Friday, November 11, 2011

The "Great Blue Norther of 1911"

You think the weather is crazy now?  Check out what happened exactly 100 years ago.  It's the 100 year anniversary of the "Great Blue Norther".  This was an enormous wave of cold air which took temperatures from extremely warm readings on the 11th to record breaking lows the following day.  I have found the weather maps to this crazy period in our weather history.   Also below is some great information from the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock.

This is the actual weather map from November 11th, 1911 from the Weather Bureau.  Notice the strong area of low pressure (cold front) from the Great Lakes down into the southwestern United States.  Behind it is the enormous arctic high coming out of Canada
By the next day, the front is along the east coast with much of the central United States in the deep freeze.  The surface high is located across the plains of Texas and Oklahoma.  Notice the black lines between that feature and the front to the east.  Those are isobars, lines of equal barometric pressure.   The rapid change indicates strong northerly winds ushering in the BIG chill.

Here's an up close look at the map indicating Little Rock with a pressure reading on the 12 of 30.42 and a temperature at this particular time of 22 degrees making it a 50 degree drop from the same time 24 hours earlier on the 11th. The current temp. at this time was 22 degrees.
Thanks to the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock for releasing the data below.  Check it out...


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
849 AM CST THU NOV 10 2011

...ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COLD WAVE OF 11/11/1911...

NOVEMBER 11TH MARKS THE ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COLD WAVE OF
NOVEMBER 11TH 1911. A STRONG ARCTIC COLD FRONT SWEPT THROUGH THE
CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES ON THE 11TH AND 12TH. THE AIRMASS AHEAD OF
THE FRONT WAS UNSEASONABLY WARM...AND MANY RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES
WERE SET ON THE 11TH. FRIGID ARCTIC AIR SWEPT IN BEHIND THE FRONT...
AND DROPPED TEMPERATURES SIGNIFICANTLY WITHIN A 24-HOUR PERIOD.

THE FRONT PRODUCED SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS AND TORNADOES ACROSS THE UPPER
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY...A BLIZZARD IN THE OHIO VALLEY AND THE UPPER MIDWEST...
AND  A DUST STORM IN OKLAHOMA. AT MANY LOCATIONS IN ARKANSAS...NOT ONLY
WERE RECORD HIGHS SET ON THE 11TH...MANY RECORD LOWS WERE SET ON THE 12TH.

TEMPERATURES DROPPED AS MUCH AS 70 DEGREES IN 24 HOURS IN PARTS OF
NORTHERN AND WESTERN ARKANSAS. THE MERCURY FELL TO SINGLE DIGITS IN
THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF THE OZARKS. THE LOW TEMPERATURE OF 5
DEGREES AT HARRISON ON THE 12TH REMAINS THE COLDEST TEMPERATURE EVER
RECORDED IN THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER IN THE CITY.

THE 24-HOUR TEMPERATURE CHANGES EXPERIENCED DURING THIS COLD WAVE
REMAIN AMONG THE GREATEST ON RECORD IN NORTHERN ARKANSAS. AT HARRISON...
THE TEMPERATURE CHANGE OF 71 DEGREES FROM THE 11TH TO THE 12TH IS THE
GREATEST 24-HOUR TEMPERATURE CHANGE ON RECORD.

                 HIGH TEMPERATURE   LOW TEMPERATURE     24-HOUR TEMPERATURE
CITY              NOVEMBER 11TH      NOVEMBER 12TH          CHANGE
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
FAYETTEVILLE          81                  9               -72 DEGREES
ROGERS                81                  9               -72 DEGREES
HARRISON              76                  5               -71 DEGREES
DUTTON                78                  8               -70 DEGREES
SUBIACO               86                 16               -70 DEGREES
EUREKA SPRINGS        80                 11               -69 DEGREES
FORT SMITH            85                 16               -69 DEGREES
AMITY                 86                 20               -66 DEGREES
DODD CITY             78                 12               -66 DEGREES
SWAIN                 73                  7               -66 DEGREES
JONESBORO             80                 15               -65 DEGREES
LUTHERVILLE           81                 16               -65 DEGREES
MENA                  80                 15               -65 DEGREES
CENTER POINT          86                 22               -64 DEGREES
HARDY                 78                 14               -64 DEGREES
BEE BRANCH            79                 17               -62 DEGREES
MAMMOTH SPRING        77                 15               -62 DEGREES
PRESCOTT              85                 23               -62 DEGREES
HOT SPRINGS           82                 21               -61 DEGREES
POCAHONTAS            78                 17               -61 DEGREES
CONWAY                81                 21               -60 DEGREES
ENGLAND               80                 20               -60 DEGREES
BENTON                80                 21               -59 DEGREES
HUTTIG                81                 22               -59 DEGREES
LITTLE ROCK           81                 22               -59 DEGREES
CAMDEN                83                 25               -58 DEGREES
EL DORADO             82                 24               -58 DEGREES
FORDYCE               82                 25               -57 DEGREES
TEXARKANA             81                 24               -57 DEGREES
ARKADELPHIA           78                 22               -56 DEGREES
MALVERN               81                 26               -55 DEGREES
WARREN                82                 27               -55 DEGREES
PINE BLUFF            78                 24               -54 DEGREES
HELENA                79                 26               -53 DEGREES
NEWPORT               73                 20               -53 DEGREES
PORTLAND              83                 30               -53 DEGREES
BRINKLEY              74                 22               -52 DEGREES
WYNNE                 73                 22               -51 DEGREES
LEWISVILLE            78                 29               -49 DEGREES

3 comments:

JasonBHampton said...

I read about this a few years back. Simply Amazing. Thanks Todd on a great info.

Could our first Artic air be coming soon.....the Northern U.S and Canada should have a pretty nice snowpack by the end of the month. We have had some pretty big COLD air outbreaks and even some Winter storms around the 25th of Nov threw the 1st week of December. As SNOWBOB SAYS "WE SHALL SEE"!

JasonBHampton said...

Another crazy fact on that date was the temps went back up to the 70's and 80's 2 days later!

Raj said...

How nice. Wish we could have one of those arctic blasts.