Friday, October 2, 2015
Ultra - Mitt Great Lakes Storm "Freshwater Fury"
With Hurricane Joaquin raging south east of our location I thought we would explore the biggest storm cell to hit the Great Lakes:
The Great Lakes Storm of 1913, historically referred to as the "Big Blow," the "Freshwater Fury," or the "White Hurricane," was a blizzard with hurricane-force winds that devastated the Great Lakes Basin in the Midwestern United States and the Canadian province of Ontario from November 7 through November 10, 1913. The storm was most powerful on November 9, battering and overturning ships on four of the five Great Lakes, particularly Lake Huron. Deceptive lulls in the storm and the slow pace of weather reports contributed to the storm's destructiveness.
The deadliest and most destructive natural disaster ever to hit the lakes, the Great Lakes Storm killed more than 250 people, destroyed 19 ships, and stranded 19 others. The financial loss in vessels alone was nearly US $5 million (or about $119,310,000 in today's dollars). This included about $1 million at current value in lost cargo totaling about 68,300 tons, such as coal, iron ore, and grain.
The storm, an extratropical cyclone, originated as the convergence of two major storm fronts, fueled by the lakes' relatively warm waters—a seasonal process called a "November gale". It produced 90 mph (145 km/h) wind gusts, waves over 35 feet (11 m) high, and whiteout snowsqualls. Analysis of the storm and its impact on humans, engineering structures, and the landscape led to better forecasting and faster responses to storm warnings, stronger construction (especially of marine vessels), and improved preparedness.