Thursday, January 13, 2011

January of 1918 Was WAY Worse!

Many of us have been complaining about how cold it has been this week, but it was MUCH worse back in January of 1918. I pulled some old COOP Weather Observations from across Region 8 this evening to get an idea of just how bad it was in 1918. These handwritten weather journals are always interesting to see! This first one is from Jonesboro (click to enlarge):
First thing to note is the SNOW!!! Lots of SNOW!!! On the 11th it snowed 8"... and then more 15th, 16th, 19th, and 21st! At one point, this log says they had 15" of snow on the ground in Jonesboro, AR!

Second, look how COLD it was! The second column is the "lows" for the day. On the 12th, the low was 18 degrees BELOW zero. Brrrrr.

Third, look who took the weather obervations! The Benedictine Sisters! I assume that would be from the convent here on KAIT Road? I'm not sure.

Since the data from Jonesboro was so impressive, I decided to pull a few more logs from Region 8. The image below is from Marked Tree in January of 1918 (click to enlarge):
It's neat to pull from different points in Region 8 in order to see the notes and to paint a mental map of what happened in 1918. If you look at the two records above, Marked Tree had a substantial amount of snow on the 6th, but Jonesboro did not have much. This implies that the worst part of the storm was in southern Region 8 on the 6th, but isn't the gradient of snow wild! They had a dusting in Jonesboro, but 13.5" in Marked Tree! That would be wild to forecast! Marked Tree also had some snow on the 11th-12th, which brought their total snow depth to TWO FEET as noted on the 12th as having "24"" on the ground. Also, note that is was 13 degrees BELOW ZERO on the 13th!

Now let's head north and look at Mammoth Spring...
Once again, you can click the weather log to enlarge it and as you can imagine, Mammoth Spring had some incredible numbers as well! It was -23 on the 13th. They had several days of snow, with a report on the 21st saying there was 24" of snow on the ground!

Can you imagine? That would be an incredible winter! I always like looking back at incredible events in the past to remind us that it CAN happen here. Fortunately, this month does not look anything like January of 1918!

Back to work!


Creek said...

These Weather Observations are really cool. Are these available on the internet? I would love to be able to pull up and view the Monthly Obs just like you have them on your blog.

Dan Satterfield said...

Cool stuff Ryan! Sen the 00z Euro??


Ryan said...

I have! I kept wintry mix in for here. Kids may get another day here AND in Alabama!