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No. 29: Sep-Oct 1993

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Satan's storm

June 1960. Kopperl, Texas. Thunderclouds and lightning gave way to winds in excess of 75 mph, with temperatures of up to 140F. Surveying the storm damage later:

"Aside from the expected remains of a severe wind storm -- uprooted trees, snapped telephone poles, roof damage and banged-up boats docked lakeside -- the area had the ironic appearance of having been stung by a June freeze. Tree leaves, shrubs, hanging plants and crops were curled and wilted, as if frost-bitten. Uncut Johnson grass was dried and ready to bale, although the hay normally required two or three days of drying time after being cut. Perhaps the most startling remains of the storm was in what had been the cotton patch at Pete and Inez Burns' farm. The cotton was about knee high and a 'lucious crop' the day before, according to the couple. The next morning all that was left were carbonized stalks peeping out of the ground. The corn fared little better."

(Glaze, Dean; "Kopperl's Close Encounter with Satan's Storm," Meridian (TX) Tribune, May 12, 1983, p.1. Article appeared originally in the Dallas Times-Herald Westward Magazine. Cr. J. Mohn)

Comment. The consequences of this storm closely resemble the burning and drying effects of some tornados. See GWT in our Catalog: Tornados, Dark Days. Ordering information here.

From Science Frontiers #29, SEP-OCT 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987