drier and less humid for recovery and clean up efforts.
The same storm system responsible for producing violent thunderstorms in Oklahoma recently will reach the Atlantic Seaboard Thursday.
Strong thunderstorms impacted areas from Texas and Louisiana to New England with large hail and damaging winds.
The atmospheric severe weather engine began firing on all cylinders this past weekend and reached full speed Monday over Oklahoma.
Lewistown, ME (1911)
101 degrees -- hottest ever in New England during May.
Waterville, ME (1832)
Kennebec Flood discharged 140,000 cubic feet of water per second -- high stage not equalled until 1901, and not exceeded until 1936.
Atlantic City, NJ (1991)
Record high of 89 degrees after a record low of 38 degrees. Record lows were also set May 19,20, & 21st.