Cold, Hot, Windy enough for Ya?


“In 1999, the relative humidity {in Murray County} dropped to 3 %, making it as dry as the Sahara Desert for a  single day.” quote from Draining the Great Oasis, 2001.

In the Upper Midwest there seems to be a Cult of the Weather. We  greet each other with a weather comment. We stay up in the evening just long enough to watch the weather report before going to bed. A day doesn’t go by that we don’t check the weather report on our cell phones. We plan our days around the temperature. We complain about the weather 9 days out of 10. And, lets face it, some of the best stories we tell have something to do with an extreme weather event. Our region is well known for extremes. The most extreme event we can imagine is the tornado.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the nation’s only f-5 tornado of 1992, that tore through Leota, Chandler, Lake Wilson, and northern Murray County farms. This one storm changed the face of small towns, forced schools to consolidate and gave us some hair raising tales. The anniversary allows us the opportunity to look at weather as a key player in human history. Our next exhibit coming for the summer of 2017 is called “Out of the Clear Blue Sky: Weather in Murray County.” This mostly photographic exhibit will examine the ways that different extreme weather events have shaped our history, from blizzards and droughts to storms and floods. What we need, though, is help from the historical society members and general public in finding and scanning in weather related photos. If you have a photo of an extreme weather event or the aftermath of it, please contact the Museum. We can scan it in and you can keep the original. Got a picture of your child on a huge snow drift? Hailed out or drowned cornfield? Giant Hailstone? What was left of your barn after a tornado? We welcome all of them. Already a few photos have come in, like the one below donated by

Rachel Malone of Currie. This depicts a field of dead carp in 1951, from either a flood or a drought, or a winter fish kill.


(Gives a whole new meaning to the term “fish farming” doesn’t it?)


2016 Murray County Historical Society