NOVEMBER 12th, A BIG DAY IN WEATHER HISTORY...
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WEDNESDAY'S FEATURE POST...
The past 14 days, starting October 29th have really been something out of the ordinary here in the central Midwest. Early season cold and snow have broken numerous records. Here's a sampling of records from around the central U.S November 12th. Here in Cedar Rapids we broke two records at midnight when the temperature was 4 degrees. The 4 tied the record low for the 11th and at the same time broke the record low for the 12th which was 5. The NWS Quad Cities also had a record low of -6 as did Dubuque at -5.
By the way, the low Tuesday morning which ended up at 6 below in Cedar Rapids, shattered the previous mark of 5 set in 1986 by 9 degrees! The 6 below was also the coldest temperature ever for so early in the season! The temperature had not reached 6 below or colder previously until November 17th, 1959 when the low fell to -8
Since October 29th the two week temperature departures look like this. Much of my area is averaging 11-14 degrees below normal per day.
The 30 day departures are not much better.
During this onslaught of cold, the country has seen 2,854 record lows over the past 30 days. There have been 2,335 record cold highs. 812 new snowfall records have also been established.
As a side note, it can and does get warm this time of year. In 2005 the right ingredients of warmth and moisture produced 12 tornadoes in Iowa on you guessed it, November 12th. Stratford, Iowa was hit with a strong EF3 tornado that produced significant damage.
The twister was on the ground for 17.6 miles and produced 1 rare November tornado fatality.
November 11th and 12th are also known for another major storm that produced staggering weather changes as it roared northeast. Yes, I'm talking about the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940.
The morning of November 11, 1940 brought with it unseasonably high temperatures in the Upper Midwest. By early afternoon, temperatures approached 65 °F over most of the affected region. However, as the day wore on conditions quickly deteriorated. Severe weather was reported across much of the Midwest with heavy rain and snow, a tornado, and gale-force winds were all reported. Temperatures dropped sharply, winds picked up and rain, followed by sleet and then snow, began to fall. An intense low pressure system tracked from the southern plains northeastward into western Wisconsin, pulling Gulf of Mexico moisture up from the South and pulling down a cold arctic air mass from the North.
The result was a raging blizzard that would last into the next day. Snowfalls of up to 27 inches, winds of 50 to 80 miles per hour, 20-foot snow drifts, and 50 °F temperature drops were common over parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. In Minnesota, 27 inches of snow fell at Collegeville, and the Twin Cities recorded 16 inches.Record low pressures were recorded in La Crosse, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota. Transportation and communications were crippled, which made finding the dead and injured more difficult. The Armistice Day Blizzard ranks #2 in Minnesota's list of the top five weather events of the 20th century.
Survivors describe the cold as so severe that it was difficult to breathe, with the air so moisture laden it was thick like syrup and that the cold seared the survivors lungs like a red-hot blade. Many individuals claim that animals were aware of the upcoming weather shifts which led them to move rapidly from the area. Duck hunters who were out at the time were amazed at the amount of ducks that were in the area and on the move through the skies, one survivor recounting there were thousands.